Bo Hughley: Prized OT commit will make long-awaited return to UGA this week
Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This rep has the latest with 4-star OT commitment Bo Hughley. He ranks as the nation’s No. 11 OT and the No. 102 overall prospect for 2023 on the 247Sports Composite ratings. He’s the nation’s No. 9 OT and the No. 106 overall recruit for the On3Consensus. Rivals has him as the nation’s No. 12 OT and the No. 169 overall prospect.
Bo Hughley is going to go to Georgia.
That’s the short-term story for this week. He told DawgNation he will be back in Athens on Saturday for the Georgia Tech game. That will mark his first game trip to check out the ‘Dawgs this year.
He’s taken a few unofficial visits to Auburn and LSU of late, but not to UGA. That will change as he eagerly awaits to check out the college championship for the state of Georgia on Saturday in Athens.
Bo Hughley is also going to go to Georgia.
That still sounds like the long-term story for this week, too.
Hughley gave DawgNation a couple of good laps around his thoughts on Monday at Langston Hughes High School. His Panthers are one of the top teams in the nation. Langston Hughes could very well be the best team in all of Georgia high school football right now.
The 6-foot-7, 285-pound senior plans to sign in December, but will not enroll early. Hughley plans to play basketball and also likely participate in track this spring.
Hughes said he has at least two official visits left to take some time over the next month. The first day of the early signing period is now exactly one month away.
Folks might want to worry about this one, but he still sounds solid.
There’s the fact that he hasn’t been to a Georgia game. That means something.
Does Bo not like Georgia anymore?
“Wrong,” he said.
Does Georgia not like Bo anymore?
“Wrong,” he said.
He’s been to visit other schools. That must mean something because he is checking out other schools and not the team he is committed to.
“Wrong,” he said.
Well, what is the right thing to know about Hughley and the ‘Dawgs?
“I haven’t made my way down to Georgia but that is nothing personal or nothing wrong,” he said. “I haven’t been there because I know what is down there. I know what I’m going to get when I go to Georgia. LSU wanted me to come to check it out and I went to check it. With Auburn, one of my teammates is committed there. My other teammates were going to go there to watch their game so I just tagged along with them.”
“Those were trips to just to go to those places just to go. But with Georgia, I know I am going to go there. I know I am going to go there and be successful.”
Hughley is still considering what he is going to do with those two officials. His high school team, which is now ranked among the nation’s top 15 programs, is on a historic run. His focus has been rightfully placed on his high team this fall.
He will choose between LSU, Ohio State and Penn State for those last two officials, he said.
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Bo Hughley: What hasn’t changed between the prized OT and UGA
Hughley said he hasn’t spoken on the phone with any coach yet this week. That is common.
“I’m not really too heavy on the phone with any coaches,” Hughley said this afternoon. “Just to tell you that. I’m not that kind of recruit that is talking for so many coaches every week.”
“I don’t know why everybody thinks I’m all over the place with schools. I don’t talk to anybody for real. I just be chilling. You can’t call one coach right now and get them to tell you I have already texted them this week.”
He is aware that DawgNation has been asking about him.
“Yeah, I do see how everybody be worried,” he said. “I’m not going to lie. I like all the attention and stuff. Growing up [Langston teammate and Auburn commit] Terrance [Love] was our star player on the team. I grew up with [Ohio State commit] Jelani [Thurman] and everybody. They got all the attention. When we got to high school and I got something on my name as well, it made me smile.”
“So I do see my name on Twitter and stuff about taking visits. Or going to visit Auburn. That made me smile because I was the type of player that everybody was now paying attention to. I can’t help it. That’s how it made me feel.”
Quavo saw him posting some pro-Auburn comments on his Instagram earlier this year. The hip-hop star asked him about all that. Hughley even doubled down then that he was a ‘Dawg.
Hughley made it clear on Monday that nothing has really changed since then. Should Georgia fans be worried about Hughley? Should Stacy Searels and Kirby Smart be worried?
“Nah, our relationship is too strong,” Hughley said. “If anything, we’ll have to sit down one more time and talk about everything before I make my decision.”
What does he need to take away from that conversation?
“Nothing really,” Hughley said. “If anything, we’ll have to sit down and talk about everything. How it is going to be when I get there. How they treat their players. Well, I already know how they treat their players. I haven’t been up there this season yet so I need to see how they are still treating their players this season.”
“I just need to see how much the coaches check up on the players again. I need to know everything.”
What has been his view of the Georgia season up to this point?
“Georgia, man they are playing like champions,” Hughley said. “They are a bigger Langston Hughes, man. I’m going to be leaving one state title championship program and going on to another championship title program. That’s just where my head is at. That’s what my goal is for real.”
Bo Hughley: What keeps him solidly committed to Georgia?
What would it take for another program to pry Hughley away from the ‘Dawgs?
“A relationship,” Hughley said. “I tell everybody this. I haven’t built any relationship with a coach or a head coach better than the relationship I have with Kirby Smart. I talk to Kirby. I don’t really talk to him too much on the phone. I talk to him like three times a month. We text, but we talk and when I go down there, our vibe is different.”
Hughley told DawgNation two impactful things prior to the start of the season. The first was he couldn’t wait for the early signing period to arrive so he could sign and be a Bulldog and put all of this recruiting stuff behind him. The second was that he had no relationship like that one with Smart.
