Georgia shaking up the conventional recruiting route: offers unrated running back

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(Photo: 247Sports)

By Joe Vitale:

Kirby Smart is exploring every available resource to improve the talent level at Georgia. In addition to recruiting the nation’s four and five star preps, he has taken an unconventional look at recruiting scholarship players and augmenting the roster with quality walk ons. 

A case in point is Deshuan Fenwick, a non-rated running back from Bradenton, Florida, whom the Dawgs offered this week. We can’t recall the last time Running Back U offered a back without any stars after his name, but finding hidden gems seems to be a source of pride for this Georgia staff. 

Fenwick is a junior at 7A (2nd highest classification in Florida) Braden River High. In 2016, the 6’3″, 208-pound athlete rushed for 904 yards, had 350 receiving yards and scored 15 touchdowns. Excellent numbers but not earth shattering in the offensive-minded, Florida gulf coast region. Braden River finished 9-2, losing only to Venice High in the regular season and state playoffs. 

Fenwick has been clocked at a mediocre 4.89 in the 40 but his times are improving. Maybe the nearly 10 yards per carry and 20 yards per reception averages caught the Georgia staff’s attention. 

Fenwick received his first offer from Ohio in late November and that was followed up by an offer from Ole Miss in December. Since, he’s been offered by UCF, Missouri, Boston College, South Carolina and Iowa State. After the Georgia offer, the recruiting will definitely heat up for the young man. 

Fenwick moved from Kentucky to Bradenton two years ago. He has made quick progress from a raw, big back to putting on muscle by working out with his offensive linemen. He has also picked up speed dramatically. He works out twice a day, before and after school in the offseason. 

One of his fellow students, Chandler Hammett, tells us Fenwick is a great student who is loved by his teachers, coaching staff and teammates.

“I’ve watched him play for two years now and his progression has been tremendous, the sky is the limit for his senior season,” Hammett told us. 

It’s not always the number of stars after your name that counts. Obviously the Georgia coaches see something in Fenwick that the rating services haven’t noticed. Kirby Smart is a master recruiter and talent evaluator, and has the ability to fully develop the potential in players that may fly a bit under the radar. 

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