This is the sixth installment of a DawgNation series featuring the “Next Generation” of Georgia football players from the 2023 class. 4-star Pearce Spurlin III was rated as the nation’s No. 2 TE and the No. 76 overall prospect on the 247Sports Composite. On3 had him as the No. 2 TE and No. 68 on its Industry Ranking scale.


When he was still a recruit, the level of commitment that Pearce Spurlin III had for UGA was just so uncommon in this era.

It was the sort of thing one might joke about. Spurlin heard it from his fellow commits to the UGA class.

There was one bit about the fact he committed after he left the delivery room. (Probably not a joke.)

Or the one where the University of Georgia arch went up on a Tuesday. Spurlin committed the next Monday.

The reality here probably beats any satire. Spurlin, a generational Georgia legacy, committed to the ‘Dawgs back on September 30, 2020.

That was a Wednesday. Stetson Bennett IV got his first start for the ‘Dawgs that next week against Auburn. Bennett would go on to start 34 more games and bring two national titles home for the ‘Dawgs.

Spurlin III was committed the entire time.

That’s 813 days. Or 26 months. Those months for an All-American recruit should be like dog years. Spurlin’s ‘Dawg years as a commit need a multiplier. Every month a top 75 overall prospect is committed to the same school probably should feel like three months in real-time these days.

There was a little-known family connection to Miami. Mario Cristobal, the Miami head coach, actually went to school with Spurlin’s aunt. There are also family members in South Florida.

Big-name schools with a big-name education (Stanford) were also interested.

He was still committed the entire time.

That’s a long time for a top-100 prospect who wound up rated as the nation’s No. 2 TE. The 6-foot-6, 245-pounder signed with the ‘Dawgs back in December and enrolled in January.

That were the Bulldogs he watched from the stands. His team. He remembers that great A.J. Green game against Arizona State. Or the Nick Chubb comeback start against North Carolina.

Spurlin was also there for Chubb’s first game running wild with Todd Gurley against Clemson. He was “nervous the whole game” watching the Peach Bowl against Ohio State last season.

When he’s finally playing in Sanford Stadium, it will really mean something to him and his family.

There was just a wait involved this spring.

He suffered a broken collar bone during spring drills and missed G-Day. That’s why the only views of Spurlin on Saturday were with him in a sling.

This “Next Generation” Bulldog is actually a third-generation ‘Dawg. Everyone in the family has UGA degrees. Spurlin told DawgNation once the family even owned property in the North Campus vicinity.

Check out these two video interviews. This first one was in October of 2020 after Spurlin chose the ‘Dawgs.

The breakout quote from early in his sophomore year was:

“I’ve been a Georgia fan since I was probably born,” Spurlin III said then. “I’ve grown up going to Georgia games and just cheering for the ‘Dawgs. I want to say I am 100 percent committed and I plan on being 100 percent committed throughout high school.”

“Can’t wait to play and get up in Athens.”

Spurlin described it as a “family” decision and said he was strong-willed. That he just felt ready.

He was. Georgia’s all-time great WR Terrence Edwards had been working with him before he committed.

The future All-American was 218 pounds then and at the 6-foot-6 mark. At that time, he said that tight ends coach Todd Hartley and former OC Todd Monken wanted to “change the position” in Athens.

Spurlin also committed while Brock Bowers was still a senior in high school in California.

Let’s advance this timeline to January 2023. DawgNation bookended the Spurlin recruiting journey with another 1-on-1 interview at the All-American Bowl in Texas.

He was going to leave the All-American Bowl, move in on a Sunday, go to his first day of class on a Monday and watch the ‘Dawgs thump TCU the following night. That was a whirlwind introduction to college life in Athens.

“It is going to be a week to remember,” he said. “I’m sure.”

He had bulked up quite a bit from those 218 pounds.

“I’m just going to go put my head down and work,” Spurlin III said. “Just try to help the team as much as I can whether it is scout team or getting in the game when I can. Just whatever. Whatever to do to help.”

It is a shame DawgNation didn’t see him this spring. Especially given the depth of his commitment and ties to UGA. From a pure talent standpoint, he was the second highest-rated offensive signee in the 2023 class behind 5-star tackle Monroe Freeling.

