Looking good in Bulldog Red! 2014 Football Signees
From the Editor : Vance Leavy
Greetings to everyone in the Bulldog Nation. My, my, hasn’t 2014 been full of excitement for our beloved football team? January was marked with the arrival of new defensive coordinator, Jeremy Pruitt. I’ve now been around Pruitt twice and all I can say is, “stock up.” Without question, he has been influenced heavily from his time around the great, Nick Saban. From his belief that a great D starts on the backend and the way he thinks and delivers his answers, he very much so favors Saban. And of course, the first Wednesday in February brought about the culmination of years of hard work by the UGA coaching staff. And again, all I can say is, “stock up.” Like the UGA staff, our recruiting gurus here at BI, Carlton DeVooght, Murray Poole and Trent Smallwood have also been ultra busy. Beginning on the next page and all the way through page 35, you will find the incredible nuggets they have shared about Georgia’s 2014 Signees.
In this year’s recruiting issue, we are thrilled to be able to dedicate an entire page to each new signee. From national rankings, to what Carlton and Trent have to say about each player to highlight video, these interactive pages should provide a great snap shot of the future of Georgia football. And in my humble opinion, the future is looking great. Like in previous years, Murray Poole again sought out the parents of a half dozen of the new signees for a Q&A. And like always, the answers are priceless. From hearing a Dad say his son’s favorite play involved when he was de-cleated to hearing about all the nice things these young men do for their mothers, our Q&As show a human side to recruiting which is always refreshing. Also, don’t miss Trent’s stories at the back of the issue that key in on the great players in Georgia that unfortunately went else where. And there are fan photos from signing day back there as well. That’s going to do it or me, but like I said above, take the time to navigate every one of our pages. You can start now by clicking on the video link (above right) of the scene at Buffalo’s in Athens when Lorenzo Carter made his commitment to Georgia official. Spring football is right around the corner, but please keep up with all things UGA on our website every day. And like our cover reminds, the best way to always look good is to wear Georgia Bulldog red!
2014 University of Georgia Signees Issue Index Hunter Atkinson ............................................... 4
Rico Johnson ....................................................19
Kendall Baker ................................................... 5
Shaquille Johnson .........................................20
Detric Bing-Dukes ........................................... 6
Isaiah McKenzie ..............................................21
Bing-Dukes parent Q&A................................... 7
Sony Michel ......................................................22
Jeb Blazevich .................................................... 8
Jacob Park ........................................................23
Blazevich parent Q&A ..................................... 9
Malkom Parrish ...............................................24
Keyon Brown ....................................................10
Dominick Sanders .........................................25
Lorenzo Carter .................................................11
Dyshon Sims ....................................................26
Nick Chubb ........................................................12
Sims parent Q&A .............................................27
Chubb parent Q&A ..........................................13
Shakenneth Williams ...................................28
Jake Edwards ....................................................14
Isaish Wynn .....................................................29
Edwards parent Q&A ......................................15
Wynn parent Q&A ...........................................30
Shattle Fenteng ...............................................16
Offensive studs that got away .............31, 32
Lamont Gaillard ...............................................17
Defensive studs that got away ............33,34
Gilbert Johnson ...............................................18
Fan shots from Signing Day ........................35
Poole Shots - Chubb set to continue great tailback tradition By Murray Poole/BI
Before a game, I keep to myself," he said. "I'm very quiet and try to get my mind focused on what's about to happen, all that I have to do and what we have to do to win the game. Like I say, I keep to myself, stay in my locker and listen to music or something. I hardly ever say much."
It was Tuesday afternoon, the day before National Signing Day, 2014, but Cedartown High's record-smashing tailback, Nick Chubb, didn't have a lot of time to think about the fact he would be inking his national letter-of-intent with the Georgia Bulldogs on Wednesday. That's because Chubb was busy practicing with the Cedartown track and field team and, I do mean practicing. Get this, Chubb not only uses his sprinter speed to compete in the 100 and 200-meter dashes for his high school team − whose nickname is also Bulldogs − but he also competes in the 4x400 relay event, the long jump and the shot put. Count 'em, that's five events you'll see Nick Chubb's name in when Cedartown takes to the track this spring. "I like track," said Chubb. "It helps me keep my speed down and my weight up. I like the 100-meter and the long jump the best. I've run the 100 in 10.8. It is a big difference in running the football and running track," he noted. "In track you got to run relaxed and that's why I chose it because, in football, your body is tense when you're trying to run through people." And run through people on the football field is certainly what Nick Chubb has done these past four seasons. He's run around them, too. The 5-11 Chubb, who's now up to 221 pounds, is one of the most prolific ground gainers in the state of Georgia history. At Cedartown, he led the state in rushing as a junior, running for 2,721 yards and 38 touchdowns. Then, in his senior season this past fall, Chubb rushed for 2,690 yards and 41 touchdowns, averaging 244 yards per game and a gaudy 9.75 yards per carry. Chubb was a "Super 11" pick by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a first-team Class AAAA all-state selection and is rated a 5-star player and the No. 4 running back in America by 247Sports.com. Chubb played in the U.S. Army All-American game in San Antonio, Tex. in January. For his prep career, he totaled 6,983 yards rushing and tallied 102 touchdowns. At least, that's what is listed officially on his career statistics. "It's over 7,000," Chubb corrected. "A lot of these sites have 6,900 or something like that but it's over 7,000. We just had a lot of good guys blocking up front for me. That's where it all starts. They all take care of the linemen and linebackers for me and I kind of handle the DB's on my own, along with our wide receivers who are cracking the DB's also. It's all a team effort, but I have the speed and strength to add more onto it," said Chubb, who committed to the University of Georgia in June with his two primary recruiting coaches being offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and running backs coach Bryan McClendon.
Chubb is well aware of the history of "Tailback U" and the great tailbacks that have graced the Sanford Stadium turf down through the years. "Georgia always has a lot of very good backs," he related. "They've got four or five backs now that have played a lot and have a lot of experience. I look forward to learning from those guys and taking what they have and putting it into my craft and becoming a better back all around. I admire Todd Gurley and all the Georgia backs − they're all very good backs."
Nick Chubb's football career started in the first grade when he played in a flag football league. In the third grade was when he began regular, or contact, football. "Our team wasn't really that good, so I played quarterback. Basically, I kind of did everything." As he looks back over his four years of high school football, Chubb believes his best-ever run was only about a 30-yarder, when he broke five or six tackles near the line of scrimmage and then went on to score. "It was against Gilmer," he recalled. "One guy hit me behind the line and he kind of turned me around. I then went back the other way and I kept breaking tackles. I can't hardly remember, it happened so fast." But there was another run that Nick does remember. It came in his junior season when he took a handoff at Cedartown's own 1yard line and raced 99 yards for a touchdown. "It was a power right. I made one guy miss and it was on to the house," he said. "They were all stacked up, trying to get a safety I guess so when I busted it, there was no one else there."
And you must also know that Nick Chubb thinks he's a part of an excellent UGA recruiting class this year. "I think it's a very good class," Chubb said. "We have some very good prospects coming in. We got (Lorenzo) Carter (state's top prospect from Norcross) and, like I say, it's just a real good class. We're looking forward to winning a lot of games together and, hopefully, a championship." Chubb is looking forward to teaming with another All-America prep tailback who will arrive in Athens this summer, the also five-star Sony Michel. "Sony is a very good back," Chubb offered. "He's very quick and elusive and can get between tight holes and things like that." Chubb is also very confident in his own running abilities, whether it takes making defenders miss or running roughshod over them. "I can do both," he said. "Whatever comes at that particular time ... it happens and I can control it." Told that his mom, Lavelle Chubb, commented that her son will excel at Georgia because of his being so self-driven, having a very strong work ethic and wanting to be the best at everything he attempts, Nick laughed, "My mom's always right.
Chubb put up a number of 300-yard-plus rushing games in high school but he thinks his best overall game came in his senior season this past fall, against Ridgeland. "I gained about 200 that night but I was pretty much running through all of them," he said. "It was fun. It was tough yards because they had a pretty good defense."
"I love Georgia and the coaching staff," concluded Chubb. "They're a very good coaching staff. They do what I love − they run the ball downhill and that's what I'm all about. And we've got a new defensive coordinator, Coach (Jeremy) Pruitt, and his resume is perfect. I believe in all of them 100 percent and I'm looking forward to getting down there."
When he dons the red helmet, red jersey and silver pants of the Georgia Bulldogs, Chubb said he won't change his method of mentally preparing for a football game.
Safe to say, the Bulldawg Nation is also eagerly looking forward to Nick Chubb arriving at the University of Georgia.
Hunter Atkinson, tight end Oakwood, Georgia (West Hall) 6-5â€? 250 lbs.
BI recruiting guru Trent Smallwood says: Atkinson was a last minute steal for the Bulldogs on National Signing Day. At 6-6/250, Atkinson brings depth to a slim TE position. In the future, Atkinson could grow into a tackle. He has great feet, very athletic, and extremely long. Although he was not highly rated, I see Atkinson contributing early in his career whatever position he might end up playing.
