Welcome to your one-stop shop for all the relevant UGA football news and takes every Monday through Friday. Today, we look at UGA biggest signing day storylines.
What’s the story?
By this time Wednesday the faxes will be rolling in at Butts-Mehre and Georgia will be on its way to signing one of the best classes in America. Most of UGA’s recruiting business is wrapped up, but there still are some key slots left to fill, and some big stories that will produce their next chapter. Here are the UGA storylines that will be front and center on signing day:
The D-line shuffle
Defense wins championships. More specifically, defensive lines win championships. The Dawgs have a handful of talented defensive linemen already committed. But between some of those guys wavering and a couple of major DL targets making decisions Wednesday, the makeup of the DL in this class could change drastically.
Right now, Georgia has roughly three projected defensive linemen committed: DE Robert Beal, DE Malik Herring and DT Devonte Wyatt. Both Beal and Wyatt could be possible defections. Wyatt may jump ship for South Carolina, while Beal is still considering Florida State. As far as uncommitted prospects go, there also are three to consider: DE Markaviest Bryant, DT Aubrey Solomon and DT Larrell Murchison. Bryant is deciding between UGA and Auburn, and seems to be a UGA lean. Murchison recently had UGA and Ole Miss 50-50, so that’s a toss-up. Solomon is the most talented of the bunch and seems like a long shot at this point, but his recruitment has been wild and a crazy turn would not surprise me.
Best-case scenario: UGA holds all players and grabs a couple of the uncommitted guys. Worst case: a defection and no new commitments.
Jamyest Williams makes his call
I’ll let Jeff Sentell handle this one:
James “JJ” Williams told DawgNation Georgia would be the pick heading into his son’s official visit this weekend at South Carolina.
He made it clear the decision is close, but it also appeared to be a very shrewd message. It was calculated. He said the Gamecocks could very well shift things and it was likely going to be “South Carolina’s race to lose” when it comes to the mercurial 4-star cornerback from Grayson High School.
After this visit, Williams told Phil Kornblunt of The State that things were ’50-50′ between the two SEC East rivals.
The fact he felt the two schools were still that close after could be viewed two ways: 1) It makes sense to drum up interest swirling around his 2:15 p.m. announcement from Grayson High School; 2) Nobody expected them to name the final decision this weekend. But Georgia is still very much in it.
Williams told DawgNation last Thursday he and his son planned to make their decision early this week and then let the schools know a day before “out of respect” to what they needed to do to lock down the rest of their classes.
It is not clear if that has changed.
Another chance for a talented WR
Georgia still needs lots of talent at receiver, and coach Kirby Smart is addressing that by bringing in a bunch of wideouts this year. So far, four to be exact. But there’s room for one more, and if it’s anyone, it will likely by 6-5 Nico Collins of Pinson, Ala.
It seems Alabama didn’t get in on recruiting Collins until late, which put the Tide behind for his services. While Georgia has a shot, though, his most likely destination seems to be Michigan. Smart has worked wonders this season, though, so I’m not betting against him reeling in Collins. And what a catch he would be. A big-bodied receiver is something Georgia has sorely missed for many years now. Plus, with how poor the receivers were last season, it’s a numbers game out wide. Sign enough long, athletic guys and a few of them are bound to pan out.
Upsets and surprises
Signing day is weird, man. Dudes jump out of planes. Puppies get held aloft like Simba. Moms steal their sons letter of intent so their sons can’t go to Arkansas. Crazy stuff happens. (OK, that last one is understandable.) Don’t be shocked by anything, good or bad.
10 years on
Remember Jimmy Clausen? Rick Maese of The Washington Post has a great “Where are they now?” looking back at the top 100 recruits of 2007. Theres’ lots of famous names — Cam Newton, Eric Berry, Dez Bryant — as well as a few infamous ones — Aaron Hernandez – and some can’t-miss prospects who, well, missed — Noel Devine and Willy Korn. And there’s also a couple of Georgia Bulldogs:
38. Aron White, TE
A team leader, White was the backup tight end as a senior. He had a brief stint on the Falcons’ offseason roster but never played in a game.
81. Caleb King, RB
King was academically [sic] ineligible for his senior season and was later signed as an undrafted free agent by the Vikings. He was active for one game but was released shortly after an arrest on assault charges.
10 tweest that defined #SicEm17
Jeff Sentell had a fun post Monday going over tweets that defined UGA’s class of 2017, a.k.a. #SicEm17. Go here for all of them, but I will leave you with Netori Johnson dancing to “Can I Get A …”
— Radi Nabulsi (@RadiNabulsi) June 29, 2016
- Georgia on verge of signing its new Dream Team, and the original one was pretty good (Seth Emerson, DawgNation)
- Georgia’s newest commit Nolan Smith II clears up the confusion about his decision (Jeff Sentell, DawgNation)
- The cross-town journey that changed Isaiah Wilson’s life (Chip Towers, DawgNation)
- Georgia basketball faces long odds on a night it will begin as an afterthought (Seth Emerson, DawgNation)
- High school coaches are the unsung recruiting heroes behind the scenes (Chip Towers, DawgNation)
- UGA among teams who relied most on freshmen in 2016 (Jake Rowe, Dawgs 247)
- UGA football turns 125 years old (Jake Rowe, Dawgs 247)
- Another thing to like about Georgia’s 2017 recruiting class: It was great before we knew it (MaconDawg, Dawg Sports)
- Georgia’s ‘big six’ offensive line recruits want to help change the program (Marc Weiszer, Athens Banner-Herald)
Good job. Good effort.
Dog tries to imitate little girl's cartwheel pic.twitter.com/IkWjOPQkn4
— Perfect Boyfriend (@WhennBoys) January 31, 2017