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Jacob Hood
Courtesy photo

Jacob Hood: Massive 6-foot-8 OL points out what he now likes best about UGA

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry is about the latest thoughts that 6-foot-8 OL Jacob Hood has about Georgia.

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Jacob Hood. Try to brief any really leaned-in Georgia recruiting fan about the massive 3-star OL from Tennessee. If you really know your Intel, then try not include any of the following:

  • Hood’s size. He’s right at 6 feet, 8 inches tall and about 332 approximate pounds.
  • He’s been measured with an 87-inch wingspan and wears a size-18 cleat.
  • His official visit traffic: Hood has taken officials to Auburn and Georgia so far. There is a big one looming next week to Miami in Coral Gables.
  • His 3-star ranking (247Sports Composite) slots him as the nation’s No. 41 OT and the nation’s No. 429 overall prospect for the 2022 cycle.
  • The fact that his family is made up of a lot of Georgia Bulldog fans. His cousin is actually a UGA graduate, he said. So he has long been well-briefed on Georgia’s history and traditions. His aunt, Trel, lives in Fayetteville. “Georgia is like my second home state,” he said. “I’ve been to Georgia more than any other state outside of my home state.”
  • His top 5 also includes Auburn, Miami, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Auburn, Kentucky, Miami, Michigan and Mississippi State have consistently recruited him the hardest, he said.
  • Hood is keeping two official visits in his back pocket, but he’s not planning on using those to see Ole Miss and Mississippi State. He’s already seen a lot of those two programs already.

That’s always a good topic: Why exactly does a big school like UGA want to sign a certain prospect? What makes them stand out from all the other All-Americans or future NFL Draft pick types?

It is not because of his “Suga Bear” nickname. Everyone calls him that.

Eddie Gordon and Matt Luke singled out the mental fortitude it took for Hood to drop a significant amount of weight during his high school career. Maybe the term “significant” undersells it.

It was a 90-pound weight loss, he said.

“Coach Luke said he really liked how I can maintain my size and how I would look on the field,” Hood said. “I can maintain my size. I went through a long weight loss journey. He said that proved that I am disciplined and the things I really need to handle. Just how disciplined I was. That was one of the things that really stood out to coach Luke with how disciplined and focused I was to achieve that goal.”

He described how he dropped from 420 pounds to 330 pounds over the course of four months.

“It was hard,” Hood said. “There were times I wanted to give it up but I knew that was a goal I had to hit. To be what I wanted to be, I had to focus down and really think about what I really wanted. It was hard.”

That weight loss challenge took place at the start of his junior year.

“I had to cut out a lot of things,” Hood said. “At first, I had to start reading the things they put on the foods. The amount of fat they put in the food. The ingredients. I would never read the label. I would just eat. I started reading all the labels, drinking a lot more water, cutting a lot of junk food and sodas and stuff out and getting more sleep. That really helped me a lot.”

“When you’re sleeping, you obviously can’t eat while you are asleep. That really helped me out a lot.”

That’s a prime reason why he’s interested in sports science and sports medicine. Hood plans to major in those disciplines in college.

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Jacob Hood pointed out exactly what he loved about his recent official visit to UGA.
Courtesy photo, Dawgnation

How did that official visit go for Jacob Hood?

Let’s trot out a few of his core responses to the above topic.

“I really enjoyed my time up there,” he said. “I got to talk to coach [Kirby] Smart and coach [Matt] Luke and to be able to talk to all of the other coaching staff. To build a connection with them. I really enjoyed my time up there.”

“What was the biggest way Georgia impressed me? Hmm. That’s a good one. Wherever you go, the photoshoot is going to look amazing. The photoshoot that they had us in was pretty amazing. But then when we got to the last day, we talked to the academic staff and the coaching staff and all that. I know that colleges are coming out with this new ‘name brand’ and ‘name image’ and Georgia really looked like they were on top of what they were talking about. They really knew what was going to be coming into play so far. It is all relatively a new thing, but I feel like they really know what they are talking about with that.”

“That really opened my eyes up to Georgia because that is something that can really help me in my life after football.”