BI recruiting guru Carlton DeVooght says: Hunter Atkinsonâ€™s commitment was another surprise for the Bulldogs. He is a hard working and hard-nosed tight end for West Hall High School. He is very athletic and was a steal for the Bulldogs. He will get a shot to provide much needed depth for the Bulldogs at tight end, but also has a frame like former Bulldog offensive line standout, Clint Bolling. I think he will stick at tight end. He has a good speed and soft hands which helped him catch 51 passes for 704 yards and 11 touchdowns his senior season. Atkinson is very nice pick up for the Bulldogs on signing day.
Kendall Baker, offensive tackle Atlanta, Georgia (Marist School) 6-6â€? 297 lbs.
Baker says: I can't wait to get up to Georgia. I'm looking forward to getting the opportunity to be a part of something so special and doing something that only one team at the end of college football can say they did holding that trophy up high and proud .
BI recruiting guru Trent Smallwood says: Baker spent most of his high school career on the defensive side of the ball, but he will make the transition to offensive tackle for the Bulldogs. Kendall is athletic and moves well for a big man, but contributing early will depend on how quickly he grasps the offensive line position.
BI recruiting guru Carlton DeVooght says: Kendall Baker was a talented defensive lineman who had a great senior season for Marist. He uses his big frame and long arms to disrupt passing lanes for opposing quarterbacks over the middle. Also, he has a very quick step, which allows him to get into the backfield before the opposing offensive lineman can even get into his stance. Coach Pruitt indicated on Signing Day that Baker will get his first looks at offensive tackle, which means the Bulldogs have two offensive tackleâ€™s in this class.
Detric Bing-Dukes, linebacker Atlanta, Georgia (Tucker) 6-0” 225 lbs 4.60 seconds, forty yard dash
Bing-Dukes says: I'm looking forward to becoming a part of an awesome community there in Athens, also bonding with my team and coaches. I'm also looking forward to becoming the best student, player, and person I could be. Most of all winning the SEC East and national championship.
BI recruiting guru Trent Smallwood says: It was Bing-Dukes who was clearly the best defensive player on the field when watching Tucker High. Even though Bing-Dukes isn’t a large linebacker, he brings the wood and hits heavy as I say. He’ll be a great inside linebacker for UGA and I believe one of the future leaders of his team.
BI recruiting guru Carlton DeVooght says: Detric Bing-Dukes is a hard-nosed football player who will line up at inside linebacker for the Bulldogs. He was the leader of the defense at Tucker High School last year and has been one of the more vocal recruiters in this class. Like Nick Chubb, Bing-Dukes was in Athens the final week for the final weekend of recruiting visits to help encourage a couple of fellow Georgia prospects to sign on with the Bulldogs. While he quietly goes about his business, I suspect that when all is said and done, Georgia fans will be pleasantly surprised at the impressive career Bing-Dukes has in Athens.
Question and Answer with Detric Bing-Dukesâ€™ mother, Toni In inside linebacker Detric Bing-Dukes, the Georgia Bulldogs signed a player who brings not only a great deal of talent to Athens but also, an unyielding work ethic to become the very best at his position. The 6-foot, 232-pound Dukes was a team leader for the Tucker Tigers the past three seasons when he earned first team Class AAAAA all-state honors and developed into one of the Deep South's finest linebackers. Dukes is a 4-star rated recruit who is ranked as high as the No. 14 inside linebacker in America. A ferocious hitter, Dukes helped lead Tucker all the way to the Class AAAAA state championship game this past season with the only loss in a 14-1 season being to Creekside High in the title game. Here, in this question-and-answer with Bulldawg Illustrated, Toni Bing Dukes and Demetrius Dukes provide the Bulldawg Nation with a special insight of their son:
In the end, why do you think Detric chose Georgia? (Toni) I think he chose Georgia, for one, it's closer to home. We're a real close-knit family and being at Georgia means he'll be closer to us and we'll be able see his games and be involved in everything he has going on at Georgia.
In your mind, what is the best play he made during his high school playing days? (Demetrius) It was quite a few. And rather than one single play, I think it was seeing him as a sophomore get a chance to play for a state championship in the Georgia Dome and contribute to that team as a sophomore. I think that was the proudest moment I've had as a parent.
Does he have any classic childhood stories worth noting? (Toni) When he was in the fifth grade and sung at his school talent show, the song was very emotional. It wasn't a sad song but was a heart-warming song. I know it was about family and love, something like that, and he did get through the song but the ending of the song, he started crying in front of everybody.
What is the nicest thing heâ€™s ever done for you? (Toni) Everything he does is nice for me. If I get sick or if I'm down or whatever, he and I always both tell each other that without God, we're nothing. Like before every game I text him that and if I find a new job or I'm going through something, he would always tell me, "Ma, you got to remember without God, you're nothing."
Parents names: Demetrius and Toni Bing-Dukes Siblingsâ€™ names and ages: Demetrius, Jr., 20; Dimeshia, 5. What Georgia coach did you have the most contact with during Detric's recruiting process and what did you like most about that coach? (Toni) It was Coach (Kirk) Olivadotti. I liked the fact he was straight forward. He was honest about what he saw in Detric and what he thought Detric could benefit from what Georgia had to offer. I just liked him as a person and thought he was a well-rounded individual.
Can you tell the Bulldog Nation a few unique things about him outside of football? (Toni) He likes to sing and loves to dance. We all are a very musically-inclined family. That's all we know is music, really.
What was his favorite TV show or TV character? (Toni) It was definitely Winnie the Pooh.
Finally, why do you think Detric will excel at Georgia? (Toni) I think Detric will excel at Georgia because he's a hard worker. He takes pride in finishing something that he starts. Especially when it comes to football, he thrives at being the best. I think just all-around his determination just to make it is why he will excel there.
Q&A compiled by Murray Poole/BI
Jeb Blazevich, tight end Charlotte, N.C. 6-5â€? 233 lbs.
Blazevich says: The thing I'm looking forward to most is the family aspect that Georgia brings. Playing there will give me a lifelong bond with these guys and a special side of the University that few get to experience.
BI recruiting guru Trent Smallwood says: Blazevich has the chance to be the next big time tight end for the Bulldogs. Jeb has great hands and can hurt you from the tight end position, or split out at the slot. He has great speed and will be a mismatch for opposing linebackers and safeties. If Jeb can add a little weight, he could be the number two tight end in 2014 behind Rome.
BI recruiting guru Carlton DeVooght says: Jeb Blazevich is the top ranked tight end in the country and one of the top ranked 100 (Ranked #79) overall players in the country. Blazevich has incredibly soft hands for the tight end and runs great routes for a high school star. He will need to add some bulk to help with blocking situations, but there is no doubt Blazevich will be a star Between the Hedges. Jeb could see the field early in 2014.
Question & Answer with Jeb Blazevich’s parents, Lisa and Jim When Georgia landed Jeb Blazevich on National Signing Day Wednesday, the Bulldogs were assured of keeping their tremendous tight end tradition alive and well. Blazevich, a 6-5, 233-pound product of Charlotte Christian High in Charlotte, N.C., is a four-star prospect who is rated the nation's No. 1 prep tight end by Rivals and is both an Under Armour and U.S. Army All-American. Also named a Top 300 All -American Blazevich, in his career at Charlotte Christian, recorded 104 catches for 1,520 yards and 16 touchdowns. This past season, he had 32 catches for 441 yards and five touchdowns while leading Charlotte Christian to a 13-0 record and a second consecutive state championship in North Carolina's Division I Independent School Division. Here, in this question-and-answer session with Bulldawg Illustrated, Lisa and Jim Blazevich give the Georgia fans a special insight into their son:
factor in him choosing Georgia more than anything else. Jeb takes his Christian faith very seriously and that's something we never question and I said, "Son, if that's where you want to go, who am I to argue with God?"
Parents names: Lisa and Jim Blazevich.
Can you tell the Bulldog Nation a few unique things about him outside of football? (Lisa) He's just real fun to be with. He really likes other people and I think people enjoy being around Jeb because they sense that about him. He very rarely meets people he doesn't like. When Jeb was in lower school his teacher had a parent conference with us and said, "You know, you really need to tell Jeb he needs to play with all of his classmates because they come to me and say, 'I want a turn playing with Jeb.' He's just always been like that, people just like him. And he's a really good dancer. (Jim) He just genuinely cares about people. Little kids come around him, he doesn't just blow them off. He'll take the time to talk with little kids and ask them some questions about themselves. He has a great way of taking the attention away from himself and putting it on other people and I think that's probably one of his greatest attributes.
