Darius Slayton: UGA beats South Carolina and Tennessee for 4-star (UPDATED)

Darius Slayton at Dawg Nigh (AJC)

Darius Slayton at Dawg Night (AJC)

Darius Slayton, one of UGA’s top remaining recruiting targets on the offensive side of the ball for this year, committed to the Bulldogs on Thursday.

The 4-star wide receiver from Greater Atlanta Christian high school committed to UGA in front of his teammates and classmates who were already assembled for a ceremony for his selection to the U.S. Army All-America Bowl high school all-star game.

Slayton, who is rated as the state’s No. 16 overall prospect, picked UGA over South Carolina and Auburn.

“I think ultimately he felt comfortable with everything there,” GAC coach Tim Hardy told the AJC. “He enjoyed relationships with all the coaches, from Coach Richt to his recruiter (Bryan) McClendon, to (Tony Ball) and (Jeremy Pruitt).

“He really felt comfortable with the staff, and with a few players when he had been on campus a number of times. I think a lot of times in recruiting it comes down to people, and he’s excited about the people at Georgia.”

UGA now has 25 commitments for 2015, including at least four other prospects who are projected to play wide receiver for the Bulldogs. Wide receiver is arguably the team’s biggest recruiting need after players from the last three recruiting classes have made little or no impact at the position.

Slayton’s commitment makes up for UGA’s loss of Griffin High School wide receiver Christian Owens a few weeks ago. Owens, the first commitment for UGA’s class, flipped to South Carolina.

After a rough few days for Richt, which included his infamous decision to squib kick against Georgia Tech and watching a longtime recruit flip to Texas, the UGA coach seemed excited to get the news.

“Darius called Coach Richt (on Wednesday) night, and (Richt) said he was pretty fired up,” Hardy said. “Those guys were out here our practice earlier this week, and they were pretty excited to find out that he’s coming there.”

How good can Slayton be? He has been making highlight plays all season for GAC, which plays in the state quarterfinals this weekend. Slayton also could earn 5-star status based on his performances at the Army game practices.

“I think he’s special. I really do,” Hardy said. “You have these guys come through here, and they’re at whatever level they’re at. Some guys tap out their potential, and some haven’t. Darius has, and his best football is still ahead of him.

“In some ways, he is still growing into his body. I think he can be pretty special. And the other thing is that he understands how good he can be. He understands he hasn’t maximized his talents yet. I think he’s motivated for the next level, and he’ll thrive with the competition.”

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