After making plans to play on the West Coast, a Florida native may be reconsidering the chance to play closer to home.
Ken Montgomery, a three-star cornerback out of Hillsborough High School in Tampa, committed to UCLA because of playing time. Georgia, just eight hours north of Montgomery’s hometown, has begun to make an impression.
Georgia offered Montgomery on May 3, and the prioritized recruit with 41 offers had plans to visit Sanford Stadium for the conference opener against Mississippi State.
“I started communicating with Georgia last year,” Montgomery said. “I wanted to visit because I always loved Georgia and I think I (have a spot) in their defensive scheme.”
But that won’t be the case for Montgomery as he told The Telegraph Friday that he won’t make the trip to Athens due to logistical issues. With three games remaining on Georgia’s home slate, Montgomery still has desire to visit.
While not being able to see the atmosphere first-hand, Montgomery’s communication continues with running backs coach and area coordinator Dell McGee.
“I like Georgia because they’re in the SEC and have a rich past history,” Montgomery said. "The coaches are also solid. They haven’t had a lot of them transferring or leaving for other schools. I just want to see what UGA is about."
Montgomery committed to UCLA on July 27, and has yet to visit the program. He does hear from head coach Jim Mora and the rest of the Bruins’ coaching staff on a regular basis.
Georgia finds itself “definitely in the mix,” and currently stands as the lone contender with UCLA for Montgomery’s services.
The 6-foot-2, 155-pound cornerback ranks as the 37th-best at the position nationally, according to the 247Sports.com composite rankings. After signing five cornerbacks in its 2017 class, Georgia has Hapeville Charter’s Chris Smith as its only 2018 commit at the position.
“Depending on how I like Georgia, it will determine where I land on Signing Day (in February, rather than the early signing period in December), honestly,” Montgomery said.
Harrison wide receiver Steven Peterson
One of Georgia’s most-prioritized targets for the 2018 class is Justin Fields, the nation’s top-rated quarterback. Potentially to help its efforts, Georgia extended a preferred walk-on offer to Fields’ top receiving target, Steven Peterson.
Through four games, Peterson has recorded 487 receiving yards and eight touchdowns for Harrison. Peterson’s lone scholarship offer is from Air Force, but taking the alternative route and playing for the Bulldogs remains a legitimate possibility.
Peterson will join a horde of prospects to visit Saturday’s game. He told The Telegraph that he is unsure if Fields will be in attendance, but both made the trip for the Samford game on Sept. 16.
“I’m looking forward to really getting a feel of what Athens is like on game day,” Peterson said. “I was there last week, but that wasn’t much of a game if you ask me. It’s my first big one and I’m really excited.”
Peterson possesses a slender build at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, but is still holding out hope for a scholarship offer from a Power 5 program. If a school is to do so, Peterson is likely to pull the trigger at that program and commit.
Georgia has two 2018 wide receiver commitments that would be on full scholarships -- St. Thomas Aquinas’ (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) Elijah Moore and Peach County’s Kearis Jackson.
“If Georgia offered me a scholarship, they would lead without question,” Peterson said. “(Georgia head coach Kirby) Smart said he was only signing two and they’ve already committed. You never know what could happen in the end though. I’m going to keep balling this season and hope for the best.”