Posted: 3:56 pm Monday, August 25th, 2014

Son of former Atlanta Falcons star commits to UGA 

By Michael Carvell

UGA added another decorated prospect at its biggest position of need when Van Jefferson committed to the Bulldogs on Monday.

The 4-star wide receiver from Brentwood, Tenn., picked UGA over Ohio State and Tennessee.

Van Jefferson (247sports)

Van Jefferson (247sports)

The 6-foot-2, 172-pound Jefferson is commit No. 21 for UGA’s 2015 class — and at least the fifth at the critical position of wide receiver.

Jefferson is the son of Shawn Jefferson, the former Atlanta Falcons wide receiver who played 12 seasons in the NFL. Jefferson was an assistant on last year’s Tennessee Titans staff with UGA defensive line coach Tracy Rocker.

How did UGA seemingly come out of nowhere to catch and pass Ohio State and Tennessee for Jefferson within the last few weeks? Recruiting is all about the relationships.

“The connection there is Tracy Rocker, who coached with the Titans and is familiar with his dad,” 247sports.com’s Rusty Mansell said. “From my understanding, there’s a lot of trust in the offense that Georgia runs and trust that they’re going to have a good quarterback in the future, no matter which one it is.

“They just felt like it an offense and academic situation that they wanted their son to be in. Tracy Rocker and Mike Bobo were able to turn it in Georgia’s favor in the last few weeks.”

How good is Van Jefferson? He’s rated as the No. 5 overall prospect out of Tennessee, along with the nation’s No. 17 wide receiver, per the 247sports.com composite rankings.

Recruiting hasn't been a problem so far for NFL-turned-UGA assistant Tracy Rocker (AJC)

Recruiting hasn’t been a problem so far for NFL-turned-UGA assistant Tracy Rocker (AJC)

“It’s almost just like the situation with Jayson Stanley when you look at it,” Mansell said. “He’s another 6-foot-2 kid who’s bigger and faster – and definitely fits the mold of what Georgia is looking for. He has been good everywhere he has been.

“Every camp he has been to, he has been named one of the top performers, no matter which service is covering the event. Obviously with the NFL pedigree from his dad, he’s going to be well coached. He needs to add some weight. He’s in the range of 174-175 pound range. At 6-2, he’ll be able to carry 195 pounds easy. He’s just another really, really good football player.”

With Jefferson’s commitment, UGA now has at least five commitments who project to play wide receiver in college, although that could change when they report. Why would Jefferson want to pick the Bulldogs since they already have so many WR commitments in the same class?

“Opportunity,” Mansell said. “When you look at the 2013 and 2014 classes (that Georgia signed at wide receivers), there’s definitely an opportunity to play. You take guys like Uriah May, who is no longer there, and Gilbert Johnson, who didn’t come (because of grades). You look at Jonathan Rumph, who is a senior and won’t be there next year. You look at guys like Rico Johnson, who has already been moved to defense.

“Georgia needs wide receivers and they need a bunch of them. These (2015 commits) are good prospects but they’re going to play quickly. There’s immediate opportunity there to play. Georgia has 5-6 wide receivers, but they need all of those guys.”

It’s too early to judge UGA’s class of WR signees from this past year, but the two previous classes (2012 and 2013) have been a disappointment so far. They haven’t been able to make much of an impact — despite a prime opportunity after season-ending injuries to both Mitchell and Bennett in 2013. The telltale sign was significant playing time for walk-ons Rhett McGowan and Kenneth Towns during last season’s pivotal moments.

UGA could also add another wide receiver in this year’s class – Greater Atlanta Christian’s Darius Slayton, who is rumored to be favoring Auburn and UGA.

UGA WR COMMITS FOR 2015

  • Michael Chigbu, 6-2, 210 (4-star and Louisiana’s No. 10 overall prospect)
  • Terry Godwin, 6-0, 165 (5-star and state’s No. 4 overall prospect. Explosive playmaker could compete for starter’s role at WR or DB as freshman)
  • Van Jefferson, 6-2, 170 (4-star and Tennessee’s No. 5 overall prospect. Son of former Atlanta Falcons WR Shawn Jefferson, who coached with UGA assistant Tracy Rocker in NFL)
  • Christian Owens, 6-5, 205 (4-star and state’s No. 27 overall prospect. Big possession WR. Good red zone target. Listed by Rivals as a TE)
  • Jayson Stanley, 6-2, 210 (4-star and state’s No. 22 overall prospect. Combination of size, speed and athleticism maybe only matched by Malcolm Mitchell on UGA roster)

60 comments
Atl_Nole
Atl_Nole

Nice get for UGA. In my opinion the receiver position at UGA has not been where it should have. This has kept them from taking that next step. After Green left their receivers could not get the separation needed. Murray could have been a lot better if he had better receivers after Green.

greenedefense
greenedefense

UGA finally got a championship caliber defensive coordinator. Now give the man a raise every year and keep him!

ruffdawg
ruffdawg

We are recruiting at elite level... what I mean is big time ball players in what seems to be high character/discipline... winner types.

