Georgia line coach Sam Pittman continues to do the heavy lifting on the recruiting trail.
He picked up a commitment from a player (Tate Ratledge) last week with a father who had big Tennessee “Power Ts” on the front vanity plate and the back sliding glass of his pickup.
Add it to Pittman’s greatest recruiting hits. That catalog includes signing the 5-star son of a former Tennessee captain (Cade Mays), pulling a 5-star out of Brooklyn (Isaiah Wilson) and signing a 5-star from under the noses of Alabama and Auburn. Alabama native Clay Webb was a priority for both SEC West schools, but he enrolled at UGA in January.
His next signing could be 6-foot-6 Josh Braun, the youngest of three brothers. The first two, Parker and Trey, were fixtures across the offensive front at Georgia Tech. Parker Braun recently joined Texas as a graduate transfer after two years of All-ACC recognition for the Yellow Jackets.
Josh Braun is nearly down to a final three of Florida, South Carolina and Georgia. He’s already taken his official to Florida. South Carolina and Georgia will both get officials over the next month.
Those finalists stood out because of their proficiency in three areas: The value of a top-notch academic degree, the reputation of the offensive line coach and the prowess of the strength-and-conditioning program
Mecole Hardman 2.0 target?
It’s easy to scoff at comparisons, but it seems unavoidable not to look at the highlights of John Curtis (La.) 3-star athlete Corey Wren and not see former Georgia receiver Mecole Hardman.
Wren does look a whole lot like Hardman did flashing across high school fields for Elbert County in 2014 and 2015.
But he might be a step faster. Yep. Faster.
Georgia receivers coach Cortez Hankton has used his considerable ties to the state of Louisiana to position the program with Wren.
Wren has a 10.41 wind-legal time in the 100 meters this spring. He has also clocked a 21.62 in the 200. Those times are even faster than the bests that Hardman posted in high school track.
He is listed at 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds. That’s a Hardman build, too.
Georgia wide receiver recruiting for 2020
Georgia signed its first top-10 receivers of the Kirby Smart era in 2019 with 5-star George Pickens (Hoover, Ala.) and 4-star Dominick Blaylock (Marietta) in the last cycle.
Pickens was the first 5-star signee for the program at receiver since Marlon Brown in 2009. Terry Godwin and Hardman were both rated by the recruiting services as 5-star athletes, not receivers.
Blaylock and Pickens have the potential to be program fixtures for 2-3 years in the lineup. They allow the program the chance to be specific in terms of its needs for Hankton’s room in the 2020 class.
Georgia scooped up the commitment from priority target Justin Robinson of Eagles Landing Christian earlier this year. The 6-4 receiver fits the big body receiver template every SEC team is looking for.
South Florida 4-star Marcus Rosemy is another big target. Rosemy, who plays for St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, ranks as the nation’s No. 6 wide receiver for this cycle on the 247Sports Composite ratings.
First visits to Tech
Georgia Tech hosted its first official-visit weekend of the 2020 recruiting cycle starting Friday and was scheduled to bring in nine prospects. It’s a strong indicator of mutual interest, as recruits can take only five official visits, and schools are permitted to bring 56 prospects to campus on the expense-paid visits.
Four of the nine, cornerback Miles Brooks, quarterback Tucker Gleason from Tampa, Fla., linebacker Tyson Meiguez of Creekside High and offensive tackle Jordan Williams of Gainesville High are committed.
Notable of the remaining five is guard Tate Johnson of Callaway High, a prospect who has made multiple visits to Tech and is considering Auburn and Florida State, among others. Johnson (6-foot-4, 310 pounds) is a 3-star prospect (247Sports Composite) who is ranked No. 426 in the country.
Richie Leonard (6-2, 320) is a guard from Cocoa, Fla., who also holds scholarship offers from Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee and others. Leonard previously committed to Kentucky before withdrawing his commitment in April. He is ranked No. 839 among all prospects in the country.
Javion Cohen (6-4, 275) is a 3-star offensive tackle from Phenix City, Ala., who has made an official visit to South Carolina with more planned for Auburn and Florida. He is rated the No. 395 prospect in the country.
DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell and AJC staff writer Ken Sugiura contributed to this article.