Junior days mark the ‘official’ beginning of the next class. While schools have been recruiting athletes since before this period, it’s really the first time these players become front-and-center focuses. Now that the 2014 class is signed, sealed and delivered, these 2015 targets become the primary focus.
Junior days are typically one day events–allowed by the NCAA–where a school can bring in a list of kids (and their parents/guardians) they want to show around campus and maybe talk to a bit more. It’s not a camp. Nobody puts any pads or helmets on.
The elite list of invitees can vary greatly. For Georgia this weekend (weather permitting), it could be anybody from a guy like defensive tackle Trent Thompson, the No. 2 overall prospect in the nation, to a guy like Savannah WR product Brad Stewart, who impressed during the Peach State’s Elite Junior Classic and has created a recruiting buzz–and is hoping to land an offer from the Bulldogs this weekend.
There’s no doubt though: If Georgia is inviting you to this event, they are seriously considering you. And another near definite?: The Bulldogs will likely add to their class of four after this weekend, and who knows … in fact, maybe the class of 2015 will double in size?
Saturday Down South talked to five of the invitees about what they are expecting from the event, ranging from high-end four-star prospects who already have Georgia offers to those who are seeking offers. Here’s what they told us about this weekend.
Editor’s note: Saturday Down South’s references to ratings follow the 247Sports.com composite rankings.
- Chuma Edoga, Powder Springs (Ga.), OL–4-star (No. 64 overall nationally): “I’m hoping to see some of the academic aspect of the school, like the engineering program. I feel like I know how my relationship with the coaches are, and I feel real comfortable with them.”
- Roquan Smith, Montezuma (Ga.), LB–4-star (No. 68 overall nationally): “I have been up there a lot, so I’m just looking for a good time. It’s a nice college town.”
- Austin Bryant, Thomasville (Ga.), DE–4-star (No. 180 overall nationally): “I’m hoping to see the academic part of UGA. I know the football is awesome already. Coach Pruitt is going to have that defense right this fall.”
- Darius Slayton, Norcross (Ga.), DB–3-star (No. 354 overall nationally): “I know they have a great academic system and I’ve around the coaches a little bit and so far they’re all cool guys. And I know the school has an excellent academic program. I’m not sure how many people might commit, but me personally I won’t. But some others may once they get to see the campus and meet the coaches on a more personal level.”
- Brad Stewart, Savannah (Ga.), WR–n/a star (n/a natonal rank): “To be 100 percent honest, it’s a toss up (of whether he’ll receive an offer this weekend). I would absolutely love to receive an offer, but it could go either way. I feel that I am capable of contributing to the team in a special way, but in the end it’s the coaches’ decision. I’m hoping to have a great experience there this weekend, bonding with all the players and the coaches. I already know how great the facilities are based on the summer camp I attended. I think the coaches like that I am a team player and can make a play when needed.”