One of Georgia’s top defensive backs will pick between UGA, South Carolina and Vanderbilt next month.
Chaz Elder, a 6-foot-2, 180-pounder from Banneker High School has narrowed down to the three SEC East schools out of 20 early offers, which also includes Auburn, Ohio State and LSU. Elder will visit each finalist for a second time in July — including an appearance at UGA’s “Dawg Night” prospect camp on July 15 and at South Carolina on July 21.
Elder met with Georgia recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner, along with defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and DB coach Scott Lakatos in Athens a couple of weeks ago. Elder said he was originally recruited by UGA only at the safey position but is now getting looks at both safety and cornerback. Elder has determined that he wishes to play cornerback in college because it gives him “the best chance” at reaching his NFL dreams. (Note: He’s right about that)
“The Georgia coaches said they were looking at me more at safety, that I could come off the edge and blitz a lot,” Elder told the AJC. “They also said I could play some at cornerback. I like Georgia because it’s an in-state school and close to home.”
“Georgia telling Chaz that he will get a shot to play cornerback may be something they needed to do because Chaz is really serious about playing corner in college,” Banneker assistant Ryan Andrews said. “Once Chaz came out and said that publicly [about his desire to play cornerback over safety], everybody is starting to see that’s the position he wants to be recruited at if they want him to go there.”
What about South Carolina? The Gamecocks will take heavy hits in the defensive secondary after this season, and Elder said he was told that could start as a true freshman. “They are losing some seniors, and they think that Stephon Gilmore may leave early for the NFL,” Elder said. “I like the defense they run.”
Added Andrews, “South Carolina has always wanted Chaz at cornerback. He has a very good relationship with [defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward]. They laid out the DB situation for next year. Not only do they think he could come in and play immediately; he also could start.”
“Vandy is intriguing for a few reasons,” Andrews said. “He has a pretty good relationship with the coaches and they feel like Chaz can be a ‘face’ of the program. I know that’s not likely with any defensive player. But when someone says something like that, it makes you listen a little bit.
“And Vanderbilt is recruiting Chaz the hardest out of everybody. They are recruiting their tails off with him, and they have a legitimate shot at him.”
Elder said he has a 2.6 GPA and plans to major in sports management.
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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog Got a recruiting item? firstname.lastname@example.org
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