ATHENS, Ga. -- The Georgia coaching staff was on the road Friday, as usual, checking in on commits and targets alike. In what had to the most fortuitous turn of events of the day, tight ends coach John Lilly and inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti just happened to be stopping by Auburn (Ala.) High School right after the nation’s No. 1 inside linebacker, Reuben Foster, decommitted from Auburn University. Both coaches met with Foster, who reopened his recruitment, citing reports that his mentor Trooper Taylor had been let go at Auburn.
Later that night, another coach would also prove lucky as defensive line coach Rodney Garner was on hand to congratulate Montravius Adams (Vienna, Ga./Dooly County) after the top-ranked defensive tackle won the chance to play for the Georgia Class A championship.
Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and running backs coach Bryan McClendon were on hand to see the Bulldogs’ top tailback target, Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga./Norcross), win his semifinal game as well. Alabama’s Kirby Smart was also there, and the battle for Kamara is still neck and neck.
Back in Athens, the single largest weekend for official visitors was underway. The coaching staff prefers to have as many of the committed prospects as possible take their official visits on the same weekend as the annual senior gala. The party is a black-tie celebration of the season’s accomplishments, complete with awards presentations, video montages and lighthearted speeches. In years past, the gala has been an effective tool in convincing uncommitted targets to choose Georgia. With the recruiting calendar moving up further every year, the event is more of a welcoming of early enrollees and a chance to shore up any wavering commitments.
Georgia commits Brice Ramsey (Kingsland, Ga./Camden County), A.J. Turman (Orlando, Fla./Boone), Rico Johnson (Swainsboro, Ga./Swainsboro), Brandon Kublanow (Marietta, Ga./Walton), Josh Cardiello (Buford, Ga./Buford), Jordan Davis (Thomson, Ga./Thomson), Aulden Bynum (Valdosta, Ga./Valwood), Brendan Langley (Marietta, Ga./Kell), J.J. Green (Kingsland, Ga./Camden Co.), Chris Mayes (Griffin, Ga./Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C.), DeAndre Johnson (Newnan, Ga./Northgate), Johnny O'Neal (Cochran, Ga./West Dublin), Shaun McGee (Snellville, Ga./Brookwood), Naim Mustafaa (Alpharetta, Ga./Alpharetta), Shaq Wiggins (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek), Reggie Wilkerson (Citra, Fla./North Marion), Tray Matthews (Newnan, Ga./Newnan), Quincy Mauger (Marietta, Ga./Kell), Tim Kimbrough (Indianapolis/Warren) and Uriah LeMay (Matthews, N.C./Butler) were all on hand for the festivities.
Defensive lineman target Toby Johnson (Hutchinson, Kan./Hutchinson C.C.) was also visiting Georgia and the gala made quite an impression on the coveted juco standout. He tweeted, “UGA by far has been the best school I have visited."