He opted to make his college commitment on his birthday.
The 6-foot-5-plus 350-plus defensive tackle prospect has been waiting to be a ‘Dawg. The decision came down to three finalists.
Auburn. Georgia. North Carolina.
“Just telling all the great relationships that you built was really hard,” he said. “You build so many relationships with these schools throughout time. All the great relationships. You can only pick one at the end of the day.”
He had leaned to the ‘Dawgs for some time, but his decision was finalized after his official visit to Georgia.
“Just the development portion,” he said. “You can go to the NFL out of each school. But I feel like with the development part Georgia is leading it right now. As far as coming in, getting developed and having the great coaches around you to keep pushing you to be great.”
The Bulldogs won a national championship with an all-time great defense. That defense won it all and then saw five starters selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. The ‘Dawgs also established a new modern-era record of 15 players selected in this year’s NFL Draft.
Those that make points about Georgia losing recruiting momentum after a national championship are wishing for growth in areas that the championship and NFL draft pick spree did not create. That is short-sighted.
The momentum is still alive and well with players like Jarrett as well as All-American linebacker commitments Todd Bowles and Raylen Wilson this month.
An argument can be cleanly crafted that the Jarrett commitment this evening is as pivotal of a recruiting piece and win as any in the 2023 class. That’s because championship defenses start with block eaters like Jarrett.
Jarrett has developed an acquaintanceship with Georgia’s All-Everything and first-round draft pick Jordan Davis. It sounds crazy to point this out, but Jarrett is probably a little taller and heavier than Davis right now.
Jarrett might not yet move like Davis, but he’s quite nimble on his feet. Few humans at the size and weight have ever been able to move like Davis, too.
Davis has even gotten to know his family a little bit, too.
“Jordan and I talk every now and then,” Jarrett said. “It is just a great relationship with me building with Jordan. Seeing somebody from up the road come down to Georgia and make a name for himself and now he’s one of the best defensive tackles in the nation. It was just really awesome seeing that and hearing from him.”
He’s ready to do the same over the next three or four years.
Yet there was another first-round pick the ‘Dawgs had this year that made an impact on his decision. That was Georgia native Devonte Wyatt.
That happened while the Georgia staff showed him the clips of a few select Bulldogs when they arrived at Georgia and then during the 2021 season.
Jarrett used the word “amazing” to describe the transformation he saw in Wyatt’s game at UGA.
“It was awesome seeing how much they developed in that short amount of time,” he said. “Now they are in the NFL. That really helped a lot in my decision.”
The 4-star DT has been a major priority for quite some time by defensive line coach Tray Scott, the defensive staff and head coach Kirby Smart. He had been the No. 1 target on DawgNation’s weekly “Top Targets” list for the 2023 class each week on “Before the Hedges” since Arch Manning chose Texas.
He made the decision with his family after that official visit back in June. They all sat down and chopped it up.
“Just the way that [Georgia] handled things,” Jarrett said. “Just the way they have the talent support, the coaching staff and the training staff. They said this was just like home. They can see me getting better there. They can see me having fun there and just the love from the coaches. They know I would be in great hands.”
4-star North Carolina DT Jamaal Jarrett (Jeff Sentell/ DawgNation)
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Jamaal Jarrett: What the family thought of UGA
The rising senior at Grimsley High now becomes the 15th commitment for the Bulldogs in 2023. That is a strong program that won the North Carolina state championship in the spring of 2021.
The Whirlies also sent 5-star DT Travis Shaw off to North Carolina in the 2022 cycle. North Carolina drew strong consideration from Jarrett, but in the end he wanted to find his own way.
He actually spent some of his childhood in Arizona. He moved to North Carolina in 2014. That’s why the location wasn’t so much a be-all and end-all factor.
“I just want to be developed to the best,” Jarrett said. “I have a lot of [growth] potential and I want to grow. I want to become the best I can be and I believe Georgia can help me do that.”
He is also the fourth big defensive commitment this month in joining South Florida CB Daniel Harris, Tallahassee LB Raylen Wilson and Tampa LB Troy Bowles.
It is interesting to note that all of those players are on the defensive side of the ball. They are all also outside the state of Georgia.
