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College
Close friend and mentor to Jadon Haselwood shares his view on the 5-star decision
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Close friend and mentor to Jadon Haselwood shares his view on the 5-star decision

Close friend and mentor to Jadon Haselwood shares his view on the 5-star decision

Close friend and mentor to Jadon Haselwood shares his view on the 5-star decision

Jadon Haselwood-UGA football-Georgia football-UGA recruiting

Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings at least four days a week. This play sheet offers up another viewpoint on the upcoming decision from 5-star WR Jadon Haselwood

 

Jadon Haselwood is the nation’s No. 1 WR from the class of 2019 on the 247Sports composite. The one-time UGA commitment will be a part of a Cedar Grove team that will seek a state title against a stout Peach County team on Dec. 11.

Georgia is still in this recruiting race. It seems accurate to include Miami, FSU and Oklahoma among that lot, too. At least.

That is a reporter’s perception of that decision. It must be stated that Haselwood recently said his thoughts were so cloudy he couldn’t even name a top 5. There’s a strong urge out there for readers to follow this recruitment to the very end.

Those that have seen his film realize that he’s just that good of a player. The dramatic twists and turns are just part of the deal with the nation’s top players.

But there’s also a need here to not beat the story to death. He will not decide until he puts on a hat live on NBC from the All-American Bowl on Jan. 5.

Jadon
            Haselwood-UGA recruiting-Georgia recruiting
Darrin Hood sat next to 5-star Jadon Haselwood at the Tennesee game on an unofficial visit this season. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

There has been some pacing to DawgNation’s coverage of Haselwood this season for that very reason.

We recently had a conversation with a source close to Haselwood to get his view of the upcoming decision.

It warranted an update.

Darrin Hood is a close friend and mentor to Haselwood. Those two have known each other since his sophomore year. Hood is at every game and he will travel with him on road trips.

He is a constant presence in his life. The view he shared on this decision helps to balance out several key parts of this recruitment.

Hood, to be clear, still feels his friend is uncertain about his decision.

The thing he is not uncertain about is how Haselwood feels about Georgia.

“UGA still has a huge chance,” Hood said. “Jadon and coach [James] Coley are still very close and he’s a big-time UGA fan. The fact that fans think UGA is out of consideration is crazy. We’re talking about a fan of the ‘Dawgs’ even before even before he had an offer from UGA.”

Hood considered the idea the Bulldogs might be gaining ground on Haselwood since he chose to de-commit in October. Is it that? Are the Bulldogs losing ground? Or are they simply maintaining their appeal?

“I think its still the same,” Hood said. “But he does realize UGA is passing more. He doesn’t miss [checking in on] a UGA game. Even when [we’re on] on the road he’ll ask what’s the score of the UGA game.”

Haselwood, in those instances, will even quiz Hood about the stats from those games.

The 5-star prospect has told DawgNation he is not watching those games, but Hood provides added context that Georgia is still very much on his mind.

Another view on where things stand with Jadon Haselwood

DawgNation collected Haselwood’s thoughts last Friday. He made it clear he was aware the Bulldogs did not have an assistant coach at his state semifinal game.

But the Bulldogs were the only school to do an in-home visit with him last week.  FSU and Miami used their weekly visit quota to check on him at a GHSA Class 3A state semifinal game.

“I personally think its UGA and everyone else,” Hood said. “UGA stands alone. That’s just my personal feeling because I know how he feels about the school but he always says he doesn’t have a top school. Those are just my personal thoughts from being around him.”

Jadon Haselwood-UGA recruiting-Georgia recruiting
Jadon Haselwood will take his final official visit to UGA from Dec. 13-Dec. 15. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Hood says that he sees Haselwood as having one primary goal. That’s to make it to the NFL and play on Sundays. That will open up so many new possibilities for his life and the lives of those he cares about.

What comes after that? According to Hood, it is something that goes beyond stats.

“His goal is to win a national championship one day,” Hood said.

Is that really what he wants most?

“I know that’s what he wants most,” Hood said. “… He talks about playing in the national championship and embracing all the pressure that comes with it.”

Another nugget about the Jadon Haselwood decision

This one has to do with timing. There are some of those internet detectives out there that feel they can read their favorite crystal balls better than their Twitter timelines.

There’s a working theory out there that some sleuthing could unlock Jadon Haselwood’s eventual decision long before his announcement moment on Jan. 5. Those folks can:

  • Study who Auburn offers and signs at WR during the early period
  • Check who FSU offers and signs at WR during the early period
  • Note who Georgia offers and signs at WR during the early period
  • Observe who Oklahoma signs at WR during the early period
  • See who Miami offers and signs at WR during the early period
Jadon Haselwood-UGA recruiting-Georgia recruiting
Jadon Haselwood de-committed from UGA back in October. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Those clues could potentially reveal the decision that Haselwood made during the early period well in advance of his All-American Bowl reveal.

