The most underrated signee in UGA’s recruiting class could be Juwuan Briscoe.
He’s the 3-star cornerback from Waldorf, Md., who originally committed to Clemson as a junior but later backed off his pledge to the ACC school. Then Ohio State was considered the heavy favorite for Briscoe, who ended up falling in love with UGA after taking an official visit with the Bulldogs for the Georgia Tech game.
Briscoe said one of the main reasons he signed with UGA was because of the relationship he developed with Bulldogs defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.
“Coach Pruitt has this thing where he asks me ‘Are you scared?’” Briscoe told the AJC. “I don’t know why, but he always asks me that. It was kind of funny because we always talk about me playing there. And he’s always like ‘You’re not scared, are you?’ He’s like ‘there’s no little boys in college football. They are grown men.’”
What’s was Briscoe’s response to his future coach’s challenge? “I told him that I’m not scared of nothing.”
Here’s the rest of the “Recruiting Rewind” with Briscoe reflecting on the recruiting process:
Advice you’d give to a high school junior about the recruiting process? “Everything the colleges tell you is not the truth. A coach is going to tell you what you want to hear. Some recruits like hearing all that stuff. But it’s not reality. They just tell you all that stuff to get you to their school.”
You signed with UGA. Who was your runner-up? “Ohio State.” How did you separate UGA and Ohio State in making that decision? “First was the coaching staffs, and second was the playing time.” Everything changed between you and UGA after you took an official visit there for the Georgia Tech game? “Yes. I like being around Coach Pruitt, Coach Richt and Coach Sale. They are kind of like father figures to me.”
What is the most creative thing a college did to get your attention? “I know Florida was real good with photos. They sent me a poster and it was Joe Haden’s jersey and number with him making an interception – but it had my face in the helmet. That was really cool. It caught my attention.”
Your biggest regret in recruiting? “Committing to Clemson early. I didn’t expect my recruiting (to blow up). I didn’t expect all of this. Clemson was my favorite school growing up, so once they called I was like ‘That’s it.’ But if I hadn’t committed early to Clemson, I would’ve been seen a little more by all the colleges. I would’ve gone to other camps, because Clemson didn’t want me doing that. I could’ve shown other people my skills. I probably would’ve had a lot more offers. But everything happens for a reason, so …” Do you feel like it worked out for you in the end? “Yes. But I still feel like I have to prove myself, to be honest. I’m not tripping about it anymore. Also, Maryland was cool and all. I know some guys that went there and that were recruited by them. And they were like ‘Maryland is not what people think it is.’”
Were there any hard feelings after you de-committed to Clemson? “Umm. Coach Reed from Clemson blocked me on Twitter. I don’t what’s going on with that. I don’t know why. But I don’t have any problems with Clemson. There are no hard feelings from me. It’s just part of how recruiting works. You’ve got to move on.”
Most memorable thing that happened on an official visit? “At Ohio State, before the game, they let the recruits walk through the crowd before the team. They have like a little pep rally in the gym. And they have all the recruits standing by the team. And it’s a crazy atmosphere. People are yelling and screaming, and some of them were yelling my name. It was kind of overwhelming.”
Biggest secret you kept? “I knew I was going to go to UGA about 2-3 months before I decided. I slept on it. I really thought about it. And I felt it inside that Georgia was the place for me. But everybody asked me ‘Am I going here or there?’ And all the little reporters were predicting me to go to Ohio State. But I knew I was going to Georgia for a while. I just didn’t tell anybody. It was a gut instinct. It was being able to play in the SEC, it was for the opportunity to play for Coach Pruitt, and it was just knowing what he did in the past.”
Which school disappointed you the most? “I’d say Florida State disappointed me the most. I talked to one of the coaches. And I’m real cool with Ronald Darby. He was talking to the coaches for me, and giving me reports. They were pretty much holding out on me for Tarvarus McFadden. That was a kind of disappointing because I feel like I’m one of the best DBs in the country out of my class. But they made their decision.” What if FSU had pursued you instead? “That would’ve changed some things honestly. That would’ve changed a lot of things.”
Biggest rumor about you that wasn’t true? “There was something out there that I was going to Penn State. I don’t know where that came from. I have no clue.”
The hardest coach to turn down? “Urban Meyer. That was really hard. It’s like you can’t tell Urban Meyer no. I just came out and told him. I don’t think he liked that. He was still trying to get me to flip after I decided on Georgia. They really wanted me bad. They didn’t send me a letter of intent on signing day. They talked to my mentor, and he told (Meyer) that I was stuck on Georgia.”
Your expectations as a freshman at UGA? “First, I want to make the Dean’s list and take care of everything in the classroom. Secondly, I want to work hard and be a Freshman All-American, and I want to be SEC Freshman of the Year. I feel like I’m underrated, and that people are going to try me because of that and because I’m a freshman.”
Note: One UGA coach told me this spring that he felt like Briscoe “should’ve been a 5-star. Go look at his film and see for yourself.” Here’s Briscoe’s film …