With June coming to a close, the annual Dawg Night is right around the corner, and Georgia’s 2016 commitment list may be getting a tad longer.
Last year’s Dawg Night was the catalyst for both 5 star quarterback Jacob Eason (Lake Stevens, WA/Lake Stevens) and 5 star left tackle “Big Ben” Cleveland to commit, announcing together at the closing dinner of the 2014 camp. The two recruits’ respective commitments have not waivered and both expect to enroll at the University of Georgia upon completing their senior season of high school football.
This year Eason and Cleveland will return to Dawg Night along with a slew of other talented 2016 and 2017 prospects, some of whom have already committed to the Bulldogs, and some of whom are uncommitted. Which of the uncommitted recruits are most likely to follow in their size fifteen footsteps and commit to Georgia on Dawg Night? Here are a few ideas:
1. Mecole Hardman: 4 star Athlete, Elbert Co. High School, 5’11”, 170 lbs.
Hardman has stated his intention to “silently commit,” implying he could be committed to a school already without anyone but he knowing. But by all accounts, if he already has silently committed to a school, that school is Georgia. The Elbert County standout is a frequent visitor to the nearby University of Georgia campus, and he has a group of friends, including 5 star defensive tackle Julian Rochester, who are already committed to Georgia and frequently urge Mecole to do the same. If enough players get in his ear during the Dawg Night festivities, it’s possible that the highly-touted Hardman finally makes his commitment public. The Georgia coaching staff have made the young star a top priority, and it seems their efforts could pay off in July.
2. Kyle Davis, 4 star Wide Receiver, Archer High School, 6’2”, 220 lbs.
Once committed to South Carolina, Kyle Davis has taken a break from the recruiting circuit since he decommitted from the Gamecocks in May. He has befriended 2016 QB commit Jacob Eason but the pair have thrown together only once: on an uncharacteristically windy April morning in Atlanta when Davis was still a South Carolina commit. Davis will play with Eason on Team Fly Rush at The Opening, an all-star tournament pitting the nation’s top recruits against each other, held July 7-10 at Nike’s Oregon headquarters. Should the two continue to develop a relationship, don’t be surprised if Kyle Davis decides to end his recruitment for good at Dawg Night with his potential future signal caller Eason in attendance.
3. Demetris Robertson, 5 star Athlete, Savannah Christian Preparatory, 6’1”, 170 lbs.
Like Kyle Davis, Demetris Robertson has forged a friendship with Jacob Eason but has had limited face-to-face interaction with him. And again like Davis, Robertson will play on Eason’s team at Nike’s The Opening next week. The former Bama commit has swayed toward Georgia in recent months but has been long overdue for a visit to campus, an issue that will soon be remedied. On what will be his first visit to Athens in 2015, expect Demetris Robertson to at least consider pulling the trigger and committing to Georgia after developing more chemistry with his future quarterback.
4. Elijah Holyfield, 4 star Running Back, Woodward Academy, 5’11”, 205 lbs.
Following the decommitment of tailback BJ Emmons (Morgantown, NC/Freedom), the Dawgs have a newly-opened spot for a running back in their 2016 recruiting class. That spot could be filled by Elijah Holyfield, son of former heavyweight boxing champion and Georgia Bulldogs football fan Evander Holyfield. The younger Holyfield has been spending a lot of time on Georgia’s campus recently following the recruiting lull resulting from shakeups in the Bulldogs’ offensive coaching staff during the earlier part of the year. After Holyfield frequently visited Auburn and South Carolina early in the year, the Georgia coaching staff reaffirmed their interest in the power back, who has now visited Athens twice just this month alone. He will presumably return to campus for Dawg Night on July 19 after competing in The Opening next week. Elijah Holyfield may be in high demand, but so is the privilege of being a tailback at The University of Georgia; he could decide to usurp that one available (and highly coveted) running back spot in the upcoming class sooner rather than later by committing on Dawg Night with several friends and possible future teammates in attendance.
5. Tyler Simmons, 4 star Wide Receiver, McEachern High School, 5’11”, 195 lbs.
Tyler Simmons has been a hot commodity as of late, picking up offers from Nebraska, Texas A&M, and Alabama just in the past month. The recent transfer from New Manchester High School in Douglasville will enter his season projected to be one of the favorite receiving targets for 2017 4 star quarterback and recent Georgia commit Bailey Hockman (Powder Springs, GA/McEachern) and for good reason—aside from his solid muscular frame, Simmons possesses good ball skills and the ability to make defenders miss. Simmons, who was offered a scholarship to play football at Georgia in early May, has gone on record expressing interest in playing his collegiate ball with Bailey Hockman. Now that his quarterback has signed on, can we expect Simmons to do the same at Dawg Night? Wait and see.