The real CSI-types can even study the student phone directories at those schools.

That no longer sounds logical. The school that signs Haselwood will need to prioritize a scholarship for him during the early period to enroll early in January.

“All the potential schools know that he’s not doing anything until he puts on a hat on January 5,” Hood said. “If they can’t wait until then I feel like it’s their loss. No moves will be made until then because he’s undecided on which school it will be.”

According to Hood, Haselwood will not sign anywhere during the early period.

“January 5 is going to be a good day for some team,” he said.

Remembering Jadon Haselwood after the Oklahoma win

Hood’s view of Haselwood being a fan brings to mind a story from last January. That was when Georgia knocked off Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma.

The nation’s No. 1 receiver celebrated like a fan. Haselwood even did so before Sony Michel ran for the deciding touchdown.

His party began after Lorenzo Carter blocked that kick in The Rose Bowl.

“I went outside,” Haselwood said earlier this year. “It was 30-something degrees and I was running down the street. I was happy for them. It has been a long time coming.”

And he was guilty of premature celebration that night. Shirtless.

“When ‘Zo blocked that field goal, that’s when I knew we had it won,” Haselwood said at the time. “I knew it was over with. I was excited. It was cool outside, but I didn’t feel it like that. I had so much adrenaline running through me that night.”

What else is going on with UGA recruiting? 

DawgNation published a lengthy set of recruiting notes yesterday regarding the many things going on right now around the program.

The biggest of those was the affirmation that 4-star DE Bill Norton feels about the fact he will be at Georgia next season. His chances of remaining in the UGA class have been widely discussed of late.

That update also included at least a half-dozen “blips” about what DawgNation was hearing regarding both the 2019 and 2020 class. It was a busy day yesterday and one of those that didn’t make that list was the news that 4-star LB Rian Davis now plans to no longer

  • Take an official visit to Alabama this week
  • Take any other official visits
  • He feels good about being shut down in his recruitment
  • Davis will be at UGA from Dec. 13-15 for his official visit with other key targets and 2019 commits

Dillon Gabriel, the 2-star QB prospect from Hawaii, welcomed Bulldog QB coach James Coley on Tuesday. He will take his official visit to UGA this weekend. We had a brief update on him in that previous link, but it makes sense to also drop his senior film right here.

It should balance out the concerns about the pursuit of a 2-star QB who had been committed to Army for a time. He’s listed at 6 feet and 185 pounds on his Hudl highlight profile page.

While on the subject of QBs, it makes sense to bring up the name of 4-star QB commit John Rhys Plumlee out of Oak Grove High School in Mississippi. His team lost 31-27 to 5-star ILB Nakobe Dean and his squad for the Class 6A state championship in the Magnolia State last Friday.

Plumlee, of all things, not only worked under center but he also punted, returned kicks and played some at safety for Oak Grove that night.

Plumlee finished 18 of 34 through the air for 337 yards with four touchdowns. He threw one interception, but also added 32 rushing yards on his nine carries.

For the season, he completed 64 percent of his passes for 2,834 yards, 33 touchdowns and three interceptions. He also covered 8.9 yards per attempt for 1,444 rushing yards and another 19 scores.

He is credited with having true 4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash. Plumlee now rates as the nation’s No. 8 dual-threat QB prospect for 2019 on the 247Sports composite ratings. That slots him as the nation’s No. 266 overall prospect for this class.

Did you see “Before the Hedges” on Wednesday? 

There’s so much going on right now it requires a weekly live recruiting special where DawgNation staffers interact for an entire hour with our online community.

We call it “Before the Hedges” and more than 21,000 folks have viewed the show on Facebook alone. Not to mention on the DawgNation Youtube channel and on Twitter.

We’re thankful to everyone who joined our show on Wednesday afternoon. We covered several topics, including:

  • 5-star OL Clay Webb’s impending decision on Dec. 10
  • The early enrollee picture and what that looks like
  • Key dates to track with UGA recruiting up ahead
  • 5-star WR Jadon Haselwood

 

Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to speed just as fast as former Georgia All-American LB Roquan Smith found the ball after the snap.

The post Close friend and mentor to Jadon Haselwood shares his view on the 5-star decision appeared first on DawgNation.

