DeBell, Theus become UGA commitments 14 & 15 at ‘Dawg Night’ (UPDATED)

OT Zach DeBell poses with Georgia offensive line coach Stacy Searels after committing to the Bulldogs at 'Dawg Night' Friday night in Athens. (Photo by Chip Towers)

OT Zach DeBell poses with Georgia offensive line coach Stacy Searels after committing to the Bulldogs at 'Dawg Night' Friday night in Athens. (Photo by Chip Towers)

ATHENS – Zach DeBell said he did not plan to commit to Georgia when he drove to Athens with his family for the Dawg Night camp on Friday. But he should have seen the signs.

The first one came when he stopped at a Wal-Mart just outside of town with his Mom, Dad and younger sister Samantha. He decided, for no particular reason, to buy a bathing suit. And the one he grabbed was red and black and emblazoned with a Georgia G.

“I actually bought a pair of Georgia swim trunks,” he said with a laugh. “I didn’t think about it at the time. I was like, you know what, I need a bathing suit; I’m going to buy a bathing suit.”

A couple of hours later DeBell committed Georgia head coach Mark Richt on the spot. He did it even before he and 100 or so college prospects took the field at the Woodruff Practice facility.

Swim trunks or not, it was a spontaneous decision, DeBell insisted.

“I surprised myself and my mom and dad,” said the 6-foot-7, 265-pound left tackle. “Coach Richt told us that there was only one spot left. I had asked him before to tell me when there was one spot and I knew there was only one spot and that’s what he told me. So I jumped on it.”

A couple of hours later, Nathan Theus displayed the same kind of spontaniety. The highly-touted, long snapper from Jacksonville committed on the practive fields shortly after completing kicking drills halfway through the 2 1/2-hour practice.

“I actually went into the camp open-minded; I didn’t know if I was going to commit or not,” Theus said. “I had planned to go to Florida’s Friday Night Lights next week. But when I got here, it really clicked. It really felt like home. It just felt really comfortable and I couldn’t stop myself from committing.”

With their pledges, the Bulldogs now have 15 commitments. However, in Theus’ case, he won’t enroll until January of 2012, effectively making him a “grayshirt.” But it’s something that Theus said he prefers. It will mean he will be in school the same time as his younger brother. John Theus, a 6-6, 274-pound tackle, is considered one of the top offensive line prospects of 2012. The brothers play for the Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla., where current Bulldogs Brent Benedict and Shaun Chapas graduated.

Nathan Theus becomes the first snapper Richt offered a scholarship right out of high school. Then again, Theus is not just any snapper. At a recent camp his snap times averaged from .63 to .65 seconds.

“Coach [Todd] Grantham said those are NFL times,” said Theus, who credits a decade of training at the Ray Guy Kicking Academy for his special skills.

With DeBell’s commitment, DeBell cut short a trip that was to have continued Saturday with a stop at Auburn.  The DeBells have been traveling all week with stops at South Carolina and Tennessee wrapped around two trips to the home of Zach’s late grandmother in Boone, N.C. But after giving the Bulldogs his commitment, he canceled plans to attend both the Tigers’ camp and Florida’s famous “Friday Night Lights” event next week in Gainesville.

DeBell has a total of 25 offers but ultimately chose the Bulldogs over South Carolina, Tennessee and Notre Dame. He said things might have turned out differently had the timing of in-state Gators been better.

“It’s kind of strange because my coach just informed me I think 20 minutes ago that Florida offered me,” DeBell said as he rode south down 441 about 11 p.m. Friday. “I said, ‘That’s great, but I’m a Dawg!’”

He shouted the last word.

DeBell and Theus were the only participants to make a move, but there were a lot of talented prospects getting a lot of attention Friday night.

James Wilder Jr. of Tampa and Isaiah Crowell of Columbus, two of the top running backs in America, looked on. So did Crowell’s Carver teammates Gabriel Wright and Deion Bonner, and five-star linebacker prospect Stephone Anthony of Wadesboro, N.C.

Already committed prospects such as quarterback Christian LeMay, wide receivers Justin Scott-Wesley and Zack Witchett and offensive lineman Hunter Long ran through drills.

Meanwhile 2012 prospects wide receiver C.J. Curry of North Hall and cornerback Geno Smith of St. Pius received scholarship offers. So it was an eventful night in Athens.

“I’m still soaking it all in,” DeBell said.

GEORGIA 2011 COMMITMENTS

  1. C David Andrews (6-3, 276), Wesleyan School
  2. DE Sterling Bailey (6-4, 250), East Hall HS
  3. CB Devin Bowman (6-0, 175), Ridgeland HS
  4. WR Chris Conley (6-3, 185), North Paulding HS
  5. OT Watts Dantzler (6-7, 330), Dalton HS
  6. OT Zach DeBell (6-7, 265), Tarpon Springs, Fla.
  7. LB Amarlo Herrera (6-2, 215), N. Clayton
  8. QB Christian LeMay (6-3, 188), Matthews, N.C.
  9. OL Hunter Long (6-3, 293), Eads, Tenn.
  10. ATH Nick Marshall (6-2, 190), Wilcox Co. HS
  11. DB Corey Moore (6-1, 185), Griffin
  12. DB Chris Sanders (6-0, 175), Tucker
  13. WR Justin Scott-Wesley (6-1, 190), Mitchell County HS
  14. *SN Nathan Theus (6-3, 255), Jacksonville, Fla.
  15. WR Zack Witchett (6-1, 190), Atlanta-B.T. Washington

* Theus will not enroll until January of 2012.

