Chris Carson, UGA’s lone recruit at running back for this year’s class, said he’s “70- to 80-percent committed” to the Bulldogs after taking a surprise official visit to Oklahoma State this weekend.
Carson, the former Parkview High School standout who is now at Butler junior college, was one of at least six UGA commits to visit other schools two weeks before signing day, along with WR Darius Slayton (Auburn), WR Terry Godwin (Alabama), WR Jayson Stanley (UCF), DB DeAndre Baker (Texas), and DB Shaq Wilson (West Virginia).
“I did it just for the fact I needed to go look around out there since I committed so early,” Carson told the AJC. “I wanted to make sure that Georgia was the right fit for me.”
And did visiting Oklahoma State convince Carson that UGA was the right fit? “Yes, it kind of did. I just feel like my vibe at UGA is a little better than with Oklahoma State. I’ve still got some things I’ve got to weigh in on with making that decision … I’d probably say I’m like 70-percent with UGA. Maybe 80 percent.”
What does Carson have to weigh in on with his decision? “I’ve got to think about the playing time I’m going to get at Georgia. I know they have plenty of depth at running back.”
Carson feels like there’s a clearly a better opportunity for playing time next season at Oklahoma State, yet he said he remains committed to UGA.
“It’s because of the vibe I have with Coach McClendon,” he said. “We have a good relationship. I really love it at Georgia. I can play for one of the best coaches, Mark Richt.
“I’m going to think everything over. I’m probably going to make my decision by the end of the week. I just want to make sure that I’ve got everything I need to think about.”
Carson said during his visit to Oklahoma State, the Cowboy coaches surprisingly didn’t focus in on UGA’s stacked depth chart with Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and Keith Marshall. They talked about it, but not as much as Oklahoma State pounded away at UGA with NFL bios and stat comparisons.
“They didn’t really show me the UGA depth chart,” Carson said. “They went down the list of past running backs that UGA had and the past running backs that they had (at Oklahoma State). They said they put more running backs in the NFL than UGA over the last 10 years. They showed me that, and they showed me how they had more 1,000-yard rushers than UGA over that period.”
Contrary to rampant speculation, Carson said he was not upset that UGA brought in another running back on a visit this past week – Mark Walton of Miami.
“That didn’t bother me at all,” he said. “I love competition. I’m not worried about anything like that. That won’t affect my decision.”
After Carson returned from Oklahoma State, he had a lengthy phone discussion with UGA running backs coach Bryan McClendon.
“He just asked me how it went,” Carson said. “We talked about the opportunity I would have at UGA. He talked about how badly he wanted to coach me, and how I’m going to get a fair opportunity to play like I would at any other school. He said it doesn’t matter how many running backs they have – the opportunity to play is going to be there.”
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