Read More

Georgia Sports News

  • Devon Gales, the former Southern University football player who was paralyzed in a 2015 game against UGA, is returning to football. Gales has been hired as an assistant football coach at Jefferson High School, per accessWDUN.com’s Bo Wilson. The new job will be around 20 miles away from UGA. Former UGA recruiting coordinator Bob Pittard is a social studies teacher at the high school. Per the website, the hiring of Gales was the idea of Jefferson superintendent Dr. John Jackson. It was after Gales shared his story with the Jefferson senior class. “It was brought to our attention upon meeting this wonderful family that Devon missed the game and practices and being part of a football team in the game he still loved so much,” Jefferson coach Gene Cathcart told the website. “Dr. John Jackson had the idea of getting him involved in our program in some way and how our young men would benefit from his living example, character, strength in facing adversity and perseverance.” UGA donors and fans raised funds to build a handicapped-accessible house in Jefferson for Gales and his family. The post Devon Gales makes his return to football appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart has emphasized several times in several ways that championship football requires all units working together. Indeed, much of the Bulldogs’ offensive and defensive scheming is predicated on Smart and his staff analyzing strengths and weaknesses and game arriving at core alignments and plays. The sooner Georgia knows itself, the better, and that makes the Bulldogs’ 15 spring practice dates pivotal. Here’s a way-too-early positional group ranking, an order that could be affected by an updated injury report or the emergence of a newcomer. 1. Offensive line The lock: Junior left tackle Andrew Thomas, Outland Trophy candidate. The question: Sophomore Cade Mays, where does he fit in? 2. Defensive backs The lock: Senior safety J.R. Reed, team leader of defense. The question: Sophomore Tyson Campbell, will skills match elite speed and ideal length? 3. Specialists The lock: Senior kicker Rodrigo Blankenship. The question: Can Georgia adequately replace Mecole Hardman? 3. Quarterbacks The lock: Junior Jake Fromm, third-year starter, offense on his shoulders. The question: How much of the offense can freshman Dwan Mathis pick up? 4. Linebackers The lock: None. The question: Can senior Tae Crowder become the playmaker Georgia lacked last year? 5. Running backs The lock: Junior tailback D’Andre Swift, Hesiman Trophy candidate The question (s): Will production match 5-star ratings of James Cook and Zamir White in 2019? 6. Receivers/tight ends The lock: Junior receiver J.J. Holloman is the go-to target. The question: Can graduate transfer tight end Eli Wolf fill the void left by Isaac Nauta? 7. Defensive linemen The lock: None. The question: Will sophomore Jordan Davis become an SEC dominator? More Georgia football spring 2019 Georgia linebackers: most improved unit? UGA running backs 4 spring football questions 5 questions for UGA spring football, it’s Jake Fromm’s team Does Georgia have championship level Defensive line? Questions 4 questions for Georgia football O-Line 3 pre-spring football questions on Georgia QB situation Kirby Smart provides preview on young receivers  Georgia secondary still best in the SEC? The post Georgia football: Way-too-early team spring position group rankings appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Best I can tell, it has been my task to cover college football spring practices for about 26 of the 31 years that encompass my sportswriting career. There were a few years that I wasn’t covering college football. There were a few more that I bounced around and saw a little bit of a lot of different teams. Most of time, though, I’ve been charged with covering all of Georgia’s spring practices. There have been times those practice sessions have been pretty interesting, some times that they’ve been incredibly dull and all over the place between. I’m anticipating the Bulldogs’ spring practice this year to be fairly intriguing. There are a lot of reasons for that, but the main one is the influx of new players. Early enrollment was a fairly new concept in the 1990s and still a bit of a rarity then. Quarterback Eric Zeier was one of the first high-profile recruits to do it and it served him very well that first year. Zeier served notice at the 1991 G-Day Game that he was going to be a factor that season, and boy was he ever. Since then, early enrollment has become a regular part of the recruiting process. Nowadays, everybody everywhere has at least a hand full of signees that come in early and get embedded with their respective teams since the first week of January. But it remains somewhat rare to see as many new players come in early — 14 — as Georgia has this year. Fourteen is a lot. The most ever for the Bulldogs. They had 13 in that 2013 class that included 30 total signees (and experienced some of the worst attrition ever for Georgia football). It’s not the most in college football. Alabama had 16 enroll early out of its 23-man recruiting class this year. But 14 is a bunch of new Bulldogs, no matter how one slices it up. That in and of itself cranks up the competition factor. Georgia has several areas in which it’d love to get some impact from from some of these early arrivals. Quarterback, linebacker and defensive back immediately spring to mind. I’d say receiver, too. But, oddly enough, the Bulldogs weren’t able to bring in any of their wideout signees early Dominick Blaylock happens to attend a school in Walton High that doesn’t allow it. Georgia has experienced the same thing with players it has signed out of Pace Academy, including Jamaree Salyer, Andrew Thomas and Trey Blount. But that’s where spring ball has changed a good bit over