  • Follow me on Twitter
  • Find me on Facebook (I’ll post a photo gallery of shots I took during Dawg Night here over the weekend)
  • E-mail specific recruiting questions to me at AJCrecruiting@yahoo.com. I’ll answer them in the “Mailbag” each Friday.

289 comments Add your comment

Chuckster9

July 16th, 2010
7:38 pm

a “decent” get for uga / but one has to ask why
Miami, FL, and FSU were not recruiting him that much???
if at all.

FREEDYG

July 16th, 2010
7:40 pm

RayDawg

July 16th, 2010
7:45 pm

Guy is a Rovals 250 player I’ll take him any day.

D.Ellis

July 16th, 2010
7:49 pm

Chip-You think Milton might get an offer with the transfer of Jackson?

Greg

July 16th, 2010
7:53 pm

Skadoosh! Welcome aboard the UGA train to National Championships and the NFL Zach.

Big guy, with huge arm span. Lots of potential here.

One also has to wonder.....

July 16th, 2010
7:53 pm

why chucksters even bothers

Freddy

July 16th, 2010
7:53 pm

PDX Dawg

July 16th, 2010
7:55 pm

great choice Zach – welcome!

D.Ellis

July 16th, 2010
7:55 pm

Reece

July 16th, 2010
7:56 pm

Read that Christian Lemay was #1 QB in 2010 class in Sportne News college football edition. This is going to be a class for the ages. Lemay needs some big OL in front of him, has his WR’s, needs to get a big-time RB to follow Ealey & King.

No dawggies allowed

July 16th, 2010
8:00 pm

Can’t be a football decision. No one on the OL gets better at uga-ly. A promising talent just topped out on his skill level.

mecca tech

July 16th, 2010
8:08 pm

wonder why he didn’t choose Tech , PJ offered.

Preston

July 16th, 2010
8:10 pm

You dawg haters are hilarious! Thanks for showing respect of our program by being here to spew garbage. It shows us just how jealous you really are of all things UGA.

ryan

July 16th, 2010
8:12 pm

Hopefully this will help lure James Wildere Jr to UGA GO DAWGS!

poopdawg

July 16th, 2010
8:13 pm

Zach is a stud , somebody please link his highlight video . GO DAWGS!

Hunker Down

July 16th, 2010
8:15 pm

Zach,

Welcome to the Dawg Nation. This is huge for the Dawgs your commitment. You will love playing for the Dawgs. So happy you choose to be a Dawg. Liked hearing how your mother described how delighted you are when in Athens. Love to see players wearing the G that have passion. Good luck your senior season and stay healthy. Sic’em Dawgs!

Dawg stuck in Bham

July 16th, 2010
8:31 pm

Great! And I love it that he CANCELLED his visit to Auburn and UF. It’s tough living here around the Aubies…and the Bammers for that matter

rduck

July 16th, 2010
8:35 pm

Good pickup for UGA. Seems to be a good player in the making. Good luck to you everyday except one young man. This from a GT fan…

Dawg House

July 16th, 2010
8:35 pm

Welcome Zach!!!

HATE ON HATERS!!!!! Your comments make this pickup even sweeter!!!!

51 days until:

1. 92K FANS fill up Sanford Stadium
2. 25K “fans” spread out through that HS stadium in Atlanta
3. Another 25K “fans” skip the game on Atlanta to go to a bar to simply HATE on a superior rival

GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!

Bulldog59

July 16th, 2010
8:35 pm

Debell, now Theus, a good night so far.

Hopefully Theus’ younger brother, John, 6-6 275lb. OT who already has a UGA offer for 2012, will follow him to Athens.

DDPO

July 16th, 2010
8:36 pm

Yeah Preston, we’re all jealous of those 2 SEC titles over a 28 year period….

Got another...

July 16th, 2010
8:37 pm

Just saw on Rivals that Nathan Theus just committed…that would be 15

Bulldog59

July 16th, 2010
8:38 pm

Dawg stuck…. agreed, anytime a kid cancels future visits to rival schools, we can breathe a sigh of relief. It shows the strength of his commitment.

DDPO

July 16th, 2010
8:38 pm

How many more UGA players will be arrested in the next 51 days?

Kerryb

July 16th, 2010
8:39 pm

No O linemen get better at UGA? I beg to differ. I think you must have been on another planet the last several years. Look at all the UGA linemen that have played and are playing in the NFL. Tech is where linemen go to not get better. Name more than a few Tech linemen that are in the NFL. None of the ones they are playing in that offense they have now are going to the NFL. They don’t know how to pass protect. What a stupid coment that was.

