LB Johnny O’Neal commits to UGA over Georgia Tech

UGA LB recruit Johnny O'Neal of West Laurens HS (Photo by 247Sports.com)

UGA LB recruit Johnny O'Neal of West Laurens HS (Photo by 247Sports.com)

UGA finally got a commitment at the inside linebacker position.

Johnny O’Neal, a 6-foot-1, 230-pounder from West Laurens High School, committed to UGA on Saturday, he confirmed in a text message. O’Neal said he picked the Bulldogs over runner-up Georgia Tech.

“Well [I picked UGA] because I felt like it was the right place for me,” O’Neal told the AJC. “Coach [Mark Richt] and all the other coaches were showing me a lot of love, and I feel like that’s the direction God led me in.

“I feel like with a lot of hard work, I could start for them and help them win a championship.”

O’Neal, who was attending a Junior Day at UGA, said Richt was thrilled with the news and gave him a signature hug. “Oh, he was happy after I told him. He gave me a big hug and said he was glad to have me.”

UGA now has nine commitments for its 2013 recruiting class,with O’Neal being the first one at the inside linebacker position. The Bulldogs did not sign any inside linebackers last month for the 2012 class.

O’Neal is ranked as the nation’s No. 3 prospect at inside linebacker, along with No. 88 overall, according to Rivals.com. He also had offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina, among others.

Was O’Neal planning in advance to commit to UGA on Saturday? “Well, while on the way up there, my dad was talking about [committing] the whole time. Throughout the whole day, he kept asking me if I was ready. I never gave him an answer until we went to Coach Richt’s office. I felt something inside me telling me to go ahead and commit … so I just decided to do it.”

  • RELATED: St. Pius DB Nick Glass said he was offered by UGA on Saturday. Glass is only a high school sophomore and projects to be one of the state’s top prospects for 2014.

UGA commits for 2013

  1. RB Derrick Henry, 6-3, 241, Yulee, Fla.
  2. QB Brice Ramsey, 6-3, 190, Camden County HS
  3. S Tray Matthews, 6-2, 205, Newnan HS
  4. DB Shaq Wiggins, 5-10, 160, Sandy Creek HS
  5. DB Steven Nelson, 6-0, 185, College of Sequoias JC (Northside-WR HS)
  6. DT Chris Mayes, 6-4, 295, Mississippi Gulf Coast JC (Spalding HS)
  7. DT DeAndre “Moose” Johnson, 6-3, 311, Northgate HS
  8. WR Tramel Terry, 6-0, 185, Goose Creek (S.C.)
  9. LB Johnny O’Neal, 6-1, 230, West Laurens HS

OVER THE WEEKEND

MARCH MADNESS, WHAT’S THAT? RECRUITING MADNESS!

WHILE YOUR BRACKETS GOT MESSED UP …

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

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Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

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191 comments Add your comment

El Dawgo

March 24th, 2012
6:01 pm

ahhhhhh…….first?

freedyg

March 24th, 2012
6:01 pm

Dawg48

March 24th, 2012
6:02 pm

I like the number on his jersey!
Go Dawgs!

KC

March 24th, 2012
6:09 pm

If he had committed to bama or auburn the headline would have been “bama steals elite lb from uga”, but when he commits to uga, it’s not even “lb chooses uga over bama, au”. No, it is uga “finally gets lb.

UGADawg91

March 24th, 2012
6:16 pm

I really like this commitment. Inside LB is going to be a big need next year with Gilliard and Robinson leaving. Plus Ogletree might end up leaving early.

Now if we can add Foster with him, that would be huge.

Harvey-Clemons is a LB from the last class. At least that’s where I remember him projected to be. Also isn’t Jenkins projected to be a LB?

Michael Carvell

March 24th, 2012
6:20 pm

@UGADawg91, you are correct. I meant ILB. Thanks

bucket

March 24th, 2012
6:23 pm

I think MC must have meant that UGA didn’t sign any ILB prospects, because you guys are correct that they signed 2 OLB’s in the last class. I also agree the headline writers @ the AJC need some help.

bucket

March 24th, 2012
6:24 pm

Sorry MC. You were correcting while I was typing!

UGADawg91

March 24th, 2012
6:32 pm

I thought about that after I posted.

