Final commentary: Georgia constructs the No. 3 recruiting class in early signing period

·21 min read

Welcome to the Georgia football signing day live updates, your one-stop place for a day when recruits can start making it official by becoming Bulldogs.

Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs staff have signed 23 prospects and have three more verbal commitments that have yet to sign. Let’s take a look at the group who has signed/committed to playing in Athens.

More future Bulldogs:Keep track of the 2023 UGA football recruiting class

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(Note: Rankings are from the 247Sports Composite unless otherwise noted)

Georgia football signees (24)

Update: 1:56 p.m. Jan. 8, 2022. UGA officially announces the commitment and signing of OL Earnest Greene, who committed at the All-American game.

IOL Earnest Greene

Hometown: Bellflower, CA

High School: St. John Bosco

Ranking: Four-star; No. 40 nationally; No. 2 IOL

Date of commitment: Jan. 8, 2022

Analysis: At the All-American Bowl, the super talented lineman announced his commitment, picking the Bulldogs over Alabama, Ohio State and Texas. Greene took an official visit to Athens in September. At 6-foot-5, 330 pounds, Greene should be a strong addition to Matt Luke's offensive line room.

Update: 8:20 p.m. The first commit of UGA's class, four-star running back Marquis Groves-Killebrew, flipped to Texas A&M Wednesday night.

Update: 7:00 p.m. Marvin Jones Jr. is expected to be the last in the clubhouse on the first day of the early signing period.

EDGE Marvin Jones Jr.

Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, FL

High School: American Heritage

Ranking: Five-star; No. 22 nationally; No. 2 EDGE

Date of commitment: Dec. 15, 2021

Analysis: Another benefit for Georgia as the result of a coaching change, the former Sooner commit announced his commitment to the Bulldogs on ESPN2 on signing day. Jones took an official visit to former Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley in USC last week before taking an official visit in Athens the last weekend before signing day. He's one of the top defensive players in the 2022 class and also ran track at American Heritage. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound end recorded 46 tackles and five sacks in his final year of high school football.

Update: 4:50 p.m. Another defensive prospect is in — Louisiana product Shone Washington.

DL Shone Washington

Hometown: New Orleans, LA

High School: Warren Easton

Ranking: Three-star; No. 454 prospect nationally; No. 69 DL

Date of commitment: Nov. 29, 2021

Analysis: A one-time LSU commit, Washington chose Georgia over Florida and LSU. A late offer came in June and he took an official visit to Athens for the Charleston Southern game. At 6-foot-3, he's got the size to be able to move well anywhere on the defensive line. His nickname is "Silverback" and he plans to enroll early.

Update: 4:36 p.m. Five-star EDGE rusher Marvin Jones Jr. committed to Georgia over Alabama. Still awaiting Georgia to announce his signing, but the Bulldogs are in line for another top talent on the defensive side.

Update: 2:07 p.m. Georgia's four-star running back commit Jordan James will not be signing until February, he told the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. "I'm 100% signing with Georgia still," James said.

Update: 12:48 p.m. Another IMG Academy beast has made his commitment to the Bulldogs official, with three-star OT Aliou Bah signing with UGA.

OT Aliou Bah

Hometown: Bradenton, Florida

High School: IMG Academy

Ranking: Three-star; No. 358 prospect nationally; No. 35 OT

Date of commitment: Oct. 18, 2021

Analysis: Bah committed to Florida State in May, but backed off his commitment on Saturday...the same day he visited Athens to watch the Bulldogs upend previously unbeaten Kentucky. The 6-foot-5, 325-pound lineman took his official visit to Athens in June and returned for the Arkansas game and this weekend's game against Kentucky. He reportedly loved OL coach Matt Luke and the game environment. He told On3, he "was leaning towards Georgia way before (the Arkansas game.)" Luke continues to get physically big linemen, likely continuing the trend of UGA dominating the offensive line for years to come.

Update: 12:45 p.m. The Georgia defensive secondary just continues to get better, as IMG Academy's Daylen Everette signed with the Bulldogs. He's the fourth five-star to sign with UGA so far.

