Georgia wouldn't take no for an answer, and its perserverence was rewared on Monday night when Hamilton (Ga.) Harris County ESPNU 150 DE Jordan Jenkins picked the Dawgs.
At the start of the season, Georgia was, at best, on the outside looking in for Jenkins, who is No. 61 in the ESPNU 150. But the Bulldogs made a surge late in the process and stunned Alabama and Florida to pull the state’s No. 6 ranked recruit and the nation’s No. 5 rated defensive end.
“You know, prior to the season, I wasn’t really even thinking about Georgia,” Jenkins said last week. “I sat down and start thinking more and more about the Dawgs. Seriously. They have a great team and a great program, and I love coach (Todd) Grantham. It had nothing to do with the season they had. I do really like them.”
Jenkins, who played in the Under Armour All-America Game last Thursday, said his plan was to huddle up with his family at home when he returned from Orlando. Jenkins would weigh the pros and cons that included football elements, as well as education and things away from the game. “We will look at all the critical factors,” Jenkins said in Orlando.
It just goes to show that in recruiting, you have to keep fighting. While the Crimson Tide and Gators were vying for the top spot with Jenkins since the spring, Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and tight ends coach John Lilly continued to talk with Jenkins, continued to build a relationship and continued to keep the Bulldogs in the mix.
And in recruiting, all that counts is who the recruit picks in the end. In this case, it’s Georgia for Jenkins.
This could be just the beginning of a great three weeks leading up to national signing day for coach Mark Richt and the Bulldogs. They are sitting on 16 commitments and have just enough room to make a lot of noise between now and Feb. 1. On the Georgia radar are four-star recruits like running backs Mike Davis (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson) and Todd Gurley (Tarboro, N.C./Tarboro), outside linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons (Valdosta, Ga./Lowdes), offensive tackle Avery Young (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Palm Beach Gardens), cornerback Sheldon Dawson (Memphis, Tenn./Ridgeway) and defensive end Kenderius Whitehead (Lithonia, Ga./Martin Luther King).
The Dawgs proved one thing on Monday -- never count them out.