Georgia’s stock is up with one of the state’s top recruits and down with another.
Valdosta’s Jay Rome (6-6, 240), the No. 1 tight end in the country according to Scout.com, said he loved his visit to Athens last week and spoke glowingly of the Bulldogs afterward.
But defensive lineman Gabriel Wright of Columbus came away with a different feeling. The 6-foot-3, 270-pound rising senior from Carver indicated the Bulldogs may have slipped a little in his eyes, especially after a contrasting visit to Alabama a couple of days later.
“I had a great time,” said Rome, who made the trip with teammate Malcolm Mitchell and coach Rance Gillespie last Thursday and Friday. “We came up Thursday night. I hung out with Mike G [Gilliard] and Orson Charles and a few of the other players. The next day we did a few tours. We met with [tight ends] coach [John] Lilly. I got sit in meetings with Coach [Mark] Richt and Coach [Mike] Bobo and they showed me how I’d be utilized in the offense.”
Rome said he enjoyed getting a chance to meet a lot of the current Georgia players and other prospects Georgia is recruiting. He said he hung out a lot with quarterback Christian LeMay, who has already committed to the Bulldogs.
“We just chilled and kicked it all day,” he said. “It was nice.”
Rome said he particularly liked meeting James Wilder Jr., a running back from Tampa rated by some as the No. 1 overall recruit in America. He said Wilder really likes the Bulldogs.
“I was looking at him like, ‘that’s a guy I’m going to be blocking for,’” Rome said.
Rome and Mitchell had to leave before the Dawg Night camp Friday night to return to Valdosta to prepare for a 7-on-7 tournament.
Meanwhile, Wright had a decent enough time at Georgia but his mother did no.
“It didn’t go well as I planned,” Wright said. “It was kind of rough on my mom. It was hot and they had us on our feet a lot. She has diabetes and she didn’t feel too well. So we ended up leaving a little early on Friday.”
Conversely, Wright went to Alabama a couple of days later and he said that went much better.
“Alabama was just so organized,” he said. “They had a golf cart for us to ride around in and the whole day was planned out. And at their camp, they probably had 700 kids there but I still talked to Coach [Nick] Saban at least three or four times. I don’t want to sound arrogant but they spent the most time with me. I just came away feeling a lot better.”
Despite the impressive trip, Alabama was still not able to overtake Auburn on Wright’s list of favorites.
“Yes, Auburn’s still No. 1, definitely,” Wright said. “But Alabama really showed me something and they’re right up there.”
Wright said Georgia is now behind Alabama in a group that includes Tennessee and Clemson. He hopes to visit Clemson and Auburn again before the summer is out.
Two elite athletes, two visits at about the same time, two different opinions. Such is recruiting.