On The Recruiting Trail: Early Signing Day Summary

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On The Recruiting Trail: Early Signing Day Summary

Brock Vandagriff
Brock Vandagriff

The early national signing period in college football has come and gone. Some of the biggest names in the class of 2021 have made known their intentions of where they will play college football, at least to start with, and have signed on the dotted line. The Georgia Bulldogs came away with the consensus 3rd ranked class to this point, having signed 20 talented prospects from all over the country, 16 of which intend enroll early. In the Kirby Smart era, Georgia has separated itself from the pack with their ability to create a family feel and player, and player family, friendly environment on official visits and big recruiting weekends. The Georgia staff did a fine job of adapting and overcoming this adversity and today we at Bulldawg Illustrated want to introduce you to the newest Georgia Bulldogs that you’ll be watching in Between the Hedges for years to come.

QB – BROCK VANDAGRIFF – 6-3, 205-pound – PRINCE AVENUE CHRISTIAN – BOGART, GA

College football rotates around the quarterback position. The most successful programs year in and year out are the ones that can consistently find “the guy”. Vandagriff certainly has the makings of being “the guy” in the future for the Georgia Bulldogs. Formerly committed to the Oklahoma Sooners, Vandagriff has been capturing the eye of college powerhouses for years. Georgia recruited Vandagriff hard from the get-go. Through the years, Kirby Smart and the rest of the world that follows recruiting have seen Vandagriff grow into a prototypical quarterback frame. Vandagriff has the arm strength to make every throw on the field, very accurately I might add, and he is a physical, dynamic runner when he chooses to be. 5-Star, Dual-Threat, intelligent, and a tough leader are all descriptors that fit Vandagriff. I believe he will be the successor to JT Daniels and a great Dawg during his time in Athens.

RB – LOVASEA CARROLL – 6-1, 190-pound – IMG ACADEMY – WARRENTON, GA

Nobody has produced a more successful collection of running backs into the NFL in the last 20 years than Georgia. Lovasea Carroll becomes the latest talented high school back to sign on with RBU. Carroll starred at Warren County High School before transferring to IMG Academy. Having been exposed to competition against the highest caliber of high school prospects at IMG, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Carroll, a versatile back, contribute early, especially if either James Cook or Zamir White, or both decide to go to the NFL.

WR – JACKSON MEEKS – 6-2, 205-pound – CENTRAL PHENIX – PHENIX CITY, AL

Plain and simple, Jackson Meeks is a deep threat and a playmaker. Meeks wants the ball in his hands. The receiver from the yellowhammer state was under-recruited somewhat entering his senior season after tearing his ACL as a sophomore and having a solid junior year, but not the one he wanted. His senior year started with a bang. Against Hoover High School, a perennial national powerhouse, Meeks racked up over 204 yards on 13 catches and 3 touchdowns. The offer from Georgia came the day after that performance. I see a lot of George Pickens in Jackson Meeks. He’s a big, fast receiver that can go up and get the ball and physically dominate opposing defensive backs.

WR – ADONAI MITCHELL – 6-3, 190-pound – CANE RIDGE – ANTIOCH, TN

The one word that comes to mind about Adonai, or AD, Mitchell is refined. Mitchell plays the game in a skillful, silky smooth way. He’s an adept route runner, effective in the screen game, and has the speed to make plays down the field. Mitchell was the first receiver Georgia signed in this class. He reminds me of former Bulldog great Malcolm Mitchell and while he and Meeks will both be entering into a stacked receiver room, Mitchell will eventually provide a reliable target for the Dawgs.

TE – BROCK BOWERS – 6-4, 225 – NAPA HIGH SCHOOL – NAPA, CA

Brock Bower makes his way to the Classic City from wine country out west. Bowers is a tremendous athlete. Bowers has played quarterback, running back, and linebacker in high school before developing into a 4-Star tight end. Todd Hartley once again is bringing aboard a physical mismatch for safeties and linebackers that should help to make the Georgia offense under Todd Monken even more dangerous. Bowers and Darnell Washington in two tight sets for the next 2 to 3 years is scary thought for the rest of college football.

