Georgia football-alabama-recruiting battles
Qua Russaw and James Smith are two very impressive 5-star prospects in the 2023 cycle out of Carver-Montgomery High School in Alabama. (Instagram)
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Georgia football recruiting: Priority 2023 5-stars Qua Russaw and James Smith set up their official visits

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This rep has the latest with two of the very top prospects on Georgia’s board for the 2023 cycle in Qua Russaw and James Smith.

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The two biggest targets on Georgia’s board that have yet to set their official visits have now set up their official visits.

DawgNation has learned that 5-star Caver-Montgomery (Montgomery, Ala.) teammates Qua Russaw and James Smith have scheduled their officials to Georgia for the weekend of June 17th.

At this time, they both easily rank among DawgNation’s top 5 most important targets for the national champions in the 2023 recruiting cycle.

Russaw and Smith are very likely to sign together. They are not a package deal per se, but more of a tandem deal.

Smith, a 5-star DT who is agile enough to play up and down the line, ranks as the nation’s No. 2 DL and the No. 13 overall prospect for 2023 on the 247Sports Composite ratings.

The 6-foot-4, 305-pounder plans to play in college with Russaw. They will take all of their official visits together as well.

That duo will also take another official visit to Auburn on the weekend of June 24. The trips to Auburn and Georgia this month are the first two scheduled officials for both prospects.

Russaw, an extremely impressive specimen at 6-foot-2.5 and 236 pounds, has as good of a burst and ball get-off as one will find in an LB prospect. He can bench press 350 pounds 10 times with an approximate max of 400 pounds.

He had 16 sacks for Caver-Montgomery last fall among his 130 tackles and 27 stops for losses. The versatile LB prospect is currently rated as the nation’s No. 3 EDGE and the No. 27 overall prospect for 2023.

It must be noted this is a year in which the Bulldogs are being much more aggressive when it comes to summer official visits. Unless there is a head coaching change, NCAA Division I programs that ask their student-athletes to sign letters of intent can only host 56 recruits on official visits in any given recruiting calendar year.

Georgia hosted three official visitors in the month of May, 13 last week and will likely welcome at least another 10 or 11 officials this weekend. There are at least another 13 official visits scheduled for this month. That would take Georgia up to 39 official visitors through the month of June.

That would leave the Bulldogs with less than 20 official visits for the rest of the recruiting calendar leading up to next February. That’s a stance that one of the nation’s leading programs can afford to take.

Georgia is recruiting from a position of immense strength at this time given its status as the reigning national champion. It also set the new modern-day record with 15 selections in one NFL Draft. That’s quite the one-two punch to offer blue-chip recruits.

It would not be a surprise to see Georgia holding commitments from up to 75 percent of its eventual 2023 recruiting class by the time the ‘Dawgs kick off in September against Oregon.

Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Texas A&M, Miami and Ohio State should be seen as the major contenders for each of these talented young men. They both have taken at least three or four trips to check out Georgia at this point.

There is a strong chance that they will play together in college. That’s the word shared by their longtime mentor and trainer Tracy Varner. They both now train with Varner and the rest of the staff at Madhouse Training in Montgomery.

Smith has now been training at Madhouse since he was 12.

“They’ve literally been to the same places on almost all of their visits,” Madhouse trainer Tracy Varner said earlier this year. “At this point, I have no doubt they are going to the same place for college. Every visit has been to the same places together except for just a couple of times.”

They should play together in college. Yet Varner will hit the pause button on any “package deal” talk.

His reasoning there is sound.

“They are not a package deal,” Varner said. “They are just friends. The way I look at it is each one of them stands at the top of anyone’s board on their own. Normally with a package deal, one of those kids is a little lacking compared to the other guy. His big brother is in the package. They really want this guy and will take his other guy in a package. These two guys stand on their own anywhere.”

“That’s why I say ‘No’ with everyone saying they are a package deal. I’ve been doing this for 20 years and usually with a package deal one guy is less talented than the other. They really want this talented guy and this other guy can play, so they will take him. They really want the talented guy. These two are not that. These are equal and can hold their own either way. I look at it as two friends who want to play together.”

The current thinking is to look for these young men to commit together on Early Signing Day in December. That could change, but that feels like a long-range plan.

-- Must read DawgNation: Getting to know JaQuavious “Qua” Russaw

-- Must read DawgNation: Getting to know James “Big Kong Smith

Qua Russaw, the nation's No. 5 EDGE pass rusher recruit, currently ranks as the nation's No. 37 overall prospect on the 247Sports Composite. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation
5-star DL James "Kong" Smith is one of the nation's top-rated defensive tackles in the 2023 cycle. (Jeff Sentell /DawgNation)
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation

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