Georgia tight ends coach John Lilly (@JohnLillyUGA) tweeted on Friday night “When it rains it pours…and I’m not just talking about the weather #GATAgang14”. In the literal sense, the rain came down hard in Athens on Friday night at Georgia’s annual Dawg Night camp and recruiting event, but the figurative rain that Lilly was referring to was even more impressive.
Top247 OL Isaiah Wynn capped off a big weekend for Georgia on Sunday with a commitment.
Over the course of the weekend, Georgia climbed 10 spots in the national team recruiting rankings, all the way up to No. 3 in the nation. The ascent started on Friday night when Georgia added three commitments: wide receiver Shakenneth Williams, offensive tackle Dyshon Sims and safety Kendall Gant. That ascent was then punctuated on Sunday when Top247 offensive guard Isaiah Wynn capped off the weekend with a commitment.
Wynn is a long 6-foot-1.5 interior lineman that can project to all three interior spots and he’s a prospect that has proven himself in a big way over the course of this offseason. Among the three Friday evening commits, Williams may be the real steal of the bunch. At 6-1.5 himself, Williams is a big-bodied target who has consistently run extremely well in the sub-4.5 range at every event that he has attended.
As it stands now, Georgia is looking up only at Florida State and Alabama in the team rankings. Florida State leads Georgia by less than one point while also having three more commitments while Alabama sits comfortably ahead of Georgia currently with the same amount of commits (15). So the new question becomes, can Georgia overtake Alabama for the No. 1 class?
With a relatively small class, Georgia will need to make every commit count if it wants to climb the final two spots in the rankings but the opportunity is there. If Georgia is able to overtake Alabama and is able to vie for that No. 1 ranking come signing day, more than likely, the following three players will need to be a part of that class.
Josh Malone has become a very strong possibility for Georgia. The Top100 wide receiver would finish off Georgia’s wide receiver class and he has already indicated that the Bulldogs will receive one of his five official visits, a distinction not yet bestowed formally to any other program.
Lamont Gaillard a five-star defensive tackle, Gaillard is a unanimous pick to end up in Athens according to the Crystal Ball. He will visit next weekend and Georgia is firmly in the driver’s seat.
Lorenzo Carter currently lists Florida as his favorite but as the home-state program, Georgia lingers. 90 percent of 42 Crystal Ball respondents still think he ends up at Alabama, while five percent (including yours truly) have predicted him to land at Georgia. You may soon see the Florida percentage (currently at 2%) rise as well.
Late summer flurries
Vanderbilt added La. OL Bailey Granier Sunday night.
While mid-July constitutes mid-summer for most, the recruiting calendar treats it as the homestretch with high schools gearing up for two-a-days and colleges getting in their last prospect camps of the year. With that, we have seen some flurries of activities on the commitment front of late and a lot of SEC programs are getting in on the act.
Maybe the most active program of late aside from Georgia has been Vanderbilt. It started with a huge in-state pull with the commitment of four-star Michael Sawyers out of Ensworth. Sawyers chose Vandy over Ole Miss and Tennessee and adds to what is shaping up to be an outstanding defensive line class for the Commodores along with Top247 DE Lloyd Tubman and high three-star Jashon Robertson.
The Commodores then followed that commitment up just a couple of days later with the addition of three-star quarterback Trace McSorley and a Sunday commitment from three-star offensive lineman Bailey Granier out of Louisiana. McSorley in particular is an interesting prospect, running a 4.56 in the 40 at Vanderbilt’s camp on Sunday and boasting a career record of 42-3 with three state championships as a starter.
- Ole Miss was able to secure its biggest commit to date in the class of 2014 with in-state talent Roderick Taylor, the No. 1 offensive guard in the country. Taylor is the third commit for Ole Miss out of Callaway High School with a fourth, defensive tackle Breeland Speaks, still a high priority.
- Auburn landed a quarterback for the future in four-star 2015 standout Tyler Queen out of Georgia. Queen has been a top performer at nearly every stop this offseason and committed to Auburn on Wednesday.
- Tennessee picked up another commitment in what seems like a weekly tradition. The Vols’ 19th verbal came from Eric Lauderdale, a four-star junior college pass catcher who joins a bevy of offensive weapons at the skill position, many of which can project to either tight end or receiver.
- Kentucky landed a speedster in slot dynamo T.V. Williams early in the week. Williams weighs less than 150 pounds soaking wet but good luck getting a hand on him. The elusive receiver is exciting and dynamic in space.
JUCO WR Eric Lauderdale became Tennessee's 19th commitment on Sunday.
- South Carolina picked up name recognition to go along with talent when the Gamecocks landed Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas cornerback Al Harris, the son of former NFL standout with the same name.
- Arkansas got a much needed boost on Sunday when Marietta (Ga.) Lassiter cornerback Chris Murphy jumped on board. The three-star cornerback is only the sixth commitment for the Razorbacks who are currently sitting at No. 14 in the SEC team rankings.
This and that
- Keep an eye on LSU’s prospect camp over the course of this week. The camp kicked off on Sunday and ends on Wednesday and it is an embarrassment of riches in talent. Multiple five-stars, hordes of four-stars and your usual Louisiana nobodies that turn up out of nowhere to steal the show are all converging on Baton Rouge.
Among those already spotted at camp on Sunday – most of whom are expected to be back today – are the nation’s No. 1 prospect Cameron Robinson, five-star Speedy Noil, five-star LSU commit Ed Paris, four-stars Laurence Jones, Trey Quinn, Malachi Dupre, Davon Godchaux, Garrald McDowell and many others.
Always one of the most talented camps of the year, this 2013 July session is a step up even by LSU standards.
- Bryan McClendon is the new man to catch atop the national recruiter rankings. The 29-year old played a big role in Georgia’s big weekend as the lead recruiter on Isaiah Wynn. He also had one of his previous commits – Nick Chubb – bump up to five-star status on 247Sports.
Other SEC recruiters on the rise include Ole Miss’ Derrick Nix (up 22 spots to No. 17 following the commitment of Taylor), Tennessee’s Tommy Thigpen (up 20 spots to No. 13) who has a hand in over half of Tennessee’s 19 commits, Vanderbilt’s Ricky Rahne (up 61 spots to No. 40) who has been making the Commodores very relevant in the midwest, and Georgia’s Chris Wilson (up 51 spots to No. 43) and John Lilly (up 23 spots to No. 45).