Kirby Smart and company had a star studded group of visitors in town this past weekend, and Georgia may be in a better spot with a couple of them that what I originally thought. Let's cut the fluff and get straight to it:
I've been screaming the entire recruiting cycle that 5* RB Richard Young and Justice Haynes won't end up at the same school. UGA had him in town this past weekend and of course he had a great time (who doesn't on an official visit). I'm told that the Dawgs are making things much more interesting here than Alabama is confortanle with. I do still think it will be the Crimson Tide in the end, but we're at least making him sweat a little bit.
Keep a close eye on the recruitment of 5* WR Hykeem Williams. This is a guy that UGA had a ton of momentum wsith earlier in the process, then it seemed like it was all of a sudden Texas A&M with all of the momentum. Well, he isn't as strong of a lead to them as many thought/think. UGA is VERY MUCH in this one and I'm told we're going to challenge Jimbo Fisher on anything they can promise to do NIL wise. A perfect receiver class here would be Hykeem, Tyler Williams, Anthony Evans, and Jalen Hale and I think there is a decent chance this happens.
I think a lot of people look at 5* DL James Smith as more of an afterthought that's probably just staying in-state and going to Alabama anyways. Heck, sometimes I catch myself thinking that. I'm told that is very much NOT the case and that UGA was at least even going into the visit and possibly even ahead. Alabama will get their OV in the fall, but I'm told he and Russaw will be in Athens for at least one game. If the Dawgs pull this one, WATCH OUT!
We've been saying for a long time and we're one of the first to say that UGA was in the lead for 5* Edge Qua Russaw. The issue with having the lead for an out of state player is that many times the family isn't as involved to begin with. So the player may have you in the lead and love the school, but the family just doesn't know enough about it to know either way. Most of the time when Russaw and Smith take visits, it's with their Madhouse Training coaches. Well, his family was in town this past weekend for his official and I'm told they're definitely on board if UGA is where he wants to go. Of course you still have to deal with Nick Saban and Alabama, but this one is looking even better.
JUCO 4* WR Malik Benson left his OV to Alabama and went immediately to Athens, arriving around 2am Saturday morning. I'm told this is another one where UGA has made things very interesting. With him being a juco, he's going to need to put up stats quick. That will hurt us, as others are trying to hurt us in recruiting by labeling us as only a "running team". It wouldn't surprise me one bit if Coach BMac pulls Benson to Athens, but I'm not expecting it.
I went into the weekend having 4* WR Aidan Mizell picked to Florida as a legacy recruit and I still believe that. Not that anything bad happened and not that he's playing games or anything. I just think the Florida pull is too much.
I posted in the OV preview article that 4* OL Olaus Alinen was an intriguing prospect heading into the visit and now I'm even more intrigued. This one has gotten very interesting and quick! Heading into the visit, I thought there was a great chance he was headed to Alabama. Now I'm not sure. What I'm also not sure of is how we would fit him in if he wanted to come. Bo Hughley isn't flipping to Auburn. Recent commit Joshua Miller is recruiting like crazy for UGA. It's only a matter of time before Kelton Smith is on the commit list and despite taking visits, I don't believe RyQueze McElderry is going anywhere. That leaves one spot and we're trending for Monroe Freeling at tackle. TJ Shanahan had such a good visit the first weekend in June, I wouldn't have been surprised if he ended it early (that's why you wait for the visit high to wear off). Samson Okunlola was just on campus for multiple days and we'll still likely get an official visit from him. Someone is going to be told that there's no room at the inn.
At this point, I'd be somewhat surprised if we don't get 4* CB Daniel Harris. You can't ever count out a program like Ohio State and he's scheduled to OV Penn State this weekend. I had the Dawgs leading going into the visit and feel even better about him now.
Whit Weeks is a 3* LB that I honestly don't know much about, besides he's a legacy recruit and his brother is at LSU. I think some are higher on him than others. Consider me "others", but I haven't seen him live. Our staff seems to be high on him and there's a reason they're making millions coaching football and I'm writing a blog about it, so I'll go with their analysis here.
We'll post a good preview in the next day or two for the June 24th visitors weekend and look for a "quick hitters" post on the Dawgs Central forum soon.