The fax machines were pulled out of the closet and dusted off for this one special day, National Signing Day. For some it is blown out of proportion, for others its Christmas in February. Regardless of where you may fall in that spectrum, if you even remotely care about UGA, your attention should be on what happened throughout the day Wednesday. Here is all you need to know about what went down.
Early Morning Surprises:
UGA jumped out in front for American Heritage running back Sony Michel very early in the process. Michel committed to the G on national television and stuck with his commitment the whole way through. Sony was not the only talented player on American Heritage’s roster. In fact the state championship squad was full of explosive athletes to compliment Michel including WR Isaiah McKenzie. Isaiah has been tormenting opposing defenses in Broward County for years, which led to a commitment to Notre Dame to only decommit shortly after. Late in the recruiting process McKenzie earned an offer from the University of Georgia. Isaiah eventually committed to the Dawgs early Wednesday morning along with Michel at their high school sealing the deal for Mark Richt and company to pull a robbery in the 11th hour. Expect McKenzie to possibly be returning punts from Day 1. Coach Bobo compared him to South Carolina’s Ace Sanders.
Another surprise many did not see coming was the addition of tight end Hunter Atkinson. Atkinson looks like goliath on the gridiron and played at West Hall high school. Hunter originally committed to Cincinnati but received an offer from the Dawgs Tuesday night and switched his commitment on Wednesday morning. UGA said all along they were only taking one TE in this recruiting cycle leading most everyone to believe that Atkinson will transition to Coach Friend and the Offensive Line. Expect a redshirt for Hunter but lookout; his potential is through the roof.
18 for 18:
It wouldn’t be a signing day in Athens without someone holding his or her breath until every expected letter of intent came through on the fax machine. It seems like every year we have at least one unexpected flip leaving the red and black spurned. Not this year. Kendall Gant mutually parted ways with the Dawgs a few days leading up to NSD leaving many wondering if he would be the only one? Well, Coach Richt and company sternly slammed the door shut on any futile attempts from opposing teams to rob his recruiting class. Every one of the recruits that had verbalized a commitment to UGA as of Wednesday morning faxed in a letter of intent to Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall.
Icing on the Cake:
At around 3:40 p.m. many UGA faithful tuned their televisions, dialed up their radios, or streamed live the announcement ceremony of Lorenzo Carter. Many expected Lorenzo to commit to UGA but as most in recruiting know, expect the unexpected. To much of Dawg Nation’s delight, Carter dawned a ball cap with the Power G logo on it and faxed in his letter of intent. With the signing of Carter, UGA topped off the already stellar class with the number one player in the state of Georgia and a consensus top 15 player nationally. Carter brings about freakish athleticism and will be a pain in opposing offensive coordinator’s sides for many years to come.
I’m grasping for straws here but the only real downer came when Andrew Williams committed to Auburn over UGA a little after lunch. Auburn was the leader for Williams for a large majority of his recruitment. UGA made a late push and was actually very close to gaining a commitment from Andrew. At the end of the day, the relationship that Williams had built with Malzahn and company proved to be too much to overcome. With most expecting Williams to commit to Auburn it did not leave too many Dawg fans heartbroken.
Overall I would have to declare UGA’s national signing day a success. We had a few good surprises (for once) with the addition of McKenzie and Atkinson. We landed the number one player in the state and were able to keep every one of our verbal commitments. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s officially acceptable to be excited about what is going on with this team in the Classic City.