With 40 offers, Jeb Blazevich (Charlotte/Charlotte Christian) was easily one of the most coveted prospects in Athens for Dawg Night on Friday. The rising junior actually arrived on campus much earlier than the event’s start, and was treated to a day alone with the tight ends coach at the University of Georgia.
“I got to UGA around 12 and ate lunch with Coach [John] Lilly,” Blazevich said. “Then he started showing me and my dad around. We pretty much spent the entire day together and he even walked us to our car after the camp.”
The VIP treatment did not go unnoticed with the 6-foot-5, 240-pound tight end target.
“I was very honored to be invited to Dawg Night, let alone have Coach Lilly make me a priority all day,” Blazevich said. “I am not going to lie, I kind of felt like a rock star.”
Coach Lilly took the time to show Blazevich and his father a thorough walkthrough of what it would be like if he were to attend Georgia. While he has not been able to compare the living area to other programs, one of the players he met Friday informed him that he need not look elsewhere.
“Coach Lilly gave me a good feel for what the day to day life would be like at Georgia,” Blazevich said. “He showed me the dorms, which are amazing, and he introduced me to Nathan and John Theus. Nathan told me the dorms at Georgia were pretty much the best in the country. We went by the academic center and then spent some time with Coach [Mark] Richt. It was just an awesome day and they really made sure I left Georgia knowing a good bit about the program.”
The time with Richt gave the Bulldogs’ head coach an opportunity to provide some personal insight.
“Coach Richt was really laid back and he did not really make any recruiting pitches because he knows Coach Lilly and others are already doing that,” Blazevich said. “We asked him a lot about the spiritual aspect and how that ties into football. He just gave me a lot better advice in terms of life and it was so valuable just to be able to hear his words of wisdom.”
It also provided a chance for Richt to show his sense of humor.
“He just talked about the differences in men and women in terms of communication,” Blazevich said. “He had me and my dad dying laughing with that. He said he was driving down the road the other day and he did not really want to talk but his wife kept on nagging him and asking what was wrong over and over again. He said if it was a man they could drive for hours, not say a word, and be fine.”
During Dawg Night, Lilly worked closely with Blazevich, giving the Tar Heel State standout some encouragement, as well as some good-natured drilling.
“Working with Coach Lilly was a lot of fun and the competition was great,” Blazevich said. “There was some good coaching, especially in the 7-on-7. I got a good feel for how he works and I really appreciated how once we got on the field all of the recruiting fluff was pushed aside and we were able to get down to business. The coaches were serious about working like I was, and I appreciated that.”
Instead of trying to compare Georgia to other programs, Blazevich instead chose to point out what stood out about his day spent in Athens.
“Regardless of where you go, football is going to be football, the facilities are going to be nice and the weights will be the weights,” Blazevich said. “The biggest thing for me on trips is meeting the people, getting to see what they are like, and finding out what they are passionate about. My favorite part about the visit was spending time with Milan Richard (Savannah, Ga./Calvary Day) and Dante Sawyer (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett), two prospects I knew, and getting to know them better. That was priceless.”
With two years until he graduates, Blazevich is also cautious about trying to project himself into any particular offensive scheme at the next level.
“Georgia uses their tight ends in different ways and has a good balance in how they are utilized, but right now I cannot say what my preference is on how I am used because I do not know how my body is going to grow,” Blazevich said. “I am going to have to decide over the next season what I grow into.”
The Bulldogs made a solid impression on the tight end target, and it looks like a return visit is in store.
“I definitely like Georgia and me being there yesterday is a testament to that,” Blazevich said. “I am just looking forward to getting down to a game, staying in touch and getting to know them better.”
Blazevich will be busy during the next week. He plans to travel to LSU on Sunday, Tennessee on Tuesday, Alabama on Friday and possibly stop by Clemson on way the way home before making one last preseason trip to West Virginia next weekend.