DB Daylen Everette

Hometown: Bradenton, FL

High School: IMG Academy

Ranking: Five-star; No. 29 prospect nationally; No. 6 CB

Date of Commitment: Dec. 14, 2021

Analysis: Once Brent Venables left Clemson to become head coach at Oklahoma, Everette de-committed from the Tigers and UGA became the favorite to get the talented defensive back. Everette took an official visit to Alabama the weekend of Dec. 10, but he ended up picking the Bulldogs. This is the latest five-star standout from IMG to commit to Georgia this class, but Everette played his first two years of high school ball in Virginia. His sophomore season in Norfolk, Virginia, Everette had 11 interceptions.

Update: 12:33 p.m. Former Florida commit and four-star cornerback Julian Humphrey is officially a Georgia Bulldog.

CB Julian Humphrey

Hometown: Houston, TX

High School: Clear Lake

Ranking: Four-star; No. 94 prospect nationally; No. 12 CB

Date of commitment: Nov. 12, 2021

Analysis: Humphrey committed to Florida in May, but decommitted the week before Georgia-Florida. He took his official visit to Athens for the Arkansas game and put the Bulldogs, LSU and Texas A&M in his Top 3 on Nov. 2. At 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, Humphrey has great size to play in the secondary and he’s been regarded as one of the fastest prospects in the 2022 recruiting class. He took home First-Team All-District honors the last two seasons and also competes in the 100 and 200-yard events in track.

Update: 12:21 p.m. Dillon Bell, a three-star WR commit from Texas, tweeted that he will be signing Feb. 2. He also runs track at The Kinkaid School, perhaps being a factor in his delayed signing.

Update: 12:15 p.m. Collins Hill ATH and consensus No. 1 recruit Travis Hunter flipped from Florida State to Jackson State, coached by Deion Sanders. The No. 1 recruit signing with an FCS program is monumental on many fronts.

Update: 9:54 a.m. Longtime Georgia pledge Darris Smith tweeted he will not sign with the Bulldogs on Wednesday. Instead, the Appling County EDGE rusher says he will sign with his high school teammates in February.

Update: 9:35 a.m. Another in-state player is in — North Cobb wideout De'Nylon Morrissette is officially on board.

WR De’Nylon Morrissette

Hometown: Kennesaw, GA

High School: North Cobb

Ranking: Four-star; No. 201 nationally; No. 30 WR

Date of commitment: April 30, 2021

Analysis: Having moved from Cobb County to Baltimore, Maryland and then back to the Atlanta-area, it’s easy to see why Morrissette felt at home with UGA. Morrissette is one of several receiver prospects UGA targeted this recruiting cycle. In 2020 at Brookwood (GA), Morrissette had 824 yards and seven touchdowns, highlighted by a 215-yard, three-score performance in the Corky Kell Classic to begin the season. Morrissette also had offers from the likes of Alabama, Florida and Oregon.

Update: 9:33 a.m. A legacy recruit just made it official. Drew Bobo, son of Mike Bobo, has signed with the Bulldogs.

OT Drew Bobo

Hometown: Auburn, AL

High School: Auburn

Ranking: Three-star; No. 639 prospect nationally; No. 56 OT

Date of commitment: Dec. 13, 2021

Analysis: Son of now-former Auburn offensive coordinator Mike, the 300-pound lineman committed to UGA a few weeks after his dad was let go from Auburn. It's a win for UGA OL coach Matt Luke, being able to go into rival territory and get another piece for the Georgia line. His dad also served on Georgia's staff for more than a decade. It's been reported that Georgia was Drew's dream school and he's expected to sign Wednesday and enroll early.

More: Drew Bobo, son of former Georgia football OC and QB Mike Bobo, commits to the Bulldogs

Update: 9:30 a.m. Longtime Georgia verbal pledge Tyre West, a defensive end from Tift County, flipped to Tennessee.

Update: 9:23 a.m. The Bulldogs continue to load up on defense. In-state linebacker Carlton Madden, from Cedar Grove High, is the latest to officially join UGA's elite unit.

