Go ahead and strike Da’Rick Rogers off Georgia’s list of commitments. And you might as well go ahead and drop the Bulldogs a few notches in national recruiting rankings while you’re at it.
In a day of rapid addition and subtraction for the Bulldogs, it appears they will finish down one as we head into national signing day. Rogers and Frostproof, Fla., cornerback Nickell Robey, both longtime UGA commitments, informed head coach Mark Richt in the last 24 hours they intend to sign elsewhere on national signing day. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs added Greenville offensive lineman Kenarious Gates to the class, giving them a total of 17 expected signees on Wednesday.
Several team fans sites, citing sources, were reporting that Rogers called Georgia head coach Mark Richt either late Monday or early Tuesday to tell him he planned to sign with Tennessee on Wednesday. Those reports mesh with what UGA commitment Hutson Mason told me Tuesday afternoon. The Lassiter quarterback said the Bulldogs coaches confirmed to him that Rogers had indeed informed them he intended to sign with Tennessee at the 9:45 a.m. signing ceremony Wednesday at Calhoun High School.
“Is that right?,” Calhoun coach Hal Lamb, sounding unsurprised, said when asked if he’d heard the news on Rogers. “I don’t know. I haven’t been able to reach him. He wasn’t at school again today.”
Rogers’ about-face is stunning considering Georgia’s recruiting relationship with him extends over two years while it spans only a few weeks with the Vols and new coach Derek Dooley.
Rogers’ teammate Nash Nance is also going to sign with Tennessee tomorrow at 9:45 a.m.
Robey is expected to sign with either West Virginia or USC. Robey called Richt Monday night to tell him he no longer planned to sign with the Bulldogs, Frostproof coach Brad Metheny said.
The bad news continued into the night for Georgia. Five-star wide receiver Christian Green reportedly informed the Bulldogs he intends to sign with Florida State on Wednesday. The five-star recruit had narrowed his choices to those two schools before taking an official visit with the Seminoles this past weekend.
Georgia entered February with top 10 national ratings in all three recognized recruiting polls, ESPN (4th), Rivals (8th) and Scout (9th). Given the attrition the Bulldogs have endured the last six weeks — four decommitments and several head-to-head losses — they will likely fall.
However, the Bulldogs still retain a solid class, led by five-star safety Alec Ogletree and four-star defensive tackle Garrison Smith. And remain hopeful of signing Stephenson defensive tackle Mike Thornton, the AJC’s No. 3-rated player, and four-star wide receiver Kadron Boone of Ocala.
But the overall perception of this recruiting class will be that Georgia stumbled in coughing and wheezing.