NEW: Top 10 running back feels “letdown” after UGA visit

Carlin Fils-aime at Dawg Night (Mike Eden/Special to AJC)

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Carlin Fils-aime at Dawg Night (Mike Eden/Special to AJC)

One of the nation’s top 10 running backs made an appearance at this weekend’s UGA Dawg Night prospect camp.

Carlin Fils-aime, a 4-star from Miami, tried to remain upbeat about the UGA visit during an interview with the AJC on Sunday. But it was easy to tell that it didn't meet his expectations.

A lot his disappointment had to do with being unable to meet Mark Richt in person during his UGA visit.

“I think he was busy,” Fils-aime told the AJC. “The hostess kept trying to call him, but he never answered. I guess he had a lot of stuff to do.

“I felt kind of letdown. When you go to the school, you want to talk to the head coach. He was busy though, so there’s nothing he can do about it. I guess I’ll have to talk to him another time.”

Fils-aime said he and his parents did get to chat with UGA recruiting Bryan McClendon, who “told us he was sorry that none of the coaches were able to talk to me.” In UGA’s defense, it was a chaotic atmosphere with more than 500 high school kids on campus for Saturday night.

UGA is still looking for a running back in this year’s class, and Fils-aime is not sure if he’s a top target for the Bulldogs. “I couldn’t say if I was (a big priority). I spoke to Coach Brown and he said that was the reason why they had two days of the camp because it was packed. They had a second day because of the amount of kids. I don’t blame anything on them.”

Fils-aime said the rest of the UGA trip went well. “It was really nice. The campus was nice, and the people at the school were really friendly. The hostess that I had was really fun. The only thing was I didn’t get to meet the head coach and I didn’t get the chance to race Coach Brown. Other than that, my visit was good.”

The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder didn’t work out at Dawg Night, but he was supposed to race UGA running backs coach Thomas Brown in the 40-yard dash during the camp. That got canceled on Saturday. “He and I wanted to do this for fun. He and I said we were going to race when I came up to Athens or if he ever came down to Naples, we would race, but that didn’t happen.”

The rising senior from Florida’s Naples High School visited Auburn on Friday, and named the Tigers as his “favorite” after the trip. There was speculation that UGA could surpass Auburn for the top spot after Dawg Night. On Sunday. Fils-aime told the AJC that Auburn is No. 1, followed by Miami. UGA is still in the race in the third spot.

“Auburn still leads,” he said. “When I went to Auburn, the school was really beautiful. Everything about it was great — the school, the classes, the parking, the players, where they stay at, the locker room. All of that is perfect. The coaches … (offensive coordinator) Rhett Lashley — He is really funny and he and I connected well. Just seeing everything at Auburn amazed me.”

What’s next with UGA? Will he return in the fall for an official visit with the Bulldogs? “I don’t know,” he said. “We’ll see. I’ll have to check my schedule for that.”

Fils-aime is rated as the nation’s No. 10 overall prospect at running back.