the years. It’s much more competitive over the course of 15 practices than it used to be. Those sessions can go a long way to determining who is going to be starter in the fall. Not always, but often. The ideal situation is getting as many positions locked down and decided in the spring, so those guys can work together as a unit as much as possible on a volunteer basis over the summer. That way they hit the ground running in preseason practice. No doubt you’ve read numerous accounts of what various people believe the be the most pressing priorities of the spring for the Bulldogs. As for me, the order of importance goes this way: Determine a receiver rotation; Identify a backup quarterback; Establish a starting center; Settle on a right cornerback; Figure out who else will help on defense. Going with the receivers first is an easy call for me. It has been well-documented that the Bulldogs lost 106 catches and 20 touchdowns from last year’s wideouts, the majority of those being compiled by juniors Riley Ridley and Mecole Hardman. But that number actually goes up by 35 catches and 3 touchdowns when tight end Isaac Nauta and running back Elijah Holyfield are included. So the emphasis on throwing and catching the ball in spring practice is going to be heavy. It’s usually that way anyway this time of year, because it is rare for teams to pound on each other a lot this far away from the actual season. That said, Georgia will need to mindful of Jake Fromm’s arm health and be careful not to overthrow him. To that end, the Bulldogs would like to come out with a good idea who is going to be Fromm’s primary backup. I wrote extensively on Sunday about redshirt sophomore Stetson Bennett coming back via junior college and giving Georgia an immediate competent presence with regard to already knowing the offensive system. But freshman Dwan Mathis remains an intriguing figure, and one can he sure that the Bulldogs will work hard and fast to determine exactly what they have in this 6-foot-6 athlete who has run a 10.8 100 meters. Trey Hill leads the way to succeed Lamont Gaillard at center, but that’s not a given. As always, Sam Pittman probably suffer brain cramps from exploring all possibilities for determining the combination that results in the best five across the board. The competition to succeed Deandre Baker at right cornerback certainly will be intriguing. But starting with elevating Tyson Campbell there as Georgia did in the bowl game is the first in what are all positive alternatives at all the secondary positions. If early enrollees such as JUCO transfer D.J. Daniel or Tyrique Stevenson end up winning out, all the better. Same with outside linebackers. The recruiting at this position has been other-worldly. Between the 5-stars that are coming back and the ones coming in, something is going to have Conversely, that’s why I don’t list inside linebackers here. Certainly the Bulldogs want higher-level play than it got from the returnees last season. But I believe all the existing alternatives to be better than adequate and not necessarily paramount to Georgia’s cause.  And as exciting a prospect as is Nakobe Dean, ranked the No. 1 inside linebacker in America, I always think back to Roquan Smith’s struggles as a true freshman and how it was late in his sophomore season before he emerged as the star he actually was. Same on the D-line, same on the O-line, same in the offensive backfield, same on special teams. The rest of it is very much organic. That is, it’ll come together naturally through the teaching of concepts and fundamentals. The Bulldogs seek competition and improvement, but they’ll be able to go to war with they’ve got. What you’re NOT going to see is running back D’Andre Swift get much in the way of contact. I highly doubt you’ll see Zamir White get any at all. White, the heralded 2018 signee known as Zeus, is less than seven months removed from a second knee surgery that came eight months after the first. The Bulldogs will be very interested in seeing what the former No. 1 back in America can do, but that can wait until late summer, when he will have had a year to rehab and recover. Maybe the most important factor will be the Bulldogs getting used to some new voices and concepts from the coaching staff. For the first time since Kirby Smart has been head coach, somebody other than Jim Chaney or Mel Tucker will be putting together the practice script for the offense and defense, respectively. That said, I suspect it won’t change significantly from what Georgia has been doing the last four years. That’s why James Coley, Dan Lanning and Glenn Schumann were appointed coordinators. They’re going to give Smart what he wants, which is more of the same. But it’s that — the newness factor — that’s going to make this spring so fun and interesting. And then, of course, they’ll tear up all the depth charts and start from scratch in August. The post Newness factor is what makes Kirby Smart’s 4th spring practice his most interesting at Georgia appeared first on DawgNation.
  • KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - Atlanta Braves right-hander Julio Teheran is set to make his sixth straight start on opening day. The Braves said Monday that Teheran will face the Phillies on March 28 in Philadelphia. Teheran's run ties Hall of Famer Warren Spahn (1957-62) for the longest in Braves' franchise history during the modern era. Teheran is 1-1 with a 2.73 ERA on opening day. Earlier this spring, it had been thought Mike Foltynewicz might start on opening day for the Braves. But he's likely to be out until at least mid-April with a sore right elbow. New Phillies slugger Bryce Harper is expected to make his debut in the opener. He's had a lot of career success against Teheran, going 18 for 40 (.450) with eight homers and 19 RBIs. Teheran went 9-9 last season with a 3.94 ERA in 31 starts.