SEC Media Days wrapped up in Hoover yesterday, with Chris Conley (as many Bulldog fans expected) becoming the darling of those assembled. Coach Richt also won points among conference rivals for saying what Bulldog fans have known to be his policy on transfers for the entirety of his tenure in the Classic City: life's too short to be a jackass to teenagers who want to transfer.
But there's no rest for the weary as college football season approaches. Today some of the top high school football players in the country are in Athens for the Georgia staff's annual "Dawg Night" prospect camp. This year's event is a little different, with the event actually split into a morning session for 9th and 10th graders and an afternoon/evening session for juniors and seniors, prompting Mark Richt to refer to this year's event as "Dawg Day."
The event usually draws a big crowd of blue chip talent and this year is no different. Among the players expected to be in Athens are current 2015 Bulldog commits Terry Godwin, Sage Hardin, Christian Owens, Jackson Harris, Justin Young, Chauncey Rivers, Natrez Patrick, and JUCO defensive end Quincy Vasser (who committed to the Dawgs before making this, his first visit to the Classic City).
The list of uncommitted, or otherwise committed prospects is even more impressive, including McEachern 5 star offensive lineman Chuma Edoga, committed to USC though he's still being fiercely pursued by the Bulldog coaches. There's also 4 star offensive lineman Dallas Warmack, committed to Alabama. Much speculation has also centered around Tucker defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter, also committed to the crimson Tide but rumored to be planning to switch his commitment to the red and black at tonight's event. I'm not so sure about that timetable, but I do know that the Bulldog coaches are still heavily involved with the 4 star player's recruitment.
Virginia Tech pledge Mook Reynolds will be coming down from North Carolina, along with UNC offensive tackle commit Emanuel McGirt. Both guys would likely get serious consideration from the Bulldog coaches if they like what they see and decide they want to play in Athens. The same could be said for Griffin safety Jordan Colbert, currently pledged to Auburn.
Also in attendance will be Macon County linebacker Roquan Smith, who is uncommitted but being pursued by essentially the entire SEC. Smith is one of the best big athletes in the southeast. The same could be said for his fellow camper Langston Hughes H.S. linebacker D'Andre Walker. Keep an eye on Greater Atlanta Christian tandem Darius Slayton and Micah Abernathy, who have both become a priority for coaches.
Also in attendance will be the top prospect in the state of Georgia, Albany defensive tackle Trenton Thompson. The question is whether Virginia defensive end Josh Sweat, who has replaced Thompson atop some lists of the top recruits in the country. Sweat has been camping at Florida State, but there's a chance that he may stop in Athens before heading back home.
Just as impressive is the list of 2016 prospects in attendance. It includes the top pro style passer in the country, Washington signal caller Jacob Eason (son of former NFL and Notre Dame receiver Tony Eason). There's also huge offensive tackle prospect Ben "Big Country" Cleveland of Stephens County. Cleveland has been assumed to be a Bulldog lock for a long time now, and it will be interesting to see if he's recruiting guys to join him in Athens. They'll be joined by Buford tight end Isaac Nauta, possibly the top tight end in the country for 2016.
The folks over at Bulldog Illustrated have a more complete list up for those interested. We'll be back later today and this evening with any big news and a wrap-up of the day's events. Historically Dawg Night is eventful, with multiple recruits pledging to play their college ball in Athens. It will be interesting to see if some of the momentum the Georgia coaches have been gaining on the recruiting trail pays off before the day is over. Until later . . .