Georgia football-Jaylen Heyward-commitment
Georgia football landed a commitment from 4-star safety Jaylen Heyward.

BREAKING: The nation’s No. 3 junior safety Jaylen Heyward chooses Georgia football

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This rep has the latest with 4-star safety Jaylen Heyward. He ranks as the nation’s No. 3 safety and the No. 34 overall prospect for 2024 on the 247Sports Composite ratings.


Jaylen Heyward has just known. For a while now.

The nation’s No. 3 safety prospect and No. 34 overall prospect made his commitment to play for national champion Georgia official just moments ago.

But he’d been a silent commitment to the ‘Dawgs for some time now.

“The big thing for me is coach Kirby Smart and coach Will Muschamp and coach Fran Brown,” Heyward said. “Those are three amazing men and amazing defensive back coaches. Kirby Smart was an ALL-SEC defensive back himself. I wouldn’t mind being under him and getting to know how he played and seeing his point of view of the game. He’s a wise man and he was under coach Nick Saban.”

“Coach Saban was a big defensive back coach coming up. Being behind Coach Kirby Smart is amazing and coach Muschamp is an amazing smart defensive coordinator. I love everything he is doing with his defense.”

He only made the decision to make his public commitment via live stream from Rockledge High School earlier this week.

That feeling to go ahead and make his college commitment known came to him on Monday night while watching Georgia crush TCU for the national title.

His decision came down to Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Ohio State. Yet it wasn’t long after he got his 37th offer from the ‘Dawgs that he knew he wanted to be roaming around the secondary in Athens.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound junior told the ‘Dawgs where he was going a significant time ago, he said.

“They were thankful because it has been a long process through this whole recruitment and they are really happy for me,” Heyward.

What was he looking for with this decision?

“The school I was looking for was big with their culture and the brotherhood and the academics,” he said. “The academics were a big thing for me going into school because without academics you wouldn’t have anything in this world.”

Heyward has great speed. He reports a time of 10.68 seconds in the 100 meters.

What was the big thing here with the ‘Dawgs? Heyward stressed the development he would get from the Bulldogs.

“Honestly it is about development for me,” he said. “Those are the best coaches up there in Athens that I have ever seen. Winning back-to-back championships. Their defense shut out TCU this Monday and they showed me everything I needed to see.”

He still remembers what his first visit was like to Athens.

“That feeling was amazing,” Heyward said. “I loved that campus. It is a beautiful campus. It is not too far from Atlanta. Athens is a great city. It is a college town. The environment was just amazing.”

Georgia football landed a commitment from 4-star safety Jaylen Heyward.
Connor Riley, Dawgnation

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Jaylen Heyward: What this commitment means to the 2024 class

With this decision by Heyward, the ‘Dawgs are really starting to stack up the players in the 2024 recruiting cycle.

The 2024 Georgia class now sits with eight prospects.

Heyward now pairs with 4-star California prospect Peyton Woodyard nicely on the back end for the ‘Dawgs. That gives the ‘Dawgs commitments from the nation’s Nos. 2 and No. 3 safety prospects for the 2024 cycle in Woodyard and Heyward, respectively.

“If you are a ‘Dawg then you watch to show all the other cats why you are a ‘Dawg,” Heyward said. “I’m going to a school to show how big of a ‘Dawg I am. I don’t care who is at that position with me. I’m going to school to show everyone why I am the top player at that position.”

The ‘Dawgs already had the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class per the 247Sports Team Composite rankings after Woodyard chose UGA back on January 7 at the All-American Bowl. The decision from Heyward today only fattens the cushion here for the ‘Dawgs in the top spot.

He’s the fourth pledge ranked among the nation’s top 50 and the sixth prospect already on the board among the nation’s top 100 recruits.

Heyward will be able to enroll early in January of 2024 in Athens out of Rockledge High School.

He picked up the nickname “AP” during his rec league days because of the way he used to run the ball. He was a big Adrian Peterson fan and he tried to emulate what “AP” did on the field at the little league level.

“Just to be the biggest and the fastest thing out there,” Heyward said. “Everybody used to say that he looks like ‘AP’ out there running the ball.”

“He was fast and quick on his feet. I’m fast and quick on my feet and that’s where I got the nickname ‘AP’ from.”

He had a lot of options to play all along the secondary.

“All four of those schools said that I could play all over the secondary because I am very versatile and I am big,” he said. “So I could play nickel, safety or corner.”

Heyward got to visit Alabama, Georgia and Florida this season. He did not get to visit Ohio State this fall. He also did not get the chance to see a game at Sanford Stadium this past season.

He will be the first player in his family to play college football. His family clearly motivates him.

“My why is for my mother,” Heyward said. “My mother has been breaking her back for me ever since I was born. She had me at 17. That was a young age for her and it has been a long process for me and my mother. She’s still young herself. We are going through this and learning through this whole process and seeing things that we have never seen before. This is our first time ever doing anything like this because she was not a big-time athlete herself.”

“Everything I do is for my mother and I also want to thank my grandparents for always being there when my mother was at school through the years. She went to school for college for her doctorate degree so my grandparents have been taking care of me my whole life and I love every single member of my family.”

Heyward hits his knees all the time thinking about his blessings through his 17 years. He won’t turn 18 until August of this year.

“I’m grateful,” he said. “So very grateful. I’ve got to thank God. Thank God for all of it.”

Check out Heyward’s junior film below.

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.

4-star safety prospect Jaylen "AP" Heyward is now a Georgia Bulldog. He committed to the 'Dawgs on January 13, 2023. (Courtesy photo)
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation
4-star safety prospect Jaylen "AP" Heyward is now a Georgia Bulldog. He committed to the 'Dawgs on January 13, 2023. (Courtesy photo)
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation
4-star safety prospect Jaylen "AP" Heyward is now a Georgia Bulldog. He committed to the 'Dawgs on January 13, 2023. (Courtesy photo)
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation


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