Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. Well, this is some time capsule Intel from back in 1990 with former Georgia great Andre Hastings. He was the nation’s top WR prospect back in 1990 coming out of Morrow High School.


Andre Hastings is now in the Georgia High School Football Hall of Fame. He received that honor on Saturday night after his eight seasons in the NFL, a brilliant college career at Notre Dame playing for Lou Holtz and an All-American career at Morrow High School.

That’s not the way the ripples of time went down for Hastings. That’s what was to be, though.

Up until it was not.

Hastings, now 50, was set to play for the Fighting Irish at the very 11th hour in 1990 with a college decision that found national coverage some 32 years ago in the pages of Sports Illustrated.

He WOULD have chosen FSU if they had simply let him wear the No. 1 jersey. That number was taken and that was that. Bobby Bowden’s great FSU teams of the 1990s would have to line up without a player that SI had predicted would be an NFL All-Pro in 1995 when he was still in high school.

The Morrow High star was the only one of the top 25 high school players in the nation for 1989 left unsigned going into March. Imagine what a story that would be these days.

When he wasn’t at school or working his part-time job making $4 per hour in the hardware department at the Sears in Southlake Mall, he was taking long-distance calls from the elite of college football.

Those were the days of the 1-800 or 1-900 hotlines dropped all the latest recruiting intel. Those information sources are now found over message boards and social media and then they point to the internet these days.

That No. 1 jersey wasn’t the only thing. He requested his dorm room have a private bathroom. He wanted to have the right to spat his cleats with tape everywhere except the toes and the heels.

There was a conga line of other equipment demands: 1) He wanted to wear his towel tucked a certain way; 2) Hastings sought to wear an RB-style facemask with different bars than most receivers; 3) He had requests for A specific helmet, shoes and thigh pads, too.

And he even spoke up about how he didn’t really love football.

He proved to be worth it in high school and college. He caught 15 of his 41 high school touchdowns as a senior. That earned him the USA Today National Offensive Player of the Year honor.

Hastings would go on to be a two-time ALL-SEC receiver and was a third-round NFL Draft pick. He had eliminated Georgia late in the process only to restore the Bulldogs because of location.

When he was finally set to decide, there were those doubts again. Georgia wasn’t on his mind.

His mother intervened.

“As I walked down to make my announcement, she grabbed my hand and arm,” Hastings said.

She stopped Hastings from telling the world he had chosen to go play for Notre Dame.

“The reason I went to Georgia was my Momma told me to go to Georgia,” Hastings said.

It was the last twist in a recruiting story that had many from working to raise his SAT scores for admission to an unfortunate elimination of the Miami Hurricanes. That was when he saw his return plane ticket stolen from the car of a Miami assistant while they were at the beach on his visit. The Hurricanes already had a bad reputation with him. That sealed it.

His mother, Debbra Hastings, was a staff sergeant in the Army. She was assigned to recruiting duty, of all things, in Atlanta.

“She said ‘Baby go to Georgia’ and I said ‘Okay’ and then I said to her afterward ‘Why did you not tell me this weeks ago?’ with that,” Hastings said. “She wanted me to feel like that big decision was my decision. That’s everything that most parents do.”

“She wanted me to figure it out for myself and let me think I was making my own decision.”

His mother told him she wanted him to be independent but ultimately wanted him close to home so she would never miss a game.

“It really worked out,” he said. “I got drafted to Pittsburgh and she moved to Pittsburgh. She always got to see me play. It has kind of always been that way.”

Debbra Hastings was a Georgia fan. In her service, she had grown tired of moving around with a new deployment and station every few years.

Perhaps the bigger deal here was that her commanding officer was also a Georgia fan.

“I was active duty military,” she said. “My sergeant major was a ‘Dawg fan. He said if you keep him in Georgia, you can stay here as long as you want. That meant I didn’t have to pick up and move every three years. So that was it.”

She served our country for 23 years, including three very important years while Hastings tallied up 1,876 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns in Athens.

He owes his competitive streak to his Mom. Even though he can never beat her in checkers.

When asked at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies how he managed a big national spotlight while in high school, he had one of the best lines of the night.

Hastings said he lived by one simple rule.

“Anything I do,” he started off. “Everything I do. Do not embarrass your Mother.”

“Momma, are you happy?”

She stood up and told the Hall of Fame crowd on Saturday night at the College Football Hall of Fame that he made her proud.

“I’m happy,” she said.

It was another great moment in a night full of them.

Have you subscribed to the DawgNation YouTube channel yet? If so, you will be able to see special 1-on-1 content with 2023 commits CJ Allen, AJ Harris and Jamaal Jarrett.

Check out the entire Georgia High School Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony below.

There’s one more reason why Andre Hastings to Georgia was a big deal

Hastings to Georgia was a very big deal back then. There was at least one recruiting service analyst that said that his decision took Georgia’s class from fifth to third nationally behind Notre Dame and FSU.

“We that year also had an East versus West High School All-American football game,” Hastings said. “That was in Nevada. Reno I believe.”

Hastings was there with Jerome Bettis, Drew Bledsoe, Cale Gundy, among many others.

Bernard Williams was a highly-decorated lineman out of Memphis. He was also there and he stood out. Literally. Williams was at least six feet, nine inches during his time at Georgia.

He went to Georgia because of Hastings.

“You have to interview him now,” Hastings said. “He said he only came to Georgia because he met me,” Hastings said. “Somehow. We were just hanging out and he was always messing around with Garrison. He would always say ‘I wouldn’t know any of you bums if it wasn’t for Andre’ and we met out there in Nevada.”

Williams went on to be a first-round pick in the NFL by the Philadelphia Eagles.

“Hey, man that’s life,” Hastings said. “You have to just take it as it comes.”

Hastings went on to become a lifelong ‘Dawg fan. When the ‘Dawgs finally won the national championship in Indianapolis back in January, he was there.

“I take a lot of pride in that,” Hastings said. “I was at the game and it’s something that I felt that we were always knocking at the door and finally pushed it on through and pushed it on. It was not so much a ‘we finally won’ because I don’t function like that. It was more of a ‘we made it and what are we going to do now to stay here’ with that championship for me. Nobody will care much about that now. I’ve got Florida, the next game, on my mind now.”

Former UGA receiver great Andre Hastings was named to the inaugural class of the Georgia High School Football Hall of Fame on October 22, 2022 (Jeff Sentell/ DawgNation) (Jeff Sentell/Dawgnation)

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