LB Carlton Madden

Hometown: Ellenwood, GA

High School: Cedar Grove

Ranking: Three-star; No. 781 prospect nationally; No. 36 EDGE

Date of commitment: Sept. 16, 2021

Analysis: It was a short recruitment for Madden, who was first offered by UGA this summer. He then returned to Athens for a 7-on-7 tournament and impressed defensive coordinator Dan Lanning and the rest of the staff. The 6-foot-3, 239-pound defensive monster was once committed to Colorado, but decommitted after receiving the UGA offer in mid-June. Cedar Grove is one of the top teams in AAA and has several other studs that UGA will look to add to this year's recruiting class.

Update: 9:15 a.m. Another five-star is on the board. Jaheim Singletary is officially joining Georgia's defense after de-committing from Ohio State earlier this year.

CB Jaheim Singletary

Hometown: Jacksonville, FL

High School: Riverside

Ranking: Five-star; No. 18 prospect nationally; No. 5 CB

Date of commitment: Nov. 21, 2021

Analysis: Singletary decommitted from Ohio State before beginning his senior season and Florida, Georgia and Miami were the likely suitors for the five-star corner. He attended the Georgia-Florida game and several other Gators games this fall, but the firing of head coach Dan Mullen and perhaps other factors led the 6-foot-2, 170-pound secondary beast to join Kirby Smart’s top recruiting class.

Update: 9:11 a.m. How's 'Bear' for a defensive lineman's name? The 325-pound Bear Alexander, from IMG Academy by way of Texas, is officially joining Georgia's defense in 2022.

DL Bear Alexander

Hometown: Denton, Texas

High School: IMG Academy

Ranking: Four-star; No. 39 prospect nationally; No. 6 DL

Date of commitment: Oct. 21, 2021

Analysis: For the second time in the 2022 recruiting cycle, the four-star lineman from Texas has committed to UGA over Texas A&M. He committed to Georgia in February before decommitting in June. Alexander played all across Texas before transferring to IMG Academy this season. He's 6-foot-3, 325 pounds and can move with ease. His chase-down is stellar and his size will only improve when he gets to Athens. The All-American visited Texas A&M as the Aggies upset Alabama and took an unofficial visit to Athens for the Arkansas game. UGA now has three of the Top 15 defensive lineman committed to the Bulldogs.

Update: 9:06 a.m. Another in-state player is officially on the board -- Cedartown linebacker Cedric Washington.

LB C.J. Washington

Hometown: Cedartown, GA

High School: Cedartown

Ranking: Four-star; No. 137 nationally; No. 16 LB

Date of commitment: Jul. 22, 2020

Analysis: This summer Washington took an official visit to LSU, but couldn’t be swayed from his year-long commitment to Smart and the Bulldogs. Initially listed as an athlete, Washington can play wherever. At running back in 2020, he rushed for nearly 700 yards and 15 touchdowns, averaging 9.6 yards per carry. On defense, Washington had 35 tackles and six sacks for Cedartown in nine games. He looks to join a defense-heavy recruiting class for Dan Lanning. Washington’s final three was UGA, LSU and Tennessee.

Update: 9:00 a.m. The Bulldogs add perhaps what will be their biggest signee of the day — 340-plus pound offensive lineman Jacob Hood.

OT Jacob Hood

Hometown: Nashville, TN

High School: Hillsboro

Ranking: Three-star; No. 388 prospect nationally; No. 39 OT

Date of commitment: Aug. 29, 2021

Analysis: One of the physically biggest prospects in the 2022 class, Hood stands at 6-foot-8, 342 pounds. He committed to UGA over Auburn, Florida, LSU, Miami and Mississippi. The Bulldogs’ offensive line target took an official visit to Athens on June 11, but has been on campus several times this summer. OL coach Matt Luke recruited Hood hard and with the current depth on the offensive line, Hood and fellow three-star commit Griffin Scroggs will have plenty of competition for roles in 2022.

Update: 8:22 a.m. Another Sunshine State prospect is in — JaCorey Thomas. He was productive on offense, defense and special teams in high school and will play defensive back in college.

