UGA recruiting: An interesting in-state trend with the Class of 2018

Want a daily lap through UGA recruiting? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. We focus on the state of Georgia’s top prospects as a whole to get an overview of which way all those 4-star and 5-star prospects might be leaning. 

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Step back. Take a good look at the big picture.

The current snapshot for Georgia’s in-state recruiting with the Class of 2018 show something very interesting. According to the splendid online database maintained by 247Sports, the Bulldogs have offered 46 Georgia boys this year.

It is fascinating to see that 35 of those blue-chip targets have already made their commitment. How does that break down?

  • UGA: 6
  • Clemson: 4
  • FSU: 4
  • Tennessee: 4
  • Auburn: 3
  • Michigan: 2
  • Ohio State: 2
  • South Carolina: 2
  • Alabama: 1
  • Florida: 1
  • Kentucky: 1
  • Louisville: 1
  • Notre Dame: 1
  • Oregon: 1
  • Vanderbilt: 1

That clearly shows that the Bulldogs are getting flanked on all sides by Clemson, FSU and Tennessee. Alabama and Auburn have even combined for four pledges, too.

But that is not new. Clemson and FSU are doing better than in previous year. Tennessee has also dropped committable offers on a few prospects that Georgia just wasn’t fully sold on at this point of their senior seasons.

What does seem out of the box for this cycle is the Big 10. Both Michigan and Ohio State have nabbed two prospects apiece. We also can’t help but see that Kentucky and Vanderbilt have also snatched away one prospect apiece in their own right.

That leads to the natural question: What’s up with the other 11?

Here is a quick fly-by with all those answers:

  • 4-star OLB Adam Anderson: The nation’s No. 2 OLB likes Alabama, Clemson, UGA and Tennessee. The Bulldogs are doing some good work here to gain his re-commitment.
  • 5-star QB Justin Fields: Auburn, FSU and UGA are digging in here.
  • 3-star ATH James Graham: The Bulldogs are not pursuing him heavily at this time. Georgia Tech, Miami and Michigan and the big contenders here.
  • 4-star OG Trey Hill: The nation’s No. 2 OG prospect likes UGA, but he also likes Auburn, Clemson and FSU as well.
  • 4-star OT James Ohonba: UGA also liked him more as a guard. The Bulldogs are set on other options at tackle at this time.
  • 4-star OLB J.J. Peterson: The Colquitt County standout has had Alabama on top for quite some time.
  • 5-star OG Jamaree Salyer: UGA is after him heavily. Clemson, Notre Dame and Stanford also loom large here.
  • 4-star CB Christian Tutt: The Bulldogs are not pursuing him heavily. They have other options and higher-priority targets at his position.
  • 3-star TE Tommy Tremble: The UGA legacy has Fresno State, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Tennessee and UCLA in his final 6.
  • 3-star DT Tramel Walthour: He visited UGA on Saturday. The Bulldogs lead and Auburn is also in his Top 2.
  • 4-star OT Dylann Wonnum: UGA likes him more as a guard. It has not pursued him as heavily as other schools like Auburn and South Carolina.

Pair of interesting official visitors at Notre Dame

The contest in South Bend won’t be a home game, but it will offer another showcase opportunity for the Bulldogs to play well in front of major 5-star OG target Jamaree Salyer.

The Pace Academy standout was in attendance at the season opener last Saturday and he and his party looked to have a very good time. The UGA coaches smothered Team Salyer with attention and he even wore all UGA gear to the event.

Georgia’s current commits made sure to come over and chat with Salyer. But Salyer will now take his first official visit to Notre Dame this weekend. That’s one of his three likely officials along with Ohio State and Stanford.

Jamaree Salyer-UGA recruiting
Pace Academy 5-star OG Jamaree Salyer was an unofficial visitor at UGA this weekend for the Appalachian State game. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

He’s mentioned in the past that he doesn’t know what an official visit would mean to UGA because he’s been there so much. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him at UGA for the Mississippi State and South Carolina games later this year, too.

Clemson is the other school in the running. My best estimate is that it is between Clemson and the in-state schools here. The Bulldogs appear to be in a good position at this time.

The second UGA-Notre Dame official visitor of note this week will be 4-star Lassiter DB Derrik Allen.

Allen ranks as the nation’s No. 6 safety and No. 71 overall prospect by the 247SportsComposite. He’s been committed to Notre Dame since Feb. 13.

That said, the 6-foot-2, 211-pounder is still being pursued by UGA. But I think it will take another poor season from the Fighting Irish for much to change here.

If wholesale coaching changes due take place on that staff, the new contenders for Allen would likely be Georgia and Michigan. That would be worth watching.

Allen is also off to a fine start for Lassiter this fall. A strong UGA showing behind enemy lines could only help matters down the road is Allen ever decided it was necessary to re-open his recruiting process.

An interesting scouting nugget about 5-star QB Justin Fields

Justin Fields ran a 4.51 laser time in the 40-yard dash back in February at the Nike Opening Orlando regional. That’s when some of the first buzz began to really build for a young man who is now rated as the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect for 2018 per the 247SportsComposite.

That’s the same kind of speed that Fields flashed when he worked out for Penn State last year. How did he get that fast? Well, I’ve been told that it was a matter of training and applying a little science to his speed.

Fields has always been a fast-twitch athlete, but he needed to eventually find the right stride to clock that blazing time in the 40. He needed to lengthen his stride and shorten his steps in order to cover ground much more efficiently.

Justin Fields-UGA recruiting
Justin Fields has now ran or threw for 14 TDs in his three games this year. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

When he did, he dropped his time in the 40 from a 4.8 to a 4.5 in a matter of weeks. It was less than a month.

Fields is still working on his speed.  I’ve been told he can clock a sub-4.4 hand time in the 40 right now.

The Harrison standout also received his Under Armour All-American jersey on Wednesday morning. His Hoyas fell 45-42 to North Cobb last Fridy night. Harrison is 1-2 so far in 2017.

But Fields put up big numbers in the defeat. He ran for 208 yards and four touchdowns in dreary and wet conditions on 20 carries. There wasn’t much to be found through the air, but he completed 7 of his 14 passes for 96 yards and another score.

He’s completed 39 of his 62 attempts for 553 yards and 7 TDs so far. That’s a 63 percent completion rate and he has also thrown one interception. His numbers on the ground continue to flash every bit of that aforementioned speed.

Fields has 434 rushing yards on 52 carries and 7 more rushing touchdowns on the year.

If he stays healthy, I’d imagine that a 2,500 passing season with at least 1,200 rushing yards is possible. He’s capable of putting up at least 50 total touchdowns in 2017.

Miss a day of Intel? Well, the DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to Mecole Hardman speed before your tailgate crew can worry anymore about all the freshman offensive linemen who will have to play this fall.

The post UGA recruiting: An interesting in-state trend with the Class of 2018 appeared first on DawgNation.

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