The Georgia Bulldogs, hoping to sign five or more offensive linemen for the 2013 class, only have one committed so far in Aulden Bynum (Valdosta, Ga./Valwood). But could commit No. 2 be coming soon?
Josh Cardiello (Buford, Ga./Buford) has taken his grandfather on visits to Florida and FSU already, and Friday he invited him to share a day in Athens.
“It was very important because he has been able to see everywhere else and he enjoys that stuff, and I really like UGA, so I wanted him to see what they had to offer,” Cardiello said.
The two got to sit down with strength and conditioning director Joe Tereshinski for an hour, spent two hours with offensive line coach Will Friend watching film and talking, spoke with head coach Mark Richt for almost an hour and toured the academic program. During the time spent with Richt, he was ribbed about his Dec. 2000 exit from Tallahassee, just days before the Seminoles were to take on Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.
“My grandfather, being a Seminoles fan, gave him some crap for leaving FSU when he did,” Cardiello said. “Richt says he takes it as a compliment when someone comes in and says they lost the National Championship because he left.”
Before the 6-foot-3, 285-pound interior offensive lineman left Athens the staff took the time to sell him on playing for the Bulldogs.
“They showed me what the offensive line would be like when I got there,” Cardiello said. “They are not very deep on the interior line. They also mentioned how I know people here and I would be close enough to be able to watch my little brother play football on Fridays and still be able to return for the games because it is only a 45 minute drive. They said if it feels right to go ahead and commit because kids at other schools are waiting to see what I do before they get offered.”
The visit did nothing but solidify what Cardiello already felt coming in.
“Georgia is definitely my leader right now and they are definitely my team to beat,” Cardiello said. “I have been there multiple times and I feel like it is a great place to be. The facilities and coaches are great, and I think the future is bright in Athens. The opportunities and fit are the best for me.”
A commitment from Cardiello could come before the end of the evaluation period, which he says could include visits from FSU, UF, Nebraska, UGA, Clemson, UNC, South Carolina, Miami and LSU to his school.
“I am going to sit down with my parents and weigh the pros and cons and make sure my decision is right,” Cardiello said. “I probably will not take any visits and I should be ready to make my decision in the next couple of weeks.”
If he ends up at Georgia, Cardiello says he would likely start out at center but could move to guard if needed.