S JaCorey Thomas

Hometown: Orlando, FL

High School: Boone

Ranking: Four-star; No. 311 nationally; No. 22 S

Date of commitment: June 25, 2021

Analysis: With great arm length, Thomas has great athleticism. Not only was he a star on Boone’s defense, Thomas also had 564 yards of total offense, seven touchdowns and had both a punt and kickoff return go for six. On defense, he had 60 tackles, two forced fumbles and an interception. Thomas committed to UGA over Miami and UCF, among 27 others offers.

Update: 8:13 a.m. Another top-tier running back is headed to Athens. Branson Robinson, the No. 4 RB in the country, is in. He chose the Bulldogs in July over offers from Alabama, Tennessee and others.

RB Branson Robinson

Hometown: Madison, MS

High School: Germantown

Ranking: Four-star; No. 45 nationally; No. 4 RB

Date of commitment: July 22, 2021

Analysis: Robinson chose UGA over Alabama and Tennessee, among others, citing the Bulldogs’ long success of developing running backs for the NFL, but he might not need too much developing. His junior year, Robinson rushed for 1,179 yards and 15 touchdowns in just nine games, averaging 9.7 yards per carry. He’s 5-foot-10, 220-pounds and looks to join a running back room in Athens that never has any shortage of talent.

Update: 7:58 a.m. An Athens-area five-star chose to stay home in back-to-back classes. Jefferson's Malaki Starks joins Prince Avenue's Brock Vandagriff (2021 five-star QB) as local stars who turned down dozens of offers nationally to sign with the Bulldogs.

LB Malaki Starks

Hometown: Jefferson, GA

High School: Jefferson

Ranking: Five-star; No. 22 nationally; No. 3 LB

Date of commitment: March 25, 2021

Analysis: A local star, Starks announced his commitment before the end of the high school basketball season, where he also led the Dragons. Starks has played just about everywhere on the football field, rushing for more than 1,600 yards and 24 touchdowns at quarterback in 2020 while also recording 41 tackles and two interceptions on defense. His size and athleticism will only get better once he starts to work with college strength coaches and he’ll become even more dynamic on the field, in whatever position he ends up in. Starks’ other finalists were Alabama and Clemson.

Update: 7:53 a.m. Another in-state commitment has signed — speedy wide receiver Cole Spear. He put on a show in Athens during the high school playoffs in Calhoun's victory at Clarke Central.

WR Cole Speer

Hometown: Calhoun, GA

High School: Calhoun

Ranking: Three-star (247Sports); No. 75 prospect in GA (247Sports); No. 127 WR (247Sports)

Date of commitment: Aug. 12, 2021

Analysis: UGA offered Speer in late July and a few weeks later Speer committed to Smart. In Speer's freshman year, he made the state championship in the 100-meter dash with a 10.98-second run and has so often ran the 40-yard-dash around 4.5 seconds, which helped his recruiting interest. In 2020, Speer had 59 catches for 1,159 and 11 touchdowns for the Yellow Jackets. He chose UGA over reported offers from East Carolina, Memphis and Gardner-Webb.

Calhoun to Athens: From under-recruited to UGA football commit, Cole Speer ready to 'work his tail off' in Athens

Update: 7:48 a.m. Add one the Bulldogs flipped from rival Florida. Wideout Chandler Smith is officially on board with Georgia after de-committing from the Gators earlier this month.

WR Chandler Smith

Hometown: Orlando, FL

High School: Mt. Dora

Ranking: Four-star; No. 224 prospect nationally; No. 34 WR

Date of Commitment: Dec. 14, 2021

Analysis: Another flip from Florida to Georgia, Smith is the elite receiver that Kirby Smart was looking for to round out his 2022 class. At 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, he has great speed and size to compete and be a starting receiver his first year on campus. He decommitted from the Gators on Dec. 7 and took an official visit to Athens the last weekend before national signing day. Kentucky and Tennessee were also in the final running, but like usual, the Bulldogs won out.

More: 4 prospects you should know on Georgia football's December signing day radar

Update: 7:42 a.m. The Bulldogs add another highly-rated signal caller to the offense — Northeast Georgia record-setter Gunner Stockton, who scored the most career touchdowns in Georgia high school football history.

