Georgia football: Big names still up for grabs for Bulldogs in 2021 class
To say the least, the 2021 recruiting cycle has been the most unique we’ve ever seen.
The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have almost eliminated in-person visits, with many recruits opting for virtual ones to get as close to a feel for the campus environment as they can. Obviously, nothing can replace the experience of actually seeing it in real life, leaving a massive challenge for coaches and staff to adjust to the new normal.
The same holds true for Georgia, with a number of players they would love to add to a class that ranks sixth in the country and third in the SEC. The group committed to play for the Dawgs is stellar: Elite offensive tackle Amarius Mims leads the list, along with quarterback Brock Vandagriff.
Here are five players worth keeping a close eye on as we close in on seven weeks until the Early Signing Period is scheduled to begin on Dec. 16 — if it’s not pushed back, of course:
Korey Foreman, DE
Defensive end is set to have a new look in 2021, with Malik Herring in his final season and a Top 15 player at the position in Jonathan Jefferson pledging in March. If Georgia lays claim to Foreman, it will be the second time in the past three recruiting cycles that the program will have landed the No. 1 overall recruit in the country. And this one would be different: Foreman is tied for 12th all-time in the history of 247Sports’ composite rankings.
A former Clemson pledge, Foreman is obviously receiving a great deal of attention, but where he ultimately lands could partially hinge on the destination of massive defensive tackle Maason Smith.
Foreman had said that he could make his decision at January’s All-American Bowl in San Antonio. But with the annual event off the calendar due to the pandemic, his timeline is very much in flux.
Smael Mondon, OLB
A player like Mondon, from about 45 minutes west of Atlanta, can fit the Dawgs’ needs, with some key names in the linebacking corps set to be gone in 2021. One of the big draws is his versatility: He lined up as a running back in the Paulding County offense last year but appears to be focusing almost exclusively on the defensive side of the ball as a senior. He has stellar speed, but his work in reading pass coverage is a major benefit as well.
Rated by 247Sports as the No. 2 outside linebacker in the country, Mondon plans to commit on Nov. 18 and will choose from Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee.
Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins, DT
Marlin Dean is already in the fold for the Dawgs, but with the team set to lose Devonte Wyatt and Julian Rochester, it will make a heavy push for the services of Ingram-Dawkins. He’d join Dean and Warren Brinson in the defensive tackle rotation next year.
The biggest obstacle to pulling Ingram-Dawkins to Athens might be South Carolina, with the latest news from his camp saying that he would commit on Nov. 7. So we may not have to wait long to find out the destination of the country’s No. 14 defensive tackle.
Shemar Turner, DE
While Georgia remains in the hunt for Foreman, it might have a better shot at Turner, a 4-star recruit and the No. 6 strongside defensive end in the country.
Turner rolled up 8.0 sacks as a junior in the 2019 season and appears to be a player as comfortable with rushing from the edge as he is at stopping the run. He’s also similar in size to incumbent Malik Herring. If the Bulldogs land him, he’ll land firmly in a battle with Jefferson and returnee Tramel Walthour to see who will see the most time in the rotation behind Travon Walker.
Terrion Arnold, S
Arnold’s a player who is firmly on the Bulldogs’ radar. Both Florida and Florida State will be doing what they can to keep the top-10 safety within the borders of the Sunshine State, but he has built some very strong bonds with some high-level Georgia commits like Mims and Vandagriff.
Through five games this season, Arnold has 28 tackles, 2 interceptions and 3 passes defensed, so it’s clear he has a nose for the football. He’ll be an option for the Dawgs in the return game if he ends up playing in Athens, as he has taken a punt 65 yards to the end zone this year.