Smart to See Major In-State Target Friday

UGA coach Kirby Smart will visit a major prospect Friday morning.

Nate McBride, Vidalia’s 4-star do-it-all linebacker, will be in school while Smart visits. 

“Glad I get to see the new Georgia coach!!,” McBride tweeted late Thursday night. 

Alabama and Georgia have been McBride’s favorite two schools since the fall. It will be interesting to see if Smart’s move to Athens will push the Bulldogs past the Tide once and for all for the talented junior.

McBride suffered a season-ending injury early in the Indians’ 2015 campaign. But Dean Legge was able to watch McBride’s final game of 2014 - here are his thoughts from that game. 

Nate McBride was one of the most productive players I saw in high school football last season. He’s the type of prospect that makes a four-hour drive worth it.

I’d say that McBride has elite straight-line speed for an inside linebacker. He can run and hit. He makes plays - and not just on defense. McBride is a very, very good ball handler. He understands how to move with the football in his hands.

You have to block McBride, or he will make you pay. Lazy offensive line play against him is a good way to get a ballcarrier hurt - or wind up with McBride forcing a fumble. Also, McBride shows surprisingly good coverage skills for a player his age.

I saw McBride play against Greater Atlanta Christian in Vidalia’s final game of the season. The Indians had to travel to Atlanta the day after Thanksgiving to play GAC, and the Spartans were just too good to lose.

But Vidalia and McBride made GAC earn it. McBride certainly looked the part on the field with two seniors who wound up signing with high-level SEC programs. That he was so successful as a running back against GAC shows his football ability.

Its hard not to like what you see when you turn on the tape to see McBride. The same can be said for when he’s playing live. Vidalia uses McBride pretty much every play. He must be in amazing condition to play as often as he does, and to have the sort of impact on the game that he does.

Vidalia went 12-1 in 2014. I find it hard to think they wouldn't have lost more often if McBride wasn’t on their team. He’s a powerful playmaker playing on both sides of the ball. Could McBride be at the apex of his development? Are we seeing him as good as he is going to be? I find that very hard to believe. He might not grow much more, but at 6-2, 220, McBride’s size is fine. He could be an undersized linebacker at the next level.

My guess, however, is that he will grow.

McBride is as solid a prospect as I saw in the class of 2017 last fall. Spectacular? Not every play. But McBride was as solid as it got for me last fall for non-seniors. He’s a guy you need on your team.


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