7 UGA recruiting targets to follow on signing day (UPDATED)

UGA appeared to lock up Terry Godwin after signing his sister to a basketball scholarship but ...  (AJC)

UGA appeared to lock up Terry Godwin after signing his sister to a basketball scholarship but … (AJC)

UGA TARGET CHART

  • DeAndre Baker, DB, (signed with UGA)
  • DaQuan Hawkins, DL (signed with UGA)
  • Patrick Allen, OL (signed with UGA)
  • Roquan Smith, LB (committed to UCLA)
  • Rico McGraw, DB (signed with UGA)
  • Nick Buchanan, OL (signed with Florida)
  • Terry Godwin, WR (signed with UGA)

It’s going to a wild, wild finish for UGA on Wednesday’s signing day.

The Bulldogs enter college football’s biggest day for recruiting with 24 commitments and the nation’s No. 8-ranked class.

Depending how things unfold on Wednesday with some high-prized prospects, UGA could sign as many as 31 or much less. The Bulldogs could either rise or plummet in the rankings, with the emotions of the team’s fan base hanging on each decision.

It might be the most drama-filled signing day of Mark Richt’s career. At least two current UGA commits will decide whether or not to stick with the Bulldogs or flip to another school. It was three, but receiver Darius Slayton of Greater Atlanta Christian flipped from UGA to Auburn on late Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, at least five other high school stars who are uncommitted will decide between UGA and other finalists.

Here are seven UGA story lines to watch on Wednesday:

  • DeAndre Baker, DB, Miami (Texas or UGA, TBA): Baker has been committed to UGA since last summer, but told reporters last week that he would decide between Texas and the Bulldogs on signing day. Baker has been MIA ever since but resurfaced on Tuesday day to tweet pictures of Longhorns and Bulldogs. Playing games? Or yet another UGA flip? WINNER: UGA
  • DaQuan Hawkins, DL, Westlake (UGA or Missouri, 8:30 a.m.): There has never been any doubt about Hawkins raw athleticism and talent. He scared away a lot of colleges early in the recruiting process with grade concerns. Hawkins took official visits to UGA and Missouri the last two weeks, and is favored to pick the Bulldogs if they’ll take him. WINNER: UGA. He never visited Missouri.
  • Patrick Allen, offensive lineman, Reistertown, Md. (UGA, Tennessee or Ohio State, 8:45 a.m.): Allen committed to UGA last summer but reopened his recruitment when UGA offensive line coach Will Friend was hired away by Colorado State. Allen was expected to commit to the Volunteers on national television during a high school all-star game last month, but postponed at the last minute – which gave UGA an opening again. Ohio State appears to be the school to beat, and if Allen doesn’t pick the Bulldogs, it could set off a chain reaction on signing day. UGA may try to poach another school’s recruit like it did on Monday. After the Bulldogs lost a running back, they successfully stole a commit from Georgia Southern. WINNER: UGA
  • Roquan Smith, linebacker, Macon County (UCLA, UGA or Michigan, 11 a.m.): If there’s one defensive recruit that UGA has to have on signing day, it’s Smith because of thin linebacker depth. He has been considered a “lean” to the Bulldogs since Florida fired Will Muschamp. However, Smith visited UCLA last weekend, and there were reports that he “secretly’ committed to the Bruins, which Smith’s high school coach said were untrue. WINNER: UCLA. Looks like reports were true.
  • Rico McGraw, safety, Nashville, Tenn. (UGA or Alabama, 11:10 a.m.): Could McGraw commit to UGA for a second time? The Bulldogs were his original choice a year ago, but McGraw flipped to Alabama last summer. However, UGA defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt never stopped recruiting McGraw, who de-committed from Alabama last week in order to take an official visit with the Bulldogs. WINNER: UGA for a second time, and this time he’s signed.
  • Nick Buchanan, OL, Dunwoody (UGA or Florida, 2 p.m.): When UGA missed on other in-state targets, they chased hard in late January after Buchanan, who had committed to Cal in December. Buchanan took official visits to UGA and Florida. And after visiting both SEC schools, he de-committed from Cal. “Right now, it’s basically like mind versus heart,” Buchanan told the AJC on late Tuesday night. “My mind wants me to go to Georgia, but my gut tells me to go to Florida.” WINNER: Florida, which had his heart.
  • Terry Godwin, receiver, Callaway (UGA or Auburn, 6 p.m.): Godwin has been committed to UGA for a year but Auburn felt so good about its chances that coach Gus Malzahn made two separate trips to see Godwin in Georgia last Saturday – even though Auburn had other recruits visiting its campus. This could develop into nation’s biggest recruiting story by Wednesday evening because (1) most other prospects will have decided and (2) Godwin doesn’t plan on turning in a letter of intent until after he announces at 6 p.m. WINNER: UGA

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