Sanford Stadium Athens Ga with Coach Smart.#CommitToTheG #MadHouseFit#BetweenTheHedges pic.twitter.com/v38xLuzsoD— Madhouse Training (@Madhousefit) January 15, 2016
The head coach is in town, the staff is set, and Georgia football is currently hosting the first of a handful of really big weekends of official visits leading up to National Signing Day. As you can see in the above picture, Alabama standouts Ben Davis and Mack Wilson are in town. The pair of five star recruits are rated by 247Sports as the top two prospects in the state of Alabama and, at least in my opinion, are very unlikely to end up anywhere besides Tuscaloosa. Davis is the son of Alabama's all-time leading tackler for Pete's sake.
But both are giving Georgia a longer look now that Kirby Smart will be leading the Red and Black. While Georgia may not win either of those recruiting battles, and while Smart has made clear that Georgia will be his team's top recruiting priority, I suspect the Bulldogs' new skipper will continue to try to cherry pick top players from the Yellowhammer State in the future. Another Alabama target, Montgomery safety Jeawon Taylor, is also in town this weekend. Taylor is currently committed to Florida, but the feeling among recruiting analysts is that he could be peeled away from the Gators. Florida will get the last visit before Signing Day.
Joining the Alabama contingent on campus will be receiver recruits Tre Nixon of Viera, Florida and Tyler Simmons of McEachern. Nixon is one of the more highly ranked uncommitted wide receivers in the country and is also considering Penn State and Auburn among others. Simmons has been sort of under the radar as a recruit, despite being very productive for McEachern. He committed to Alabama a couple of weeks ago, and I think he likely ends up in Tuscaloosa unless the Tide decide there's not enough room in the boat. With big JUCO receiver Javon Wims and Rabun County's Charlie Woerner committed, and speedster Riley Ridley already enrolled, Georgia's receiver class likely merits a solid B right now. Mays slot receiver Randrecous Davis is also committed, but there have been some indications that the new staff may not be that intent on keeping him in the fold. Davis was recently offered by Miami and is expected to take an official visit to Coral Gables next weekend.
The real keys to this receiver group are Savannah's Demetris Robertson and Elbert County standout Mecole Hardman.247Sports rates Robertson the nation's top receiver and Hardman the nation's top overall athlete. While Nixon and Simmons are both great players, if Robertson and Hardman end up in Athens Bulldog fans won't notice if this weekend's receiver visitors don't.
Also in town will be defensive end/linebacker recruit Brian Burns of Fort Lauderdale. Burns attends American Heritage, the same school that produced Marshall Morgan, Sony Michel, and Isaiah McKenzie. But getting him out of the state of Florida is looking like a tall task. Burns will visit Gainesville next weekend and Tallahassee on the final weekend before Signing Day. I'm picking the Seminoles to win this battle with a late charge over the Gators, unless Kirby Smart, Mel Tucker, and Kevin Sherrer really show Burns something this weekend.
It's unlikely that we'll see any commits this weekend, but it's worth monitoring the news out of Athens, especially for indications that the committed visitors (Simmons and Taylor) have reopened their recruiting. This is after all the stretch run to National Signing Day. From here just about anything can happen. Until later . . .