Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Four-star TE Blazevich picks Dawgs
By Kipp Adams
After narrowing down his double-digit offer list to a top six of Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Ole Miss, ESPN 150 tight end Jeb Blazevich (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian) decided he was ready to make his decision.
On ESPNU on Tuesday afternoon, Blazevich, the No. 3 tight end-H, committed to Georgia.
“God was calling me to go to Georgia,” Blazevich said. “I love my position coach, John Lilly, and head coach Mark Richt. I love the town and just everything about Georgia. I am 100-percent committed to Georgia.”
Jeb Blazevich said he loves everything about Georgia, where, on Tuesday, he committed to play his college ball.
The No. 90 overall prospect in the ESPN 150 is UGA’s fourth 2014 commitment, and he said Bulldogs fans can count on him to stay put: “When I say that I commit, I mean it with all of my heart. The only thing that would change that would be if the men that I commit to leave.”
The 6-foot-5, 228-pound Blazevich took visits to each of his top six schools over the past two months and admitted the trips helped him eliminate a few programs.
“I feel like I visited a couple of schools to give them a shot by looking at everything they had to offer,” Blazevich said. “I tried to picture myself there and I just could not see myself going there.
“It came down to Ole Miss, Clemson and Georgia. They are all so similar and Southern schools with strong academics, great football programs and very spiritual leaders in the locker room and on the staff.”
Blazevich felt he could have been happy at any of the schools under consideration but knew at the end of the day, he could only pick one.
The hardest part of the process, he said, was figuring out what he wanted. It all boiled down to his life away from the field.
“If I was not playing football, Georgia is still where I would want to go,” Blazevich said. “That was the big thing. If I got hurt and was not playing football, where do I want to go? I just could not say no to that town and that school.”
What Blazevich’s decision means for Georgia
With the addition of Blazevich, Georgia will likely not have room for a second tight end in the 2014 class. That could leave Milan Richard (Savannah, Ga./Calvary Baptist Day School) on the outside looking in at attending the same school as his parents, Bill and Veronica. Richard and Blazevich have kept in close contact with each other about the spot at Georgia.
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“I have been completely upfront and honest with Milan,” Blazevich said. “I have told him what I was thinking with each step, because we both understand that if he commits to Georgia, I would not have a spot. If he committed to Clemson, I would not have a spot. If he committed to Ole Miss, I would not have a spot.
“I remember at one time I texted him that he might just decide for me. And it is the same with me for him. It is just one of those things where you have to talk to him. That is the guy that is going to be stealing my spot and the guy I have to keep tabs on, but he has just been so upfront and honest with me, so I tried to do my best for him, too, and I cannot thank him enough.”
Blazevich will be supportive of Richard, even if the Bulldogs are able to find a spot for the 6-3, 230-pound legacy, who has established on the field and in camps that he is more than just Herschel Walker’s nephew.
“Shoot, he could even come to Georgia. Based on politics alone, he would probably start over me!” Blazevich said. “But I really respect him and cannot say enough nice things about Milan. I wish him the best wherever he goes.”
As for Blazevich’s role in Athens next year, the Under Armour All-American knows he will not have anything handed to him.
“I have so much respect for the guys already there working, so I will not really know where things stand until I am there and running around in the mix,” Blazevich said. “[Clemson] Coach [Dabo] Swinney actually told me, ‘When you get to college you start your journey all over again.’ I am pretty good in high school now, but I am pretty much a scrub in terms of how they play. I will see how I develop and, God willing, I will be able to compete for playing time earlier rather than later.”
Blazevich was overwhelmed with amount of contact he got on his phone and through social media while trying to make his decision. Now, he can relax and focus on finishing out his high school career.
“It feels really good to know 100 percent with my whole heart Georgia is where I want to go to school,” Blazevich said.