5-star DE Robert Beal commits to Georgia

The top-ranked defensive end in the country is staying home.

Robert Beal, the No. 5-ranked prospect in the 2017 ESPN 300, committed to the Georgia Bulldogs over Alabama, Florida State, Notre Dame and Texas on Tuesday morning.

"I'm just a homegrown guy," Beal said. "I love my home, I love my state and I want to help bring a national championship back to Georgia."

Beal, an Under Armour All-America Game selection from Norcross, Georgia, originally committed to childhood favorite Notre Dame in November 2015 before decommitting in February.

While Alabama was considered the favorite in the months after Beal's decommitment, Georgia coach Kirby Smart built a relationship with him that made the difference.

"It's been great ever since he has been at Georgia," Beal said. "You know, he has been on me, and we talk all the time. It's not really recruiting we talk about all the time, I just keep him updated on everything with me. He's different from everybody else because we don't talk recruiting much."

Beal's commitment marks just the second time in the past five years that the top-ranked prospect in the Peach State has picked the Bulldogs. Trent Thompson picked Georgia in 2015. Eight of the state's top 21 prospects are headed to Athens with a number of others still in play.

Georgia previously had the No. 6-ranked recruiting class. The Bulldogs now have eight ESPN 300 commitments, including two five-stars in Beal and safety Richard LeCounte, along with No. 47-ranked William Poole III and ESPN 300 linebackers Breon Dixon and Jaden Hunter.

The Bulldogs remain in the mix for a number of other ESPN 300 prospects, including five-star offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson, five-star defensive back DeAngelo Gibbs, safety JaCoby Stevens (No. 24), running back Cam Akers (No. 25), cornerback/athlete Jamyest Williams (No. 37) and offensive tackle Andrew Thomas (No. 38).