What was the most memorable part?

“If there’s one thing I’d like to do over I would say it would be talking to coach Smart,” he said. “I feel like I could ask him a few more in-depth questions about everything. But other than that, I think everything turned out really well.”

He left Clarke County with good vibes about Athens.

“I really did feel like Georgia was a good fit for me,” he said. “Not too far from home. Just far enough where I can become my own man and grow as an individual. But if I ever did need to go back home and talk to my Mom or have a conversation with my family, then I could.”

His family took it all in.

“I think my family really enjoyed it a lot,” he said while letting out a good laugh. “They had a great time down there. Nothing but smiles from the whole weekend.”

What did it feel like when he put that jersey on?

“It felt amazing,” Hood said. “Seeing me in that red was .... oooh. I look good in that red. Can’t lie about that.”

He’s passed through to check out the campus at UGA before. That took place earlier this year. But this trip was the first chance he had to tour the facilities and meet face-to-face with the staff.

Hood also said he’s like to take another unofficial visit to UGA in the future. That would be for a game day to see what that experience might look like on Saturdays in Athens.

He’s looking for a few things with his choice: 1) Family alignment with his decision; 2) Somewhere he can see himself being successful; 3) A program that will develop him into a future first-round NFL Draft pick; 4) Proximity to family so all his loved ones can come to see him play.

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Jacob Hood wasn't kidding. That photo shoot he had at UGA really does look "amazing" when you see these shots.
Courtesy photo, Dawgnation

Jacob Hood: What will his recruiting process look like going forward?

Hood will take his third official visit to Miami this weekend. If one wanted to surmise that Georgia and Miami are major contenders in his process, that would not be a stretch. Those schools have done more than just send him the best edits, he said.

Is it premature to say those two are his leaders? Yes, it seems so. That’s what Hood said when asked about that directly.

“I wouldn’t say I am down to two schools,” he said. “I still have my recruitment wide open. But I would not say that I am down to two schools. I wouldn’t say that.”

He clarified the feeling about those two programs.

“I would say that Miami and Georgia they are recruiting me the most,” Hood said. “That’s all I will say there.”

That shows a move for the Bulldogs. Hood felt before the visit that other schools were recruiting him harder. Just a little more. Georgia was doing enough to keep the connection active and warm.

The needle of interest has surged forward from Georgia.

“It did,” Hood confirmed. “Some of the things that coach Smart told me really helped me out in my recruiting process and trying to choose who I pick.”

What did Smart say?

“He said there are a lot of colleges that want you early off to get you down there in August and tell you that they can sign you now and that you will be playing as soon as you get there. A lot of schools will sell you these pictures that they can’t really provide for you. Just to have you down there at your college so nobody else can get you.”

“He told me that me being a mid-year [graduate] was good for me because I would get down there before the other 2022 kids. I’d get a feel for college which would be good for me. He said that would be the best decision for me than a college promising me all that stuff for next August. He said I needed to just find a place to go [by graduating early] and get started.”

Warren McClendon was his player host. Hood took that official to UGA on the second weekend in June.

“He did a really good job,” McClendon said. “I know we went out to some player host things and the chemistry between him and the other players and him and the coaches was really tight. I feel like that it is nothing but family down there at Georgia.”

He said the chemistry and the continuity on the staff at Georgia was the very best thing he really likes about Georgia.

“It really sticks out to me how close they are as a coaching staff,” he said.

Hood said that he’d like to make his college decision in late August or early September.

“Coach Smart told me that if I do decide to make a commitment, then try to make a commitment in August because there are other kids,” Hood said. “There are only a certain amount of kids they can take and when a lot of these kids start committing and fill up all the spots then there’s nothing he can do when they fill up all their spots they already have out there.”

“He said for timing reasons to just make sure you make the right decision at the right time.”

What did Jacob Hood say Georgia line coach Matt Luke really likes about his game? It wasn't his size or size-18 feet, but something that spoke to his mental toughness.
Courtesy photo, Dawgnation

SENTELL’S INTEL

(check on the recent recruiting reads on DawgNation.com)