While this is the first meeting between Georgia and North Carolina on the football field in over 40 years, the programs regularly cross paths on the recruiting trail. That’s primarily because their two recruiting footprints overlap, particularly their home states.
Class of ‘14, Charlotte (N.C.) Christian, 4-star, No. 4 TE
Blazevich played at an in-state high school alongside current Tar Heel Des Lawrence and attended a UNC junior day as a sophomore. However, when it came time to narrow his focus, UNC was absent. Instead, Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, and Ohio State constituted his final six. Shortly thereafter, he pledged to the Bulldogs.
The past two seasons, Blazevich played in 26 games with 22 starts at tight end. He earned Freshman All-SEC honors in 2014 after catching 18 passes for 269 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His numbers dropped last season (15 receptions for 144 yards and a touchdown).
Class of ‘15, Hogansville (Ga.) Calloway, 5-star, No. 5 WR
A game visit for UNC’s ‘13 victory over Boston College entered the Tar Heels’ into the race for Godwin. That race ostensibly ended less than three months later with a commitment to Georgia. He did wind up officially visiting Alabama, Auburn, and Southern Cal, but ended up sticking to his initial pledge.
As a true freshman, Godwin appeared in all 13 games last season with nine starts at wide receiver. He finished second on the team with 35 receptions for 379 yards. He also scored two touchdowns on receptions, rushed seven times for 47 yards and returned four punts for 58 yards.
Class of ‘13, Marietta (Ga.) Walton, 4-star, No. 11 OG
UNC hosted Kublanow for a spring practice piquing his interest. But, a month later he pledged to Georgia. Clemson, Florida State, LSU, Miami, Tennessee, USC, and Vanderbilt were also in play.
After seeing action in nine games as a true freshman, Kublanow has started all 26 games at center the past two seasons.
Class of ‘15, Clemmons (N.C.) West Forsyth, 4-star, No. 10 DE
Dalton’s recruitment ultimately came down to a battle between ACC rivals UNC and Virginia Tech. But, Georgia was among the plethora of schools to offer him a scholarship.
As a true freshman, Dalton appeared in nine games last season making 15 tackles. He is expected to have a bigger role within the defensive tackle rotation this season after working his way to the first team in training camp.
Class of ‘13, Charlotte (N.C.) Catholic, 4-star, No. 10 RB
Similar to Dalton, Hood was swimming in Power 5 offers during his recruitment. Among them was Georgia. He committed to Notre Dame in April ‘13, but de-committed four months later. A week after that, he pledged to UNC.
A two-time Academic All-ACC selection, Hood started all 14 games at tailback in 2015 finishing third in the ACC with 1,463 rushing yards, which is also the second highest total in school history. Additionally, he scored 17 touchdowns.
Class of ‘16, Wilmington (N.C.) New Hanover, 4-star, No. 16 TE
Based on the pregame depth chart, Walston is unlikely to see the field on Saturday (or this season).
However, Walston’s recruitment could signify a change of the tide. Originally, he pledged to Georgia last summer over UNC and NC State. But, after three-plus months on the Bulldogs’ commitment list, he flipped to the Tar Heels.
Georgia and UNC aren’t truly engaged in any current recruiting battles (although wide receivers Jeremiah Holloman, OrTre Smith, and Mark Webb list both programs). However, several members of each school’s commitment list were offered by the other.
For the Bulldogs, Robert Beal, Latavious Brini, Jake Fromm, Jaden Hunter, Matt Landers, Richard LeCounte, William Poole, and Andrew Thomas were offered by UNC. Beal, Fromm, and Thomas actually visited Chapel Hill.
Conversely, the Bulldogs offered UNC pledges J.T. Cauthen, Ryan Jones, Jake Lawler, Tre Shaw, and Tyler Smith. Once signed, the latter two will break Georgia’s streak of beating UNC for in-state recruits it has offered.