Jon P

July 16th, 2010
8:39 pm

“mecca tech”…maybe he doesn’t want to chop block people’s knees every snap.

Hunker Down

July 16th, 2010
8:39 pm

Hey Greg
I hear that whistle blowing to jump aboard the Dawg Train. Time to win a NC if guys like Zach keep hopping on board.

Hunker Down

July 16th, 2010
8:46 pm

Chip

For those not familar with our newest jumkyard dog Debell do you have a link you could add? Saw video of him at camp in Athens. Guy is going to be awesome for the Dawgs.

DAWG07

July 16th, 2010
8:48 pm

Great addition.

Paul "ManBoobs" Johnson

July 16th, 2010
8:57 pm

Chip — You need to re-check your facts my friend….Zach has been a silent verbal to play for me and the “perfect option” over here on The Flats. I think mom is selling you a bill of goods Chip, you need to get it sorted out. The kid will be wearing the mustard and blue….book it!!

p-ho

July 16th, 2010
8:57 pm

by signing theus the dawg will also sign his brother next year who many think will be the #1 oline recruit in the 2012 class

Paul "ManBoobs" Johnson

July 16th, 2010
9:06 pm

p-ho — Don’t count on it, the younger Theus was at our camp this Summer and is another silent verbal and he too will be sporting the mustard and blue…..book it!!

JRW7

July 16th, 2010
9:10 pm

Welcome to UGA DOGS, ZD, GO DOGS!!!!!

TuckDAWG

July 16th, 2010
9:15 pm

Yes sir keep em coming coach Richt i love the talent level GATA!!!!!!!!!!

Hunker Down

July 16th, 2010
9:16 pm

Zach, now Nathan and hopefull his brother, John. It keeps getting better and better! Welcome to the Dawg Nation Nathan. Go Dawgs!

Dynamicbigboy

July 16th, 2010
9:24 pm

Zach Debell is another Clint Boling. Hey, NODAWGIESALLOWED maybe one day the bumblebees will get a 4 star commit.

Tim Rupert

July 16th, 2010
9:25 pm

Debell 6.7” 265 LB OL, four Stars. Theus, the most sought after Snapper in the Country.
Techies, it’s not a dream it’s reality. Go Dawgs…

59bulldawg

July 16th, 2010
9:26 pm

Great news! Glad to have you! Now stay out of the bars, behave yourselves, and play hard.

SEC fan

July 16th, 2010
9:26 pm

Glad to see y’all are excited about DeBell. Don’t know why the instate FL schools didn’t even bother to offer him. What do they know?

How’s that Dream Team thing going anyhow. They just must be ranked no 1 in Scouts, Rivals, ESPN oops-NOT EVEN CLOSE.

Bulldog59

July 16th, 2010
9:29 pm

SEC fan… we’re just get started, just because someone pissed in your cornflakes this morning, don’t feel the need to try to spit on us. Today, like every day, it’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog.

We’re not busy downing other schools, we’re being positive about our own. It’s called CLASS.

suwaneedawg

July 16th, 2010
9:29 pm

Oh my goodness, it must suck to be a UGA hater with the class we are building. Oh well, I would rather be a hammer then a nail and we will be a hammer on some of you haters for the next 4 years. BANK IT!
GO DAWGS!!!

Bulldog59

July 16th, 2010
9:31 pm

Rupert, the REAL plus with Theus is his younger brother will also be coming to UGA in 2012. This is a great “double” for the Dawgs.

ryan

July 16th, 2010
9:32 pm

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Dawgs SIC EM DREAM TEAM IS ALIVE !

Bulldog59

July 16th, 2010
9:32 pm

whoa, suwaneedawg, good one.

Hunker Down

July 16th, 2010
9:34 pm

Sec fan

There loss our gain.

LAKE OCONEE DAWG

July 16th, 2010
9:35 pm

No dawggies allowed:
Searels is as good as they come as an offensive line coach. Your team must be the MUSTARD AND BLUE….Searels got guys playing all over the NFL…Coach Saban really liked him at LSU…

Chuckster9

July 16th, 2010
9:35 pm

come on / celebrating a snapper?

Tom Davis

July 16th, 2010
9:36 pm

SEC fan

July 16th, 2010
9:37 pm

Bulldog59 -

“we’re just get started” WTF? must be in your cornflakes. So why isn’t this “so-called” dream team not ranked very well by the raters?

And that’s with the huge asterisk of Chump LeMay and his, er exploits off the field?

gcs

July 16th, 2010
9:37 pm

At first I was wondering, why Richt would waste a scholarship on an unrated long snapper. NOBODY uses a scholarship on a long snapper.

Thanks for noting that his younger brother is a “highly sought-after offensive tackle”. I hope the brother goes to another school and UGA is stuck with this guy for 4-5 years.

.