Huck’s Recruiting Thoughts and Reflections

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Huck’s Recruiting Thoughts and Reflections

D'Antne Demery greeted by Kirby Smart prior to Kirby Smart Camp in Athens
D’Antne Demery greeted by Kirby Smart prior to Kirby Smart Camp in Athens
Photo: Greg Poole/Bulldawg Illustrated

The Bulldogs are recruiting at an incredibly high-level not only for the Class of 2017 but also for the Class of 2018 and 2019. It is a level the Bulldogs must recruit to finally break through the glass ceiling and compete for National Championships. What Kirby Smart and his staff are doing thus far is special, and it will be fascinating to see if they can finally close strong on a recruiting class.
What Georgia is doing with regards to the QB position is truly spectacular. As we know Coach Chaney was able to lock down Jacob Eason last year, and now the Bulldogs have landed a commitment from Jake Fromm and are in excellent position with Trevor Lawrence. All three of these QB’s are elite prospects and the type of players that have the skillset and mental makeup to lead the Bulldogs to a Championship. Also, keep a close eye on UGA’s receiver recruiting in the Class of 2017, 2018, 2019 and moving forward. Receivers want to play with these guys, especially Trevor Lawrence who may be the most talented QB produced out of the state of Georgia in the past ten years. There won’t be a more talented QB meeting room in the country if Fromm and Lawrence do end up signing with the Bulldogs.
As fantastic as the Bulldogs are doing with their QB recruiting the offensive line recruiting may be the area where the Bulldogs are making the biggest strides under Coach Smart. I am a firm believer that guys like D’Ante Demery and Netori Johnson are game changers. They both have outstanding frames and are very good athletes. You also can’t forget a guy like Justin Shaffer, who is a big, raw prospect that has the potential to be a mauling guard in a pro-style offense. With the Bulldogs also being in solid position for in-state tackles Tony Gray and Andrew Thomas this class has the chance to be the best group of offensive lineman the Dawgs have ever brought in. What could make this class truly special is if the Dawgs were able to land Isaiah Wilson from Brooklyn, NY. The 6’7 350 pounder is a 3-year college, straight to the NFL level player. While guys like Demery and Johnson are game changers, Wilson is a program changer in my opinion. He can completely overwhelm people with his size/strength. Think Cam Robinson (Alabama) or Greg Robinson (Auburn). In my opinion, the hire of Sam Pittman is easily the best hire that was made by Coach Smart. Not only is it impressive what he is doing with the Class of 2017 but also already having landed Max Wray in the Class of 2018 and Luke Griffin in the Class of 2019 he isn’t showing any signs of slowing down in the future.
Having mentioned a program changer in Isaiah Wilson, I believe there are a couple more the Bulldogs can land in the Class of 2017. The more I watch of Richard LeCounte, the more I am convinced that he not only one of the Top 10 most gifted athletes in the country but he is also a Top 10 player in the Nation. The young man has absolutely everything you look for in a football player except prototypical size. He is going to anchor the Dawgs secondary for years to come. Also, I have big time expectations for Robert Beal if he were in fact sign with the Bulldogs. He is the prototypical outside linebacker for Coach Smart’s scheme. He is incredibly physical at the point of attack but also has the explosiveness and ability to bend that makes you think he is going to rack up 10+ sacks off the edge. Those two are special talents that jump off the screen and are head and shoulders above other kids their age.
Last but not least, coaches and prospects across the Southeast have said the one thing they are certain of with Kirby Smart is that he will lock down the state in recruiting. If 2017 is any indication that may be the new reality. With Robert Beal leaving the state of Georgia for his final season the Top 10 HS football players in the state of Georgia according to 247Sports are (1) DeAngelo Gibbs, (2) Richard Lecounte III, (3) Jake Fromm, (4) Andrew Thomas, (5) Jameyst Williams, (6) Davis Mills, (7) Nate McBride, (8) AJ Terrell, (9) Aubrey Solomon and (10) William Poole III, it is not unlikely that the Bulldogs could end up signing 8 of the Top 10 players in the state. Going a little bit further down the list don’t be shocked to see the Dawgs land 15-17 of the Top 25 ranked players in the state.

