Joenel Aguero: What you need to know about the hard-hitting safety from Massachusetts

Joenel Aguero-Georgia football recruiting-UGA football recruiting
Joenel Aguero is a top-rated signee at safety in the 2023 recruiting class who is expected to have an immediate impact with the Bulldogs. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

ATHENS — Georgia has signed Joenel Aguero, a player who has the acumen to handle the Georgia playbook and the speed to make an immediate impact at safety.

The secondary is an area the Bulldogs will look to shore up with senior safety Christopher Smith moving on and third-year cornerback Kelee Ringo expected to declare himself eligible for the NFL draft.

Georgia is also expected to have David Daniel-Sisavanh and JaCorey Thomas competing for snaps at safety, while Javon Bullard and Tykee Smith appear to have settled into roles at the nickel position.

Freshman All-American safety Malaki Starks proved true the Georgia credo that, “if you’re good enough, you’re old enough,” by starting all 13 games this season after enrolling early.

Aguero, who spent two years as an elite prospect at IMG Academy before transferring back home to finish high school, is expected to bring the same sort of no-nonsense attitude and hitting ability to the Georgia secondary.

In addition to playing safety, Aguero flashed his athleticism as a receiver with 38 catches for 638 yards and 8 TDs, including a 10-yard scoring grab in a 13-0 Massachusetts Division 1 “Super Bowl” win over Springfield Central.

RELATED: Joenel Aguero shows his skills all around

Aguero was originally recruited by former UGA assistant Jahmile Addae, who worked to earn his services at his new school Miami.

But Aguero, also like Cine, built a strong relationship with secondary coach Will Muschamp and saw a better path at Georgia with the Bulldogs.

“They take care of their players, they develop their players and help them,” Aguero said. I feel like that’s the one big thing I really like about UGA.

“Even with my family, they have a good relationship with Coach Muschamp.”

Breaking down Joenel Aguero

• Height/weight: 6-0, 200

• School: St. John’s Prep, Danvers, Mass.

• Early enrollee: Yes.

• 247Sports rankings: (247) No. 32 overall, No. 2 safety, No. 2 player in Mass.; (Composite) No. 46 overall, No. 4 safety, No. 2 player in Mass.

• On3 Rankings: (On3) No. 45 overall, No. 4 safety, No. 1 player in Mass.; (Consensus) No. 43 overall, No. 4 safety, No. 2 player in Mass.

• Rivals ranking: No. 118 overall, No. 6 safety, No. 2 player in Mass.

• ESPN300 ranking: No. 23 overall, No. 3 safety, No. 2 player in Mass.

• All-American Game: Under Armour Next All-American Game, Orlando, 5 p.m., Jan. 3

• High school honors: Defensive Player of the Year in the Catholic Conference, Massachusetts Player of the Year by MaxPreps, Salem (Mass.) News Football Player of the Year, Our Esquina Preseason Latino All-American Team

• Sentell’s Intel on Aguero: Heat. Seeking. Missile. That’s what Aguero will be for the “Dawgs. He’s played all over in HS and is a versatile athlete with low-4.4 and sub-4.3 speed. His two years at IMG Academy will allow for a quick transition. Expect him to get a shot early on special teams.


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