He’s been bitten by the injury bug of late. Spurlin suffered that injury during spring drills, but also only played in just two games his senior year. He suffered a shoulder injury playing defensive end in the spring football scrimmage at the end of his junior year of high school.

Check out what he put on film during his senior year below.

Breaking down what Pearce Spurlin III can do

The 6-foot-6, 240-pounder has an incredible wingspan of 81-plus inches. That lends itself to a dead honest scouting report.

“If the ball was anywhere within that huge-ass wingspan,” his high school coach Phil Tisa said. “It was his. The catches he would make, even in practice, were incredible. He made incredible catches look menial. Balls that the average athlete would struggle to even get to. He made those catches look very very easy.”

Spurlin also played basketball and lacrosse in high school.

“It is not just the length,” Tisa said. “He could put his body between the defender and the ball like a basketball player would box you out. He has a big frame.”

How would Tisa defend him?

“I’d try to get to the quarterback as fast as heck,” he said. “Just do not give him an opportunity to beat you downfield. I’d go with my most physical person to defend him. Try and be physical at the line of scrimmage and knock off the timing and not let him get started in his route.”

Tisa kept using the term “game changer.” Then he provided the perfect example why while looking back on the past season.

“We go 8-2 with him,” Tisa said. “Without a doubt. As opposed to 6-4. I think he really changes two of those games that were tight ball games. I think he also gives us a real chance to win the playoff game we lost against Florida High, too.”

Spurlin only played in two games as a senior, but scored three touchdowns. He tallied six catches for 132 yards. That’s 22 yards per reception.

“What went through my mind when I first saw him come to play for us was something from being a defensive guy all my life,” Tisa said. “I wouldn’t want to defend him. He could create a lot of problems for people.”

“We had some good guys around him, too. He would also be the type of guy that would draw the defense’s attention and open up things for other people.”

Tisa chose the word “influential” to describe Spurlin. He was the first All-American in South Walton’s football history.

“The fact that he is such a rare breed of an athlete with his length and his ability are just not things that you normally get to see in our area,” Tisa said.

Check out his junior year numbers: 74 catches for 1,404 yards, 19 yards per catch, 20 touchdown receptions.

“You really saw what he was capable of in the numbers he put up as a junior,” Tisa said.

While rehabbing that shoulder, Tisa noticed how important the game was to him. There was a way he interacted with the eight-year-old son of one of his coaches while on the mend. That left an impression on the Walton staff that Spurlin was more than just an All-American football player.

The future ‘Dawg would play Wiffle Ball with him. He was popular with the youth in his community because of the way he would treat them. Even as they looked up to him.

His team saw another side of him while he was working to get back on the field.

“He did a really good job of trying to coach up other guys,” Tisa said. “Because he knew how to play and he knew the system. He would come out to practice and take what he knew and apply it to our other players. I think he really learned how much he loved the game which validated all the time, effort and energy it took for him to come back.”

Spurlin had a game for the ages as a junior. He finished with 13 catches for 318 yards and five touchdowns. Those receptions went for 24.5 yards per catch, but his team fell by a 49-48 margin.

The opponent that week had an even better stat line. They saw their running back break the Florida all-time single-game rushing record held by future NFL Hall of Famer Derrick Henry. Kaleb Wagner carried it 25 times for 535 yards and six touchdowns. The big Spurlin night was eclipsed by Wagner’s 24.5 yards per carry.

There was a sweet one-handed layout catch on his reel for the night below.

Tisa told him pretty early on he couldn’t offer much skill-wise to make him a better player.

“My biggest goal as one of his coaches was to give him the mental aspect of the game,” Tisa said. “Overcoming adversity. Not letting people get in your head. Those types of things about how to play the game on the same level every play. To help him grow not just as a football player, but more as a young man.”

Spurlin’s biggest adjustment at UGA will be putting his hand on the ground and being a physical blocker in the run game. He never did that in high school. Spurlin was often the outside receiver in an “Air Raid” attack with four receivers out wide.

When he got to the All-American Bowl this year out in Texas, he’d never played tight end before. He had to learn how to block All-American EDGE rushers on the fly.