Siblings’ names and ages: Davis, 23 (recent Clemson graduate); Parker, 21 (graduating from VMI in May). What Georgia coach did you have the most contact with during Jeb's recruiting process and what did you like most about that coach? (Lisa) Jeb chose Georgia because he just fell in love with Coach (John) Lilly, his position coach, and Athens. Coach Lilly is just a real personable, honest, easy-to-talk-to man. You could tell he was primarily interested in Jeb as a person and not just as a football player. He's the guy you feel like you've known your whole life when you first meet him. And he's just very natural, he wasn't trying to manipulate Jeb but was just honest and genuine. (Jim) Lisa went to Ole Miss and I played football at Northwestern so I'm a Big Ten guy. Jeb spent a lot of time down at Clemson because his brother went to school there and it was one of our final teams. But prior to this none of us really had any affiliation whatsoever with Georgia. In the end, why do you think Jeb chose Georgia? (Jim) To be honest, Lisa and I were actually in favor of another school but I said to Jeb, "You know, it really doesn't matter what your momma and I think, what really matters is where you want to go." He went down to Athens by himself and we told him to pray about it, and when he came back from Athens he told us, "You know, I had a real peace about being down there and I just feel like God is calling me to go to school at Georgia." And I think that peace he feels the Lord has given him is really the most critical
In your mind, what is the best play he made during his high school playing days? (Jim) In Jeb's junior year we were down to one of our big rivals, Country Day, by five and there was under a minute left to play and we were facing a fourth-and-21. Jeb was in triple coverage and the quarterback just heaved the ball into the end zone and Jeb just out jumped all the defenders and caught the ball and kind of stunned the opposing team, because they thought they were going to beat us. I'd say that was the best play in his whole high school career and Jeb would probably say that, too.
Does he have any classic childhood stories worth noting? (Lisa) Jeb's always been kind of big for his age and when you go to the fast-food restaurants and they have the ball pit and stuff, he outgrew those kind of things earlier than he should have. But because he was so large he wanted those little motorized kind of cars little kids can have and we finally got him this little jeep for Christmas. He sat in it and his little knees were all crunched up and it wouldn't go very far because he was heavier than it really should have been. So it was kind of disappointing for him because he didn't get as much out of it as he would have liked to. Another story that finally got solved this past Christmas was when he was younger he used to love wearing cowboy boots. You can go to Wal-Mart and get those little inexpensive children's cowboy boots, and we would give him those and he would outgrow pair after pair because his feet were so big. And he wanted another
pair of cowboy boots but he had outgrown the children's sizes and we were going to have to go and get him some real adult size cowboy boots. I said, "Honey, those are real expensive. Let's just wait until your feet stop growing and we'll get you a really good pair of boots." He was like, "I don't know." He was really young at the time, second or third grade. He told me he regretted not having a pair of cowboy boots his whole life so this Christmas we got him a really nice pair of cowboy boots. What was his favorite TV show or TV character? (Lisa) It was Sponge Bob. (Jim) When he was a little boy he liked Little Bear but now he's a grown boy so now he likes Sponge Bob. What is the nicest thing he’s ever done for you? (Lisa) The thing I appreciate about him the most in our relationship, Jeb really enjoys talking about really deep subjects with me. We can talk about theology and philosophy and things like that. I think that's the one thing he does for me, his other brothers do it as well, but Jeb just really cares what I think about important topics and that means a lot to me. Finally, why do you think Jeb will excel at Georgia? (Lisa) He's a really hard worker and works really hard at football. He's an intellectual athlete who studies the game. And I know he works really hard at school. He's got an excellent grade point average and I just think his work ethic will transfer to Georgia. We talked about his social skills but he's also very disciplined. A lot of boys go off to college and they throw that discipline out the window but Jeb won't do that, either on the football field or socially. He has a lot of wisdom to him and I think that will carry him pretty far at Georgia. (Jim) He likes challenges and I just think at the end of the day, Jeb is never satisfied with his performance, he's always looking to get better. We have a little motto around our house: "There's no such thing as perfection, just improvement." And I think Jeb lives that. And I would like to add this, the tight ends at Georgia, from Artie Lynch to Jay Rome to Jordan Davis, I have been so impressed with how they have embraced Jed. They compliment him on twitter and on-line and Jeb has just got the utmost respect for these guys and is just so looking forward to playing with them. I'm telling you, that's something I never experienced playing college football. That tight end group is something special.
Q&A compiled by Murray Poole/BI
Keyon Brown, linebacker Wauchula, Florida (Hardee Senior) 6-3â€? 235 lbs. 4.77 seconds, forty yard dash
Brown says: The coaches are great men, the environment is great and I feel very comfortable there and it reminds me of home.
BI recruiting guru Trent Smallwood says: If there is one player in this defensive class that could play from day one, it would be Keyon Brown. Brown is a dynamic pass rusher and can be used in various ways. He is extremely quick off the edge but also the strength to run through offensive linemen. Keyon will be a handful to stop very early in his career at UGA.
BI recruiting guru Carlton DeVooght says: Keyon Brown is currently ranked as the fifth best weak side defensive end in the country and this ranking is, in my opinion, too low. He had a great senior season, capped by a dominating performance in a post-season all-star game. Brown is relentless in his pursuit and wreaks havoc in the opponentâ€™s backfield. With this speed, he is able to disrupt the opposing offense before a play can develop. He has a bright future as a dominating pass rusher Between the Hedges.
Lorenzo Carter, defensive end Norcross, Georgia (Norcross) 6-5” 235 lbs. 4.54 seconds, forty yard dash
Carter says: This defense is going to be nasty, and I look forward to being a big part of it.
BI recruiting guru Trent Smallwood says: Carter was a big time get on NSD for the Bulldogs. There is not a player in this class with more upside than Lorenzo. At 6-5/235, Carter runs a sub 4.6 forty yard dash and is extremely long coming off the edge. If Carter can gain some strength, as well as, fine tool some technique, he could be an All-American early in his career for the Bulldogs.
BI recruiting guru Carlton DeVooght says: Lorenzo Carter is the best weak-side defensive end in the country. In Athens, he will likely line up at outside linebacker, where his freakish combination of size and speed will force opposing offensive coordinators to account for him on every play. At the Under Armor All-American Game, Carter was the honorable mention award winner for athletic achievement because of his ability in pursuit, where he ran down opposing running backs and other skill players from behind. He was one of those players that was a “must get” in this year’s class, and the Bulldog coaches delivered. His commitment on Signing Day was a huge signing day addition for the Bulldog class.
Nick Chubb, running back Cedartown, Georgia (Cedartown) 5-11â€? 217 lbs. 4.44 seconds, forty yard dash
BI recruiting guru Trent Smallwood says: Chubb has all the tools to come to Athens and contribute as a freshman. He is hard to bring down, has great burst in the hole, and has the breakaway speed to take it to the house when in the open field. If Nick can pick up the blocking techniques, he will see the field early in 2014.
BI recruiting guru Carlton DeVooght says: Nick Chubb is a powerful back with deceptive speed. At the Army All-American game, Chubb was the most dominant running back in practices all week long. Many recruiting experts discounted his gaudy stats from his senior year because he played in a lower high school category, but he showed just how dominant he can be when he lined up against the big boys from around the country. While Chubb prefers to run over people, he is fast enough to beat defenders to the edge. Also, he doesnâ€™t go down unless the opposing defense is able to gang-tackle him. He will form a dynamite tandem at running back with fellow commit Sony Michel. Chubb was also in Athens the final recruiting weekend to try to help convince a few other prized recruits to join this class.
Question and Answer with Nick Chubb’s mother, Lavelle With its great stable of running backs down through the decades, the University of Georgia has often been referred to as "Tailback U." From Charley Trippi to Herschel Walker to Todd Gurley, the Bulldogs have turned out ball carriers second to none and now, two more are on the way with the signing Wednesday of Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. Chubb, 5-11 and now up to 221 pounds, is one of the most prolific ground gainers in the state of Georgia history. At Cedartown High, he led the state in rushing as a junior, running for 2,721 yards and 38 touchdowns. Then, in his senior season this past fall, Chubb rushed for 2,690 yards and 41 touchdowns, averaging 244 yards per game and a gaudy 9.75 yards per carry. Chubb was a "Super 11" pick by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a first-team Class AAAA allstate selection and is rated a 5-star player and the No. 4 running back in America by 247Sports.com. Chubb played in the U.S. Army All-American game in San Antonio, Tex. in January. Here, in this questionand-answer session with Bulldawg Illustrated, Lavelle Chubb provides Georgia fans with an in-depth look at her son. Parents names: Lavelle and Henry Chubb. Siblings’ names and ages: Henry, II, 25; Zachery, 20; Neidra, 16. What Georgia coach did you have the most contact with during Nick's recruiting process and what did you like most about that coach? It was Coach (Bryan) McClendon. He seemed very genuine. He was always up front with us with information. Anything we wanted to ask we could ask and his answers, like I say, always seemed genuine and real.
