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What Are Georgia's Options At Safety for the 2024 Class?

Jason Brassell

Well, there you go. Three things have happened now and UGA doesn't have a safety commit for the 2024 class:

1) KJ Bolden chose FSU over UGA

2) Peyton Woodyard flipped to Alabama

3) Jaylen Heyward decommitted and is favoring UCF

Kirby Smart and company did everything they could to get Bolden and will continue to do so. Heyward is just better suited for UCF and while UGA would have liked to keep Woodyard, he always seemed more to me like an old school downhill safety more than the safety types we've been recruiting. And that isn't sour grapes on Woodyard, as I am more old school and like those safeties better! He just didn't seem to match what we had been looking for in others (Starks, Aguero, Bullard).

So what now?

For me, I'd look at a few options:

1) The most likely scenario is getting Kam Mikell. But the question would be is he more of a CB? The answer would likely be that we recruit guys that can play 3-4 positions in the secondary (see my note on Peyton Woodyard).

2) Get KJ Bolden no matter what.

3) Try to flip Xavier Filsaime from Florida. He was very high on UGA before he committed there. Would he look around with another bad season from the Gators?

4) There has been some talk of 2025 DB Jontae Gilbert reclassifying to 2024. But how many times has that actually worked out?

5) Zaquon Patterson has been very high on UGA for a long time. But honestly, if we really wanted him that bad we could have gotten him a long time ago. This just seems like we'd be taking a warm body.

6) Portal - See #5. How many portal guys could come in and compete/start at UGA? If we do this it better be a Dominic Lovett type at safety.

7) Sit tight and go all in for the 2025 guys. The #1 safety in the nation DJ Pickett is very high on UGA and has already visited multiple times. Unless he reclassifies, Gilbert will be there. Hylton Stubbs is a beast and has high interest in UGA. In-state prospect Onis Konanbanny is ranked as a CB, but I think would be a great safety. Watch for his ranking to go up as he plays this year. I absolutely love an in-state DB/ATH who nobody is really talking about and that is Darrell "Duke" Johnson out of Dodge County. He plays all over the field on offense and defense for them. The only problem is that he's already 6'2 205, so he could easily turn into a Chris Cole type ILB. Check his highlights below:


Out of those options I would do everything I could to get some combination of Bolden, Mikell, Filsaime. My second option would be to sit tight and hit these 2025 guys hard, especially after last year's haul (which isn't helping us this year). If I hit the portal, he better be a sure fire go getter like Lovett at WR.

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