Jordan Davis a ‘diamond’ in Georgia’s 2018 recruiting class

Georgia football-national media-defense-2021
Caption
Georgia defensive lineman Jordan Davis (from left), outside linebacker Robert Beal Jr., and defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt get the defensive set from the sidelines against South Carolina during the first half Saturday, Sept 18, 2021, in Athens. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

ATHENS – Georgia’s Jordan Davis dropped some real pearls when interviewed Monday in advance of Saturday’s Senior Day festivities before the Charleston Southern game (noon, SEC Network-Plus).

The 6-foot-6, 335-pound nose guard from Charlotte not only is one of the Bulldogs’ more beloved players, but he also represents the team’s best shot at sending a representative to New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony, crazy as that may seem.

Davis was feeling nostalgic about that and other things as he reflected on what has transpired over the past nearly four years and what it has meant to him.

“It’s a bittersweet moment,” he said of preparing for his last game in Sanford Stadium. “Four years ago, you hear a lot about how this journey ends fast, and it’s over as quick as it starts. It’s definitely one of those moments you’re going to savor and appreciate.”

Davis was entertaining as usual, mustering every metaphor he could think of to convey his thoughts.

“It takes a village to raise a child, and I’m glad I chose this village,” he said. Also, when explaining how tough it is to endure four years of development under coach Kirby Smart, he said, “people say pressure builds diamonds or busts pipes, and I want to be one of the diamonds.”

He is. And while Davis became one, not everybody in Georgia’s heralded recruiting class of 2018 did. Davis pointed out that he roomed with 4-star wide receiver Tommy Bush until last year. Bush transferred to North Texas in May.

Bush was one of 11 members of the 26-player 2018 class that did not complete their eligibility with the Bulldogs. For a fortunate few, that was because the NFL came calling early. Others chose to finish their college careers elsewhere.

“I wish that we had the full senior class,” Davis said. “People transfer, people go to the league and everything. But I wish they were all here to experience this moment with us. We have love for all of them and, in a way, this is their Senior Day, too.”

Here’s an update on Georgia’s Class of 2018, which with seven 5-star prospects was one of the more impressive in school history (listed in order of 247Sports’ recruiting ranking and with heights and weights as listed when a recruit):

1. QB Justin Fields, Kennesaw, 6-3, 221, 5-star

Played one season as a backup QB to Jake Fromm. Transferred to Ohio State, became a starter and was drafted in the first round by the Chicago Bears last year.

2. RB Zamir White, Laurinburg, N.C., 6-1, 210, 5-star

Started 19 of the past 20 games at running back. Team leader in rushing (574 yards) and scoring (10 TDs)

3. G Jamaree Salyer, Atlanta, 6-4, 342, 5-star

Had started 18 consecutive games, 17 of them at left tackle, before he was sidelined with a foot sprain two weeks ago.

4. CB Tyson Campbell, Plantation, Fla., 6-2, 180, 5-star

Started at cornerback as a freshman before injuries interrupted his progress. Started every game in 2020 and was drafted in the second round by the Jacksonville Jaguars this year.

5. OLB Adam Anderson, Rome, 6-4, 214, 5-star

Started the first game of his Bulldogs’ career in Game 6 this season this year, but always was a regular contributor. Appeared 46 consecutive games before being suspended indefinitely on a rape charge two weeks ago.

6. OT Cade Mays, Knoxville, Tenn., 6-6, 318, 5-star

A two-year starter at both guard and tackle before transferring to Tennessee before his junior season. Starting left tackle for the Volunteers as senior.

7. OLB Brenton Cox, Stockbridge, 6-4, 247, 5-star

Played in 13 of 14 games as freshman with one start in 2018 bowl game. Transferred to Florida in 2019, was redshirted and now has 20 consecutive starts for the Gators.

8. OLB Quay Walker, Cordele, 6-4, 236, 4-star

After playing a special teams and reserve defensive roles his first two seasons, has now started 12 in a row and is the Bulldogs’ fourth-leading tackler.

9. RB James Cook, Miami, 5-11, 181, 4-star

Has lived up to his distinction as the No. 3 all-purpose back in the nation. He splits time with White and is the team’s leading receiver out of the backfield, with 16 catches for 111 yards and three TDs and second-leading rusher (487, 8 TDs)

10. TE Luke Ford, Carterville, Ill., 6-6, 248, 4-star

The top-rated recruit in his state when he signed with Georgia, Ford transferred to the University of Illinois after the 2018 season to be closer to family and an ailing grandfather. Ineligible to play in 2019, Ford has 14 catches for 104 yards and one TD over the past two seasons.

