Georgia hopes to make big impression with junior day Saturday


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.

Related: Georgia has the top tight end signee for 2014

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 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.”
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