It’s looked from the start as if Georgia would try to sign two tailbacks in the class of 2018. That got just a little harder this past weekend when Tennessee standout Master Teague announced his commitment to Ohio State over Georgia, Auburn, and others. Teague indicated afterward that Georgia would have been his choice until he got a late offer from the Buckeyes, an offer he’d been wanting all along. That’s cold comfort for Bulldog fans still nervously watching Kirby Smart’s list of 2018 pledges.
Perhaps the good news for Georgia is that the Bulldogs are not without other excellent options at the position. Scotland County, North Carolina standout Zamir “Zeus” White remains the top player on the Bulldog board, and the Red and Black have been his presumed leader for a while. There’s still plenty of time for White’s recruitment to go sideways, though he’s expected to announce his decision at the end of this month. But if the nation’s top running back commits to the G, it would be pretty hard to label the class a letdown at the position regardless of what else happens.
Bainbridge back Dameon Pierce had been committed to Alabama until recently, when he opened things back up. Georgia continues to pursue the 5’11, 205 pound four star prospect. Another option is Taylor County back Lyn-J Dixon. The super-athletic junior received a very early offer from the prior Bulldog staff and looked like a solid bet to end up in Athens. Then the Bulldogs jumped right into the thick of things for White and others and Dixon saw a marked decrease in interest coming from Athens. Teague’s decision however might change that. For now, Dixon is getting a strong push from Tennessee, Clemson, and Georgia Tech among others.
Another name to keep an eye on is Miami native James Cook. The 5’11, 180 pound back is rated a four star prospect by 247Sports and is currently a verbal commit to Florida State, where his older brother Dalvin just finished up a remarkable career. But that may be just the issue. Just as Riley Ridley ended up in Athens partially to be able to make a name for himself outside the shadow big brother Calvin Ridley cast at Alabama, at least one respected national recruiting analyst thinks Cook could end up in Athens.
Another name to keep an eye on is Greater Atlanta Christian star Kyler McMichael. While the 6’1, 185 pound McMichael has offers from a host of SEC schools and national powers as a cornerback, there are some who think he may also be at worst the second best tailback prospect in the Peach State if he wanted to play offense. While Clemson and Auburn are in hot pursuit of the prospect 247 rates the 13th best player in Georgia for 2018, McMichael was with GAC teammates this week to win the UGA 7-on-7 camp tournament, and has made multiple trips to the Classic City.
In short, Georgia has good options at tailback for this cycle. The Bulldogs are also selling opportunity. With Nick Chubb and Sony Michel leaving after 2017 there should be snaps to be claimed in 2018. But there’s no doubt that signing just one player at the position would leave the ‘Dawgs shorthanded.