OFFENSIVE LINE GROUP

AMARIUS MIMS – 6-7, 325-pound – BLECKLEY COUNTY – COCHRAN, GA

JARED WILSON – 6-4, 325-pound – WEST FORSYTH – CLEMMONS, NC

DYLAN FAIRCHILD – 6-5, 305-pound – WEST FORSYTH – CUMMING, GA

MICAH MORRIS – 6-4, 320-pound – CAMDEN COUNTY – KINGSLAND, GA

I’m writing about Georgia’s four offensive line signees in one collective paragraph, because that’s how the offensive line is supposed to work. A mass of humanity, working in beautiful cohesion and near unison to move the men lined up across from them. Georgia certainly got some of the biggest and most talented out there to do so. Amarius Mims is one of the most high profile recruits to ever sign with Georgia. He’s a massive human being and is freakishly athletic. Jared Wilson is a road grader and plays with a nasty streak about him. Dylan Fairchild is a multiple time state champion wrestler in the state of Georgia and you can see the nimbleness, the flexibility, and the suddenness that his wrestling background has afforded him when he is on the gridiron. Finally, Micah Morris is Mr. Consistency. Morris plays with great technique, is strong as an ox, and will be able to stabilize Georgia’s offensive line going forward by being able to play multiple positions at a high level. With Georgia’s current depth at the O-line, hopefully none of these guys have to play right away, but if one of them does line up against Clemson on September 4th, then rest assured they earned it and the supreme talent that Matt Luke sought out blossomed quickly.

DE – JONATHAN JEFFERSON – 6-4, 260-pound – DOUGLAS COUNTY – DOUGLASSVILLE, GA

One of the earliest commitments to Georgia in the 2021 class, Jefferson has been a consistent recruiter in his own right for the Dawgs. A talented in-state defensive end with a prototypical build, Jefferson will provide some much-needed depth with his versatility. Jefferson has the size to be able to slide inside on passing downs and rush the passer with cat like quickness. Also, he is plenty strong enough and uses his hands well enough to set the edge. Georgia has a lot of talent that will be exiting the program for the NFL up front defensively in the next year or two and Jefferson will provide stability up front for the Dawgs.

DT – TYRION INGRAM-DAWKINS – 6-5, 305 – GAFFNEY HIGH SCHOOL – GAFFNEY, SC

TID, as he is referred to, is one of the stars that shines and stands out the brightest in the class of 2021. The 4-Star interior defensive lineman has copious amounts of athleticism, especially for his size. A gifted basketball player for Gaffney, TID is nimble and versatile. His high school coaching staff took full advantage of his gifts, of course using him as a force on defense, but also, they lined him up at tight end and wildcat quarterback. Along with Xavian Sorey and Jamon Dumas-Johnson, I view TID as one of the signees for Georgia in this class that is the most ready to play early.

DT – MARLIN DEAN – 6-6,  265-pound – IMG ACADEMY – ELBERTON, GA

The home of the historic Granite Bowl has been kind to Georgia recently in terms of big-time prospects. Elberton is the home of Mecole Hardman and also one of Georgia’s newest signees in 2021, Marlin Dean. Dean is tall interior defensive lineman that is looking to improve himself and his game constantly. That is evident by his moving from Elbert County to IMG for his senior season. Like Lovasea Carroll and Xavian Sorey, Dean has spent this past season on a fast track to the college football lifestyle. The strength and conditioning program at Georgia will be big for Dean who will not be expected to play right away, but the ceiling for this 3-Star is far above that rating.

LB – CHAZ CHAMBLISS – 6-2,  245-pound – CARROLLTON HIGH SCHOOL – CARROLLTON, GA

Chaz Chambliss embodies everything that Kirby Smart is about and everything he tries to make the Georgia program about. Immensely talented and accomplished as a four-year starter at one of the premier programs in the state of Georgia, Chambliss is also soft spoken, self-aware, and tough as a pine knot. Chambliss’ physical development can put him a position to contribute early for Georgia on special teams and he’ll be a steady presence on the edge for the Dawgs for years to come.

LB – XAVIAN SOREY – 6-3, 215-pound – IMG ACADEMY – GRACEVILLE, FL

Outside of Mims and Vandagriff, Sorey is the biggest signee of the 2021 class for the Dawgs. A 5-Star athlete in every sense of the evaluation, Sorey is a game changer. Like Marlin Dean, Sorey left a small high school program to face stiff competition in practice and games at IMG. Sorey can play inside or outside linebacker at Georgia. He’ll certainly be competing for time early, but linebacker is a position at Georgia that takes time to grow into.

