ATHENS — The hits just keep on coming for Georgia. That’d be both of the positive and negative variety.
The latest news for the Bulldogs was not good. Roquan Smith, one of their most prized and important in-state targets, chose to go out of state instead. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound 4-star linebacker from Montezuma chose UCLA over UGA.
“I wanted to get out and do my own thing and experience something different,” Smith told a national television audience tuning in for his live announcement on ESPNU. “I just felt at home there.”
Turns out that dog wasn’t completely through hunting, however. Smith never did send in a signed letter-of-intent and he’d confirm to reporters in Montezuma later he still hasn’t completely made up his mind. Stay tuned.
But the fact that Smith didn’t immediately sign with the Bulldogs as expected was the second bit of major disappointment that hundreds of Georgia recruiting fans who made the pilgrimage to the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall felt on Wednesday, the first day of the national signing period. They found out overnight the Bulldogs lost wide receiver Darius Slayton to Auburn.
Meanwhile, several other dramas were still ongoing and playing out. Former wide receiver commitment Van Jefferson, who flipped to Ole Miss late in the recruiting period, had pushed his lunchtime announcement back twice and still has not made a decision at this writing. And 5-star commitment Terry Godwin, also a wideout, is not going to air his decision until 6 p.m. So there are miles to go before Georgia can sleep.
Meanwhile, it wasn’t all downers for the Dogs. They landed highly-touted tackle Pat Allen out of Reisertown, Md., earlier in the day. And, of course, UGA can point out that it did sign the No. 1 overall recruiting prospect in America in defensive lineman Trent Thompson of Albany.
Georgia coach Mark Richt, when he addressed the gathering throng in the museum area of the football complex shortly before lunch, was anything but depressed.
“You know what, I’m not allowed to say names and all that kind of thing, but I think there’s a lot of good news on the way today,” Richt said. “I’m sure not everything is going to go exactly as we hoped, but there’s a lot of very, very positive things happening along the way.”
With Smith’s announcement, the Bulldogs were left at 26 signees so far for the 2015 signing class. As far as national rankings go, 247Sports had UGA at No. 10 and Rivals at 9.
The Bulldogs were awaiting word from at least three more recruits as offensive lineman Nick Buchanan (2 p.m.) and receivers Van Jefferson (noon) and Terry Godwin (6 p.m.) still have announcements pending.
Here’s the list so far:
- Jonathan Abram, ILB, Columbia, MS
- Chuks Amaechi, OLB, Avondale, AR
- Michael Barnett, DL, Dorcester, SC
- Jake Ganus, LB, Chelsea, AL
- Jackson Harris, TE, Columbia, TN
- Jonathan Ledbetter, DL, Tucker
- Natrez Patrick, DL, Atlanta
- Jarvis Wilson, DB, Tupelo, MS
- Juwuan Briscoe, CB, Waldorf, MD
- Juwan Taylor, LB, Hallandale Beach, FL
- Jayson Stanley, WR, Fairburn
- Sam Madden, OL, Barnegut, NJ
- Rashad Roundtree, S, Evans
- Justin Young, DL, Loganville
- DeVondre Seymour, OL, Hinds (MS) CC (Suwanee)
- Sage Hardin, OL, Marist
- Tae Crowder, RB, Harris County
- Pat Allen, OL, Reistertown, MD
- DaQuan Hawkins, DT, Westlake
- D’Andre Walker, DT, Langston-Hughes (Fairburn)
- Michael Chigbu, WR, New Orleans
- Trent Thompson, DL, Albany
- DeAndre Baker, CB, Miami
- Chauncey Rivers, DL, Stone Mountain (Stephenson HS)
- Rico McGraw, DB, Nashville
- Gary McCrae, LB, Cuthbert (Randolph Clay HS)
- Kirby Choates, DB, Atlanta (Tri-Cities)
- Shaquery Wilson, ATH, Coral Gables, Fla.