NCF On The Trail: Georgia football recruiting

ATHENS, Ga. -- The Bulldogs’ coaching staff wanted bookend cornerbacks for the Class of 2014, and after picking up a verbal commitment from ESPN 300 athlete Malkom Parrish, the search was on to find his counterpart. That search ended Friday, when Georgia picked up a commitment from Hutchinson Community College cornerback Shattle Fenteng.

“I just want to be a Dawg,” Fenteng said. “When I told the coaches, they were excited. They said they were jumping up and down.”

Fenteng picked the Bulldogs over Ole Miss and Kansas State. He said it was Georgia’s record that put the Bulldogs on top.

“I like that UGA is a winning program,” Fenteng said. “That is important to me. I played at Grayson High School, where we won the state championship my senior year. And Hutchinson wins a lot, too.”

Fenteng grew up less than an hour away from Athens, so when the offer came from the Bulldogs last Saturday, he pounced on the chance to return home.

“So I called Coach [Scott] Lakatos, and he told me I was the cornerback they were recruiting, and he wanted me to go there,” Fenteng said. “He decided to offer me a scholarship.”

The 6-foot-2, 184-pound cornerback took Lakatos up on the offer less than a week later. Fenteng had visited Georgia over the summer, so he knew what the Bulldogs had to offer.

“I liked my visit,” Fenteng said. “I liked the coaching staff and the area too. I know what they can do for me.”

As to what Fenteng can do for Georgia, well, he can just carry over what he is doing at Hutchinson.

“I had four interceptions and 16 pass break-ups last year,” Fenteng said. “I had 57 tackles and two tackles-for-loss. We didn’t do any corner blitzes last year, but we might do that this year, since we are sophomores and more experienced. Georgia likes to do that.”


ATHENS, Ga. -- On Saturday the Georgia Bulldogs’ coaching staff will see if it can continue its impressive streak of recent recruiting wins when five-star defensive tackle Lamont Gaillard (Fayetteville, N.C./Pine Forest) makes the five-hour drive to Athens with his mother. The nation’s No. 12 overall prospect wants to make a decision soon and Gaillard’s visit could seal the deal for Georgia.

“I am coming down with my mom and my family,” Gaillard said. “I want her to see it and see if she likes it.”

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ATHENS, Ga. -- Offensive lineman Dyshon Sims (Valdosta, Ga/Lowndes) joined Georgia’s 2014 crop of commitments on Friday when he verbally pledged to join the Bulldogs at Mark Richt’s Dawg Night camp.


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ATHENS, Ga. -- With much attention is focused on the annual Dawg Night camp that will start at 4 p.m. ET, next weekend might have some fireworks as well. Five-star defensive tackle Lamont Gaillard is scheduled to visit the Bulldogs on July 20, and according to his head coach, Bill Sochovka, Georgia has positioned itself well.


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ESPN 300 DE has UGA in front 

July, 2, 2013
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ATHENS, Ga. -- The potential logjam at outside linebacker in Georgia's recruiting class just got a little tighter. There are no commits at the position so far, but the Bulldogs lead for Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Ala./Auburn), are tied at the top for Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) and are among the top three that Christian Miller (Columbia, S.C./Spring Valley) is considering. In addition, a fourth ESPN 300 target just completed a weekend visit with the Bulldogs, and Keyon Brown (Wauchula, Fla./Hardee County) still has Georgia out front as well.


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ATHENS, Ga. -- Christian Miller (Columbia, S.C./Spring Valley), the nation’s No. 2 outside linebacker, was in Athens on Wednesday, talking with Mark Richt and Kirk Olivadotti. Miller liked what he heard. In fact, he left campus thinking he could easily see himself suiting up for the Bulldogs.


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Georgia instant impact recruits 

June, 25, 2013
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Coaches are always looking for recruits who can have a major impact on their programs. Here is a list of prospects -- both commits and realistic targets -- that could make an impact for Georgia in 2014:

1. TE Jeb Blazevich (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian)
HT/WT: 6-5, 228 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: 94

Blazevich could easily see the field before any of the other commits or targets that Georgia is after in the Class of 2014. Arthur Lynch is a senior this year so Blazevich will join only two other tight ends -- Jay Rome and Jordan Davis -- on the roster when he arrives in Athens. Davis will bulk up and be the prototypical blocking tight end who replaces Lynch, while Blazevich will be an offensive threat downfield. He recently won the wide receiver MVP award at the Nike Football Training camp, a first for a tight end.


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Park joins crowded QB field 

June, 14, 2013
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Seldom has the Georgia coaching staff had a week like this. Last Saturday the Bulldogs picked up two commitments from players who choose the Bulldogs on the spot when offered; no waiting, no visits, no nothing. Then on Tuesday, Georgia picked up a commitment from Nick Chubb, the Peach State’s most productive running back last year. On Thursday the Bulldogs received their first pledge from a prospect ranked in the top-10 players from Georgia, ESPN 150 athlete Malkom Parrish. Now Georgia has picked up a commitment from a top quarterback, Elite 11 member Jacob Park.

Jacob Park
Tom Hauck for Student SportsESPN ranks Jacob Park as the No. 8 dual-threat quarterback prospect in the country.
Park, from Stratford High School in Goose Creek, S.C., was in town last Saturday at the Mark Richt minicamp where he spent time throwing for offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. Towards the end of the day, Bobo, who also coaches the quarterbacks, had seen enough and Parks was given an offer to play in Athens. Park told DawgNation moments later that the Georgia offer was the one he had wanted for over a year. Six days later he committed to Georgia after narrowing his list to the Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide.