In the end, why do you think Nick chose Georgia? I believe when he said he felt most comfortable there, that was his true answer because I had that same feeling when I started visiting there ... how the coaches make you feel and that they want the best for him. In your mind, what is the best play he made during his high school playing days? For me, I would say it was against Gilmer. He broke about five or six tackles on about a 30 or 40-yard run, if that. It really wasn't a very long run, it was a run that when it seemed he shouldn't have gotten out of it, he did. Can you tell the Bulldog Nation a few unique things about him outside of football? Nick likes listening to music. He likes to play video games. And he likes being at home with us, just watching TV. He doesn't like to be around a whole lot of different people, just his immediate family. He is very family oriented. And he has two very good friends on the football team who he's with right now (she was speaking on Jan. 30). He'd rather be snowed in with them than with us. Does he have any classic childhood stories worth noting? Nick is not easily persuaded about anything. I just remember we were in the car talking one day and he said, "I don't believe everything everybody tells me." And I said, "where did that come from?" And he said, "well, they say two plus two is four but you can't make me believe it. You gotta show me two plus two equals four." He was just learning to add and subtract at that point and was in the first grade. We were just riding in the car and he said it out of nowhere.
What was his favorite TV show or TV character? It was The Lion King and Jungle Book. We just got rid of that Lion King pillow case maybe about four or five years ago (laughing).
What is the nicest thing he’s ever done for you? Nick never forgets, he always does something for me. As a matter of fact, he's the only one who does something for me on any holiday. I don't remember what age he was, maybe he was like third or fourth grade, but he just came up with a nickname for me. He started calling me "Patty" and I said, "Why are you calling me Patty, are you saying I'm Fat Patty?" He said, "no, I just like that name for you." So he just called me Patty. He'll just come in the house sometime and I'm sleeping and he'll say, "Patty, I'm home." But he won't say it in front of other people.
Finally, why do you think Nick will excel at Georgia? Because Nick is self-driven. Nick wants to excel, not just in football but he wants to excel at everything he does. He just doesn't do it because the coaches say come and do it. He does it because he knows he needs to do it and he has to do it. And Nick always says, "practice is the most serious thing and you have fun in a game."
Q&A compiled by Murray Poole/BI
Jake Edwards, offensive line Frankin, Georgia (Heard County) 6-4” 290 lbs. 5.0 seconds, forty yard dash
BI recruiting guru Trent Smallwood says: I really like the position flexibility that Edwards brings to the table. I don’t like comparing players, but he reminds me a bit of Clint Boling in that aspect that he could really play any position along the line. His frame is good enough, he’s got great grit and motor, and he can move for a big guy. Basically he meets all of the check marks for me and I think he will contribute down the road at Georgia.
BI recruiting guru Carlton DeVooght says: Jake Edwards wanted an offer from Georgia, so he went to the Mark Richt Mini Camp, dominated, and earned the offer he and his entire family wanted. At the mini camp, Edwards weighed in at 282 pounds and ran a 5.0/40 yard dash, which is quick for an offensive lineman his size. Edwards has good leverage, and will likely start out on the interior offensive line for the Bulldogs. Edwards is a hard worker, a dyed in the wool Bulldog, and has a nasty streak between the lines that you love to see in your offensive linemen. While Edwards is the least heralded of the offensive linemen in this class, there is no doubt in my mind that he will have a solid career for the Bulldogs.
Question & Answer with Jake Edward’s parents, Krysti and Chris It goes without question that the Georgia Bulldogs can't have too many solid offensive linemen and with the signing of Jake Edwards on National Signing Day Wednesday, the UGA program has landed another talented O-lineman who should be opening many a hole for the Bulldog backs in the coming years. Edwards, a 6-4, 285-pound tackle who could be seeing action at both guard and tackle for Georgia, hails from Heard County High School in Franklin, Ga. Playing both ways in high school, the three-star rated Edwards was a unanimous Class AA first team all-state selection and played in both the Rising Seniors game prior to his senior season and the Offense vs. Defense All-American game in Orlando following his final year at Heard County. He was ranked as high as the No. 28 offensive guard nationally by one recruiting service and led his team to a 10-2 record this past season. In this question-and-answer with Bulldawg Illustrated, Jake's parents, Krysti and Chris Edwards, give Georgia fans an in-depth look at their son, who will be reporting to campus at the end of May. Parents names: Krysti and Chris Edwards. Siblings’ names and ages: Julia, 15; Ellie Kate, 4. What Georgia coach did you have the most contact with during Jake's recruiting process and what did you like most about that coach? (Krysti) It was Coach (John) Lilly and from my perspective what I liked the most about him was his honesty and integrity. He never told us anything he didn't stand by, he never told us anything to lead us on in any way. When he had an interest and when the time came, he was on it and he was forthright. He's just a good guy. Not just through the recruiting process earlier but I personally have come to really love him and his family, his wife (Cheryl) also. In the end, why do you think Jake chose Georgia? (Krysti) Well, there's no doubt he chose Georgia because we've always been a Dawg family and he's always been a Dawg. That's been his dream, to play football at Georgia. It's just kind of one of those things you dream on and you never really know if it's ever going to happen but praise God it came true for him. There was no question when that offer came as to whether or not he would accept it. Again, it was a dream come true. Not only that, but we were just so impressed with the coaching staff. There are great schools that we encountered all throughout the
recruiting process that had the flashy weight rooms and flashy facilities and everything else but the coaching staff, the comfort level we felt with them and the comfort level Jake felt with them, it felt like once he committed we became part of a family. And that's huge for us going forward over the next four years to know that Jake's not only becoming part of a team but part of a family. In your mind, what is the best play he made during his high school playing days? (Chris) Jake was a linemen so he just blocked. But there's one play that stands out in my mind. It wasn't high school but when he was in the seventh grade and played on the middle school team. You know, you gotta get your blinders knocked off before you start seeing the whole field. I had been telling him for years, just keep your head on the swivel, don't stop before the whistle blows. And he finally got his bell rung when we played Carrollton Middle School and I was actually cheering that he got decleated. Of course, there were only a few minutes left in the game and he came out of the game and he was all shook up. But from that point on he kind of had the blinders off and could realize (what football was all about). That wasn't really his best play but it was my most memorable one. It was a wakeup call for Jake. Can you tell the Bulldog Nation a few unique things about him outside of football? (Krysti) One thing that comes to mind is not really what he likes to do but a lot of folks find it unique. When we were getting ready to have him, prior to his birth, he was going to be Jacob Austin Edwards and I know this sounds kind of silly but Chris didn't really like having the name Jake come out of Jacob and anyway, long story short, we ultimately ended up at the last minute naming him after my father. And of course Chris' family is named Edwards but my father has the family name Knight. All the men in the family have that name so Jake's full name is actually an acronym. It's Jacob Austin Knight Edwards so his name is an acronym and it's spelled J-a-k-e. That's just something a lot of people find unique. But Jake is an outdoors guy, he loves to be outdoors. When he was younger, he loved to be in the woods building forts. He's always been a very active kid. He loves to duck hunt. Jake just loves to be with family and is just a very tender-hearted fellow. Even though he's nasty on the football field he's very family oriented and a lot of folks around here call him the gentle giant because he's so huge but he's got such a big heart.
Does he have any classic childhood stories worth noting? (Krysti) Again, it goes back to him being a very family-oriented kid. He spends time once a year, sometimes twice a year, going to the mountains with Chris' parents. And every time they would go to the mountains, Jake always wanted to do something special for me. He always wanted a tattoo. Even from the age of 3 and up he begged for a tattoo. And it was kind of funny, when he turned 18 and was committed to the Dogs, he finally got his "G" tattoo he had been talking about his whole life. The first thing he did after he got his tattoo, he had to go down and tell his momaw and papaw, his grandparents on Chris' side, about it. He could not wait to show them because he had wanted it for so long. His papaw immediately said, "that's not real, there's no way you got a real tattoo." And his momaw said, "Oh, I know it's real because he's wanted one ever since he was three." What was his favorite TV show or TV character? (Krysti) No doubt, it was Power Rangers. What is the nicest thing he’s ever done for you? (Krysti) Jake's done stuff for me all the time but it's not just one thing that he does but it's every day that he leaves this house or before he goes to bed he does not leave without giving me a hug and a kiss and that just melts my heart to this very day. He's so big and he looks like such a burly man but he doesn't leave this house for school or to go to a friend's house or go to bed without giving me the warmest hug and kiss and telling me how much he loves me. That's no doubt that's the nicest thing and the one thing I'll miss so much when he goes off to college. Finally, why do you think Jake will excel at Georgia? (Krysti) For me, it's a combination with the fact he's always wanted to go there and to play football there and further his education. That alone gives him enough drive to do well but that coupled with the fact he's embarking on an excellent institution as far as a degree goes. He's embarking upon an awesome coaching staff, the best coaching staff and one with integrity and honor. And we just believe all of that together is just an amazing opportunity and a blessed opportunity for us to send our child up there and know he's going to be well taken care of, he's going to be well educated. And as Coach Richt told Jake the day he committed, they're not just about building a football player but building a good man of character and a good Christian man out of him. And that just for me makes a momma's heart happy and all of that together, I know he will excel, there's no doubt.
Q&A compiled by Murray Poole/BI
Shattle Fenteng, cornerback Hutchinson, Kansas (Hutchinson C.C. 6-2â€? 200 lbs. 4.45 seconds, forty yard dash
Fenteng says: It feels great to finally be done with this process. Now I just got to focus on ending the semester good. My expectations are very high when arriving in Athens.
