Let's start this off with the caveat that stars aren't the only thing that matters in recruiting. It's fun to follow and talk about who the top players in the country are, but the star rating system is as much of a tool to attract fans to recruiting websites as it is anything else. Some five star prospects work out and some do not for a variety of reasons. Many get injured and just aren't the same anymore, which brings one player to mind. I believe Tramel Terry was ranked as a 5* at one time and if not, he was 5* material. He just wasn't the same after tearing his ACL in an all-star game after his senior season. It seems like some five star prospects hit their peak in high school. Not trying to throw shade, but a number of former Buford prospects come to mind here. Others just didn't advance to what the industry saw as their potential. I would put Clay Webb into this category. He came out of high school with a wrestling background, which usually translates well. One of his issues is that he just couldn't put the weight on to play at a high level against SEC competition. He also had a bout of sickness while in Athens.
I say that to say this. Anything could happen with any of these prospects mentioned below. Some may go to the NFL, some may never start a game in college, but hopefully all of them are able to get a college degree at no monetary cost to them or their families.
I'd also be regressed if I didn't mention that while Kirby Smart and his staff are some of the best in the nation when it comes to recruiting, they're never going to get all of their five star targets. See one Justice Haynes shocking the world by committing to Alabama. Many of the prospects mentioned below are in-state targets or have ties to the state of Georgia, which helps a lot. Others are from California, Texas, and Florida.
I could see Georgia realistically end up with six out of the twelve 5* prospects listed below. These are recruits in the 2024 class who we either lead for early or are strongly in their top 2-3 teams.
|4||KJ Bolden||S||UGA, OhSt, Clem|
|8||Jerrick Gibson||RB||UGA, Tex, Tenn|
|9||Sammy Brown||LB||UGA, Clem|
|11||Ellis Robinson||CB||UGA, Ala|
|12||Julian Sayin||QB||LSU, UGA|
|14||Mike Matthews||ATH||UGA, Clem|
|16||Colin Simmons||EDGE||LSU, Tex, UGA, aTM|
|18||Eddrick Houston||EDGE||UGA, Ala, Others|
|20||Jadyn Davis||QB||Mich, UGA|
|22||Charles Lester||CB||UGA, Ala, OhSt, FSU|
|27||Landen Thomas||TE||UGA Commit|
|28||Kameron Davis||RB||FSU Commit|
|POTENTIAL FIVE STARS|
|34||Zaquan Patterson||S||Mia, UGA|
|35||KingJoseph Edwards||ATH||UGA, Others|
KJ Bolden is a prospect who will likely come down to your typical playoff contenders. Georgia will battle Clemson, Ohio State and others for the in-state safety/athlete. As of right now, I could easily see him choosing the Dawgs. Jerrick Gibson is a former Florida commit who spent a little bit of time at Mundy's Mill High in Jonesboro. He is now at IMG Academy and is very high on UGA, along with Texas, Tennessee and others. He could join the class to form a dynamic RB duo with current commit Tovani Mizell. Sammy Brown is a ridiculously talented in-state linebacker who often outruns receivers and defensive backs in the 40 yard dash. The local Jefferson High prospect has family ties to Clemson, which makes them the top competition for the Dawgs. Ellis Robinson is another IMG Academy product who currently has Georgia and Alabama at the top of his list. Theare are others he likes, but these two powerhouses will battle it out until the end for the cornerback.
It's pretty obvious that UGA is not going to get both Julian Sayin and Jadyn Davis at quarterback in the 2024 class. I think it's safe to call them targets 1a, 1b, and 1c with current 4* Ryan Puglisi in the mix. It looked like UGA had all of the momentum with Sayin up until late this summer. That's when his name started popping up with LSU more. He just visited Baton Rouge and is likely to be in Athens again in October. Jadyn Davis actually grew up in Georgia. His name has been coming in strong lately, with Michigan being the top competition. It's been well known that these two gun slingers are the top two QB targets, but watch Puglisi. I'm including him, because I believe he will end up a five star in the 2024 class.
Mike Matthews is an in-state athlete who is VERY HIGH on the Dawgs. He's already seen the good guys play a couple of times this year and just wore UGA gloves at his game this week. He's also very interested in Clemson, who will give UGA a battle until the end. If today were signing day, I'd probably pick him to Georgia but with not a ton of confidence. Colin Simmons is one of the most interesting prospects on the list since he is from Texas. He's one you'd think would be a shoe in to stay in-state with the Longhors or Aggies, but he has legitimate interest in the Dawgs. He'll still be a hard pull from these two and LSU, but Kirby Smart, Will Muschamp, and Glenn Schumann are working here. Eddrick Houston is an in-state Edge player from Buford who doesn't get near enough attention. He has changed his body over the last year or two by adding on a ton of muscle. He's another I'd easily pick to Georgia right now if I had to make a choice.
Charles Lester joins Robinson as the other 5* CB in this group and could very easily come down to Georgia and Alabama like Robinson. Ohio State and FSU are other programs to watch here. Everyone pretty much knows about in-state TE Landen Thomas by now. Other squads will continue to pursue the UGA tight end commit, but I don't see him going anywhere as of right now. In-state RB Kameron Davis is currently a FSU commit, which is understandable with Tallahassee only being a couple of hours from Albany. He's been committed to the Seminoles since February of 2021, but Georgia has stayed in contact and he has been on campus a couple of times.
Zaquan Patterson is just outside of the 5* range, but has UGA on top along with Miami. He'll be a tough pull out of south Florida, but the Dawgs are on top of it. In-state ATH KingJoseph Edwards is right behind him in the rankings and is a prospect I would predict to UGA right now if I had to.
Of course some of these guys may drop and others may get bumped up into the five star range, but this is how I see the state of our 2024 five star targets. Again, I could see Georgia pretty easily get six of the five star prospects listed above. Increase it to seven if Edwards makes a jump to 5* status. If things go extra well, you could see a class that rivals what Texas A&M just did in 2022 when they bought their entire class.
***Note - Rankings are according to 247sports composite rankings