Now that Nike’s The Opening elite camp and several other destinations for high profile college football prospects have concluded, the national recruiting services have begun their customary late summer recalibration of recruiting rankings.
That’s been good news for at least one UGA recruit. IMG Academy defensive end Nolan Smith, fresh off an eye-popping performance at the Nike event in Frisco, Texas, has moved up to become 247Sports’ #1 overall prospect in the nation for 2019. Smith wasn’t exactly a sleeper going into The Opening, ranking as the #2 overall prospect in the country behind fellow edge rusher Zach Harrison. But Smith’s combination of size, speed, and strength was clearly on another level, and he tested off the charts in SPARQ portion of the program.
Also making a big move was Upson-Lee defensive tackle Travon Walker, who jumped all the way from #24 to #7 and is now firmly among the five star prospects. Georgia remains the presumptive favorite for Walker’s signature, though South Carolina, Alabama, Clemson, and Auburn are all still recruiting him.
It wasn’t all good news for the Red and Black, however, as Cedar Grove wide receiver and UGA commit Jadon Haselwood fell slightly from #4 to #11. That said, Haselwood is still rated a five star recruit by 247, and remains the top-rated wide receiver recruit in the country. Fellow receiver commit Dominick Blaylock of Walton High fell from #23 to #35. From what I was able to see of The Opening Blaylock continues to be as good a route runner as any receiver in the country. But some excellent showings by players at other positions and some concerns about his size seem to have been likely factors for the drop.
Other players of interest making moves included:
Destrahan, Louisiana tailback John Emery, Jr. jumping from #36 to #16. Emery is considering Mississippi State, LSU, Florida, Georgia, and Southern Cal among others.
Grayson standout and Auburn commit Owen Pappoe remains a five star prospect, but jumped ten slots from #20 to #10.
Mississippi inside linebacker Nakobe Dean, a top UGA target, dropped five spots from #15 to #20 in the nation and is now a four star prospect.
Forest Park defensive end Justin Eboigbe, a top three prospect in our Peach State top 20 released back in February, jumped all the way from out of the top 247 up to # 152. Personally, I would love to see the Red and Black flip this Alabama commit. Until later...