McEachern rising junior Bailey Hockman committed to UGA on June 12. That was significant because it made him the first member of the 2017 signing class in Athens. He’s also talented enough to compete for the job with incoming 2016 recruit Jacob Eason when he arrives on campus. He’s been rated by the 247sports composite matrix as the nation’s No. 2 pro-style quarterback prospect for 2017.
The nearly 6-foot-3 signal caller has already embraced a “Pied Piper” role hoping to lure other top prospects to Athens. He won’t rattle off star ratings and class or position ranking, but he knows who can play as well as any recruiting analyst. His father Kyle Hockman is the head coach at McEachern. Bailey Hockman has been studying the game from a coach’s perspective for quite some time now.
“I knew what a Cover-2 was when I was six years old,” Hockman said. “I probably knew what all the coverages were when I was six years old.”
Who would he like to see join him in Athens? He was asked to name the top five guys he’s seen that UGA needs to sign. The four-star prospect obliged. The interesting part is he couldn’t name just five guys. He rattled off six recruiting targets in 14 seconds.
“I am going to try to build this class and the team,” Hockman said. “It’s not about me. It’s about Georgia and getting the best players in this class that we can. I see a guy that can play and I’ll be like I want that guy to come play for Georgia, too. It’s sort of like P.E. or playing in the park and ‘Oh, I want him to be on my team. He’s really good’ and that’s how I will approach it.
2017 UGA QB COMMIT BAILEY HOCKMAN’S MOST WANTED RECRUITS:
(in no particular order)
— WR Kyle Davis, Archer (Class of 2016)
Why: “This guy just might be my favorite,” Hockman said. “I just think he’s exactly what you want a receiver to look like and play like.” (Check out the latest on his recruiting)
— ATH Mecole Hardman, Jr., Elbert County (Class of 2016)
Why: “He can really ball,” Hockman said. “Just put him on the field. He can do everything. What an athlete.”
— CB DeAngelo Gibbs, Peachtree Ridge (Class of 2017)
Why: “He can just play and he’s like my size,” Hockman said. “Little bigger. He walks over there and your receiver is not getting off the line. He’s a game-changer for sure. You look over there and your guy is on the sideline falling down and you think what do I do with this play now? He just breaks down everything.” (Here’s the latest recruiting dish with Gibbs)
— CB Jaymest Williams, Archer (Class of 2017)
Why: “Another great cover guy,” he said. “He’s my age. There’s a few Archer guys Georgia needs to sign, for sure. ”
— WR Tyler Simmons, McEachern (Class of 2016)
Why: “He can fly and he’s so strong,” Hockman said. “That’s an awesome combo for any receiver to have. He’s so strong. People don’t notice that about him enough.”
— WR Tyler Smith, McEachern (Class of 2017)
Why: “He has to be the smoothest receiver in and out of his routes that I have ever seen,” Hockman said. “I’ve been playing with him since I was five and receivers don’t do it any better than he does. You can’t cover either of the Tylers we have in our offense.”
Hockman is a quarterback so it was only natural for him not to center his thoughts around centers, guards, kickers, linebackers or punters. Cornerbacks and receivers are his world. He was even a little greedy. He said he hopes to see Davis, Hardman and his two receivers at McEachern all wearing red and black one day.
“If Georgia could sign those four guys it would just be over with at receiver,” Hockman said. “All of those guys can fly. The receivers would be so stacked in Athens. There would be nothing anybody could do to cover them all.”
Did you miss Hockman’s commitment day and the splash it made? Check out what Hockman brings to the table in this AJC.com video below:
Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.