We've always recruited talent but there was always some type drama or overhype that came with it, as a result the players let themselves , family, coaches, university & fans down.

Yes Uga is trending  up....say what you want, when you get these types of recruits it sends a message to opposing teams and their fans.(YOU ARE A THREAT!)

greenedefense
greenedefense

The rich get richer and richer! UGA has moved up to #4 in Rivals.com rankings. Imagine That!

Columbus68
Columbus68

Notice how UGA is getting MANY more 4 and 5 stars instead of primarily 3 stars?  The time is near to win it all.  ALL that has been lacking is a defense to go with that offense most of the last few years.  UGA has always been missing something, OL, running backs, defense, inexperienced QB's or a combination.  Looks like things are FINALLY going to come together and all the pieces will be in place IF the defense is improved as we all hope.  Its looking good and its about time.  Like it or not to all you UGA haters and UGA fans who hate on their own team.  UGA is FINALLY about to have ALL THE PIECES OVER THE NEXT 5 YEARS.  If Mason doesnt throw too many INT's or choke at the end of games....and the defense has a pass rush....it could start this year.  Forget last year.....UGA was crippled. Who knows what would of happened without the injuries.  doesnt matter.  Just see the BETTER COLLECTIVE GROUPS OF RECRUITS COMING IN THE NEXT 2 YEARS.....

TruthSpeaketh
TruthSpeaketh

Dude looks like a Doctor once he leaves Athens.

96JB
96JB

Butch Jones so worried about recruiting The state of Georgia he let this one go. Hope it stings Butch.

RangeRover
RangeRover

Wise kid.

Were I a receiver with hopes of playing at the next level I would put UGA over any other SEC school.  With a former QB at HC and OC, along with an expected elite QB throwing me the ball and complimented with an elite stable of RB's. that's the smart choice.

A receiver can't throw it to himself!

akil
akil

What different will it make. The coach does not have a killer instinct. They will find a way to lose two games and under achieve as usual.

BrownDog
BrownDog

Good get for Georgia. The kid certainly passes the eye test. 

CountryFirst
CountryFirst

Willie, er, Sport, your posts are trembling...Go Dawgs!

CountryFirst
CountryFirst

Willie, willie, silly, silly...go sit in a dunking booth with your other bammer fan and cool off... Go Dawgs!  On a roll Baby!

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

This class is amazing. And it's not finished yet! We still have some big fish to nab!

Dawg-Gawn
Dawg-Gawn

Well we're movin on up, To the east side. To a deluxe apartment in the sky. Movin on up, To the east side. We finally got a piece of the pie...

Sorry...  but I could't resist the temptation... with the Jefferson's & all... I apologize for my cheesiness...

Welcome Van Jefferson and family to the Bulldawg Nation... with this Fam15 class UGA is blessed with athletic talent at so many positions... plenty more talent on the way too!

MC you might want to change your CB with Roquan Smith to UGA...

Yo WetWillie... you still paying good money for it?

Darius Slayton, Dante Shipman, Jaqua Daniels (2016) Tyreke Johnson (2018) you're on the clock...

"BELiEVE in the G


Dawgs551
Dawgs551

Looking good.. Breaks tackles goes up for the ball. I think I would be looking at the QB too he made the throws.

Mudcats_Impala
Mudcats_Impala

Great pick-up... Barton Simmons (247 recruiting director) just said Jefferson is the most college ready WR in the country.... 

C-Kirk
C-Kirk

We are coming for you , ALABAMA. There is a new sheriff in town.

GTBob
GTBob

@greenedefense The guy has one year of coaching experience and hasn't coached at game at UGA and you want to give him a raise?

C-Kirk
C-Kirk

@ruffdawg This is the first time in many years I think all the players are showing respect for their Coaches. The Coaches are not playing around , they are serious and the players know it. Pruitt has made a huge difference and I hope Richt can see the difference and realize why there was so much criticism from the fans who witnessed first hand the difference in discipline and the Respect players had for their Coaches when Erk Russell was at Georgia. 

The Georgia some of us grew up with were, respectful, humble and disciplined. They made us all proud to be Georgia fans. In the last 10 years sometime I am so embarrassed it's like I am watching another team. 

Numenor
Numenor

@96JB  Yep. UT is in a numbers crunch. In another year, Butch would have been all over Van. He's a great prospect, and should do well at UGA. TN would have liked to have him. But, with few slots to give this year -- and with already having the #1 WR in the entire country on board in Preston Williams of Lovejoy -- Van was not a priority this year. Too bad for TN, but that's the situation. Hopefully, Van will do well.

gadem
gadem

@96JB we didn't have room. Plus Van was quoted as saying that UT had too many receivers. Face facts you got him by default.

TaterTot1
TaterTot1

@96JB It stings like the clap baby. Yessirree,,, LMAO

twentysixpointtwo
twentysixpointtwo

'13 Gator, '12 Capital One, '11 Outback, '10 Liberty, '09 Independence.....oh yeah I'm betting my house on being in the National Championship game.  Some silly fans never learn.

