Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This entry is about the latest on new Georgia line coach Stacy Searels with 4-star OT commit Bo Hughley.
Want to become fast friends with Jonathan “Bo” Hughley? Start talking to him about snacks.
Not potato chips. Or chocolates.
Hughley is a connoisseur of sugar-laced treats like Starbust Minis. Chewy Jolly Ranchers. Hi-Chews. Mumbles. Gummy bears.
What is the 6-foot-7.5, 285-pounder carrying on any certain day? Check his pockets. They will have some.
Most likely the pink pack of Starburst minis. Those are his 5-stars. He will down them before every game.
His top 5 list of snacking candies will hold as much detail as some prospects break down their top 5 schools.
New Georgia line coach Stacy Searels knows this. He knew it back in North Carolina. That was a curious point there with Hughley and the Tar Heels.
North Carolina and Searels never offered Hughley.
“We already had a good little bond and connection type though,” Hughley said. “When he was at UNC, he told me he would not offer me until we built a relationship. While he was there, we were building a relationship.”
“So when he came over to Georgia, this opportunity is here now to make our relationship even stronger.”
That’s why when Georgia initially hired Searels, Hughley was quick to refer to him as “good people” even though he never offered him at UNC.
To be very clear (and somewhat obvious here), the nation’s No. 5 OT and No. 53 overall prospect does indeed have an offer from Searels to play offensive line for the Bulldogs.
“Yes, sir,” Hughley said.
What Hughley had to say about Searels was significant. It shows that UGA will remain stout with Searels playing mason to Kirby Smart’s next Great Wall of Georgia.
“I really like him,” Hughley said. “He’s a good coach.”
It sounds like Searels is a little more than just a good coach.
“Everywhere I go I carry snacks with me,” Hughley said. “Everybody knows this. Doesn’t matter what kind of snacks. It would just be a piece of candy. I was at UNC once and I was just pulling stuff out.”
According to Hughley, Georgia’s new line coach noticed.
“Boy, you don’t stop eating candy” was what Hughley said Searels told him. “You know what? Your new name is ‘Snacks.”
That’s a good story. But there is an even better one to share.
“When he was at UNC, he locked my number in his phone and it said my name and next to my name it said ‘Snacks’ so we already were cool when I went up there. So when I went up there to Georgia on Tuesday, I saw him and he said ‘Hey what’s up Snacks?’ and that was how it started.”
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Johnathan "Bo" Hughley was on hand for his first UGA game as a recruit on Sept. 11, 2021. The Bulldogs blasted UAB by a 56-7 margin. (Jeff Sentell)
“Bo” Hughley plans to be back at UGA real soon
Hughley was in Athens on Tuesday. That was the first day of the new on-campus contact period between prospects and college programs.
He liked it so much he plans to be back in Athens this weekend. Part of that is due to the welcomed complication of Langston Hughes still being alive in the GHSA state basketball playoffs.
Hughley is on that team, too.
“I’m an athlete,” man,” he says.
Is he the rebounds guy? The Ben Wallace defensive stopper and interior bruiser guy?
“I’m the fouls guy,” Hughley said on Wednesday night.
The Fouls Guy walked away from the Georgia visit knowing he could play for Searels.
“As we were getting to know each other, I was sitting in the office with Broderick Jones,” Hughley said. “They compare me to Broderick. They say we are similar and I really can see that. We were in his office. Not only was coach getting to know me, but he was also getting to know Broderick at the same time.”
“As he was getting to know us, it rolled over to him teaching us simple blocks. He was teaching us and getting to know us at the same time.”
The last strong point Hughley made about Searels will trumpet the fact Smart found the right guy for the bedrock of the offense.
“I actually think he is an older version of me,” Hughley said of Searels. “He’s a big cool guy. I feel like I already know him offers wise and visits wise a good deal. I haven’t seen him at practice or the games yet so I want to get to see him at that. That will be how I determine how he really is and how he would be to play for.”
Hughley said he felt the hire was a great one. He said it strengthens what was already a solid commitment even after Matt Luke stepped down.
“Bo” will play in the GHSA state basketball playoffs with Langston Hughes on Saturday night. He will try to make his way to Athens again on Sunday.
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4-star OT Johnathan "Bo" Hughley committed to play for Georgia back on September 23, 2021. (Jeff Sentell)
What kept Bo Hughley committed to UGA before the Stacy Searels hire?
Hughley has grown about a half-inch since the fall. He’s a much bigger presence in person than when he committed to UGA on Sept. 23 of last year.
He might like sugar with his candy. But not his offensive line coaches.
“I’m looking for a guy that will be straightforward with me,” Hughley said. “That is not going to sugarcoat anything and teach me technique. Teach me the stuff I feel like I need to know.”
He felt he was still solid with UGA on Sunday at the Under Armour camp before the Searels hire.
“Just one coach leaving don’t change my mind,” he said. “Not about the program. The program is not just about one coach.”
He knew Luke to be a very technical coach that would still help him with things in his life off the field. The 4-star OT is the highest-ranked offensive player in Georgia’s class at this time at No. 53 overall.
He did say that he does plan to take all of his official visits this year. Auburn, Florida and LSU are the major schools jockeying for his interest.
He does feel that as long as Kirby Smart leads the program the Bulldogs will have what he needs to take his career from Fridays to Sundays. Hughley was at UGA for the national championship celebration on Jan. 15.
That day still sticks with him.
“That was pretty big,” he said. “I mean all of them were great speeches. I don’t think that any one of those stood out to me.”
He worked out with Ryqueze McElderry at the Under Armour camp. When the 3-star OG from Alabama had a strong rep, he was right there to give him an attaboy.
“That’s my boy, man,” Hughley said.
McElderry was one of the two offensive line MVPs named at the camp. Those two had the same mindset as they waited for UGA to hire Searels to replace Luke.
“We’ve talked before,” Hughley said. “The coach doesn’t make the program. All the coaches and the players and the fans and the parents make the program. Just because that one coach left doesn’t really hurt Georgia. He didn’t have the whole program around his finger for me as the offensive line coach. It is the whole coaching staff as one.”
When Luke left, he said Georgia was still Georgia because of the strong relationships he has in place with both Dell McGee and Kirby Smart.
“I talk to them almost every day,” Hughley said. “Coach Smart told me to not worry about Coach Luke leaving. They will try to find somebody better.”
The early reports on Searels show Smart made another strong choice for the offensive line room. McElderry told DawgNation that the new line coach reached out to him on Tuesday night. The initial impression was that he was somebody he could play for in Athens.
“He’s pretty cool,” McElderry said.
Georgia football announced the hiring of Stacy Searels as the offensive line coach on Monday. He will replace Matt Luke.
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