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10 questions with Van Jefferson: Is it still 50/50 with UGA?

UGA’s biggest recruiting drama this week is Van Jefferson.

He’s the 4-star wide receiver who was waffling back and forth about whether or not to enroll early at UGA on Monday. His holdup was the Bulldogs being without an offensive coordinator.

Ultimately, Jefferson decided to not to enroll early at UGA, although he’s still committed to the Bulldogs. And the delay is not good news for UGA – it has opened the door for Florida and Oklahoma to become serious threats. Jefferson will take official visits to both later this month, and he’s also considering Ole Miss.

Jefferson, the son of former Atlanta Falcons receiver Shawn Jefferson (who now coaches with the Titans), spoke with the AJC on late Wednesday night:

What are your thoughts on UGA’s new offensive coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer? “I really don’t know him. I haven’t talked to him, or heard anything from him. But I know he was the offensive coordinator with the Rams, and that he did a good job with Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and Kenny Britt. Hopefully, he’s a pass guy more than a run guy. But I don’t know that much about him. I’ll have to ask my dad about him. It seems like a good hire. I can’t wait to talk to him.”

Van Jefferson (247sports)

Van Jefferson (247sports)

So you decided not to enroll early at UGA? “I wanted to see who they were going to hire. I could’ve enrolled early. But I wanted to take my time and see who they were going to hire. It seems like a good hire. But at the same time, I had to do what was best for me in this situation, so I just took my time with it.”

How close did you come to reporting to UGA on Monday? “Some of my bags were packed, but not all of them. I told my mom ‘I think I want to wait it out and see who they hire.’ Right now, I’m just going to school and I get to go home at lunch. Life is pretty good right now.”

You have to finish some math classes from high school before qualifying for UGA? “I could’ve gotten them done in time to report to UGA. But at the time, I was like ‘I’m going to stay and finish these math classes out. I’m going to get my mind right and be ready to hit the ground for football this summer.’ I could’ve finished them but I wanted to stay home with my mom and sisters and chill with them before I go off to college.”

Did anybody from UGA contact you on Wednesday? “I heard from Coach Richt on Twitter. He just told me who they hired and if I had any questions to hit him up. That’s the only thing I heard from UGA.”

UGA's Mark Richt (AJC)

UGA’s Mark Richt (AJC)

Which other colleges are you taking official visits to this month? “I’m going to Oklahoma and Florida, and that will be it. Florida, that’s where I was raised. My mom and dad are from Jacksonville. They went to high school there. Florida is a hometown, but it’s really not a hometown because I moved all over the place with my dad. There’s really no home state for me. If I had to pick one hometown, I’d probably say Michigan. I lived there for most of my life. But all of my family lives in Florida. With Oklahoma … they throw the ball a lot, and that’s always an attraction. But right now, I’m still committed to Georgia. I’m still going there.”

Will you go back to Ole Miss for another visit? “I might try to get back down there on an unofficial. I think I might try to do that. It might happen or it might not. We’ll see.”

Will you go visit UGA’s new offensive coordinator? “If he comes to my school, I might not go down there. But if he doesn’t, then I’m going to go down there on a visit to sit and talk with him. I want to pick his brain and see what he has in store for the offense. I’m good friends with the other UGA receiver commits, Darius Slayton and Jayson Stanley. I’m really close with Darius. We can’t wait to see what he has in store for the receivers.”

What do you have to hear from Schottenheimer to convince you to stick with UGA? “I want to hear if he’s going to throw the ball. I know he has Nick Chubb, who is a great running back. Is he (Schottenheimer) going to open up the offense for the receivers? I just want to know is he going to throw the ball? Is he going to have the same philosophies as Mike Bobo? I just want to see what he says, and hopefully he throws it a lot.”

Is it still 50/50 between UGA and Ole Miss? “Right now, I really can’t call it. I’m still in love with Georgia. That was my first choice when I committed in August. Right now, I’m still in love with Georgia, and everything it has to offer. But the only thing is the new offensive coordinator. There’s just so many unanswered questions about him. But I know he’s a great guy. And I know he’s done a great job in St. Louis. Right now, I just can’t call it. It was 50/50 about a week ago. But right now, I can’t call it. I’m letting God take over and I’ll see where he wants me to be.”

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— By Michael Carvell, AJC’s Recruiting Blog

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