Georgia picked up a big defensive commit for 2018 this evening. I mean, really big.
Specifically, Mallard Creek, North Carolina defensive tackle Jordan Davis announced that he’s choosing the Bulldogs over a host of major programs. Miami, Michigan, Florida, Florida State, and North Carolina State were among the programs pushing for Davis’s pledge. The senior is a four star prospect according to the 247Sports composite rankings. Ipso facto, big commitment.
Also, Jordan Davis is big: 6’6, and 330 pounds. Which would qualify him as the biggest defensive tackle on the UGA roster right now. Davis is not a versatile guy capable of playing 3, 5, or 7 techniques like many of the defensive linemen signed so far by Kirby Smart’s staff. Davis is a space eater, a guy who is most likely to play over the center, clog passing lanes, and either draw double teams or smash in the A gaps. Think Kwame Geathers, albeit maybe ever so slightly less massive (Geathers played around 330 in the NFL, but at Georgia regularly was closer to 350). He has a relatively quick first step, but also some weight around the middle he could stand to lose. Like most tall defensive tackles he has to work to play behind his pads and maintain leverage.
Georgia’s in an interesting position regarding defensive tackle recruiting with this commitment. Remember, 2017 signee Devonte Wyatt will be in Athens in 2018 after one season in the JUCO ranks. Wyatt is one of those players alluded to above who can play anywhere along the defensive front. The Bulldogs also have a commitment from Liberty County standout Tramel Walthour, a strongside defensive end who could also shift inside to play the nose, though at 6’4, 277 poundsWalthour isn’t in Davis’s size category.
But the Bulldogs also remain in the running for four star Philadelphia defensive tackle Christian Barmore. Barmore, 6’5 and 290 pounds, has only played one prior season of high school football. He’s a raw prospect, but his ceiling is incredibly high. That’s probably why he has offers from the likes of Alabama, LSU, Florida, and Miami as well as Georgia. The acclimation of fellow Philadelphians D’Andre Swift and Mark Webb may help the Bulldogs in that sweepstakes.
UGA had also been pursuing St. Louis big man and national top 200 recruit Trevor Trout, but it appears that Trout is more likely headed to USC or UCLA (though Alabama remains in the mix)
The recent decommitment of Miller Grove defensive end Caleb Tannor opened up a slot, but the Bulldogs currently have 18 commits with a likely max of 25 openings. Slots are getting tight and a variety of elite recruits are still available and leaning toward Athens. It will be interesting to see if the Red and Black are now done on the defensive line or if Kirby Smart and Tray Scott push for one more guy up front. Speaking of Scott, Davis’s commitment can in large part be chalked up to Scott’s influence in North Carolina.
It’s also worth noting that Mallard Creek’s offensive coordinator during Davis’s freshman season was none other than current Colorado State tight ends coach and former Georgia Bulldog Joseph Roscoe Cox. I have no idea whether Joe Cox’s middle name is Roscoe or whether Davis was influenced by the Ginger Ninja to pick the ‘Dawgs, but I’m treating both propositions as unassailable fact.
Finally, it’s worth raising an eyebrow momentarily at this tweet from recent Tennessee decommitment and 247Sports top 247 athlete Alontae Taylor following Davis’s announcement.
I wouldn’t read too much into it, but that’s an interesting turn of phrase. Until later . . .