Kirby Smart-Georgia football-UGA football
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart celebrates his second SEC Championship as head coach of the Bulldogs. (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation)

Georgia football recruiting: The six names left in play for UGA heading into early signing day

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This rep has the latest names to know for the 2023 class heading into the first day of the early signing period this week.

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One day. four hours. That’s the latest update for the DawgNation countdown clock for Early Signing Day Central.

This week got off to an interesting start for the ‘Dawgs with the Monday evening decommitment of 3-star prospect Kyron “KJ “Jones.

Jones had been committed to NC State since October 1.

He visited UGA for the Georgia Tech game on an unofficial. He returned last weekend for an official visit and was at Nebraska this past weekend.

The 6-foot-plus, 205-pound speedster will not enroll early. He’s rated as a RB or ATH prospect by most of the major services but would start out playing for coach Fran Brown as a cornerback and then a multi-spot defensive back in the Georgia secondary.

That’s if he decides to be one of the final pieces of the 2023 high school recruiting class in Athens.

Jones isn’t the only big name left on the board for this class. There’s a list of six names to know below on the high school board for 2023. (We’re not considering the three to four clear transfer portal names in this post.)

That said, all of these stories and decisions will not be made this week. With this list, there are two names that have a “Do Not Open until Feb. 1″ sticker on them.

Those two are clear remaining targets for UGA in this class, but they will not make their decisions during the early signing period. The two young TEs Walker Lyons and Duce Robinson will make their college decisions closer to the traditional signing period in February.

We’ve ranked the names below in terms of what we feel are the biggest remaining positional priorities for the 2023 class. (At least among the high school ranks.)

6. 4-star TE Walker Lyons

4-star TE Walker Lyons is currently committed to Stanford. He also took his official visit to UGA for the UT game. (Jeff Sentell/ DawgNation)
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation
  • Height/Weight: 6-4/230
  • High school (City/State): Folsom HS/Folsom, Calif.
  • Early enrollee: No
  • 247Sports rankings: Nation’s No. 5 TE and No. 114 overall on Composite/No. 7 TE and No. 148 overall
  • On3 rankings: Nation’s No. 7 TE and No. 128 overall on Consensus; No. 13 TE and No. 230 overall
  • Rivals ranking: Nation’s No. 8 TE and the No. 89 overall prospect
  • ESPN300 ranking: Nation’s No. 2 TE and No. 118 overall prospect
  • Finalists: BYU, Georgia, Stanford, USC and Utah seem like the teams in play.
  • All-American Game: All-American Bowl in Texas
  • High school stats or honors: He suffered a season-ending leg injury in the first game of his senior season. He had 42 catches for 646 yards and seven TDs as a junior.
  • Sentell’s Intel on Lyons: There are two quick things to point out here. The first is the ‘Dawgs are seemingly trying to corner the market on elite TEs in this class. There’s a scenario brewing here where UGA signs the nation’s No. 1, No. 3, No. 5 and No. 8 TEs in 2023. That’s unheard of but that’s probably for two factors. There is some expected attrition in the Georgia TE room after this season. The second reason is his faith calls for his Mormon mission to Norway after graduation. The earliest he could enroll at his college destination would be the summer of 2024.

The recruiting skinny: As stated above, he plans to make his college decision known and sign on the traditional signing day in February. Lyons was committed to Stanford prior to the removal of David Shaw as head coach. The Bulldogs got hot with Lyons late in the season as ace recruiter Todd Hartley began to really prioritize him in this class.

He visited for the Tennessee game and seemed quite enthused with all things Georgia and the chance to play in Athens. If he does choose Georgia, he will be a grown man by the time his freshman season of college ball rolls around.

Did you know the weekly DawgNation.com “Before the Hedges” program is available as an Apple podcast? Click to check it out and download it.

5. 3-star ATH Kyron “KJ” Jones

3-star ATH Kyron "KJ" Jones is at Charlotte Christian in North Carolina. (Jeff Sentell/ DawgNation)
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation
  • Height/Weight: 6-0.5/205
  • High school (City/State): Charlotte Christian/Charlotte, NC
  • Early enrollee: No
  • 247Sports rankings: Nation’s No. 46 RB and No. 647 overall on Composite; No. 41 RB overall
  • On3 rankings: No. 56 ATH and No. 733 overall on Consensus; No. 21 ATH and No. 21 player in NC
  • Rivals ranking: No national ranking and No. 25 player in North Carolina
  • ESPN300 ranking: Nation’s No. 42 ATH and No. 18 player in NC
  • Finalists: Georgia, Miami, Nebraska and NC State.
  • All-American Game: None
  • High school stats or honors: Jones ran for 2,316 yards and 29 TDs. Those yards were covered at a rate of 9.6 yards per clip. He also caught 30 passes for 357 yards and five scores. He also had 66 total tackles, five tackles for losses and three sacks on defense. That figure includes 1,346 yards and 16 TDs as a senior.
  • Sentell’s Intel on Jones: This is a fast athlete who lowered his time in the 100 meters to 11.02 to 10.60 during his junior year. He hopes to drop that time to 10.4 seconds this spring. He was the North Carolina state track champion in both the 100 and 200 meters (21.60) in 2022. Georgia assistant Fran Brown sees him as a corner and versatile defensive back starting out at UGA. He actually ran that 10.60 into a headwind.