11. G Trey Hill, Warner Robins, 6-3, 346, 4-star

Georgia’s starting center for 26 games before a knee injury knocked him out of the last two games his junior year. Graduated in only three years, so entered the 2021 draft and was taken in the sixth round by the Cincinnati Bengals. Has one start while playing in all eight Bengals games.

12. OLB Otis Reese, Leesburg, 6-4, 206, 4-star

Played in 25 games with two starts his first two seasons at Georgia. Transferred to Ole Miss in 2020, where he has started the past 13 games at safety for the Rebels and ranks second on team with 74 tackles.

13. ILB Channing Tindall, Columbia, S.C., 6-2, 213, 4-star

Though he’s never started, Tindall is one of the Bulldogs’ most valuable defensive players. He leads the team in tackles with 53, is second with 5.5 sacks and was named Walter Camp and the SEC’s defensive player of the week with eight tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble Saturday vs. Tennessee.

14. WR Kearis Jackson, Fort Valley, 5-11, 203, 4-star

A 14-game starter as a slot receiver and punt returner, Jackson has overcome injuries throughout his career to establish himself as a team leader on and off the field. He’s a member of the SEC’s leadership council and a student-athlete representative on the UGA athletic board of directors.

15. OLB Azeez Ojulari, Marietta, 6-4, 224, 4-star

Ultimately supplanted Cox as the Bulldogs’ pass-rushing specialist as a redshirt freshman and parlayed his team-leading 8.5 sacks last season into a second-round draft selection by the New York Giants this year. Ojulari currently leads his NFL team with 5.5 sacks.

16. CB Nadab Joseph, Miami, 6-1, 180, 4-star

Unable to qualify for admission to UGA, Joseph ended up at Nebraska after two seasons at Independence (Kan.) Community College. He has appeared in two games for the Cornhuskers.

17. WR Tommy Bush, Schertz, Texas, 6-5, 191, 4-star

Bush landed at North Texas after transferring from Georgia earlier this year. He has three catches for 43 yards for the Mean Green this season.

18. CB Divaad Wilson, Miami, 6-0, 180, 4-star

Saw action in 13 games as a redshirt freshman at Georgia, starting against Notre Dame and Kentucky. Transferred to Central Florida and became a starter this season after playing in only five games in 2020. Now a junior, he’s fourth on the team in tackles with 49 and has an interception.

19. C Warren Ericson, Suwanee, 6-4, 290, 4-star

A versatile offensive lineman, Ericson started the last two games of 2020 at center and was slated to start there this season. But a hand injury in preseason camp and a foot injury to Tate Ratledge in the season’s first game sent him back to right guard, where he has started the past nine games.

20. DT Devonte Wyatt, Decatur, 6-3, 300, 4-star

A 19-game starter over the past three seasons, Wyatt has joined with his best buddy Davis and junior Jalen Carter to give the Bulldogs one of the most formidable defensive fronts in college football. Has 27 tackles, four TFLs and 1.5 sacks in nine games this season.

21. CB Chris Smith, Atlanta, 5-10, 169, 4-star

After playing backup and special-teams roles his first two seasons, Smith was thrust into starting duty at safety last year after Richard LeCounte was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. Has started every game since, except Kentucky this season because of a shoulder injury.

22. TE John FitzPatrick, Atlanta, 6-6, 230, 4-star

A part-time starter and every-game regular, this junior has joined with Brock Bowers and Darnell Washington to give Georgia one of the best tight-end units in the country. A team captain, FitzPatrick’s size, intelligence and blocking ability have made him into an NFL prospect.

23. DT Jordan Davis, Charlotte, N.C., 6-6, 330, 3-star

Seriously undervalued as a recruiting prospect because evaluators were split on whether he should play offensive or defensive line. Georgia won him over by committing to play him on defense. Davis is considered a viable candidate for the Heisman Trophy despite a role that is to tie up blockers to free the Bulldogs’ fleet-footed linebackers.

24. OT Owen Condon, Oklahoma City, Okla., 6-7, 300, 3-star

High on intelligence and versatility, Condon has repped as a backup at tackle and guard, with one start last season at right tackle. The Joel Eaves scholar-athlete award recipient as UGA Athletics’ top student.

25. DT Tramel Walthour, Hinesville, 6-4, 277, 3-star

After a one-year stint in junior college because Georgia oversigned the class, Walthour redshirted after returning to UGA in 2019. He has played in 18 of the Bulldogs’ past 19 games. Has 11 tackles, two pass deflections and three QB pressures.

26. P/PK Jake Camarda, Norcross, 6-2, 175, 3-star

A four-year starter at punter and Georgia’s designated kickoff man the past two seasons, Camarda has a chance to become Georgia’s first two-time All-American since OT Andrew Thomas (2018-19).

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