BI recruiting guru Trent Smallwood says: Coming out of Junior College, Fenteng looks SEC ready when coming to Georgia. At 6-2, Fenteng brings a long, physical presence to this cornerback unit. If Shattle can pick-up on the Pruitt defense quickly, it would not surprise me to see him starting game 1 when Clemson comes to Athens.
BI recruiting guru Carlton DeVooght says: Shattle Fenteng is coming back to his home state to play for the Bulldogs. Fenteng, who was the best cornerback prospect in all of Junior College last year, played his high school football at Grayson High School. He has blazing speed, and will get some looks on the return teams when he arrives in Athens. He will be joining former Junior College teammate Toby Johnson on the Bulldogsâ€™ defense in 2014. Fenteng will provide immediate help in the Bulldog secondary when he steps foot on campus.
Lamont Gaillard, defensive tackle Fayetteville, North Carolina (Pine Forest) 6-4â€? 312 lbs. 5.3 seconds, forty yard dash
BI recruiting guru Trent Smallwood says: During his junior season, there was not a better defensive line prospect in the country than Lamont Gaillard. Some added weight slowed him down a step in 2013, but if he can get in the weight room and get back to his 2012 playing weight, he is going to be a handful to block in Athens.
BI recruiting guru Carlton DeVooght says: Lamont Gaillard is a stout defensive tackle who can plug the middle and take on multiple offensive linemen. A participant in the Under Armor All-Star Game, Gilliard has shown flashes of being one of the best defensive tackles in the country. He needs to develop consistency, something that will be stressed by new defensive line Coach Tracy Rocker. I believe under Rockerâ€™s tutelage that Gilliard will develop into a star in the middle of the Bulldogs defensive line.
Gilbert Johnson, wide receiver Homestead, Florida (Homestead) 6-4â€? 190 lbs. 4.58 seconds, forty yard dash
BI recruiting guru Trent Smallwood says: Johnson brings another big bodied wide receiver to Athens. At 6-4 and great leaping ability, Johnson can be a big time deep threat for the Bulldogs early in his career. He is still raw in technique, but Johnson could contribute very early in his career if he can get a grasp on the playbook.
BI recruiting guru Carlton DeVooght says: Gilbert Johnson is a tall wide receiver whose background is in basketball. He uses his size and vertical leaping ability to win jump ball situations with opposing cornerbacks. Like Kendall Gant, Johnson committed to the Bulldogs after a very impressive performance at Dawg Night in July. He may benefit from a redshirt year, learning behind the current crop of Bulldog wide-outs, and then be ready to show out in 2015.
Rico Johnson, wide receiver Swainsboro, Georgia (Swainsboro) 6-0â€? 180 lbs. 4.31 seconds, forty yard dash
Johnson says: I am looking forward to playing with my big cousin Corey Moore.
BI recruiting guru Trent Smallwood says: Canâ€™t teach speed and Rico Johnson definitely has plenty of that. Johnson is still very raw in his route running and overall technique at the wide receiver position, but with a little work, Johnson can develop into a weapon on the offensive side of the ball for the Bulldogs.
BI recruiting guru Carlton DeVooght says: Rico Johnson initially committed to the Bulldogs to be a part of the 2013 class, but enrolled at the Atlanta Sports Academy this year. He ran a blistering 4.3/40 at the Mark Richt Mini-Camp in 2012, and has incredible speed on the field. While he could play on either side of the ball, it looks like he will start out at wide receiver and get a chance to help in the return game. He is electrifying with the ball in his hands.
Shaquille Jones, cornerback Palm Bay, Florida (Merritt Island) 6-2” 175 lbs. 4.51 seconds, forty yard dash
Jones says: It feels great to finally be done with this process. Now I just got to focus on ending the semester good. My expectations are very high when arriving in Athens .
BI recruiting guru Trent Smallwood says: Shaquille Jones was another late steal for the Bulldogs signing class. Like Fenteng, Jones is another long 6-2 corner that loves to play physical on the line of scrimmage. Jones has some technique issues work on with his hips and back pedal, but Jones will eventually be a contributor for the Bulldogs in this secondary.
BI recruiting guru Carlton DeVooght says: Shaquille Jones was a bit of the surprise commitment to the Bulldogs, but he is no stranger to new Bulldog defensive coaches Pruitt and Sherrer. Both coaches were recruiting Jones to their former schools, and both felt he would be a welcome addition to this years’ class for the Bulldogs. Jones can return punts, kickoffs, and interceptions for touchdowns. He is a legitimate 6’2”, dwarfing opposing receivers in his film. He also has long arms and a 37-inch vertical, which he uses to go up and win a jump ball every time with opposing receivers. With his long arms, speed and smooth hips, Jones will bring great athleticism to the Bulldogs defensive backfield. I also love that he flipped from Louisville to Georgia.
Isaiah McKenzie , athlete Palm Bay, Fla. (Merritt Island) 5-8” 175 lbs. 4.42 seconds, forty yard dash
BI recruiting guru Trent Smallwood says: They don’t call Isaiah McKenzie “Joystick” for no reason. The kid is electric with the ball in his hands whether it be receiving, rushing or on special teams. McKenzie was a steal for the Bulldogs and I feel he will contribute from day 1 as a kick/punt return specialist for Georgia.
BI recruiting guru Carlton DeVooght says: Isaiah McKenzie is a human highlight film. In the final Rivals rankings, McKenzie rose 19 spots and earned a 4-star rating as a Wide-Receiver and return man. McKenzie is teammates with fellow Bulldog commit Sony Michel, and is every bit the playmaker Michel is. Nicknamed “Joystick”, his moves on the football field resemble a video game. He was explosive at the Under Armor Game and during practices, able to reach top speeds immediately. McKenzie is also exceptional in the return game. He is a threat to take any punt or kickoff back for a touchdown, and will challenge for a spot as a return man on both of those teams once he arrives in Athens. McKenzie is a great addition in an area that was in much need for the Bulldogs last year.
Sony Michel, running back Plantation, Florida (American Heritage) 5-11” 205 lbs. 4.42 seconds, forty yard dash
BI recruiting guru Trent Smallwood says: Michel is one of the most elusive backs to come to Georgia in quiet sometime. He can cut on a dime, but also has the ability to run for power between the tackles. Outside of his running ability, Michel also has the ability to be a serious threat catching the ball out of the backfield. Like Chubb, Sony will play early in 2014.
BI recruiting guru Carlton DeVooght says: Sony Michel highlights a class full of outstanding playmakers. Michel is ranked as one of the top three running backs in the country and will form a very talented tandem at running back with fellow commit Nick Chubb. People recognize that Michel is very elusive, but very few people recognize that he also runs with power. He gained a number of yards between the tackles his senior season and never shied away from contact. At the US Army All-American Game, Michel won the “Lighting in a Bottle” award for being the most dynamic and exciting player during the week. He is a legitimate homerun threat every time he touches the ball.
Jacob Park, quarterback Goose Creek, South Carolina (Stratford) 6-4â€? 210 lbs. 4.69 seconds, forty yard dash
BI recruiting guru Trent Smallwood says: Park is the most athletic QB Mark Richt has had at Georgia other than D.J. Shockley. Jacob can kill you with his legs, but he has also developed very well as a passer. Park will need a redshirt year to add some weight and work on his overall passing technique, but the ceiling for him is out the roof for the future.
BI recruiting guru Carlton DeVooght says: Jacob Park came on strong his senior season as one of the best Pro-Style quarterbacks in the country. Park has all the tools to be the next great quarterback in Athens. He will benefit greatly from working with Coach Mark Richt and Coach Mike Bobo on his mechanics. At times, Park looked like the best quarterback in the country, but struggled this post season in two All-Star games when the protection broke down around him. Bobo and Richt will work with Park to help him get the ball out quicker and settle his footwork. Then the sky is the limit for this young signal caller.
Malkom Parrish, cornerback Quitman, Georgia (Brooks County) 5-11” 190 lbs”
BI recruiting guru Trent Smallwood says: Most people believe Parrish is a corner because of his size, but his game resembles more of a safety. He makes great reads from the backend and is not afraid to come up and hit you in run support. Parrish has outstanding speed to get sideline to sideline and he has outstanding ball skills when the ball is in the air. I see Parrish playing early and often in 2014.
BI recruiting guru Carlton DeVooght says: Malkom Parrish is my favorite player in this class. He overcame the tragedy of losing three of his teammates prior to the beginning of this season, and turned in a dominating performance for Brooks County High School. At the US Army All American Game, Parrish was honorable mention for the “lunch pail” award for the hard work he did on the field. Parrish has the speed and toughness to play both pass and run defenses equally well. He was also ranked as one of the top ten players on the East squad at the Army All-Star Game. Parrish is a leader and many recruiting experts believe he will be one of the first Bulldog freshmen to see the field this coming fall.
