Kirby Smart and company continue to reel in prospects as we approach National Signing Day 2017. Today it wa inside linebacker prospect Monty Rice, who committed to LSU a couple of weeks ago over UGA and Auburn. Rice then took visits to his three finalists and apparently decided that Athens was really where he belonged. He's wasting no time getting there either. An early enrollee, Rice will move to Athens to get settled in today.
Rice is rated the #21 inside linebacker in the country and #32 prospect in the state of Alabama by 247Sports. It's no stretch to say that the three star out of Madison’s James Clemens high school is not the most highly rated prospect in UGA's 2017 class. But he is the type of physical, versatile player Georgia wants in order to play a multiple front defense that skews toward a 3-4 look. While Natrez Patrick and Roquant Smith are the future in the middle, Georgia was thin enough this year to move tailback Tae Crowder over from offense. Signing Rice and Vidalia standout Nate McBride shores up those numbers nicely.
Georgia now has 23 commitments for the class of 2017. With early enrollees in 2016 and some recent attrition Coach Smart and crew could sign as many as 28. I still don't think that's likely, but 26+\- now looks like a pretty stable number.
Crisp County linebacker Markaviest Bryant looks to be leaning toward the good guys, though I absolutely would not rule Auburn out in that one. Lee County defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon may be tough to keep away from Alabama, and five star Alabamian Nico Collins may also be headed to either Tuscaloosa or Ann Arbor. But right now I wouldn't count Kirby Smart out for any recruit he's really after. He and his staff have been relentless on the recruiting trail for a solid year now, and they're now playing their trump cards at the right time to finish strong. If they don't land another player, even if they lose one or two of the ones they've reeled in, this is still an unbelievable class. If the ‘Dawgs can break out on the field in 2017, it won't be the last. Until later...