Georgia Football Recently Made Top Groups For Two 2021 Defenders
Georgia only signed nine defensive players in their 2020 recruiting class. With a plethora of talent returning to the Dawgs defensive squad for this year, a lot of that talent is expected to move on to the pros after the season. Having said that, UGA is looking to load up on premier defenders in the 2021 class. Terrence Cooks and Javon Bullard both recently named Georgia in their top groups and Dawgs Daily caught up to them to talk about their respective recruitments and relationships with the program.
Terrence Cooks is a Pearland, Texas native and a 6'2" 210 pound defender that is listed as an outside linebacker. Cooks is a terrific athlete that displays tremendous versatility on the field and could easily play a strong safety/linebacker hybrid type role in defenses at the next level. Players like this are ones that Kirby Smart, Dan Lanning and company love to incorporate into their system in Athens. Recently Cooks named Georgia to his Top 12.
On his recruit in general, Cooks said the process, "Is crazy! Not being able to visit schools and having to keep up with so much contact over the phone and things like that can get overwhelming. But, you just have to make sure you stay on top of things and control what you can and dictate when you're talking to coaches." The Texan also noted, "It's important to always be respectful and maintain good relationships because college football is a business and you never know where coaches are going to end up next." A very straight forward and business like approach from the talented defender.
In terms of the relationship with Georgia, Cooks shared, "It's good. I've talked a lot with Coach Glenn (Schumann) and he does a good job of laying things out and breaks down how they would use me and stuff like that, he did that with me and my dad. They have a good strategy and a good program. I also talked to Coach Nick Williams at one point too. So it's good. Now really I just have to get down there and visit."
Cooks was extremely clear that, despite internet rumors and predictions by certain recruiting sites, there are no favorites in his recruitment. "Every school in my Top 12 has a legitimate change. Everyone is even. I have no favorites and I have to do my research and get to places and check out the environment for myself" said Cooks.
The program that does gain the commitment of Cooks is going to receive a defender that is relentless in his pursuit of the ball. A high motor is not a description that does justice to the way Cooks tracks down ball carriers. It's more like he has an undeniable need to make the stop himself. Cooks is physical and can set the edge on the perimeter in the run game. The Shadow Creek High School star is also very good as a zone dropper in the pass game and breaks on the ball quite well. It will be interesting to see his recruitment play out this fall and if a visit to Athens can impress Cooks enough to pull him away from the likes of Texas, A&M, and Oklahoma.
Georgia has done extremely well with in-state prospects in the 2021 class and could be in line for another one with emerging star cornerback Javon Bullard. Bullard is a product of Baldwin High School in Milledgeville, Georgia. Currently Bullard is rated a 3-Star, but Dawgs Daily would venture to say he's one of the more underrated prospects in the 2021 and could be someone who raises in the rankings as time goes on. Bullard shared his thoughts on his recruitment and UGA with Dawgs Daily recently and subsequently named Georgia in his Top 7.
Bullard acknowledged right away that, "Georgia is different man. When we get on the phone it's a lot of laughing and jokes. Talking a lot about life and not just football as compare to other schools. It feels like family." Bullard continued, "A lot of other places are just like 'we like you and have to get you up here' but Georgia is more in the lines of me fitting in the school and the culture."
Bullard shared that he talks to Georgia daily, sometimes multiple staff members. Coach Warren has been Bullard's main contact, but he has talked to Dan Lanning a lot and had just, at the time of the conversation, FaceTimed Kirby Smart. Without a doubt Georgia is recruiting Bullard as hard as any other schools in his top 7. "Georgia is coming hard. They are up there with being the most consistent in how they are recruiting me" said Bullard.
Bullard's recruitment also shows that Georgia is in the beginning stages of adapting recruiting to show players they'll be able to help them grow their personal brands when Name, Image, and Likeness hits the NCAA in full force. The Peach State product shared on Twitter a while back a logo edit that Georgia had sent his way. Things like this will be important to Bullard and others as NIL legislation and policies begin to get enforced in the country and the NCAA.
Bullard also said opportunity is a big selling point with Georgia. Coach Smart tells me all the time, "what better time to come in than when a program is losing five starters! That is a big deciding factor. The fact that you can go in there and expect to compete for playing time as a freshman would be huge."
Bullard still has some things to sort through in his recruitment, but he is not ruling out a commitment as soon as he feels secure in a decision. One way that Bullard may go about helping sort things out is by writing out his thoughts and feelings. The Milledgeville native loves to journal about his life and aspires to major in journalism. Yet another potential strong point for UGA as a lot of successful sports broadcasters and journalist have come out of the school in the Classic City.
Keep an eye on Bullard. The relationship is strong here between him and as he put it, "the entire coaching staff."
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