The weather was dark and stormy, uncharacteristically mild for a February day, but it could not damper the expectations of the Bulldawg faithful who turned out for National Signing Day 2016 in Athens, Georgia. There were red and black groups from Buffalo’s Cafe over at Beechwood Shopping Center to the Blind Pig Tavern on the East Side to the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall building on the University of Georgia campus and anywhere else that was providing coverage of the day’s college football recruiting activities.
And for the Bulldawgs, the day started out well with one of the top ranked athletes in the country and players from the state of Georgia, announcing his commitment to Georgia over Alabama and Tennessee. Next to follow was 4-star defensive lineman Michail Carter from Jackson, GA who committed to Georgia over Alabama and Auburn. The momentum continued for Georgia through the morning when 3-star wide receiver Tyler Simmons announced he would be flipping from his commitment to the Crimson Tide to the University of Georgia. The talented McEachern receiver while not as highly rated as some of the other prospects of the day, is no less talented.
Then there was a lull until a bleve of announcements would take place from 2:00 PM to just shortly after 3:00 PM ET when defensive end David Marshall, linebacker Lyndell “Mack Wilson”, offensive lineman E.J. Price and defensive tackle Derrick Brown all were schedule to make their final decisions. Everything started out well and Georgia’s recruiting momentum continued full steam ahead as they got their second flip commitment of the day when David Marshall flipped from Auburn to Georgia, but then the red and black machine got bogged down.
Although, generally it was not expected for Wilson to sign with Georgia, Archer high school offensive lineman E.J. Price was. He, like Tre Nixon 10 days before, surprised many fans as well as media as he donned a Southern California cap. But the chest pains did not stop there as who many consider the state of Georgia’s number one player and one of the top defensive tackles for the class of 2016 announced his commitment to rival Auburn University.
For many fans, elation over the signings and flips from earlier in the day quickly gave way to emotions that could easily reflect the dreary weather outside. But just when Dawg fans thought they couldn’t take anymore and would be going to “join Elizabeth” … for you younger readers than is a Sanford and Son reference … linebacker Jaleel Laguins, who had been committed to Georgia, made his final decision form Oconee County high school and chose to stay with UGA.
As with most National Signing Days, it was one heck of a roller coaster ride of emotion.
Below is a list of University of Georgia commitments from National Signing Day 2016 a playlist of BD Illustrated ON-Air’s podcasts: