Georgia tight end Brock Bowers speaks during Georgia’s media day at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Sat., Jan. 7, 2023, in Los Angeles, Ca. Georgia plays TCU for the 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship Mon. Jan. 9, 2023, at SoFi Stadium. (Jason Getz /

From Brock Bowers to Peyton Woodyard, California continues to be good to Georgia football in recruiting

LOS ANGELES — Georgia freshman offensive tackle Earnest Greene knew he was a long way from home when he got in his first Uber in Athens, Ga.

“It takes a little bit of adjusting to anything you’re new to,” Greene said. “I tell the story, my first Uber in $6, that was a bit of a culture shock.”

Greene is back in his hometown of Los Angeles for the national championship this week. Georgia landed him out of St. John Bosco in the 2022 recruiting cycle, beating out a number of programs to land the No. 48 overall player in the class.

Georgia’s top offensive playmaker is from California, though it’s hard to say he’s back home. Brock Bowers’ Napa, Calif., home is nearly six hours from Sofi Stadium. He leads the team in receiving this season, as he did as a freshman.

Bowers arrived as a member of the 2021 COVID class, where he was limited in when and where he could take visits. He also didn’t get a chance to play his senior season, giving Georgia a leg up as they had done a lot of early prep work on the talented pass catcher.

“We didn’t expect him to be as mature as he was a year ago, to come in as a true freshman and to play like he did and be as squared away as he is,” Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken said. “I think that’s probably the biggest thing is there’s a lot of really good players that aren’t really ready as freshmen.”

Related: As Brock Bowers returns to California, a look back at how Georgia football won his ‘tough’ recruitment

Bowers is happy to be back in California, even if the time change is even tripping him up this week. He’s eager to win a national championship in his home state.

“A lot of people at the beginning of the year might have doubted us because we lost so many people,” Bowers said. “We wanted to do something different from last year. We’re just striving for that goal.”

Georgia hadn’t landed a high school recruit from the state of California in any of Smart’s first four recruiting cycles. Then he went into Clovis, Calif. to land Kendall Milton. That was a national recruitment as well, with Alabama, LSU and Ohio State being the other finalists for the star running back.

Bowers and Greene came in the past two recruiting cycles. In the 2023 recruiting cycle, Georgia went in to San Diego and signed 4-star running back Roderick Robinson. Georgia also landed Jermaine Burton and JT Daniels, who have ties to the state as well. Both of those players transferred out of the program following the 2021 season.

Georgia now has a coach on the staff with strong ties to California, as outside linebackers coach Chidera Uzo-Diribe is from nearby Corona, Calif. He told reporters on Saturday that he used his full allotment of tickets for his family for Monday night’s game.

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