UGA edged Alabama for the state’s No. 1 offensive lineman prospect.
Lowndes High School’s Dyshon Sims committed to UGA at Friday’s Dawg Night prospect camp.
“I talked to Coach (Mark) Richt after camp was over, and it was pretty much like a big celebration,” Sims said. “I guess everybody wasn’t expecting me to commit so early. So when I did, everybody had a good time. Coach Richt gave me a big hug.”
The 6-foot-4, 278-pounder was one of three UGA targets to commit at camp, along with Rutland High School WR Shakenneth Williams and safety Kendall Gant of Lakeland, Fla.
After pledging to the Bulldogs, Sims immediately canceled his plans to make an unofficial visit to Alabama the next day.
“We just decided that it was probably best not to go simply for the fact it wouldn’t look good if I had just committed to Georgia and I was going to Alabama,” Sims said. “And I pretty much don’t plan on breaking this commitment.”
What was the deciding factor between UGA and Alabama? “It was a pretty close battle. I just felt more comfortable with Georgia. I know more people there, and I really don’t know anybody at Alabama.
“I also like how you get a four-year scholarship at Georgia. That’s one of the main reasons I picked it. From my understanding, you get three years at Alabama, and you only get a scholarship for each year. If you don’t show enough progression, then your scholarship is pretty much gone at Alabama.”
UGA also had an advantage because his cousin, former Lowndes standout Josh Harvey-Clemons, is a sophomore safety for the Bulldogs.
“Josh was really happy when I committed because I guess he knows that he has got family that will be here with him,” Sims said. “Some of his friends at Georgia, they are probably going to leave after three years.
“I believe (Harvey-Clemons) plans on staying at Georgia for four years so he can go higher in the draft. I think it’s a relief to him that one of his family members that he has known for a very long time will be with him at Georgia.”
This year’s crop of offensive linemen in the state of Georgia is considered one of the weakest in years. Sims has been a hot commodity among colleges since UGA was one of his first scholarship offers in early May. He’s rated as a 4-star recruit, the state's No. 1 offensive lineman, and No. 24 overall prospect in Georgia by 247sports.com.
Sims was a huge priority for UGA, which only had one other commit on the offensive line (Heard County's Jake Edwards). Meanwhile, Alabama has commitments from four decorated prospects at offensive line (three out of four are 4-stars) and is considered a frontrunner for No. 1-ranked Cameron Robinson of West Monroe, La.
Sims said he “pretty much knew” that he was going to commit during Friday’s four-hour drive from Valdosta to Athens. His mother couldn’t come along because of work, but Richt called over the telephone to get her blessing.
“I was just waiting on my mom to give the OK,” Sims said. “She had a real good talk with Coach Richt. She feels comfortable with Georgia, and she knows that they will take care of me. It feels like family at Georgia, so I went ahead and committed.”
Surprisingly, Sims went ahead and participated in Friday’s camp, even though he didn’t need to do it because he already held an offer from UGA. He spent a lot of time working with Bulldogs offensive line coach Will Friend.
“I just wanted to evaluate Coach Friend as my position coach,” Sims said. “I just wanted to make sure that I would like playing for him for the next four years. Doing the camp give me a good feel on how things would go.”
At Friday's camp, Sims played mostly offensive guard but he could also play offensive tackle in college. "It doesn't matter to me," he said. "I just want to play wherever can get me on the field first."
Sims said he feels like another UGA OL target, Isaiah Wynn from St. Petersburg, Fla., may also be on the brink of committing to the Bulldogs.
Note: Alabama's Nick Saban told the Tuscaloosa News in the February 2012 that he intended to offer to four-year scholarships. "And we're happy to do it"
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