ATHENS — Juwuan Briscoe was the fourth incoming freshman that I profiled for our “UGA Next Generation” series. I spent a day with the 6-foot, 185 pound cornerback earlier this summer in Waldorf, Md.
One of the most interesting sidebars to me about this whole thing is how well Georgia has recruited in Maryland lately. Not only did the Bulldogs land Briscoe, the defensive player of the year in that state, but they also got offensive lineman Patrick Allen of Reistertown, Md., who was named the offensive player of the year. You also may have heard of Greg Pyke. The junior guard from Baltimore is a preseason All-SEC candidate this season and as well as a candidate for possible early entry in the NFL draft.
As for Briscoe and Allen, their relationship is an interesting one. They weren’t really friends or even acquaintances before they both found themselves as primary recruiting targets for the Bulldogs. Briscoe’s hometown is about 75 miles and a whole lot of traffic away from Reistertown, which is on the other side of the Washington D.C., beyond Baltimore.
But, as fate would have it, their respective teams met in the Maryland Class 3A state semifinals. Allen’s Franklin High team defeated Briscoe’s Thomas Stone team 33-0. Briscoe starred as a tailback at Stone and rushed for 1,408 yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior. But he managed only 62 on 13 carries that night and was unable to finish the game.
And Allen hasn’t let him forget it.
“That was our game plan,” Allen says playfully. “We were going to hit him hard every play no matter what.”
Briscoe can laugh about it now.
“Me and Pat, how do you describe it?” he said with a grin. “He’s like the older brother that picks on the little brother. Every time he sees me he wants to pick on me about the semifinals game. But it’s all love, man.”
At the time of the late November game, Allen was committed to Georgia. But it wouldn’t last. He ended up de-committing in December after Mike Bobo and Will Friend, his position coach, left for Colorado State.
And at that very moment, Ohio State led for Briscoe’s services. He left after the game to take an official visit to Georgia. The Bulldogs lost to Georgia Tech that day, but Briscoe lists that visit as a big reason he decided to sign with UGA. He committed on New Years Day.
Another major factor was the opportunity for playing time. Briscoe said he intends to compete for playing time right away at cornerback.
“That became part of it in the end, but I just want to show everybody I can play,” Briscoe said. “I don’t want to sit and ride the pine. I’m used to playing. My whole life, I’ve been playing.”
Briscoe certainly will be given an opportunity at Georgia. He’s one of seven defensive backs the Bulldogs’ signed but one of only a few pure corners. He ran a 4.43-second, laser-timed 40-yard dash at a Nike camp, so he has the speed. And worked in Maryland with former Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Troy Vincent on mastering the hip-turns and footwork needed to excel as a DB at the highest levels of football.
Briscoe certainly has the attitude for playing corner in the SEC.
“I’m not scared, to be honest,” he said. “I’m very confident on the field. I would say I have an alter ego, almost. I’m in-your-face. You’re not going to take mine; that’s the way I feel about it. So I’m excited and eager.”
UGA NEXT GENERATION STORIES …
- Fateful tweet from UGA coach leads Juwuan Briscoe to Bulldogs
- Local cop helps get Briscoe back on track
- Photos: Meet Juwuan Briscoe
- Football the easy part for Thompson
- Family work ethic defines Thompson
- Recruiting frenzy was intense for No. 1 DT
- Photos: Meet Trent Thompson
- Madden’s trek to Georgia was ‘meant to be’
- It’s all about family for Maddens
- Strength training a big part of Madden’s story
- Blog: Confidence, dedication will earn Madden PT
- Photos: Meet Sam Madden
- LB Roquan Smith plans to earn his keep at UGA
- City of Montezuma stands behind Roquan
- Photo Gallery: Meet Roquan Smith
- Video: Getting to know Roquan Smith