Dominick Sanders, cornerback Tucker, Georgia (Tucker) 6'0â€? 185 lbsâ€?
BI recruiting guru Trent Smallwood says: Sanders played a little corner, a little slot back, a little receiver, a little safety and a little returner. Georgia looks to play him at corner when he arrives in Athens. He is immensely talented and has terrific football/playmaker instincts. He needs some polish, but UGA stole one in the 11th hour.
BI recruiting guru Carlton DeVooght says: Dominick Sanders is the younger brother of former Bulldog, Chris Sanders. Originally committed to UCF, Sanders switched to the Bulldogs after meeting with new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. Sanders is fast and athletic, and could play on either side of the ball. He will start out on defense in the secondary, under the close eye of coach Pruitt. Sanders was teammates with fellow signee Detric Bing-Dukes at Tucker.
Dyshon Sims, offensive tackle Valdosta, Georgia (Lowndes) 6-5” 282 lbs.
Sims says: I
just feel like that I made the best decision with going to Georgia and I can't wait to get up there and work hard and hopefully have the opportunity to see some playing time as a freshman.
BI recruiting guru Trent Smallwood says: Sims might not have the height of your typical bookend tackle, but he has everything else. He’s got great length that makes up for his “lack of height” and more athleticism than just about anyone in the state. He is a terrific run blocker and plays with a fire in his belly. I don’t think it’s out of the question that he starts against Clemson, but he would have to be a natural at pass blocking which in my best guess will take longer than a summer to develop.
BI recruiting guru Carlton DeVooght says: Dyshon Sims has all the tools to be a dominating offensive tackle for the Bulldogs. Sims was a bit of a sleeper prospect, but the Bulldogs were able to get in early on his recruitment. Sims’ recruitment exploded the summer before his senior season began, garnering offers from all over the Southeast, but he decided to be a Bulldog. While he has the versatility to play all five positions, he is best suited to play offensive tackle. He could play either right or left tackle, depending on the needs in Athens.
Question & Answer with Dyshon Sims’ mother, Demika Williams The state of Georgia's top offensive lineman became a Bulldog on National Signing Day, when Lowndes tackle Dyshon Sims signed a letter-of-intent with UGA. The 6-5, 280-pound Sims is a four-star rated prospect who played at Lowndes his senior season after performing for the rival Valdosta Wildcats in his first years of high school. One of the most athletic offensive linemen in the country, Sims is ranked as high as the No. 17 prep O-lineman nationally by one recruiting service and in addition to being named All-Southeast Region and to the Class AAAAAA all-state team, he was named a U.S. Army All-American, playing in the all-star game in San Antonio, Tex. Here, in this question-and-answer session with Bulldawg Illustrated, Demika Williams provides Georgia fans with an in-depth look at her son. Parent names: Demika Williams.
Siblings’ names and ages: Aiyana, 10.
What Georgia coach did you have the most contact with during Dyshon's recruiting process and what did you like most about that coach? It was coach Mike Bobo and coach Will Friend. I liked the fact that they were just genuine and down to earth and very helpful with anything I had questions about, such as Dyshon getting the best education when he gets to Georgia. They were just real good help in getting him where he needs to be.
In the end, why do you think Dyshon chose Georgia? Well, he was already a Georgia fan beforehand and his cousin, Josh Harvey-Clemons, is actually a player at Georgia right now. He's had a lot of contact with Dyshon through visits there and as far as him going there Josh basically told Dyshon once you go and you actually visit it's a home feeling and the people there actually really make you feel welcome. In your mind, what is the best play he made during his high school playing days? I couldn't say just one play but I would say his best game was against Brunswick on the road. He had a lot of blocks and really put his heart into that game. He had a lot of interaction on the radio after that game and right after that, he made player of the week. So that was a good game for him. Can you tell the Bulldog Nation a few unique things about him outside of football? Off the field, Dyshon basically likes to stay home a lot. He's very family-oriented. He doesn't really go out a lot. If he's out, he's hanging with family and close friends, friends he plays with on the Lowndes football team. Dyshon is a people person. If he's not home or playing games, he does like to be around them. Does he have any classic childhood stories worth noting? The only thing I can remember that was pretty funny, he's always been a big eater. And one time, I got us a pizza, it was just me and him. And he made sure I went to sleep early and when I woke up, the whole thing was gone. He was five years old at the time. And ever since then, he's pretty much been an eater. He does not waste food, whatsoever.
What was his favorite TV show or TV character? He loved to watch Power Rangers and definitely X-Men.
What is the nicest thing he’s ever done for you? Recently, on a night I was sick and didn't get to make it to work on time, he actually took care of everything in the house for me. When I woke up he had done the dishes and made sure breakfast was made and was ready for school the next morning. It was right after this past Christmas actually and he had gotten some Christmas money and I didn't make it to the bank on time to get lunch money for work the next day. And when I woke up, he had 10 dollars sitting on the table for me. He said, "Here momma, I know you didn't make it to get money for lunch but I'm giving you 10 of my money for lunch." And I thought that was very sweet.
Finally, why do you think Dyshon will excel at Georgia? I think Dyshon will do good because he's self-driven already. It's already instilled in him to want to achieve and prosper at Georgia. And I think with the help and the support team he will have there, there's no reason that he won't excel at what he's trying to do when he gets there. I definitely think Georgia has Dyshon set up for success, not for failure.
Q&A compiled by Murray Poole/BI
Shakenneth Williams, receiver Macon, Georgia (Rutland) 6-2â€? 195 lbs. 4.45 seconds, forty yard dash
BI recruiting guru Trent Smallwood says: Williams is one of the more raw receivers in the state, but when you are looking at physical attributes, there are few that you would take above him. Heâ€™s got the speed to get over the top and the sheer power to dominate smaller corners on the outside. It might take Williams a little longer to develop in college, but he could grow into a nice receiver for Georgia down the road.
BI recruiting guru Carlton DeVooght says: Shakenneth Williams is a big physical wide receiver who has deceptive speed and very soft hands. Williams was one of the best pass catchers in the state of Georgia this past year. He was the first commitment at Dawg Night, and helped encourage Kendall Gant and Dyson Sims to join him. Williams is the type of receiver that a cornerback has to pay attention to the entire game. If that cornerback blinks for a second, Williams will be behind him running for a touchdown.
Isaiah Wynn, offensive guard Saint Petersburg, Florida (Lakewood) 6'2” 275 lbs. 5.10 seconds, forty yard dash
Wynn says: Every athlete in Florida wants to go to a Florida school. That’s typical. I like setting my own path and being different. Plus UGA, the coaching staff, the fans and people make Athens a real comfortable place to spend my collegiate career at. Not to mention how well they develop their players into men.
BI recruiting guru Trent Smallwood says: Wynn is one of the most “college ready” players in this class. He has great feet and is a punishing run blocker. He has a nasty streak and finishes blocks as well as any offensive guard in the 2014 class. If Isaiah picks up the playbook quickly, he will compete for a spot from day one.
BI recruiting guru Carlton DeVooght says: Isaiah Wynn is a dominating interior offensive lineman. While he is very athletic, he prefers to physically dominate the opponents across the line from him. Wynn has great footwork and flexibility and doesn’t stop blocking until the whistle is blown. This often leads to opponents being driven 15 or more yards down the field. He was the best offensive lineman on the East squad at the Army All-American Game. Look for Wynn to see the field early on the interior of the Bulldogs offensive line.
Q&A with Isaiah Wynn’s mother, Beulah Johnson-Keels When Isaiah Wynn of St. Petersburg, Fla. signed his national letter-of-intent with Georgia on National Signing Day, the Bulldogs unquestionably landed one of the nation's very top offensive linemen. The 6-2, 273-pound Wynn starred the past four seasons at Lakewood High, where he earned All-Sun Coast First Team, Class AAAAA all-state and All-America honors. A four-star recruit ranked as the nation's No. 6 offensive guard by Rivals, Wynn was selected as the U.S. Army 2014 offensive MVP at the BCP combine and was one of the top performers in the U.S. Army All-America Bowl in January in San Antonio, Tex. Wynn's extremely long arms and "terrific" feet enabled him to move 300-pound-plus defensive linemen. And his blocking this past season helped pave the way for Lakewood to rush for 2,371 yards. Here, in this question-and-answer session with Bulldawg Illustrated Isaiah's mom, Beulah Johnson-Keels, provides UGA fans with a personal insight into her son: Parents names: Beulah Johnson-Keels and Otis Keels Siblings’ names and ages: Illeana Wynn, 26; Aram Wynn, 22; Roddrick, 4 (nephew). What Georgia coach did you have the most contact with during Isaiah's recruiting process and what did you like most about that coach? It was Coach (Bryan) McClendon and just his straight forwardness about the program was what we liked. He's very approachable. In the end, why do you think Isaiah chose Georgia? Both for the academics and the athletic program there. Academics are very important to our family. I have a doctorate degree in education and his step-father is also working on his doctorate degree.