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Matthew “Huck” Pasek was born into a family of Georgia Bulldogs. Huck’s father, Gary, graduated from UGA in 1976 and became a high school chemistry teacher at Peachtree HS in Dunwoody, GA where he coached alongside Georgia High School football legend T. McFerrrin. Gary’s love of football, especially Georgia football, was passed along to his son. Huck lives in Belmont, NC with his wife, Whitney, and works in Financial Services Litigation. In his spare time he is an avid golfer, movie fanatic and habitual traveler to St. Simons Island with his wife “just to get away”. The moniker ImYourHuckleberry arose from his favorite movie, Tombstone, and character Doc Holiday’s famous line, “I’m Your Huckleberry”. Matthew was never one to shy away from a confrontation or debate, thus the nickname instantly stuck.

15 responses on “Huck’s Recruiting Thoughts and Reflections

  1. Frankly

    Regarding “locking down” the state, are we counting some recruiting chickens before they’ve even committed ( much less signed).

  2. Frankly

    IYH_BI PTCDawg I agree that Godwin and Robertson have the highest ceiling but it still too early to make a definitive statement and some the other receivers from this state have a chance to develop into elite receivers  (Simmons and Slayton). I was never overly impressed with Davis.

  3. IYH_BI

    DawgDaddy It is amazing what Coach Smart is doing to lock down the borders.  I will admit I was someone who didn’t think it was possible.

  4. IYH_BI

    DawgByte You make good points.  We need depth badly at ILB so it would be ideal to add McBride and Walter Grant at minimum.

  5. IYH_BI


    On WR recruiting I think the issue is two-fold.  First and foremost, the state of Georgia has not been producing too many elite WR’s lately.  In my opinion the Top 2 WR’s produced in the state of Georgia the last three years have been Terry Godwin and Demetris Robertson.  I don’t come close to calling Robertson a miss because he was NEVER going to come to UGA.  (On a side note, watch out for Ridley, I strongly believe this kid is going to be special). I think Jeremiah Holloman has the best chance to be a top flight receiver in the Class of 2017 in the state of Georgia yet he is not one of the state’s Top 20 players according to 247Sports.  If Georgia is going to get another top receiver it is likely going to come from an out of state prospect.  I don’t think a commitment like that will come until it is shown on the field that we are going to pass the ball consistently and stretch the field vertically.  I think if under Chaney we become a more proficient and prolific passing offense we will see some kids from outside the state that are elite putting the Bulldogs high on their board.  Especially if the QB room includes Eason, Fromm & Lawrence.

    I agree with you 100% on the DB class.  If the Bulldogs can land that group it would be incredible.  Smart and Tucker are doing a ridiculously good job back there.

  6. PTCDawg

    Greg Poole PTCDawg  Maybe. But that uncertainty hasn’t kept us from getting some major talent at other positions. Just seems weird to me that, given our QB situation, WR appears to me to be our weakest recruiting position. I am hoping maybe Nico Collins is the guy that starts the WR trend in our direction.

  7. Greg Poole


    We have not gone through a signing day with “Eason in the house and Fromm on the porch.” I’m excluding last February because of the coaching change and the inherent uncertainty it caused.  Top notch QBs attract top notch receivers – UGA is no exception.
    It is still a long haul until NSD.

  8. PTCDawg

    Thanks Huck. Always look forward to your articles. Two comments.
    You mention the WRs that want to come play with our talented QBs. Where are they? For some reason we have struggled with WRs even with Eason in the house and Fromm on the porch. Maybe adding Lawrence will unleash the flow of the top WRs. But in the past two classes I would assess only Godwin and Woerner as being ‘elite’, and Godwin was an Ath and Woerner a TE. All the elite WRs we have lost to other programs and I see nothing this year to change that trend. The WR situation is truly weird imo.
    Second, you mention LeCounte but I think the entire DB situation is worth a headline. Agreed the change in the OL recruiting is the single most important factor in our future success but our potential signing class at DB is just stupid with talent. Lecounte and Poole seem solid, and we sit in great position with Gibbs and Terrell and have an excellent shot at Stevens. It could be a DB class as strong as any in history.

  9. DawgByte

    Excellent analysis, as usual. Where the staff is going to really earn its accolades in 2017 is on the defensive side. We’ve got some big holes to fill, particularly at ILB. We can offer Nate McBride instant PT, so we cannot afford to lose him to another program. I also want to see Rocker flip Aubrey Solomon. Again we can’t afford to lose out on Georgia’s top two DL in consecutive years. Beal and Bryant are also keys to this class.