Georgia hasn’t landed a five-star recruit since 2011, when Kentavious Caldwell-Pope made his way to Athens.
With the early signing period beginning Wednesday, the Bulldogs are potentially on the fringe of adding one of the nation’s most coveted recruits which could help the program in a big way.
Wendell Carter Jr., a frontcourt prospect from Pace Academy, has Georgia high on his list and speaks highly of the program. Carter, a five-star prospect, ranks as the fourth-overall prospect nationally and is listed as the top prospect in the state of Georgia, according to the 247Sports.com composite rankings.
Duke and Georgia are presumably the final two contenders vying for Carter’s services. The two programs are on two different levels of national prestige, but both are intriguing to the five-star.
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"Both universities were great and I could see myself on both teams," Carter said. "Duke is self-explanatory for how good of a school it is and Georgia is currently on the rise. Georgia and Duke are on the same level right now."
Carter is highly-regarded on a national level and his statistics and accolades back it up. The 6-foot-10, 262-pound forward averaged 21.6 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.5 blocks per game during his junior season at Pace Academy, and led his team to two consecutive state championships. In addition, Carter plays on the Team USA men’s junior basketball team, which consists of the nation’s best high school prospects.
Georgia had a solid 2016 recruiting class, landing two top-100 prospects in Tyree Crump and Jordan Harris. But to this point, no prospects have committed for 2017. Carter relishes the fact that Georgia flies under the radar and believes he’s that piece the program needs to it on a national stage.
"Georgia hasn’t had a high-profile player like myself commit to that school in a while," Carter said. "Then just because I commit, more people will come to the program."
Carter originally planned to announce his decision in December but his official visits to Duke, Harvard, Georgia and Georgia Tech took place earlier than expected. Thus, Carter will announce his decision after Wednesday, via a video posted to Twitter.
The Bulldogs have recruited Carter for more than two years and after sending Caldwell-Pope to a successful tenure in the NBA, Georgia believes its philosophy and coaching staff can send him on same path.
"Georgia’s pitch consists of getting me to stay home and represent my state," Carter said. "They also tell me that they can develop me into the player that can be successful professionally."
In addition, Georgia is also listed as a top contender for four-star Rayshaun Hammonds, who ranks as the 50th-overall prospect nationally, and four-star Garrison Brooks, who ranks as a top-five prospect in the state of Alabama.
Georgia could be on their way to national recognition if it is able to add one of the nation’s most coveted prospects in Carter. The class of 2017 early signing period is imperative for Georgia to obtain future success.