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UGA prepares for visit of state’s top uncommitted football recruit

UGA defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt spent most of Wednesday at Macon County High School to firm up plans for this weekend’s official visit of Roquan Smith, the state’s top uncommitted football prospect.

The Bulldogs appear to be the school to beat for Smith, the 4-star linebacker who is rated as the state’s No. 7 overall recruit, per the 247sports composite ratings.

ILB Roquan Smith (AJC)

ILB Roquan Smith (AJC)

“They (UGA) wanted to make sure he was coming up for the weekend, and to make sure that his parents were coming with him,” Macon County coach Larry Harold said.

Pruitt was joined at the high school by UGA assistant John Lilly, who recruits the area for the Bulldogs.

What is UGA’s sales pitch to Smith?

“They’re losing their inside linebackers, so they’re telling Roquan that he will have the chance to play early,” Harold said. “They’re selling Coach Pruitt’s aggressive coaching style.

“They’re telling Roquan that he needs to stay home. A lot of the players that UGA has committed, Roquan has built good relationships with them. I know he’s real close with Terry Godwin and Trent Thompson. So UGA is selling him on that – to keep those Georgia boys at home and together.”

Florida, which was once thought to be a co-leader with UGA before firing Will Muschamp, still hasn’t given up completely on Smith. Florida assistant D.J. Durkin was also at Macon County on Wednesday. It is not yet known whom new Florida coach Jim McElwain will hire as his assistants.

“Florida came back today — they’re trying to slide back in there,” Harold said. “They want to let him meet the new coach. We’re trying to set up a date for that. But he’s probably not going to take an official visit to Florida because he’s already been there enough times to see it to see what they all have to offer.

“He liked Coach Muschamp. We still don’t know which assistants are going to go, and which ones are going to stay. Florida was one of his leaders, but I don’t know where they’re at now.”

This weekend’s trip to UGA will be Smith’s second official visit, following a tour of USC a couple of weekends ago. He is scheduled to take his final three visits to LSU on Jan. 16, Ole Miss on Jan. 23, and UCLA on Jan. 29. He will announce his college decision on signing day.

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— By Michael Carvell, AJC’s Recruiting Blog

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