And we know that Isaiah loves football but we wanted to make sure he would be at a place that would also give consideration to his academics as well. And we felt real comfortable that Georgia would provide that for him. In your mind, what is the best play he made during his high school playing days? Well, I think with his performance overall it's hard to pick one play or one particular game. None really stands out in my mind because he's such a tenacious athlete and he's known for just finishing plays to the whistle. He'll drive a player all the way back until the whistle blows. Can you tell the Bulldog Nation a few unique things about him outside of football? Off the field, Isaiah is pretty laid back. He has a great sense of humor and really loves his family and has a good group of friends. He values the relationships and of course like most kids his age he's a gamer ... the X-Box or PS 2, whatever his latest game station is. Does he have any classic childhood stories worth noting? There was one in particular when he was in pre-K. Sometimes he didn't like to be dropped off at school. So the owner of the pre-K, her husband was a police officer. His name was Officer Don. So when Isaiah didn't want to go into school I'd have the owner call and tell him that she was going to call Officer Don, and then he'd go in the classroom and end up having a great day. But he was a little apprehensive about attending pre-K. And really, what is unique about Isaiah's skill is that he played only one year of pee wee football, actually he played maybe just two games because of an ankle injury. He was real disappointed so the next season he was like, "Mom, you gonna sign me up?" And when I took him to sign up, he was so
disappointed because he had weighed out − he was too big to play with the kids his age so he wrestled for like one year in middle school just to have something to do. And then later his older brother Aram was playing football and started taking Isaiah to practice with him and by the time Isaiah got to high school, he started varsity his first year. That's why I say he's come a long way. Even starting in ninth grade he was kind of overwhelmed about football and really wanted to quit. And he talked to his coach and the coach was like, "Well, go home and think about it because I think you really have a lot of skills and would be throwing a career away but I understand." And I told him it didn't matter to me either because my focus was that he did well academically. Football was extra-curricular but, you know, everything turned out well and it's been the best thing for him. What was his favorite TV show or TV character? Probably Ed, Edd and Eddie, a cartoon. What is the nicest thing he’s ever done for you? I guess the biggest thing for me was when he was presented his Army All-American jersey at his high school and we had a photo opportunity, and Isaiah just leaned in and gave me a big kiss on my cheek unexpectedly and the photographer got that photo. That really summed it up that Isaiah really appreciated all the sacrifices we've made for him to get where he is today. Finally, why do you think Isaiah will excel at UGA? Because he's dedicated, highly organized and tenacious and he has a quest for always improving. He's really his own worst critic. He's hard on himself and it pushes himself to do better, both on the field and off the field.
Q&A compiled by Murray Poole/BI
Top offensive in-state talent that left the state of Georgia By Trent Smallwood/BI
Quarterback Deshaun Watson (Clemson)- Gainesville High School Watson graduated as the most statistically prolific quarterback in the history of high school football in the great state of Georgia. It would be blasphemous if he was not pulling the trigger for the 2014 All Georgia team. I had the pleasure of watching Watson play live multiple times and he was one of the most complete Quarterbacks I have seen. He had amazing control of the offense, could make a ton of throws, and if it came to it he could pull it down and hurt the defense with his legs. He will likely be the starter at Clemson sooner than later. Stephen Collier (Ohio State)- Lee County High School I thought there were a couple of choices here, but I really liked Collier’s game and as much as I dislike Ohio State, his game will fit in nicely with their style of play. He’s got that south Georgia toughness, but he’s also a freak of an athlete and will be dynamic in their running game in the coming years. He’s got raw arm talent to work with and a great work ethic to back it all up. I wish him all the best as he heads north, just not his team.
Running back Adam Choice (Clemson)- Thomas County Central At one time I said Choice was a top 5 player in the state and I might have been slightly optimistic. I still would absolutely take him on my team at the end of the day. It looks like he bulked up to prepare for college in his senior season, but his balance and elusiveness remained. Just be glad that Georgia Tech was not able to convince him to be their quarterback because he could have been a problem in that system. He might not be that elite burner that you’re used to seeing in the Clemson backfield, but he will be a complete 3 down back for them.
Treyvon Paulk (Tennessee)- Milton High School Unfortunately, Paulk was robbed of his senior season due to injury. I hope he is able to recover and return to form because he is a pleasure to watch run and will provide a homerun dynamic for Tennessee. He might have been the straight line fastest running back in the state before the injury, but also runs so low to the ground that he’s hard to see behind a big line and can pick up consistent yardage between the tackles. Rodney Smith (Minnesota)- Mundy’s Mill High School - For those that have been around for a while, you know I have been pushing this kid for a while. He missed a lot of his junior season because of injury, but was able to bracket that year with some impressive film. He started picking up some BCS offers late in the process thanks to the trickledown effect of Dalvin Cook leaving Florida (thank you Dalvin). I fully expect Smith to go up to Minnesota and have a great career in the Big 10, one to remember.
Wide Receiver Nate Brown (Missouri)- North Gwinnett High School- To start off, this wide receiver class might be the deepest position in the state. I’ve said in the past there are at least 10 kids I would be comfortable with UGA signing at this position, but of course we couldn’t take all of them. However, I really would have liked to have Brown if I could have chosen one. He is extremely smooth in his routes at 6’3 and 215 pounds, but the thing that separates him from the rest is his ability to track the ball and high point it with strong hands down the field. He is likely the best possession receiver in the state and can pluck the ball out of the air with the best of them.
Rashad Canty (Vanderbilt)- Riverdale High SchoolSome people think Canty grows into a tight end and it wouldn’t shock me, but for now I’ll classify him as a receiver. At 6’4 and 215 pounds he’s one of the most physically dominant receivers in the state. Then you add in his athleticism and he is going to be a tough mismatch wherever he plays in college. Vanderbilt really stole one in the 11th hour here. Demarre Kitt (Clemson)- Sandy Creek High SchoolKitt does not compare physically to the first two receivers on the first team, but what makes him great is his smoothness. He is probably the best route runner in the state and is going to be tough to cover for any young corner. He also has a great pair of hands and can secure the football if the quarterback can get it to him. TL Ford (Charlotte)- Cartersville High School- Ford is a very pretty looking receiver. He is long, he is lean, he has big hands to pluck the ball out of the air. He is a gigantic safety net wherever he is on the field and will go get the ball for his quarterback. I’ll just take the opportunity here to state that UNC-Charlotte are quickly building a very respectable football program. If there are any Charlotte Dawgs reading, it will be worth going to watch them play as they will be a competitive mid major sooner rather than later. Tevish Clark (Georgia State)- Early College at Carver- This one was tough for me, am I really going to put a kid who will likely end up at Georgia State over one who was at one time committed to Georgia? Yes, I am. Go watch his highlight tape, then you can tell me I’m wrong. Clark as far as high pointing the football in jump ball situations is the best in the state. Other parts of his game need some fine tuning, but he has mastered the hardest skill to teach for a receiver of tracking and adjusting to the football.
Top offensive in-state talent that left the state of Georgia By Trent Smallwood/BI
Offensive Line Andrew Marshall (Georgia Tech)- West Forsyth High School- This one hurts me deep down inside. I fully believe that Marshall is the best lineman in the state and he is going to the Trade School on North Avenue. I can’t fault him on the decision, I just hope for his sake they have a head coaching change in the near future because I fully believe he could be an NFL player if he has experience in a non-flexbone based offense. I expect him to start at Tech for at least 3 years once he gets settled in there.
Owen Painter (Appalachian State)- Grayson High School- The thing I like about Painter is the violence in his game. You can tell he plans to execute his block first and foremost, but he also plans to try and put someone on their back. At 6’5 and 260 pounds, he could play tackle down the line if he gets the footwork down in pass pro, but he has the demeanor, size and athleticsm you want to see in a guard if that doesn’t work out.
Jake Sanders (Duke)- Carrollton High School- If this were an “All Goon Team” Sanders would probably be a captain. He is a big, tough, and mean offensive lineman. Unfortunately, I’ve also seen him get abused in pass protection, but that was outside of his natural position of guard and in a camp scenario so I don’t give it a whole lot of thought. Bottom line is Duke is getting a nice combo of big, tough, and athletic lineman out of Georgia this year.
Terrone Prescod (NC State)- Columbia High School- If I’m taking a guard out of the state this year, it’s probably going to be Prescod. I think he got a bit too heavy as a senior, but once he gets on a true strenghth and conditioning regiment he will find that athleticism that he displayed when he was the best lineman at the 2012 Rising Seniors Game. His reasoning for going to NC State was that he felt he could go there and start immediately then leave for the NFL in three years. Most players I would scoff at that reasoning, but it wouldn’t shock me in Prescod’s case.
Orlando Brown (Oklahoma)- Peachtree Ridge High School- I was a big time detractor of Brown for a long time. He was massively overweight, showed little dedication to the game, and was near stagnant on the football field. For about a year now, he has really gotten into much better football shape and has focused more on technique than he had previously shown. He is still not the dominating force that you would expect at 6’8 and 340 pounds, but his stock is trending upwards.
