Signing Day 2016 is over now (with the exception of Demetris Robertson), and folks are confusing on the future - 2017. Kirby Smart has elevated Georgia’s status among prospects in the class of 2017. Smart has made is very clear that he wants to lock up the state of Georgia for the 2017 class. So far so good.
Since Smart’s arrival, the Bulldogs have secured three verbal commitments in four-star defensive back Richard LeCounte (No. 2 ranked player in Georgia), four-star linebacker Breon Dixon (No. 23 ranked player in Georgia), and four-star linebacker Jaden Hunter (No. 12 ranked player in Georgia).
Deangelo Gibbs, scout’s top-ranked 2017 prospect from the Peach State, is heavily considering Georgia, and is close friends with current commit Breon Dixon. Gibbs is a great athlete who could play anywhere in the secondary at the next level, and possibly at receiver.
Jamyest Williams is the third-ranked player in Georgia, and has visited Athens on a number of occasions. He is ranked as one of the top athletes in the country and very close with 2016 prospect and USC signee E.J Price.
Nate McBride is ranked the fourth-best player in Georgia, and many believe he is a Bulldog lean. McBride has a very close relationship with Smart, and a college decision might become before the summer.
Central Gwinnett lineman Tony Gray and Roswell defensive back Xavier McKinney are two more players currently ranked in the top ten that are heavily considering the Bulldogs, although McKinney is currently committed to Alabama. Smart has been in contact with both in the past several weeks.
Sprayberry running back Trey Sermon is the top ranked running back in the state, and his relationship with Georgia has increased since Smart has entered the picture.
Terrell County athlete Trey Bishop can play on either side of the ball. He told me he is very interested in the Bulldogs, but he said Auburn is the team he hears from the most. Bishop is a prospect who has the potential to be a top five player in the state by this time next year.
The 2017 class is loaded with top defensive backs including William Poole (Hapeville Charter), LeAnthony Williams (Roswell), and Tre Shaw (Cedar Grove), all of whom have Georgia high on their list of schools. Kirby and his staff won’t land them all, but they are in a great position to land some of the best defensive back prospects in the state.
Quarterback Jake Fromm (Houston County), is an Alabama commit who has been hearing a lot from Georgia because of Kirby Smart. Keep a close eye on his recruitment going forward.
D’ante Demery (Brunswick), Netori Johnson (Cedar Grove), and Andrew Price (Pace Academy) are all top offensive line prospects in the state who are looking at the Bulldogs, although Johnson is currently committed to Alabama.
Malik Herring (Mary Persons), and MJ Webb (Morgan County) are two guys who can really rush the passer in this class, and Georgia is in very good shape for both.
The Bulldogs have a trend to miss on top wide receiver targets in the state, but the 2017 class could be different. This group is not as talented as it has been in recent years, but there are still some players that can make a big impact at the next level. DeeJay Dallas (Glynn Academy), is a former Bulldog commit, but told me last month that they are still in consideration. Trey Blount (Pace Academy), and Braylon Sanders (Callaway) are two more reliable pass catchers who are considering the Bulldogs.
Since Smart’s arrival, it’s been easy to see the buzz that he has created among top players in the state for the 2017 class. Many of these players have grown to be good friends through camps and all-star games, and many have talked about playing together at the next level. That is a very good sign for Georgia.