Whatever happened to the JC kid that UGA was looking at possible adding after signing day? Don’t remember his name but think he was a WR or DB. Lot of speed and a solid return guy too.

bitter "spoiled recruit"

March 24th, 2012
6:32 pm

what say you bamma trolls————–a punk so dumb and crimson crud, the whole bamma trailer

nation———————you lose—–hahahahaha, dawgs rock, dawgs rule south georgia

Michael Carvell

March 24th, 2012
6:33 pm

@UGADawg91, it appears that Mario Alford will not meet NCAA Clearinghouse requirements for 2012. He will likely have to wait until he graduates from GMC next year to sign.

bitter "spoiled recruit"

March 24th, 2012
6:37 pm

Fishing and HUNTING with —-ONELL—–welcome johnny —-be —good

——————————1st rule—no stealing, no punching the girl friend

———————no dope smoke–in

————————————————good luck—dawg

Coached UP

March 24th, 2012
6:38 pm

Approximately 1,400 high school coaches are attending the clinic, which ends tonight with a speech from Lou Holtz. Bill Parcells was the featured speaker Friday night.

“They are nonstop for 2½ hours,” Lawler said. “There’s never a moment when people are sitting. It’s just continuous movement, energy, enthusiasm. The coaches just get as much work as they can out of these players. I’ve never seen a program as intense as Alabama’s is.”

“Coach (Nick) Saban says it a lot: ‘If you’re not coaching it, you’re letting it happen,’” Finch said. “I really like that. I’m going to go home and share that with the other coaches. If we’re not coaching stuff and we’re just letting stuff happen, that’s not what we get paid to do.

DawgByte

March 24th, 2012
6:45 pm

Glad he’s on board, but I’ll be jumping for joy if Ben Boulware puts on a Georgia uniform!

DawgByte

March 24th, 2012
6:47 pm

Coached UP -

You’re on a Bulldog board. We could care less what Nick Saban says or does. Get lost!

Truth

March 24th, 2012
6:49 pm

Welcome to the bulldawg nation baby!!!!! This guy has a ton of potential and lays the wood!!!! He will be competing for starting job next year! That’s defense will be slim after this year and Uga is a great place and lets be honest, these 2013 recruits have a good chance starting! Johnny o”Neal is a hell of a football player!!!! He’s a true DSGB baby!!! Let’s get one more stud linebacker for this year, I will give u a guess…. He’s from the state of Georgia and all his buddies are committed to uga!!! Rueben, you and Johnny would be a devastating combo!!!! DSGB

bitter "spoiled recruit"

March 24th, 2012
6:53 pm

bamma turds —like fleas, swat, swat,swat—–there all over the place

———————-darn fleas, spuu your dun on a crimson drull site

CC

March 24th, 2012
6:58 pm

Welcome Johnny. GO DAWGS!!

1eyedJack

March 24th, 2012
7:00 pm

Congratulations on your decision to become a pup for the Dawgs. Here’s hoping you become a snarling junkyard monster.

Dean

March 24th, 2012
7:08 pm

TX Jacket

March 24th, 2012
7:12 pm

I hope he gets a great education and has a good career. Clearly, I wish he had chosen GT, but on the bright side, he didn’t go to either Bama or FSU. It really sounds like his father had chosen the school for him if he kept asking not IF he was going to commit but WHEN.

road runner

March 24th, 2012
7:24 pm

How many recruits has Tech gotten for next year ?

Ghost

March 24th, 2012
7:26 pm

The bama trolls will be here soon enough , saying that Nick really din’t want him he was just offering the kid to make him feel important. Fosters going to be a dawg before its all over.

Welcome to Dawgnation Johnny O!

March 24th, 2012
7:27 pm

GATA Johnny O!

Bubba Dawg

March 24th, 2012
7:32 pm

No big deal…just another lost soul with a 7-11 managers future ahead of him in 4 to 5 years.

DUMB & DUMBER BAMA JAMMERS !!!

March 24th, 2012
7:37 pm

Dumb elephants !!!! Who cares about your program. We don’t !!!… This is about a UGA Commit not a player for another team … GET IT IN YOUR HEADS !!! GO DAWGS !!!!!

