Georgia went all out for its most-recent recruiting weekend, and it immediately paid off.
The Bulldogs landed a commitment from 2019 four-star linebacker JD Bertrand, and followed it up less than 24 hours later with 2019 five-star wide receiver Dominick Blaylock.
Blaylock received an offer from Georgia on July 20, 2015, just before he began his high school playing career and the Bulldogs stood at the forefront. Well before heading to Athens for the July 15 visit, the Walton product knew it would be his collegiate destination.
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart learned the news on Sunday, just hours before giving his public announcement.
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“I knew Georgia was the place for me at the beginning, when I first visited,” Blaylock said. “It felt like home, it’s close to home and I just really like Georgia.”
A key reason for Blaylock’s enhanced interest has been the work of Georgia wide receivers coach James Coley, who has become reputable for his success on the recruiting trail.
Coley, since leaving his former job at Miami to take the role with the Bulldogs prior to the 2016 season, helped Georgia sign four wide receivers in the 2017 class and has followed it up by getting two five-star commitments in the 2019 class.
Blaylock’s pledge – joining five-star wide receiver Jadon Haselwood – gives Georgia a commitment from each of the nation’s top-two prospects at the position, according to the 247Sports.com rankings.
“He’s coached many NFL players, and he’s the type of guy who knows that he’s talking about,” Blaylock said. “I just want to be coached by the best wide receivers coach in all of college football.”
Blaylock sees a bulk of his playing time at the slot position with Walton and has collected a number of accolades as one of the nation’s top receivers. He has also received an invite to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
The rising junior hopes that translates to the collegiate stage, and potentially beyond his tenure in Athens.
“They have really good slot receivers and hopefully I can play there and have good success,” Blaylock said. “Hopefully I can make it big-time someday.”
Before looking ahead to production at Sanford Stadium, Blaylock has intentions to better the 2019 class and finish getting a trio of best friends to the same collegiate program.
Bertrand and Blaylock have forged a strong bond throughout childhood, and now have intentions to continue that for the coming years at Georgia. But another member of the tight-knit group, four-star tight end Ryland Goede, has not yet given his pledge.
“I’m trying to lead the Georgia prospects to go ahead and commit,” Blaylock said. “Now, I’m trying to get a couple of other guys to jump on board with me and JD. I’ve been talking to Goede a lot, and hopefully he jumps on board. We’ll see how it goes from there.”
The chances of landing the Kennesaw product are significantly high as Goede was another prioritized visitor for the mid-July cookout and skills camp.
Goede said he has a rough list of top-10 schools but that Georgia has gained a special place on that list due to the work of tight ends coach Shane Beamer. The Bulldogs plan to land two at the tight end position for the 2018 class, but only one in the following group.
“Every time I go up there, I feel stronger and stronger about (committing),” Goede said. “I love hanging out with the guys. I just am really comfortable up there. They think I can be their guy that can put my hand in the dirt, widen out and get in the backfield a bit. I wouldn’t say the lead, but they’re definitely at my top.”
For Blaylock, he chose the Bulldogs over Auburn and Clemson. He had originally not planned to announce a pledge until the end of his junior year, but the five-star said it felt right for the five-star to announce his plans nearly a year in advance.
Now, the intention is to end the recruiting process with two full years of high school remaining.
“I’m shutting it down completely,” Blaylock said. “Georgia is the main school that I’m going to go to and stick with them.”