The recruiting skinny: Things have progressed as quickly as his burst out of the starting blocks over the last month. Jones was offered by UGA on Nov. 5. He visited for the Georgia Tech game on Nov. 30 and then took his official visit on the weekend of Dec. 10. He de-committed from the Wolfpack on Dec. 19.

The ‘Dawgs and Jones definitely have each other’s attention this late in the game.

RELATED: Did you know there are nine commits in this class already going through bowl practices? How many are going to enroll early? Which ones are going to be in the January All-American games?

4. 4-star CB Daniel Harris

4-star CB prospect Daniel Harris is one of the best players in the 2023 class in Athens that no one really talks up. He's going to have a very strong career as a Bulldog. (Jeff Sentell/ DawgNation)
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation
  • Height/Weight: 6-3/175
  • High school (City/State): Gulliver Prep/Miami, Fla.
  • Early enrollee: No
  • 247Sports rankings: No. 17 CB and No. 153 overall (Composite); No. 31 CB and No. 52 player in FL
  • On3 rankings: No. 21 CB and No. 165 overall (Consensus); No. 6 CB and No. 42 overall
  • Rivals ranking: No. 40 player in Florida and No. 230 overall
  • ESPN300 ranking: No. 16 CB and No. 157 overall
  • Finalists: Georgia and Penn State
  • All-American Game: None
  • High school stats or honors: Harris played for a 5-5 team this fall. He had 49 tackles and two interceptions this season.
  • Sentell’s Intel on Harris: Harris has tremendous upside in this class. He’s the sort with the frame and all-around game that could wind up as the best cornerback at UGA in three years should he choose the “Dawgs. He just needs to gain strength and weight to play in the SEC. He’s been clocked at 10.74 seconds in the 100. Harris committed to UGA on July 1, 2022, but then decommitted on November 14.

The recruiting skinny: This recruitment, like the Damon Wilson journey we will also get to in this post, has had more back-and-forths than the chorus of the classic 90s Aliyah jam. When he decommitted from UGA, there was the thinking he could come back but Penn State has been a major contender.

When he was trending to the ‘Dawgs for a few weeks, things shifted north to Penn State. This recruitment has gotten interesting with the fact his older brother, Donell, has placed his name in the transfer portal coming out of Texas A&M. Aggies coach Jimbo Fisher said he was medically retiring from football back in August, but that is no longer the case. The brothers do hope to play together in college, too.

3. 5-star TE Duce Robinson

5-star TE Duce Robinson is in Athens this weekend on his official visit. He's the nation's top prospect at his position. (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation)
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation
  • Height/Weight: 6-6/220
  • High school (City/State): Pinnacle HS/Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Early enrollee: No
  • 247Sports rankings: Nation’s No. 1 TE and No. 17 overall (Composite); No. 1 TE and No. 30 overall
  • On3 rankings: No. 1 TE and No. 21 overall prospect (On3Consenus and On3 rating)
  • Rivals ranking: No. 1 TE and No. 24 overall recruit
  • ESPN300 ranking: 4-star; No. 1 TE and No. 36 overall
  • Contenders: Georgia and USC
  • All-American Game: Under Armour All-American Bowl in Florida
  • High school stats or honors: Robinson killed it by lining up mostly at wide receiver this fall. He finished his senior year with 84 catches for 1,614 yards (19.2 yards per catch) and 14 touchdowns. Robinson also served as a primary punt returner for his team even with his 6-foot-6 frame.
  • Sentell’s Intel on Robinson: We’ll say this calmly and simply. Robinson has the chance to make a Brock Bowers impact on his future college team. The way he presents on tape suggests that somebody combined the ball skills of Arik Gilbert, the explosiveness of Bowers with the height of Darnell Washington. They just don’t make many prospects like this two-sport standout.

The recruiting skinny: Georgia, Texas and USC have been the schools to watch here for some time. As stated above, he won’t make his college decision until the traditional period in February. He’s also a professional baseball prospect but is not seen as an early first or second-round pick. He has several prominent college baseball offers, including one from UGA.

