ATLANTA -- Georgia lost its only outside linebacker commit in Naim Mustafaa when he decided to enroll early at Oklahoma State a few days ago. The Bulldogs are also losing two starters at the position as well with Jarvis Jones heading to the NFL a year early and Cornelius Washington graduating. With no immediate help on the horizon, the Georgia coaches will turn to some of the Class of 2014 standouts.
One player whose recruitment is on the verge of taking off is defensive end Dante Sawyer (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett). The 6-foot-3, 245-pound junior has already received verbal offers from Ohio State and North Carolina, with many more possible.
“I am hearing from Ohio State, Clemson, UCLA, Georgia -- every now and then -- and Alabama,” Sawyer said. “Florida is starting to talk to me a little bit, so I’m looking forward to hearing from some more schools sooner or later.”
Sawyer plans to visit Florida in the spring.
“I’d like to go down there,” Sawyer said. “I was going to go down there last year but I didn’t go.”
He says he is certain to visit the Crimson Tide in the summer.
“Kirby Smart keeps telling me to keep working hard,” Sawyer said. “They just keep telling me that if anything I’ll probably be playing like a hybrid standup position. I started standing up a little bit, so, I’m looking forward to it.”
Sawyer plays with a hand on the ground as a defensive end for North Gwinnett, but he likes the idea of standing up as a linebacker. He tried it out at the recent Rising Seniors Bowl game and liked it.
“I want to play up honestly, in a 3-4 defense,” Sawyer said. “ I want to say at Ohio State it’s called a hybrid. That’s what they’re talking about I’d probably play, but I don’t know what it’s called at Bama.”
Urban Meyer and his Buckeyes staff are spending a lot of time recruiting the top players in the state of Georgia, just like he did when he was at Florida. The early offer from Ohio State has made an impression on Sawyer.
“I’ll probably take a visit up there in February with Demarre Kitt (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek) and Nick Glass (Suwanee, Ga./Peachtree Ridge),” Sawyer said. “A couple of us guys going to go up there in February. We’ve been talking about going to school together this whole week; we’ve been talking about doing something like that.”
As nice a package deal as that would be for the Buckeyes, Sawyer said he is far from guaranteeing such an outcome. He still has a lot of schools he wants to see.
“I’ll probably go to UCLA over the summer and just see some schools out of state,” Sawyer said. “Clemson maybe and Alabama for sure.”