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Elite 11 QB earns UGA offer 

June, 8, 2013
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ATHENS, Ga. -- For months the Georgia coaching staff had only extended an offer to one quarterback for the Class of 2014 -- Clemson commit Deshaun Watson (Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville).

That changed on Saturday.


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ATHENS, Ga. -- While all eyes were on ESPN 150 wide receiver Cameron Sims at the Mark Richt camp, it was another wideout that made the first big news of the day for the Bulldogs. Gilbert Johnson (Miami, Fla./Southridge) had a big day on the field and followed that up by committing to Georgia afterwards.


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NORCROSS, Ga. -- ESPN 150 defensive end Lorenzo Carter seems to never stop grinning, even on the football field. His 100-megawatt smile calls to mind another affable defensive end, Michael Strahan, complete with the trademark gap. Even a shoving match with a teammate resulted in Carter falling down laughing about it later.

During the Norcross spring game on Friday, Carter and offensive tackle Horatio Walker tangled as they went at each other in the trenches. Walker held Carter’s jersey and was rewarded with a shot to the helmet.

“Well it was a run, and I don’t think Horatio respects me on the run yet, but it is all good,” Carter said between guffaws. “He tried to bully me around, but I was not having that so I had to hit him back. I was having fun out there.”


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MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. -- Everyone calls him “Pee Wee,” but not in an ironic way that you would call a big man “Tiny.” No, defensive tackle Davonte Lambert (Milledgeville, Ga./Georgia Military College) was born to that nickname.

“I was a premature baby and my auntie came up with that name when I was little, so it just stuck with me ever since,” Lambert said. “I was under five pounds.”

Now Lambert tips the scales at 280 pounds and stands 6-foot-3 atop the wish lists of a number of major college programs.

“I have offers from Georgia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, Mississippi State, Miami, Texas Tech -- I don’t know all of them off the top of my head,” Lambert said. “I get a ton of letters every day with a lot of handwritten ones.”

Not too shabby for a guy who didn’t get much attention in high school. Now in junior college, Lambert is enjoying the spotlight.


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Each week, Tales From The Road will provide news and updates about where Georgia’s coaches have been and what prospects are standing out.

This week’s targets: Last Monday Mike Bobo and Will Friend saw Lowndes (Ga.) High School offensive lineman Dyshon Sims, who would get an offer from Georgia two days later. On Tuesday Tony Ball dropped on wide receiver commitment Krenwick Sanders at Wayne County (Ga.) High School and Todd Grantham and Kirk Olivadotti checked in on ESPN 150 linebacker target Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County) . Grantham also visited ESPN 150 LB targets Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Ala./Auburn) and Jacob Pugh (Tallahassee, Fla./Godby) that day. Defensive line coach Chris Wilson saw safety target Cortez McDowell (Locust Grove, Ga./Locust Grove) and John Lilly saw Callaway 2015 athlete target Terry Godwin (Hogansville, Ga./Callaway). On Thursday, Grantham and Lakatos saw ESPN 150 CB targets Nicholas Ruffin (Atlanta/St. Pius X) and D.J. Smith (Marietta, Ga./Walton), and evaluated Cameron Albright (Kennesaw, Ga./North Cobb).

Area of interest: North Carolina has been good the Georgia Bulldogs. The running back tandem of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall can attest to that. When the ESPN 150 was released, 10 players from the Tar Heel State made the initial list, which is only one prospect less than the state of Georgia and the same as the entire state of California. The No. 3 tight end in the nation, Jeb Blazevich, has already committed to Georgia, and the Bulldogs lead for the No. 10 overall prospect in defensive tackle Lamont Gaillard (Fayetteville, N.C./Pine Forest).

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ATHENS, Ga. -- Offensive tackle Dyshon Sims (Valdosta, Ga./Lowndes) awoke from a post-practice nap to find out that a longtime dreams of his had come true.

“I was actually sleeping around 9:30 when I got an alert on my phone from my Facebook account that I had gotten a message,” Sims said. “It was from the offensive line coach, Coach [Will] Friend. So I called him and he said they were offering me a full scholarship to come play at the University of Georgia.”

The 6-foot-4, 278-pound junior was taken aback.

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JEFFERSON, Ga. -- A bystander watching Preston Williams (Lovejoy, Ga./Lovejoy) warm up at the Georgia state track and field championships simply said, “Who is that guy?” Williams stood on the edge of the long jump pit -- where he was challenging for a state title as only a sophomore -- and exploded with a flat-footed jump to the middle of the pit, reaching a height and distance that turned heads.

As did his outfit. Williams wore blindingly bright yellow shoes, mismatched socks (one was a multi-colored, neon leopard print, while the other was decorated with cupcakes), cut-off camouflage sweat pants over black leggings and a Lovejoy t-shirt. The ensemble was topped off with a gray scarf that would look great on a 78-year-old retiree from Boca Raton but seemed out of place wrapped around Williams’ noggin as a headband.

Preston Williams
Radi Nabulsi/ESPNSophomore Preston Williams is turning heads, and for more than just his fashion sense.
“This is my look,” Williams said. “My jumping look -- I am exotic.”

While his fashion is eclectic, the true answer to who Williams is a lot more complicated.


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