Robinson has already taken official visits to Alabama, Georgia, Texas and USC. He visited UGA for the Kent State game very early in the season.

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.

2. 5-star EDGE Damon Wilson

5-star EDGE Damon Wilson is one of the biggest remaining targets for Georgia in the 2023 cycle (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation) Damon Wilson by Jeff Sentell 100822a
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation
  • Height/Weight: 6-3.5/235
  • High school (City/State): Venice HS/Venice, Fla.
  • Early enrollee: Yes
  • 247Sports rankings: Nation’s No. 2 EDGE and No. 19 overall (Composite); No. 6 EDGE and No. 40
  • On3 rankings: No. 2 EDGE and No. 17 overall (Consensus); No. 2 EDGE and No. 4 overall
  • Rivals ranking: No. 2 EDGE and No. 9 overall
  • ESPN300 ranking: No. 3 EDGE and No. 31 overall
  • Finalists: Georgia and Ohio State
  • All-American Game: All-American Bowl in Texas
  • High school stats or honors: Wilson has produced at the highest level of Florida football for the past two seasons. He had 89 tackles and nine sacks as a senior and a whopping 15 sacks and 90 tackles as a junior for a state championship team. His team played for the state title last week but fell 21-14 to Lakeland and Georgia WR commit Tyler Williams. Wilson tallied up 30 career high school sacks in his last three seasons playing in one of Florida’s highest classifications.
  • Sentell’s Intel on Wilson: He’s got the prototype build for what Georgia now wants to see in its EDGE players under first-year OLBs coach Chidera Uzo-Diribe. The days of OLBs looking like Nolan Smith and Mekhail Sherman are no more. They want their pass rushers to be at least 6-foot-3-plus in height.

The recruiting skinny: The back-and-forth of late between Georgia and Ohio State seems to have settled. He’s ready to make his decision and it appears that the Bulldogs remain in a good spot. Georgia and Uzo-Diribe have made him a priority for some time and the ‘Dawgs really got traction here in this recruitment with an extended unofficial visit on the first weekend in June. He was there when notables like CJ Allen, Caleb Downs, AJ Harris, Justice Haynes, Lawson Luckie, Arch Manning, Pearce Spurlin III, among others, were on their official visits to UGA.

The fact that he’s No. 2 on his list is no slight to his eventual college impact. He’s just at a position where the ‘Dawgs have two more solid commitments at that position in 4-stars Sam M’Pemba and 4-star Gabe Harris Jr.

1. 4-star DL Jordan “Big Baby” Hall

4-star DL Jordan "BigBaby" Hall is one of the most important remaining recruiting targets for Georgia in the 2023 class. (Jeff Sentell/ DawgNation)
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation
  • Height/Weight: 6-4/310
  • High school (City/State): Westside HS/Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Early enrollee: Yes
  • 247Sports rankings: No. 9 DL and No. 73 overall(Composite); No. No. 6 DL and No. 55 overall
  • On3 rankings No. 6 DL and No. 56 overall (Consensus): No. 6 and No. 29 overall
  • Rivals ranking: No. 4 DL and No. 61 overall
  • ESPN300 ranking: No. 16 DL and No. 131 overall
  • Finalists: Alabama, Georgia, Florida and LSU
  • All-American Game: All-American Bowl in Texas
  • High school stats or honors: Jordan will be drawn to a winning program in college. His high school team finished 1-9 this fall and wound up 2-8 in 2021. That wasn’t due to a lack of effort on his part playing on both lines for his team. Hall finished his senior year with 106 tackles, 31 stops for losses and nine sacks. “Big Baby” had 34 tackles, 15 stops for losses and five sacks as a junior.
  • Sentell’s Intel on Hall: Big and powerful with a mean streak. Hall projects as an interior DL in the SEC in the Devonte Wyatt mold. He’s very talented and has been underrated for most of this cycle. He’s the type of prospect who can play early in Athens. When looking at all the interior DLs that Georgia has signed under Kirby Smart, the only one that is considerably ahead of Hall at this stage would be one Jalen Carter in the 2020 class.

The recruiting skinny: Hall is on this list at No. 1 because he plays a premium position in the Georgia defense. The only other DL prospect that the ‘Dawgs have committed in this class is 4-star All-American Jamaal Jarrett and he is more of a “zero” tech or a true noseguard.

He also had 31 tackles for losses and nine sacks despite constant double teams this fall.

The ‘Dawgs have been in great shape for some time with Hall. He has long since talked about taking as long as he can to make his college decision. That’s why he will declare his college choice at 2:30 PM on Thursday afternoon and not the traditional first day of the early signing period on Wednesday.

SENTELL’S INTEL

(check on the recent reads on DawgNation.com)

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