That said, the Bulldogs have pulled in two impressive 2024 offensive commitments this month from in-state recruits in receiver Ny Carr and tight end Landen Thomas. Both of those homegrown targets are ranked among the nation’s top 75 overall recruits in the 2024 cycle.
What type of young man are the Bulldogs getting in Jarrett? Well, he comes from a military family and also carries a 3.5 grade-point average. He is also thinking about majoring in engineering.
“He’s a self-starter,” his mother Lin Brown said. “He’s real self-motivated. Jamaal likes to bring people together. That’s how he is.”
He grew close with Bowles over the recruiting process. They are both going to be big pieces of those future championship defenses to come in Athens.
Want to know something you might not read in all the stories today about Jarrett? How ‘bout the fact he was a 6-foot-3 defensive end and tight end during his freshman season. He weighed about 190 pounds.
Then the pandemic hit. And he always liked to eat. He quickly morphed from fade routes and pass patterns to block destruction.
Why does she feel Georgia is a good move?
“It is not too far,” she said. “It is not like an opportunity where he is looking to benefit from what they have to offer. It feels more like a family setting. Everybody is kind of part of the brotherhood there and there is real camaraderie there.”
His father, Tim Wright, knew right away he was going to be a ‘Dawg.
“I knew off the first visit they were going to get it,” he said. “The whole environment was a lot better than all the experiences we had already had in the recruiting process. When I saw that glow in his eyes, I kind of knew that’s where it was.”
He’s so big, but he’s afraid of bugs. He would even have to answer his younger sister, Jaada, to squash any that come near. Those two are like best friends, they said.
“I call him Panda,” she said.
That’s because of his size and facial expression while he eats. When he is working on a meal, he is so focused on it.
“Like a panda with the way you might see it eating bamboo,” his mother said.
Yet he’s so motivated when there’s something he wants to accomplish. There is an example of when he was learning to ride a bike. Jamaal insisted on doing so without training wheels on his bike.
“You couldn’t tell him nothing,” his mother said. “He didn’t want training wheels. He just knew. He was determined that he was going to ride a bike. He was just one of those boys. A boy’s boy. Just up and down the street and I was trying to look out for him. The whole neighborhood was involved.”
When he was younger, he was into soccer and basketball. That’s where those quick feet and nimble moves come from. His game was like a junior-sized Shaquille O’Neal growing up on the hardwood, his family said.
He came up in a program that’s not known for success at Ben L. Smith High School. But the newest ‘Dawg commit is very much a people person.
Jarrett said he counts two friends he made there as his “Day ones” and among his best friends in the world. Jamarri Coles is a running back. Bottra Thach is a receiver and a defensive back.
“He’s like a brother to me,” Thach said.
“We were there with him and for him before he had all the offers and stuff,” Coles said. “So we are going to stick with him until the end.”
He continues to train with them during the offseason.
“He is real loyal and wants to keep his real friends close and never forget where he comes from and his community,” his mother said.
“I think what motivates him is that he walks by faith and not by sight,” his father Tim Wright said. “He’s real God-fearing and knows where it all comes from. I think that is what really motivates me day-to-day. He prays a lot.”
Check out Jarrett’s junior film below.
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4-star North Carolina DT Jamaal Jarrett (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation)
Jamaal “Jah” Jarrett: What his head coach had to say
Grimsley head coach Darry Brown has only had Jarrett in his program for about a year now. He came in last summer during June.
Yet he’s already got a pretty vivid impression.
“He’s always smiling,” Brown said. “I’ve never seen him have a bad day. Every day that we have had him. He’s in a good mood. He’s coachable. He’s a guy that does right. His teammates love him and he gets along with everybody around our school. With that big Panda bear stuff, they all have it right. That’s how he is.”
When he arrived at Grimsley, he was very raw.
“His upside is so big,” Brown said. “Just how he’s worked in the weight room to like understanding the game to make himself better.”
He will play a shade-nose and a “3″ tech for Grimsley in their even front this fall.
“Just huge upside here with him,” Brown said. “That’s why all these schools want him. First of all, he’s a monster. I think a lot of guys understand that what they see on tape now is he can get so much better. He will get better because he will work hard and is so willing to be coached. Then he’s a great kid. Does right. Gets along with everybody.”
Georgia football landed a commitment from 4-star North Carolina prospect Jamaal Jarrett(Graphic via Connor Riley).
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