The Georgia program is no stranger to going out west and pulling in big-time playmakers. Most recently, the Dawgs went out to Napa, California, and signed Brock Bowers. However, the class included a standout from Desert Pines High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. That player, of course, is Georgia tight end Darnell Washington. As he did with Brock Bowers, Todd Hartley was able to create a bond with Washington despite the 2,044 miles separating Athens and Las Vegas. Now, Georgia finds itself squarely in the recruitment of another Desert Pines star in DeAndre Moore Jr.
Moore announced his top group of schools on Monday, and it is absolutely loaded with perennial and traditional college football powers. Surprisingly, there are only 2 true western-based teams in Southern California and Arizona State. The heartland of the country is represented by Texas, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma. Finally, the rest are from SEC and ACC territory, with Miami, Florida State, Notre Dame, Florida, LSU, Alabama, and Georgia rounding out the group. Of the final 12, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and Arizona State were the earlies to offer Moore in his recruitment. Each of those 4 squads extended theirs offered on May 16, 2019. It boggles the mind almost that a player that is just finishing his 8th Grade year, at that point, could have received those kinds of offers in succession, but it just goes to show the immense talent that Moore possesses.
It’s worth noting that on the Tweet that Moore put out when he received the Georgia offer in 2019, Todd Hartley was tagged in it. Hartley undoubtedly was struck by Moore’s talent when watching and recruiting Darnell Washington. It remains to be seen how much the connection between Washington and Moore will help Dawgs recruit the number 5 ranked receiver in the class of 2023 and the top-ranked player in Nevada for the class. However, I will say it until I’m blue in the face, Georgia has 2 distinct advantages in recruiting. First, Kirby Smart is a players coach and has created a culture in which players thrive and love to play for the University of Georgia. That turns current Georgia players into some of the biggest and best recruiters out there. That was certainly the case during COVID-19, with no visits on-campus for prospects or in-home by coaches. Georgia’s second advantage is on-campus recruiting, something that the Dawgs will have a chance to put in front of DeAndre Moore Jr. if Hartley, the rest of the staff, and the current players like Washington can continue to grow the current relationship. It’s all about the visits, folks. If a player has done an official and they haven’t been multiple times on their own, COVID recruiting excluded, then you can count them out 9 times out of 10, especially at Georgia.