Georgia’s 2018 recruiting class has picked up with the addition of five-star running back Zamir White and a host of four-star prospects. It still lacks in one significant area, however.
Although it signed four wideouts – Jeremiah Holloman, Trey Blount, Matt Landers and Mark Webb Jr. – in the 2017 class, Georgia is in need of depth at the wide receiver position. The group is still operating by committee entering the 2017 season, so wide receivers coach James Coley will be in search of a potential top target.
Georgia has the nation's top two wide receivers committed for the 2019 class in Jadon Haselwood and Dominick Blaylock. But Georgia has not landed a pledge from a 2018 receiver while hoping to sign two by National Signing Day.
The Bulldogs have fallen short on landing some of the upper-echelon rising seniors, such as Brennan Eagles (Texas commit) and Joshua Moore (Nebraska commit). But some significant names remain uncommitted, the biggest of which reside within the Southeastern footprint.
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Top three targets
Kearis Jackson (Peach County): Georgia’s biggest priority at wide receiver is the Middle Georgia product. Jackson, a four-star at 5-foot-11 and 203 pounds, told The Telegraph that he was the only slot receiver being pursued by Coley and that he could see himself filling the future void of Terry Godwin at the position.
“They tell me that I can come play early,” Jackson said. “Also, that I can come be a game-changer, which Georgia really needs right now.”
But other SEC programs are in serious contention with the Bulldogs for Jackson’s services. Forgoing a visit to Auburn, Alabama crept its way into the discussion to land Jackson. The Crimson Tide were able to get Jackson on campus on July 21.
Jackson will choose from a pool of schools on Aug. 19 at his grandmother’s house in Fort Valley. That date could fall shortly after five-star quarterback Justin Fields opts to announce between Auburn, Florida State and Georgia. Both of the in-state products are priorities for the Bulldogs and have voiced their desires to play together.
Anthony Schwartz (American Heritage -- Plantation, Fla.): Georgia has persistently recruited one of the fastest prospects from the Sunshine State to add to its wide receiver corps. Schwartz has played well with American Heritage in three seasons, and is also a world-class track athlete. He made an appearance with the United States U18 track team this summer in Peru. At The Opening Regionals, Schwartz had a 40-yard-dash clocked at 4.39 seconds.
The Bulldogs, along with many other schools at the top of his list, noticed that.
“(Coley) tells me that the team needs speed and that I can bring that to them,” Schwartz said. “He’s very energetic and I like that about him. He seems like he has tried his best to connect with the players.”
Schwartz released his top six schools on July 23, which included Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee and USC. According to the 247Sports.com crystal ball, Florida may be a favorite for the South Beach-area native. But Georgia may have an advantage in the fact that it has had previous luck at American Heritage by landing senior running back Sony Michel and former wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie.
Josh Vann (Tucker): Georgia head coach Kirby Smart is competing against one of his good friends on the recruiting trail for an in-state four-star.
Vann recently announced that it has been narrowed down to Georgia and South Carolina for his services, and both Smart and Gamecocks’ head coach Will Muschamp both provide their unique pitches.
Georgia hasn't had much luck with Tucker prospects this season as linebacker Michael Harris committed to Auburn and offensive lineman Dylan Wonnum doesn’t appear to have significant interest in Georgia. The Bulldogs will hope to land Vann, who collected 1,286 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns with the Tigers in his junior campaign.
Luke Ford (Carterville, Ill.): Another of Georgia’s biggest targets at an offensive playmaker position comes at tight end. The Bulldogs have filled one of two voids at the position for the 2018 class, and the last could be filled by a Midwest native.
Ford, who ranks as the nation’s second-best tight end, could be increasingly pursued to join John FitzPatrick – a July 13 pledge out of Marist – as the interests of Tommy Tremble, George Takacs and Kyle Pitts have gone elsewhere.
Ford was a visitor for Georgia’s cookout and camp on the weekend of July 15, in which he got to tour the campus alongside Fields and others. After that trip, it was known that he has a desire to play with the five-star if he were to land in Athens. Alabama and Michigan are also significant players for this top tight end prospect.