Not so long ago the first Wednesday in February was the apex of college football’s recruiting season. Now, with the advent of the December early signing period, this day is more of an afterthought. Teams including the Georgia Bulldogs will still sign players today, some of whom will make a big impact in the years to come, and a few of whom are already closely watched four and five star recruits. But this later signing day is more about polishing the class than building it.
Georgia has less to do today than a lot of other schools. The ‘Dawgs enter the day third in the 247 Composite recruiting rankings behind Texas A&M and Alabama, and that’s not likely to change significantly. Georgia has already officially picked up a couple of verbal commits. Texas wide receiver Dillon Bell made his longstanding verbal commit official, as did one of the first verbal commits for this class, Appling County edge rusher Darris Smith.
There’s always the possibility of a surprise commitment, but it’s unlikely that Georgia is too active today for a couple of reasons. One is that the transfer portal and NFL early entry have actually been kinder to the Bulldogs than some anticipated. Georgia has lost eight players to the transfer portal so far, only four of whom saw significant time in 2021. With the possible exception of Jermaine Burton none was really a big surprise, and even Burton had been rumored to be considering a move for several weeks before doing so. Having draft-eligible players like Nolan Smith, Chris Smith, Tykee Smith, and Kearis Jackson return at key spots also took some pressure off to find depth late in the signing process.
Additionally, Georgia is off to a very strong start for the 2023 class, a class which looks particularly strong in the Peach State. Those who follow recruiting, high school athletic department accounts to be specific, know that the Top ‘Dawg has already been pretty busy on that front.
There are a few big announcements which Bulldog fans should be aware of though.
- Cedar Grove defensive lineman Christen Miller will be announcing his decision around noon. The four star prospect is ranked the #9 player in Georgia and the #102 player nationally in the 247Composite and is also considering Ohio State and Oregon among others.
- Bulldog tailback commit Jordan James of Murfreesboro, Tennessee is set to sign at noon as well. James remains committed but has fielded overtures from several other schools in recent weeks.
- Three star tailback Andrew Paul of Parish Episcopal School in Dallas, Texas is expected to sign at 11:20 central/12:20 eastern. Paul’s recruitment blew up after a stellar senior season, and some have speculated that he may end up in the slot previously reserved for James if the Tennessee four star heads elsewhere. Paul is also considering offers from Clemson and Michigan among others.
- Five star edge rusher Shemar Stewart of Opa Locka, Florida will announce his destination at 1:20 eastern. While Georgia will likely have a hat on the table, all signs point to Stewart heading to Texas A&M.
- Finally, Fitzgerald linebacker EJ Lightsey, another player who saw his recruitment intensify with a strong senior campaign, will choose from among Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, and others at 2:00 p.m.