QB Gunner Stockton

Hometown: Tiger, GA

High School: Rabun County

Ranking: Four-star; No. 41 nationally, No. 5 QB

Date of commitment: Jan. 28, 2021

Analysis: Once committed to South Carolina, Stockton has been all in on the Bulldogs since his commitment, helping Smart recruit fellow offensive weapons across the state. Stockton is coming off one of the best seasons in recent Georgia high school history, where he threw for 3,128 yards and 45 touchdowns, while rushing for another 1,581 yards and 26 touchdowns. Stocked was influential in getting WR Morrissette to commit to UGA and he hopes that there are a few more in-state pass-catchers that will join.

Update: 7:40 a.m. Georgia first 2022 signee from the Carolinas is in — four-star LB Jalon Walker has joined the Bulldogs.

LB Jalon Walker

Hometown: Salisbury, NC

High School: Salisbury

Ranking: Four-star; No. 40 nationally; No. 4 LB

Date of commitment: March 28, 2021

Analysis: At 6-foot-2, 220-pounds, Walker already has a great size to play linebacker in the SEC. He committed to UGA over finalists Clemson and North Carolina, despite both schools being closer to home. Walker has a versatile skill set which could allow him to be used in different areas in Dan Lanning’s defensive schemes. His sophomore year, Walker also lined up at tight end and on the defensive line.

Update: 7:35 a.m. Another in-state prospect is in — from Grayson High, Griffin Scroggs is Georgia's first offensive lineman officially on the board.

Griffin Scroggs

Hometown: Loganville, GA

High School: Grayson

Ranking: Three-star; No. 1,012 nationally; No. 52 IOL

Date of commitment: Aug. 3, 2021Analysis: A day after decommitting from Georgia Tech, Scroggs announced via Twitter he’d be taking his talents to UGA instead. At 6-foot-5, 300-pounds, Scroggs is the ideal body type for OL coach Matt Luke and is the first offensive lineman in UGA’s 2022 class. Scroggs played center for the 7A state champs in 2020, but is likely to play right guard for the Rams this season.

Update: 7:30 a.m. One of Georgia's most talented and deepest positions just got stronger. Oscar Delp is in.

TE Oscar Delp

Hometown: Cumming, GA

High School: West Forsyth

Ranking: Four-star; No. 97 prospect nationally; No. 3 TE

Date of commitment: Oct. 13, 2021

Analysis: This is the guy that Georgia’s coaches have been after all of 2021. In a stiff battle between the Bulldogs, Gamecocks and Clemson Tigers, Bulldogs assistant Todd Hartley came out on top. Delp’s recruitment blew up in the 2020 Corky Kell Classic and has been one of the most sought after uncommitted recruits since. He’s 6-foot-5, 220 pounds and is able to move up and down the field like a receiver, but still make the blocks necessary to compete at Georgia’s highest-level of high school football. Other UGA commits Gunner Stockton and Pierce Stockton played a big role in Delp’s recruitment, as did the Bulldogs' success with freshman tight end Brock Bowers this season. Delp saw UGA against Clemson and South Carolina, and was in Columbia for the Troy game on Oct. 1.

Delp is a Dawg: How this middle school coach 'absolutely prepared' Oscar Delp for a life of football

Update: 7:22 a.m. UGA announced its second signee — and first from the United States. Put five-star defensive lineman Mykel Williams officially on the board.

DL Mykel Williams

Hometown: Columbus, Georgia

High School: Hardaway

Ranking: Five-star; No. 29 prospect nationally; No. 5 DL

Date of commitment: Oct. 20, 2021

Analysis: This might be the biggest win for Kirby Smart and company of this recruiting cycle. The highly-touted pass-rusher committed to USC in June and in multiple interviews was still sold on the Trojans after they fired Clay Helton. Then Williams took an official visit for the Kentucky visit and three days later tweeted he was decommitting from USC and committing to Georgia. The 6-foot-5 All-American is everything Dan Lanning would want in a defensive lineman — speedy, muscular and plays anywhere on the line. RB coach Dell McGee was the primary recruiter of Williams, having experience coaching and understanding the Columbus area. Williams is the second flip to UGA coming from the Kentucky weekend.

