ATHENS ― Ashton Hagans, who became the highest-rated recruit of the Mark Fox era on Thursday, is officially more than a year away from coming to Georgia. But that could change.
Hagans, a junior at Newton High School in Covington, Ga., is eligible to reclassify academically and join the Bulldogs as early as the 2018-19 season, his high school coach confirmed Friday.
That doesn’t mean Hagans definitely will do that. But it’s under consideration.
“Everyone is saying that correct, but as of right now Ashton is a 2019 kid,” said Chris Williams, who is the coach for Hagans’ AAU team, Game Elite. “We don’t know what the future holds right now as far as moving up. We are currently taking it one day at a time, especially with announcing the big news yesterday. His family is just taking it slow right now.”
Hagans, a point guard, is a 5-star prospect and the nation’s No. 11 recruit in the 2019 class, according to the 247Sports composite, and Rivals rates him as the No. 6 player in the nation by Rivals. Both outlets rank him as the state’s best prospect for that year.
There’s no word how those rankings would translate to the 2018 class if Hagans becomes a part of it. But he would be a huge immediate addition for the Bulldogs.
Hagans is the highest-rated recruit for Fox since he arrived at Georgia in 2009. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was a top 25 prospect in the 2011 class, and Rayshaun Hammonds was a top 50 prospect this year. Hammonds is starting for the Bulldogs at small forward.
Georgia assistant coach Jonas Hayes was the lead recruiter for Hagans, who planned to be in attendance for the game Saturday against Temple, according to Williams.
Turtle Jackson, the starting point guard this season for Georgia, is a junior. Teshaun Hightower, a freshman, also has seen a lot of minutes.
Georgia signed two players for the 2018 class during the November signing period: 4-star power forward Amanze Ngumezi (Savannah, Ga.), and 3-star small forward JoJo Toppin (Norcross, Ga.).