Georgia Tech and UGA target Zach DeBell, once a relative unknown commodity in recruiting, is anything but these days.
The 6-foot-7, 265-pound offensive tackle from Tarpon Springs, Fla., just roped in offer number 24 this past weekend. This one came from the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
DeBell adds that tender to a list that includes most of the Southeast, excluding the big three in his home state, Florida, Florida State and Miami. And they are all acutely aware of DeBell, so it’s probably just a matter of time before one or all pulls the trigger.
But the outspoken and gregarious DeBell is not worried right now about who hasn’t offered. He was just excited to know that Notre Dame could be an option, especially considering he has never visited or camped there.
“I guess they’ve just heard about me through the grapevine during recruiting,” said DeBell, who attended a South Florida camp this past weekend. “My basketball coach, Coach [Jerry] Woodka, went there. And they’ve been recruiting our quarterback, Louis Pappas. There’s a lot of video and stuff on me now so I guess they just like what they’ve seen.”
Apparently DeBell likes what he’s seen of the Irish, too. He now lists them among the schools in which he has the most interest so far. Although he was careful to say “it’s not really a top five” and is subject to change, DeBell said Notre Dame joins Georgia, Tennessee, Ole Miss and UCLA among the schools that most intrigue him to this point.
The Bulldogs moved up in DeBell’s eyes — and vice versa — after he attended the Mark Richt Camp in Athens on June 12th. The quick-footed DeBell, who projects as a left tackle and favors a pro-style system, was extremely impressive in pass-protection drills that day. Georgia, of course, is in need of left tackles and hopes to add at least one to the Class of 2011.
The Bulldogs already have commitments from three offensive linemen for 2011 in C David Andrews (6-3, 290) T Watts Dantzler (6-7, 330) and C/G Hunter Long (6-3, 293). But none of them are prototypical left tackles.
In addition to DeBell, Georgia has offers out for Antonio Richardson (6-6, 310) of Nashville, Tenn.; Brandon Shell (6-7, 290) of Goose Creek, S.C.; and Xzavier Ward (6-7, 255) of Colquitt County.
DeBell first came on Georgia and Tech’s radar when he visited each school during a spring break tour of Southeast schools with his father back in March. Tech offered not long after. Georgia stepped forward in late May.
Nevertheless, DeBell’s recruitment is far from reaching a conclusion. He said he probably won’t make a decision until he has taken his five official visits this fall.
Here’s the latest video on DeBell and two other O-line commitments from the Mark Richt Camp on June 12th, courtesy of DawgPost.com:
Following are some video highlights of DeBell from the state playoffs this past season. You can find more videos and information on his website at zachdebell.com.