Update: UGA announced its first signee -- at 4:43 p.m. on Tuesday from Australia where it's already Wednesday. So, officially thanks to Aussie punter Brett Thorson, Georgia's class of 2022 is off and running.

Brett Thorson has been punting around 12 months at the Pro Kick Australia Academy in Melbourne.
Brett Thorson has been punting around 12 months at the Pro Kick Australia Academy in Melbourne.

P Brett Thorson

Hometown: Australia

High School: ProKick Australia

Ranking: Three-star; No. 1,588 nationally; No. 1 P

Date of commitment: March 31, 2021

Analysis: The top punter in the Class of 2022 was on UGA’s radar for several weeks before he got an offer from the Bulldogs and committed the same day. Thorson trains at ProKick Australia, a group that has developed six Ray Guy (top FBS punter) winners and 18 All-Americans in the 13 years the group has existed. UGA has several younger punters on the 2021 roster, but adding a punter of Thorson’s caliber can’t hurt.

More: UGA commit spent 19 years on an Australian dairy farm. Now, he is 'excited' to play in the SEC

UGA football verbal commitments (3)

More: How Kirby Smart's recruiting positioned UGA football for its first national title in 40 years

More: Georgia-Florida recruiting preview: Five players both teams want & the Jacksonville catch-22

IMG to Athens: On 'the extent students go to help recruit' as Georgia's game environment impresses top targets

WR Dillon Bell

Hometown: Houston, TX

High School: The Kinkaid School

Ranking: Three-star; No. 565 nationally; No. 74 WR

Date of commitment: Aug. 2, 2021

Analysis: Bell’s commitment was the first in what Smart hopes is a stretch of post-summer visits pledges. In 2020, Bell caught 24 passes for 350 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 607 yards and 18 touchdowns, which is an added-plus for a UGA offense that likes to use receivers all across the field. Bell chose UGA over Auburn, Michigan, Minnesota and a host of other Power 5 schools. There are a few other wide receiver prospects that UGA hopes it can get committed to the Bulldogs.

Oakland's Jordan James (2) runs the ball during a scrimmage against Cane Ridge at Oakland on Friday, July 30, 2021.
Oakland's Jordan James (2) runs the ball during a scrimmage against Cane Ridge at Oakland on Friday, July 30, 2021.

RB Jordan James

Hometown: Murfreesboro, TN

High School: Oakland

Ranking: Four-star; No. 182 nationally; No. 16 RB

Date of commitment: March 29, 2021

Analysis: James rushed for 1,752 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2020, using his compact stature to his advantage. He reportedly had offers from Alabama, Oklahoma and Tennessee among others. His lower-body strength and great pass-protection ability made him stand out as one of the top running backs in this class. As important as the on-the-field benefits, James told 247Sports that the life after football and academics UGA had to offer was also very attractive in his recruitment.

More: On 'the extent students go to help recruit' as Georgia's game environment impresses top target

More: No. 1 wide receiver, in-state USC commit highlight who's who of expected recruits at UGA-UK

EDGE Darris Smith

Hometown: Baxley, GA

High School: Appling County

Ranking: Four-star; No. 307 nationally; No. 17 EDGE

Date of commitment: Dec. 3, 2020

Analysis: UGA was Smith’s dream school, so when the Bulldogs offered the 6-foot-6 edge defender, it was a quick yes. In just seven games for Appling County in 2020, Smith totaled 14 total tackles, nine solo, and forced a fumble. This came after a 2019 season where he had 32 tackles and 4.5 sacks in 12 games. Smith runs a 4.71 40 and chose UGA over offers from Auburn, South Carolina and Tennessee, among others.

McClain Baxley is a recruiting reporter for the Athens Banner-Herald and the USA TODAY Network. Reach him by email at mbaxley@onlineathens.com or on Twitter at @mcclainbaxley.

This article originally appeared on Athens Banner-Herald: Georgia football recruiting signing day live: Kirby Smart's 2022 class