Nick Saban urges top UGA recruit to ‘make a business decision’

Alabama's Nick Saban (AP)

Alabama’s Nick Saban (AP)

What was Nick Saban’s main talking point during an in-home visit with one of UGA’s top football recruits?

It was to think of a college choice as a “business decision.”

Earlier this week, the Alabama coach made an in-home visit with Jonathan Ledbetter, the 4-star defensive tackle for Tucker High School. Ledbetter committed early to Alabama, but flipped to UGA after the Bulldogs signed his older brother to a scholarship last summer.

“The visit with Coach Saban went well — he is very nice man,” said Ledbetter’s mother, Teresa Belcher.

“I think he wanted to make sure that Jonathan understands that this is a business decision. He wanted to make sure that Jonathan has all the information he needs to make the best decision for him. So we appreciated Coach Saban coming by.”

DL Jonathan Ledbetter (AJC/Michael Carvell)

DL Jonathan Ledbetter (AJC/Michael Carvell)

Now to the most important question: What impact did Saban’s wisdom have on Ledbetter?

“I think Jonathan respects Coach Saban’s opinion a great deal,” Belcher said. “Every time we talk to him, we always learn something. But I know that Jonathan is committed to UGA, and he’s definitely solid on that decision.

Ledbetter, who is rated as the state’s No. 8 overall prospect, will enroll early at UGA in January. He skipped a grade and will be 17 years at the start of his freshman season with the Bulldogs.

Ledbetter’s older brother, Joseph Ledbetter, played Div. II basketball the last two years and decided to try out for UGA’s football team at a camp last July. He was awarded a scholarship offer, and signed immediately. Joseph, who plays tight end and special teams, was red-shirted this season and will have two years to play with his brother in college.

“I’m absolutely happy with how everything worked out,” Belcher said. “I think Joseph is coming into his own. He had the opportunity to go from 0 to 60 mph in a couple of months. And I think it has been good for him. I think he’s going to have a good time next year when he hits the field.”

Saban also made an in-home visit this week with UGA’s top commit, 5-star defensive tackle Trent Thompson of Albany’s Westover High School. Thompson is rated as the nation’s No. 2 overall prospect.


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— By Michael Carvell, AJC’s Recruiting Blog

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