Weekend Review: UGA football signee hopes to report in January

OLB Gary McRae (AJC)

OLB Gary McRae (AJC)

One of UGA’s football signees won’t be reporting to the Bulldogs this season, but hopes to make it there by January.

Gary McRae is a 4-star outside linebacker from Randolph Clay High School who signed with UGA this past February. Because McRae wasn’t going to meet NCAA academic requirements, he went ahead and left for Mississippi about a month ago to finish high school and start junior college.

McRae is taking classes at East Mississippi Community College, and he’s trying to make it to UGA by January – although an arrival to the Bulldogs by next summer seems more likely.

“He said it’s the best decision he’s ever made; He loves it out there,” Randolph Clay coach Daniel McFather told the AJC. “He got his GPA up to like a 3.1. It was like a 2.3 GPA before he left. He is doing his work, and he likes the coaches. He loves being out there.

“He is hoping that if he gets his GPA where it needs to be, he can get back to Georgia in January. That’s what he is hoping for. He needs to keep his GPA up, and he should be able to go over there after Christmas.”

UGA DL coach Tracy Rocker (AJC)

UGA DL coach Tracy Rocker (AJC)

Former UGA offensive coordinator Mike Bobo was McRae’s primary recruiter. Now McRae deals with Bulldogs defensive line coach Tracy Rocker. The UGA staff worked with McRae after signing day to address his future.

“His GPA was so low, so he went ahead and enrolled out there,” McFather said. “He’s got his GPA up. He went to some sort of high school out there. So he will graduate from high school, and go ahead and get college credit, too. It’s kind of like a dual-enrollment thing, but he’s in college.

“That’s the thing Georgia wanted him to do. They told him to go the JUCO route, and then as quick as he can get out of there, they are ready for him.”

While on spring break last week, McRae came back to Georgia and attended UGA’s spring football game. He also stopped by his old high school to give a pep talk to his former teammates.

“He told them, ‘Look, it doesn’t make sense to bring your cell phone to college because you don’t have time to do anything,’” McFather said.

“He is busy doing what he’s supposed to do, and that’s what he needed – a real structured environment to get him where he needs to be. He is busy from the time he wakes up until he goes to bed.”

“He said he loves it out there. He has met a lot of new people. He really likes his coaches. They stay on him to make sure he’s doing what he’s supposed to be doing.”

Here’s the rest of the five stories people are talking about from the weekend:

2. More on UGA signee Gary McRae: He dislocated his shoulder while playing basketball for his high school team, and he underwent surgery in February. How is rehab going? “He does all the running and stuff like that, such as footwork drills,” McFather said. “But he doesn’t anything with his upper body or arms yet. He is going to start working at the end of June or the first of July, when he gets finished with his therapy with his shoulder.” McRae has also put on about 10 pounds in a month since being at East Mississippi junior college. “He went out there at 225, and now he’s up to 235 (and 6-foot-4),” McFather said. “They got him on a special diet. He can’t eat anything unless they tell him he can. He looks good.”

Mark Richt (AP)

Mark Richt (AP)

3. UGA’s Mark Richt gave the AJC his opinion on this: Should a recruit who signs in the proposed early period get an automatic release if his head coach or position coach changes before the regular February period? “I think no one would force a prospect to make an early decision but if he signs, I think it should stick,” Richt said. “In my opinion, if he is afraid of a head coach or position coach leaving, then he should wait until the February signing period.” You can read what many of the nation’s other top coaches opined RIGHT HERE. Note: The proposal for an early signing period will be voted on this summer and, if adopted, would take effect immediately – allowing 2016 kids to sign in December.

4. Georgia Tech had its spring game on Friday night. The Yellow Jackets didn’t pick up any commitments, but they had some good prospects show up despite the rainy weather. Some of the recruits in attendance were Dacula linebacker Jakob Brashear, who is one of Tech’s two commits for 2016 along with Buford running back Xavier Gantt, along with Calhoun offensive lineman Jack DeFoor.

5. Many of the state’s top college prospects will be on display at the Corky Kell Classic 7-on-7 tournament, which will be played on June 18-19 in Roswell at three different locations. Here’s the star-studded roster of teams, according to Corky Kell Classic organizer Dave Hunter: Archer, Peachtree Ridge, Collins Hill, Mays, Gainesville, Cartersville, North Paulding, Sandy Creek, Creekview, Carrollton, Kell, Mill Creek, Brookwood, Norcross, North Gwinnett, Tucker, Cherokee, Colquitt County, Glynn Academy, Houston County, Byrnes (S.C.), Roswell, Blessed Trinity, Walton, and Centennial.

BONUS: Here are the top five reasons that UGA could sign Demetris Robertson. Go here.

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