- Derek Tyson, RecruitingNation
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville area has been very kind to the Georgia Bulldogs in recruiting over the past several years. Players such as offensive lineman Brent Benedict, cornerback Bryan Evans and current offensive tackle John Theus have all come from the First Coast area. The Bulldogs are now hoping to reach into Northeast Florida this year and grab one of the top defenders in the nation.
Five-star defensive end CeCe Jefferson still has yet to list his favorite schools but will take an unofficial visit to Athens to watch Georgia take on Clemson next Saturday.
“I’m going to Georgia-Clemson next weekend,” Jefferson said. “That will actually be my first game at Georgia. I heard between the hedges is pretty wild, so I’m just looking to go get a good experience -- have a good time, see some good football.”
Though no other visits, unofficial or official, have been planned, the 6-foot-3, 255-pound defensive end knows of two places he would like to see this fall.
“I’m still looking. I haven’t decided the dates for my officials yet, but unofficials, I haven’t decided them yet, either,” Jefferson said. "I know a few places I want to go. As of right now, Alabama and UCLA -- those are the only two right now.”
Jefferson admitted he could visit Alabama when they host Florida in Week 4. Jefferson said Alabama likes his versatility and ability to play the run or pass in its defensive system.
“Alabama has told me that -- they tell me I’m a hybrid-type of guy,” Jefferson said. "First, second down, I’m a defensive end. Third and fourth down, I’m a stand-up rush the passer-type of guy. I’m not that big, I’m only like 6-3, 255 pounds right now. There are monsters at offensive tackle, so I try to use my athleticism and elusiveness to my advantage, and I guess the coaches see that.”
Florida is a team that many consider to be the favorite to land the No. 7-ranked player in the nation. Jefferson had a chance to stop by one of Florida’s practices over the past few weeks.
“I think the guys have a chip on their shoulder, so it’s going to be a fast-paced, good game for those guys,” Jefferson said. "I think you’re going to see a whole different Florida team. Coach [Will] Muschamp talks to me and tells me the guys are fired up for the season and I'm just ready to see it.”
Another five-star defensive end, Byron Cowart, and Jefferson have talked publicly in the past about being a “packaged deal.” The two have since backed off that claim but Jefferson still admits it could still happen.
“At the end of the day, me and Byron are always going to be like brothers,” Jefferson said. "I met him my ninth-grade year at a camp and we just had a bond from there. I think there is a possibility we end up at the same place, but I’m not going to count that out. If we don’t, oh well. He’s pursuing his dream and I’m pursuing my dream.”
Jefferson is expected to wait until national signing day to make his decision.
39mSam Khan Jr. and Alex Scarborough