Georgia appears to have reaped some recruiting rewards — at least in the short term – during its thrilling 41-37 win over South Carolina on Saturday.
The Bulldogs hosted dozens of elite prospects for the game on unofficial visits, including a number of players that are also considering South Carolina. It appears that Georgia moved up at least a notch or two for virtually all of them.
The Bulldogs appear to have made some major headway with running back Marcus Lattimore, who is considered the No. 1 back in America. The Duncan, S.C., resident, who stars for Byrnes High School, did not previously have Georgia among his top five but does now after his unofficial visit.
“I have to say that they are back in it for me,” Lattimore told Scout.com’s Chad Simmons. “Georgia has never pressured me and that meant a lot. . . . Me, my dad, and my cousins went down to the game and it was crazy. The atmosphere, the crowd, the game, it was all ridiculous. The students were so loud the entire game and it was great to be there for that. I couldn’t even hear myself think on that last play because it was so loud in there.”
As impressed as Lattimore was with the game-day environment, he said he was even more moved by separate letters from Georgia coach Mark Richt he and his mother received the same day earlier last week.
“He listed 10 reasons why I should go to Georgia,” Lattimore told Scout. “He said that I fit the offense like a glove, he said that the location is not too close and not too far, and things like that. They were all legit reasons for me to look at Georgia again. I was not expecting anything like that so it kind of blew me away.”
Lattimore said he intends to return to Georgia for an official visit. If that’s the case, he’ll have to pare down his list of schools. Lattimore previously listed Auburn, South Carolina, North Carolina, Oregon and Penn State in his top five. Now he says he has added Georgia to that group along with Florida State. Recruits are allowed just five official visits. Auburn and South Carolina have generally been considered the leaders, so at least two others will have to be eliminated soon.
The South Carolina game also appears to have helped the Dogs with cornerback Johnovan Fulton of Manning, S.C. The recruitment of this 4-star prospect has generally been considered to be between the Gamecocks and Alabama. But Fulton told Rivals.com he really liked what he saw while visiting Athens with teammate Dexter Morant, a defensive end who is already committed to Georgia.
” I got to see the fans and the action,” Fulton told Kipp Adams of ugasports.com. “We got there three hours early and it was still packed to where we had to park really far away. That just shows you that the fans do not mess around with these SEC games.”
Fulton (6-1, 180) said he’ll probably return to Georgia for an official visit. Currently he has two planned: LSU on Oct. 10 for the Florida game and Alabama on Oct. 17 when it hosts South Carolina.
Attending the game also moved Georgia to the top of the list for Spartanburg, S.C., wide receiver Charone Peak. Peak is considered one of the top junior prospects in the country.
One of the Georgia had only one official visitor this past weekend and that was linebacker Khairi Fortt of Stamford, Conn. The four-star, Class of 2010 recruit reportedly was very impressed on his visit and told Rivals.com he’ll choose between the Bulldogs, Penn State and North Carolina.
In recruiting news outside the Classic City this past weekend, Lattimore’s Byrnes High teammate Corey Miller has reneged on his commitment to Florida State and committed to Tennessee after his visit there this past weekend, according to The Orlando Sentinel.