He detailed a story of how it felt like when he arrived in Athens and it felt like Smart saw him enter the room and made a beeline to greet him and dap him up. Maybe Arian Smith moves at the speed that the head coach of the nation’s No. 1 team does when he sees Hughley on campus.
“He showed me so much love and I could tell it was real,” Hughley said. “I could see the positive energy coming off him to me and for me.”
That wasn’t the first time that happened for the senior tackle.
“As soon as I will be in the facility and as soon as Kirby sees me and as soon as he puts his eyes on me he stops what he is doing and walks straight to me and I loved that,” Hughley said. “I still really love that.”
But there was also something new Smart said to him two weeks ago.
Hughley has made a huge leap in his game this fall. He’s stronger. He’s gotten in better shape. He’s worked on the art of being an offensive lineman rather than just trying to be a barbarian between the lines.
Smart was aware.
“He told me I looked good,” Hughley said. “He told me I am more physical. More technical with my play. He told me I am doing excellent and doing way better than last year. I have improved a lot. He told me I can bend more.”
It made a great impression.
“It made me feel like ‘wow this is the head coach of the University of Georgia and he’s watching my film’ and he’s taking his time out of his day to watch my film and tell me that I’m doing good,” Hughley said. “It meant a lot. It really means a lot.”
It is clear Smart plays a key role here for Georgia. When asked just how big, Hughley started crooning like he was Luther Vandross or Barry White or John Legend or Ne-Yo signing a love song.
“You’re telling me you’re falling in love,” Hughley sang out.
Then he stopped. His point was made, but no record producers came swarming.
“Yeah, I really love Kirby,” he said. “I really do.”
There are other examples. Hughley shared a ‘Go ‘Dawgs’ post on his Instagram story when the ‘Dawgs beat Tennessee a few weeks ago. He did so while on an unofficial visit to LSU.
Why did he do that?
“What do you mean?” Hughley said. “I’m still committed. That’s still home. Why would I not do that? It was a ‘Go ‘Dawgs’ thing for me there.”
“I was at the LSU game. I couldn’t watch the Georgia game, but I was still really happy for the ‘Dawgs.”
He will sign in December.
“That’s so I can tell everybody then where I am going,” Hughley said. “I’m going home.”
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.
A few other things to know about the Bo Hugley commitment
When Hughley closes his eyes and thinks about his future at Georgia, he can’t help but think of junior offensive tackle Broderick Jones.
DawgNation covered the uncertainties about the Jones recruitment back in the 2020 class. What were perceived by some to be things that the ‘Dawgs had to worry about were really nothing of the sort.
It just made for good recruiting speculation about the zig-zag feelings of some teenage football players. The similarities between the two and their recruiting paths are not lost on this reporter.
“Coach Searels told me that,” Hughley said. “Coach Matt Luke told me that. Coach Eddie Gordon told me that. Coach Smart told me that. You are not the first to notice that.”
Hughley gets that.
“That’s my boy by the way,” Hughley said of Jones. “In all honesty, that’s the role I’m going in to fulfill. Hopefully, he goes to the league this year.”
Daniel Williams, his head coach at Langston, also sees it.
“One hundred percent that is it,” Williams said. “It is identical. The upbringing. The home life. They kind of piggyback off each other and Broderick is going to be a pro. Kirby has been monumental in making sure that everything is right with Bo and Georgia. Coach Dell McGee, too. Just being connected. Coach [Stacy] Searles and [assistant offensive line] Coach [Eddie] Gordon here as well. Jonas Jennings. We’ve all been in contact and even Christina [Harris] the academic lady at Georgia. Everybody is all in contact. Everybody.”
If the bulk of this story is not enough for fans worried about Hughley not signing with the ‘Dawgs, then there is one other aspect to note here.
“When he made that commitment, he made that 100 percent,” Williams said. “He grew up a Georgia fan. So when he committed to Georgia, it was something. If you check the history of Langston Hughes, we have never had a player de-commit from anywhere. When they commit, they sign.”
There have been several examples over the years. They signed even when maybe another option was very much in play.
“I want them to make a life-long commitment because that’s the loyalty we have here,” Williams said. “We’ve never had a guy de-commit from any school. It is being a man of your word. I always tell my kids ‘Take football away and can you still go to this college?’ and I think that’s the big thing. I want them to realize that without football. Football can be taken away from anybody in a split second. Can they be a student there?”
Williams also noted two key things about Hughley this fall.
“He used to just be out there and dominate opponents,” he said. “But now he is transitioning to being a tackle. There’s more technique. He is kick-sliding. He is punching. He is being patient. It is not a lot of takedowns or slams now because it is more of an impactful block coming from him. He’s working on protecting the backside and working up to the second level.”
“He’s doing a great job.”
Hughley’s team lost in the final seconds against Buford in the 6A state championship game last fall. The Panthers have rebounded with complete and utter domination in 2022. Langston stands only 100 points away from setting a new state record for points scored in a season.
This laser-focused team has 659 points through 13 games this year. That’s been accomplished with mandatory running clocks in every game this fall. The Langston starters have yet to play into the fourth quarter of any game this fall.
“He wanted to finish the drill this year,” Williams said. “Like our whole team. He really wants to finish the drill. We were so close last year. Falling short for one left a bitter taste, but it is also about understanding what we are and what this team is capable of.”
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