Justin Brown (UAB)- Lovejoy High SchoolBrown has a great deal of just raw, untapped power. He’s got that big butt, big thighs, and a nice gut to boot. Once he gets into a college weight program he could really flourish and become one of the better linemen to come out of this class. He’ll never be a tackle, but I wouldn’t mind running behind him either.
Christian Harris (Duke)- Collins Hill High School- I always though Harris would be a Wyatt Miller (UCF)- Coffee County High nice project to throw a scholarship for a 4thSchool- I hate to say it, but Georgia should 5th offensive line spot. He is extremely raw have offered this kid. He’s got the frame and in his technique, but he has all of the physical loose athletic ability that you just don’t see and mental attributes you want to see for a from players who are 6’6 and 275 pounds. potential Offensive Tackle. He’ll need a couHe’s got future left tackle written all over him. ple of years of grooming and work on cleaning out some of his footwork, but he should turn Central Florida straight up stole this one. into something down the road.
Top defensive in-state talent that left the state of Georgia By Trent Smallwood/BI
Andrew Williams (Auburn)- Eagles Landing Christian Academy- Williams is one of the most physically dominant players in the state. Why Georgia never went hard after him, I’ll never know. He is big and strong and extremely quick for a player his size. He’s going to continue growing and could fit into a number of defensive positions, but I feel fairly confident saying that he is going to be a player on Sundays down the road.
Dontavious Russell (Auburn)- Carrollton High School- Of all the guys that decommitted from UGA at one time or another in this class, I think this one hurt me the most. I’ve always considered Russell the best defensive tackle in the state and it stings to see Auburn take another one right from under us. He’s an amazing athlete for his size and should be quite the player for them down the road.
Dante Sawyer (South Carolina)- North Gwinnett High School- I could argue that based off of sheer production Sawyer was one of the 5-10 best players in the state. He has a tremendous motor, plays with great technique and shows up in big games. The knock on Sawyer of course is that he is closer to tapping out physically than a lot of high school players. Regardless he will likely be a thorn in our side playing for South Carolina in the future.
Jamiyus Pittman (UCF)- Colquitt County High School- I really love Pittman’s game. He might not be the biggest dude in the trenches (6’2, 280) but his game compares to my favorite UGA defensive lineman of the past year, Garrison Smith. He’s got those wide shoulders, but plays with a low base and great explosion. I really was hoping we could find a spot for him in this class, but it looks like UCF is going to clean up a lot of the guys that we just didn’t have room for.
Keshun Freeman (Georgia Tech)- Calloway High School- Probably the toughest call I’ve had to make outside of receiver was defensive end, so I should probably mention Deshon Cooper of Columbia HS and Henry Famurwea of McEachern as well. Freeman really has terrifying athletic ability to go with his great length. He’s a little more raw than the other prospects listed, but his potential is nearly as high. He’s a big part of the reason that I say Georgia Tech did a much better job recruiting this year.
Jeremy Patterson (Wisconsin)- Wayne County High School- Patterson has nose tackle written all over him in my opinion. He’s just a big, thick kid, but he’s also strong as an ox. He really doesn’t face a physical equal in high school, but in time that will also be the case in college if he takes care of business in the weight room. Wisconsin did a nice job of reaching down here to find someone who can plug the trenches for them.
Elisha Shaw (Alabama)- Tucker High SchoolI really wish the best for Shaw. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be endowed with such natural physical gifts and have them potentially taken away from him in the blink of an eye. With that being said, if he ever gets cleared and then gets his school situated, opponents better watch out. At one time Shaw was one of the most dominant players in the state and no matter where he ends up, I hope that he is able to return to form one day.
Athlete Donquell Greene (Marshall)- Burke County High School- “The Human Highlight” as his hudl page proclaims is not a misnomer. The kid is straight up electric. Do I care that he is 5’8 or whatever? Absolutely not, he is always one snap away from putting a TD on the scoreboard. He reminds me a little bit of Ace Sanders without seeing him a great deal at receiver. Stanton Truitt (Auburn)- Monroe Area High School- I really wish Auburn would stop coming to our state to find running backs. They always find a nice one and Truitt will likely continue that trend. He has a slightly upright running style, but he’s got some top end speed to hit the homerun and can break a few tackles to get there.
Top defensive in-state talent that left the state of Georgia By Trent Smallwood/BI
Linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams (South Carolina)- Cedar Grove High School- Allen-Williams in my opinion was the most athletic linebacker in the state in 2014. The kid can flat out run and cover some serious ground. Like Dukes, he’s not the biggest guy on the field, but he plays with a toughness and drive that makes up for it. He’ll likely be making a lot of tackles against UGA and other SEC opponents in the future. Korie Rogers (Clemson)- Buford High School- Rogers will be a great linebacker at Clemson with his combination of size and power. The most impressive part of his game is likely the tenacity that he attacks blocks with, but he also can get lateral and track down the running game on the sidelines. He might face a slight learning curve going away from the University of Buford, but he’ll be fine once he gets his feet wet. Raekwon McMillan (Ohio State)- Liberty County High School- McMillan was physically, college ready about two years ago. At 6’2 and 245 pounds he has battled maintaining a good weight number for about that same amount of time which is part of the reason he is number four on this list. However, if he can play around 235-240 pounds of good weight in college, he’ll be a real thumper up there in the Big 10. Johnathon Thomas (Penn State)- Collins Hill High SchoolThomas might have the most physical potential of anyone in the group. At a long 6’3 and lean 215 pounds he is really going to grow into something if he gets squared away in the weight room. Then you go and watch him run and I dare to say that he might have the highest potential of anyone in this group. There is a reason that Oklahoma was coming all the way out here to check up on him. It sounds like he might have to go the JUCO or Prep route so remember the name.
Daniel Crochet (Cornell)- St. Pius X Catholic School- I’ve talked to quite a few coaches over the past two years, coaches who have played St. Pius a couple of times. Every time I ask them about their opponent, this was the name that popped up, even with Nick Ruffin and Nick Glass on the roster at one time. Crochet really reads the running game well and can shoot between gaps or chase down the run laterally. In terms of his football career it was a shame to see him go to Cornell, but it’s hard to argue with the overall life decision.
Safety Tavon Ross (Missouri)- Bleckley County High SchoolEveryone’s favorite 11th hour offer, Ross has to be #1 on this list. I’ve never seen anything like his senior highlight tape. I’m not saying he’s the best player I’ve ever seen because he has to work out some technique things, but his natural football ability and instincts are off the charts. The best compliment I can give him is that he makes the game look easy.
Cornerback Wesley Green (South Carolina)- Martin Luther King Jr. High School- When I started looking at the 2014 class back in 2012, in became pretty clear that this was going to be the most unusually deep position in the state. And from the very beginning Green was on the top of the stack. I’m not saying arguments can’t be made for other players, but Green has the best instincts and ball awareness of anyone in this class. He needs to do some work in the weight room, but he’s got the potential to be an All-SEC type corner. Kendarius Webster (Ole Miss)- Stockbridge High SchoolAs far as looking the part and projecting, Webster is going to be a good looking corner on the outside. He’s long, he’s ripped, and he’s got enough height to match up with just about every receiver. Athletically he’s extremely gifted and really improved on his ability to take the ball away as a senior. Jahmmir Taylor (Undecided)- Banneker High School- Who? Yea, I did it. Jahmmir Taylor, look him up. He really doesn’t have much tape at corner, but at 6’0 I think it’s a more natural fit at the next level with his athleticism. Hips, burst, top end speed, confidence, he’s really got it all. You can teach technique, but you can’t teach the natural ability that Taylor has.
DJ Smith (South Carolina): Walton High School- Smith reminds me a lot of Brendan Langley in physical stature and athleticism. Both have that long corner frame that could translate to either corner or safety and Smith can run with just about anyone. I really wish South Carolina would find a different state to recruit.
Bingo Morton (Chattanooga)- Langston Hughes High School- I dwelled over this last spot for way too long. I probably looked over at least 10-15 players for this last spot and I settled on Morton. What put Morton over the top was his ball skills and ability to create turnovers in the passing game. He’s not the greatest tackler, looks like a corner out there at times, but if he’s going to get me five interceptions a season then I’ll live with it.
2014 National Signing Day
Mike Bemberton, David Hughes and Larry Gaither
Scott White and Kathy White
Grant Mullis and Rudy Mullis
Brandon McEachern and Bob Odum
Jennifer Germer, Martha Johnson and Barbara Bankston
Bo Laurence and Mike Woods
Michael Poole, Joe Lewis Walker, Larry Wages, Abe Plummer, Jeff Smith, Austin Kesler, Joe Bray, Danny Manus
Flynn Nance and Tony Dowdy
Dondi Baldizon, Hannah Baldizon and Nestor Baldizon
Jay Gordon, Bob Pope, Zach Ramsay, Greg Poole, Tim Pope and Trent Smallwood
David Butler and Kyle Rogers
Jack Murray, Chris Cauthen and Spencer Crane
Harvel Hamm and Wayne Privett
Greg Poole and Cornell Harris