Jaleel Laguins is made of some very rare stuff. There’s loyalty, and then there’s what the nation’s No. 10 inside linebacker prospect feels for UGA.
The 4-star recruit committed to Mark Richt’s program back in August and did not back off that in the transition to Kirby Smart. He heard briefly from Smart in the first few days after he was hired, but hasn’t heard from him since. He told DawgNation two weeks ago he was uncertain where he stood with the program.
He still hasn’t heard from Smart, but said Tuesday night he’s not jumping to any conclusions. He denied a rumor he was unofficially de-committed or about to de-commit from UGA.
The 216-pound senior has started to think about the timeline of events from Smart’s perspective.
“You know that man has a lot on his plate,” Laguins said. “Taking over at Georgia. Still coaching at Alabama for the playoffs. Getting his family over here and trying to keep this recruiting class together and all that. He probably doesn’t have a lot of time to sleep for his own self at that. I know I will talk to him one day. We’re good right now.”
Laguins even wore a “How ‘bout them Dawgs” t-shirt to the Elite Juniors Classic at McEachern High School on Tuesday afternoon.
“I feel like I got lost in the mix,” Laguins said. “Me and my brother were talking about it and I feel that (former UGA linebackers coach Mike) Ekeler spoiled me,” Laguins said. “I heard from him almost every day and that was what getting recruited felt like to me. When I didn’t get that same type of recruiting attention I got the feeling I just wasn’t wanted by UGA anymore.”
He also said Florida, LSU and Tennessee are still hot after him right now. He’s got official visits planned to those schools and will now take an official visit to Alabama on Jan. 28. Former UGA defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt contacted him quickly after he was hired in Tuscaloosa.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.