LB – SMAEL MONDON – 6-3, 220-pound – PAULDING COUNTY – DALLAS, GA

Everything I just typed about Sorey could nearly be copied and pasted here for Mondon. The one difference is that Mondon is a more natural athlete in my opinion and likely a bit faster. Mondon will be a sideline-to-sideline type player, think helping cover those wheel routes Florida burned Georgia with this season. Mondon isn’t the old school slobber-knocking linebacker, but in today’s game of spread offenses and tempo, he’s exactly the type of athlete needed to help solve matchup problems with tight ends and slot receivers.

LB – JAMON DUMAS-JOHNSON – 6-1, 235-poune – ST. FRANCES ACADEMY – BALTIMORE, MD

Jamon Dumas-Johnson is going to go down as both the steal and the unsung hero of the 2021 class for Georgia. From a winning program, Dumas-Johnson can be a rare three-down linebacker for Georgia and Glenn Schumann knew it. JDJ’s recruitment was incredibly quiet and Georgia surprised many by beating out Maryland and Florida for the commitment of the 4-Star linebacker. I view Dumas-Johnson as the most day one ready prospect that Georgia signed in this class.

CB – NYLAND GREEN – 6-2, 185-pound – NEWTON HIGH SCHOOL – COVINGTON, GA

The commitment of Green to Georgia really helped to solidify momentum for the Dawgs and was a good indicator that the class overall was going to finish strong. From the same hometown as Eric Stokes, Green has the potential to be an elite, lockdown corner in his own right. Possessing tremendous cover skills, ball skills, and vertical leaping ability, Green was a can’t-miss prospect for Charlton Warren and the Dawgs. Depending on if Tyson Campbell decides to join Eric Stokes and DJ Daniel in turning pro, Green could find himself in a position to have to play early for Georgia. The talent is there to do so for sure. Green has already joined the Dawgs and will gain valuable experience through Peach Bowl practices.

CB – KAMARI LASSITER – 6-0, 185-pound – AMERICAN CHRISTIAN ACADEMY – TUSCALOOSA, AL

Originally from the Savannah, Georgia, area, Lassiter and his mother moved to Tuscaloosa for his high school years, but Dan Lanning, Charlton Warren and company were able to bring him back home. Lassiter chose Georgia over Alabama, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Florida State and others. Lassiter told me in discussions throughout his recruitment that he loves playing physical, press man coverage. Seems like a perfect marriage with Lanning and Smart’s defensive scheme. Lassiter could contribute early in the return game on special teams.

CB/S – JAVON BULLARD – 6-0, 185-pound – BALDWIN HIGH SCHOOL – MILLEDGEVILLE, GA

Javon Bullard was in daily contact with Kirby Smart and the Georgia staff for quite a long time before his commitment. Auburn was a big threat to the Dawgs, but in the end Kirby Smart and company made Athens feel like home for Bullard. Hands down I believe Bullard is the most confident player in this class. Bullard believes that he can compete with and win versus anyone. He flies to the football and is as sure a tackler as I’ve seen in the secondary. I view Bullard as a player that could go between corner and safety for Georgia during his years in Athens.

S – DAVID DANIEL – 6-1, 180-pound – WOODSTOCK HIGH SCHOOL – WOODSTOCK, GA

I saved the Lead Dawg in the 2021 class for Georgia for last. A hard-hitting safety originally from the sunshine state that moved to Georgia to complete his high school career, David Daniel was the first to commit to UGA in this signing class all the way back in September of 2019. In David Daniel, Georgia is getting a talented player but even a better person. To be committed to a school for such a long time with no wavering whatsoever is rare in today’s time in college football recruiting and says a lot about Daniel’s character. The Under Armour All-American personally helped bridge the gap for Georgia coaches in recruiting other prospects with COVID restrictions in place. Daniel has already proven to be a damn good dawg and like Nyland Green, Daniel is already enrolled and will be practicing with Georgia in preparation for the Peach Bowl.

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