AugustaDawg

March 24th, 2012
7:40 pm

If we can get Foster and Nkemdiche, with the other young pups coming in I think Grantham will coach them up and we won’t have a huge dropoff although we will lose alot this year. We’ll still have leaders like Ray Drew and Malcolm Mitchell and a few others. We need to try to keep these kids in state. I know we can’t get them all, but I hope they have some pride in their state. They don’t need Bama to make it to the NFL. Plenty of Dawgs there. If we can grab a title or two this year (SEC and maybe National) perhaps that will sway them to stay in state. Ready for the season to begin. GATA

Welcome to UGA Johnny O !!!!

March 24th, 2012
7:42 pm

So proud and happy you have made the right decision. I can’t wait to see you in ‘RED & BLACK’ !!!!

IT IS WHAT IT IS

March 24th, 2012
7:46 pm

this guy is a beast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOOOO DAWWWWWGSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!
WELCOME JOHNNY BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hipdawg

March 24th, 2012
7:51 pm

great pick-up.UGA is on a roll!!!Come on fall!

Bitter fried twinkie

March 24th, 2012
7:52 pm

Be a BuLLdawg ____________just don’t be__________a moron_______ like me hahahahahahaha
______________ bitter ________moron__________hahahahaha

Cdpridg

March 24th, 2012
8:04 pm

GATA…boys…GATA!!!!

NorthGABulldawg

March 24th, 2012
8:09 pm

Great get, defense is the name of the game in the SEC. Go Dawgs!!!

Tiny Tim

March 24th, 2012
8:10 pm

AugustaDawg….it’s a lot! not alot! Moran.

RHall55

March 24th, 2012
8:12 pm

Great pick up!! Luvs to hit!! Latest update on Mario Alford; cleared by Clearing house to be on this year’s recruits????

cattledawg

March 24th, 2012
8:17 pm

Johnny is a GREAT kid and good student folks. My wife taught him in middle school. He is a hard worker an physical beast. If he played at a better program you would hear more about him. Florida offered him in 9th grade. Great pick up for Dawgs.

Kingdaddy

March 24th, 2012
8:30 pm

Alabama Trolls
You didn’t even win your division last year and if it wasn’t for the Saban Butt-kissing Media, you sure as hell wouldn’t have played for the N.C. You didn’t deserve another shot at LSU. You are not even the third best team in the west. You need to worry about the teams you have to beat just to get the privilege to play the University Of Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME! I for one, don’t think Alabama will cut the mustard this year. If they ever find out the truth about how you really got into the N.C. game last year, somebody’s going to jail. Go to your own blog you No-class,trashy, hypocritical, Losers …

bitter "spoiled recruit"

March 24th, 2012
8:31 pm

I see the crimson crud has rison its ugly face, a mix between james brown and MADEAS

——————TUSK–A–LOOSERS

dawgs will rule the recruiting nation soon

bananajacket

March 24th, 2012
8:32 pm

Congrats Dawgs! He is a really good one.

HM

March 24th, 2012
8:33 pm

Great future player for UGA. O’Neal is ranked #3 ILB in the Nation and #88 overall by Rivals. Congrats Johnny and Dawgs.

bitter "spoiled recruit"

March 24th, 2012
8:36 pm

———————bamma = moonpies

Tide Pride

March 24th, 2012
8:41 pm

Great pickup for UGA -congrats. UGA needs a ton players after 2012.

Kingdaddy

March 24th, 2012
8:43 pm

Georgia always has good recruiting classes, but the 2013 class could be very special indeed. Maybe the recruits are beginning to wise-up to what a Narcissustic Liar Saban really is…

SSgt. Dawg

March 24th, 2012
8:44 pm

Welcome to Dawg Nation Johnny O. Just looking at his scout.com review he reminds me a lot of Amarlo #52. Very similar body and he racks up tackles. Built perfectly to stuff the run.

Bitter fried twinkie

March 24th, 2012
8:46 pm

can any______ one understand ____________ me_____?

Kingdaddy

March 24th, 2012
8:47 pm

Later Dawgs and Trash-can Trolls …

bitter "spoiled recruit"

March 24th, 2012
8:47 pm

way to get-em queen

BigDawg

March 24th, 2012
8:52 pm

Welcome to the great tradition at UGA!

Rick James

March 24th, 2012
8:54 pm

Another head to head win for CMR over CPJ.

Big L

March 24th, 2012
9:14 pm

Isn’t the state capitol of Alabama, Wal Mart? Who wants to got to a school in a state where heads of cattle is a recognized currency?