Have you subscribed to the DawgNation YouTube channel yet? If so, you will be able to see special 1-on-1 content with key 2024 prospects like Daniel Calhoun, Dwight Phillips Jr., Dylan Raiola and Sacovie White.

Pearce Spurlin III: Coming from a true Georgia football family

Spurlin gets his height from all over his family tree. His father is six feet, four inches tall. There are several ladies and grandmothers that were at least six feet. His grandfather on his mom’s side played college football.

His mother’s brother played baseball at UGA. His great-grandfather on his father’s side played football at Georgia Tech. There was another great-grandfather that played pro baseball.

“He’s got some lineage in him from somewhere,” his father Pearce Spurlin II said back in 2020.

The UGA offer didn’t come from pure athletic DNA, though.

“It is really how hard he has worked,” his father said. “He is so self-motivated. He wants to play. He wants to work hard. He loves working hard at those camps and working out with Terrence.”

“He really works his butt off. He really does. We don’t have to worry about him with his grades. We don’t have to push him for homework. He is just so self-motivated.”

Spurlin grew up competing. Playing baseball, basketball, football and then lacrosse.

The former 4-star worked with a speed trainer coming up. It shaved his 40-yard time down to 4.62 while in high school.

He played varsity basketball for 7A Walton High as a freshman in high school. That was after playing in the AAU circuit coming in the Metro Atlanta area. That’s where all those ball skills come from when the ball is up for grabs with that “wide-ass” wingspan.

When he played high school hoops that year prior to moving to Florida, he was the sixth or seventh man off the bench. He started in some games due to injuries. When he played for South Walton in Florida, he was a high-flying dunker and rebounder across his junior season.

When he got an offer to play football from Georgia in the summer before his sophomore year, it was special. The Spurlin family has been season ticket holders for decades.

That offer came in the middle of pandemic recruiting in the thick of COVID-19.

“I think he is really competitive,” his father said back then. “But I think he just wants to be the best.”

There was a moment last June on his official visit to Georgia. He described it as a “surreal” feeling.

He tried on those all-white uniforms. The ones with the white helmets.

“Those were dope,” he said then.

Spurlin had thought the 2020 Arkansas red helmet and red pants combo was his favorite UGA uniform variant. But he wasn’t so sure anymore.

He was taking pictures with a lot of guys that decided not to go to Georgia. That weekend has been unfairly depicted by fans for the players that did not choose UGA. Caleb Downs, Justice Haynes and Arch Manning all chose not to commit to the G.

There’s not enough appreciation for the ones that did. 5-stars Damon Wilson and Raylen Wilson did. Not to mention All-Americans like CJ Allen, A.J Harris, Gabe Harris and Lawson Luckie.

“Just being there with them in Sanford Stadium with those uniforms on and the red lights going and beaming down was really just a full circle moment for me with recruiting,” Spurlin III said last summer. “In recruiting terms, I was like ‘I am going to be playing with most of these guys here in less than six months.’”

“I think that’s when it kind of hit that this is just really really special to be here and to be able to do this and go play for Georgia.”

He had dreamed about UGA his entire life. With a commitment that long, he had a lot of time to visualize what was coming.

“It broke and exceeded every expectation I had for it,” he said.

Now he’s in Athens. That circle was completed.

“The thing about Georgia now is they go after guys that love Georgia,” Spurlin III said last summer. “That want to be at Georgia. You can even see that with who they have on staff. More than half of them went to Georgia. I think that is kind of how they go with players. They want to go get a bunch of players who can play but also want to play for the university and with the right players around them and they want to be something special.”

Georgia's visitor list from this weekend presented in (mostly) full from left to right: TE Lawson Luckie, WR Raymond Cottrell, QB Arch Manning, S Caleb Downs, EDGE Damon Wilson, RB Justice Haynes, EDGE Gabe Harris, DB Chris Peal, OL TJ Shanahan Jr., LB CJ Allen, CB AJ Harris, TE Pearce Spurlin III, LB Raylen Wilson and WR Jalen Hale. (Instagram/Dawgnation)


(check out the series so far)


(check on the recent reads on