Columbus68
Columbus68

@akil many coaches do not have youre so called "killer instinct"  and have won it all in college and pro.  How many names you need?  Here is 2 off the top of my head Landry, Dungi. Stop putting coaches in a box you think they MUST be in.  Mark RICHT has the BEST winning percentage of ALL UGA coaches before him and Nobody won more than 1 national championship.  WHen Richt wins his and he WILL,,,what are you going to say when he is all of a sudden the BEST COACH IN UGA HISTORY.  THE FIRST PUBLIC COLLEGE IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES.  THATS A LOT OF COACHES OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME.  RICHT WILL WIN HIS AND THE STADIUM RIGHTLY SO WILL BE NAMED AFTER HIM.  AND ALL OF YOU HATERS WILL BE PROVED WRONG.  YOU WILL.  AND SOON.  

keendaddy
keendaddy

akil-u,

put a binky in it loser. Your comment is noted and dismissed in that order. Name one team who wouldn't love to be able to score 40 points, most games. We're blessed, you're sore. Grab a pamparin, and don't forget your "Summer's Eve"...

gadem
gadem

@DawgGoneIt y'all will still under achieve. That's the DAWG way...lol

Dawg-Gawn
Dawg-Gawn

Great Minds think alike....Coach Lilly being chessy too!

John Lilly@JohnLillyUGAFollow

"Fish don't fry in the kitchen, beans don't burn on the grill. Took a whole lotta tryin' just to get up that hill" #Fam15 is Movin' On Up!

7:04 PM - 25 Aug 2014

GTBob
GTBob

@Mudcats_Impala lol. A recruiting service blowing smoke about a recruit in an effort to grab some more subscribers? Nah, never happens.

DawginCO
DawginCO

@Mudcats_Impala If he learned anything from his Dad, he should be.  You don't play 12 years in the league without being a really good technician and having the talent to back it up.

GTBob
GTBob

@C-Kirk Get like 6 more guys like this and ask Alabama to stop recruiting and you might have a chance of catching them.

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

@GTBob He has more than one year of coaching experience. He actually has several years of coaching experience and everywhere he's been he's won championships. 

Dawggie
Dawggie

@Columbus68 @akil  I'm not a "hater," but I stopped thinking like you about the end of '08, when a team loaded with stars lost 3 games, a couple embarrassingly so.  This year's UGA team is, once again, loaded with talent and will win some big games,  But you should know by now, at some point, we will lose one or two games to less talented teams (Clemson and UF?), and be ill-prepared in a tough road game or two (SC and Mizzou?), and another year of high hopes will fizzle out.

Understand, I'm hoping for the best - for a miracle season.

I just don't believe anymore that Richt is capable of it.

Ihateorange
Ihateorange

@KeepOnSmilingWetWillie @Dawg-Gawn Not for long Willie - you and the midget will be looking up at us.

Dawg-Gawn
Dawg-Gawn

@KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

You might want to save some of that pay site subscription money you've been spending for a few boxes of Kleenex... you are going to need it...

"BELIEVE" in the G

RangeRover
RangeRover

@GTBob

You just can't resist sticking your nose into or being negative about anything UGA, can you?  Do you suffer from penis envy?

dawginbama
dawginbama

@GTBob @Mudcats_Impala barton simmons is a bammer.  i can promise you he isn't trying to pick up subscriptions to bol with that comment.

DawginCO
DawginCO

@GTBob  Recruiting rankings are notoriously inaccurate.  The proof is on the field and when next the 2 collide, we will see.

GTBob
GTBob

@dawginbama This kid isn't even in the top 20 WRs on Rivals or Scout but he is the most college ready receiver in the country? It doesn't make a lick of sense but the guy who said it has a financial incentive to say it. 

GTBob
GTBob

@DawginCO True. Alabama has finished 1st for several years in recruiting and they have only won 3 national titles recently. Those rankings were obviously way off.

GTBob
GTBob

@wizatlanta lol. We haven't signed 22 guys of this stature in the history of our program.

Terry1961
Terry1961

@KeepOnSmilingWetWillie, How do you get respect, from what others have accomplished? You are stupid to even think that, you only get merit, from your on accomplishments, tell me sport how many of those trophies have you helped Bama win? I don't mean sitting in the stands, and cheering either, sport. If you want respect, give respect, sport, otherwise, don't come on here expecting someone to respect you, sport, because Bama has won more trophies, than everybody else, all I see is a Wannabe sport!

Buzz-Off
Buzz-Off

Gtboob,

I hate to ruin your day, but 247 which is a composite of the major recruiting services (including Rivals and Scout) has him ranked #9. Sorry pal, looks like many more losses to the Dawgs in the future for your bumblebees!!!

Quackmeyer
Quackmeyer

@GTBob @dawginbama  Why do you care what some for profit recruiting service says?  He is a Dawg and we are proud to have him.  I don't understand the negative responses you guys make about a team you have no interest in.  If just once you could be objective it would carry more weight.  Otherwise it is just blabber.