Are you a top high school football recruit?
Have you committed to play football for the Georgia Bulldogs this week?
If not, you’re just about the only one.
The UGA staff continued gathering in talented players from across the southeast yesterday, this time adding a piece to the offense with the pledge of Murfreesboro, Tennessee (Oakland HS) tailback Jordan James.
Georgia was one of the first to offer James back in May 2020, but his recruitment picked up significantly since then. In addition to offers from Alabama, Florida, and Florida State, James has landed offers from Oklahoma and Notre Dame in the past couple of months. But in the end the chance to play on a perennial SEC and national title contender which consistently sends tailbacks to the NFL was too much to pass up.
James seamlessly fits the mold for Georgia tailbacks in Todd Monken’s offense. He’s a compact 5’10, 205 pounds, with good if not great straight line speed. He reminds me a little of former Bulldog Washaun Ealey in that he doesn’t pull away from defenders in the open field, but always seems just a little faster than whoever you’ve got chasing him.
I do really like James’ quick feet in the hole. He keeps them moving, then decisively gets through the hole, making his own gap when necessary. Tailbacks get in trouble when they try to do too much, but James’ highlights showcase a smart, efficient runner. He knows how to get upfield for positive yardage, and often gets more thanks to his elusiveness and vision at the second and third levels. These highlights also include some promising plays in the passing game, a skill set Georgia’s been emphasizing more from the position.
James’ commitment moves the ‘Dawgs very nearly into a tie with Ohio State for the top class in the country, though obviously it’s way too early to start handicapping class rankings. More importantly, His commitment gives Georgia a solid, productive player at a position of significant need. With James Cook and Zamir White likely gone after 2021, and the potential for additional attrition at tailback, Georgia likely needs to sign two tailbacks in this class. (though if Lovasea Carroll’s spring shift to cornerback doesn’t stick that need is less acute).
James’ commitment is also welcome because it continues Kirby Smart’s pattern of skimming the cream off the top of the Red and Black’s rivals’ recruiting bases. James is rated the #3 player in Tennessee (UGA is also heavily pursuing #1, defensive tackle Walter Nolen). The Volunteer State doesn’t produce that much elite talent, so adding players from there to the base established by Georgia’s instate recruiting is a good way to keep the Big Orange in the hunt for Liberty Bowl berths.