Georgia lands “mislead” UCLA commitment

By EFN Staff
Published: 02/13/2015

National Signing Day started off with a bang for UCLA. The Bruins picked up six verbal commitments from top players across the nation on NSD including Oklahoma offensive lineman Josh Wariboko, Texas running back Soso Jamabo, Connecticut tight end Chris Clark, California defensive back Nathan Meadors, Nevada wide receiver Cordell Broadus, and Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith.

Before all the smiles and backslapping could be completed in the Bruins headquaters, trouble surfaced when Smith started receiving notifications from other college recruiters that UCLA defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich might be leaving Westwood for a job with the Atlanta Falcons.

In an interview Smith conducted by UGASports.com earlier this week, he owed up to the fact that Ulbrich had notified him the night before NSD that an offer had been made by the Falcons but he said he had turned it down. The Macon County High School standout withheld faxing in his LOI to UCLA opting to wait and see what would happen with Ulbrich while exploring scholarship options still on the table.

Smith would later categorized the situation with the UCLA coaching staff as feeling “kind of” mislead and stating, “I thought they were keeping it real with me but you know people are going to lie.”

The writing was on the wall that UCLA had lost their shot at Smith before the second big announcement. The Bruins loss was now potential gain for Texas A&M, Michigan, and home state SEC power Georgia. On Friday Smith finalized his recruiting process faxing in his financial papers committing to the Bulldogs.

After a big to-do for Smith on NSD when committing to UCLA on ESPNU, Friday’s announcement came via social media with the Montezuma area native writing:

“To begin with, I would like to thank God for making all things possible after all, it is through him that I was even blessed with the talents to play football. Secondly, I would like to thank my family and coaches for their never ending love. Through these strenuous times, they have never left my side and have always stayed true. Their loyalty is not something that can be bought only earned. But more importantly I would like thank my teammates. When I'm playing with these guys, it's not about the accolades or the elaborate stats. It's about the value of leadership, brotherhood, and team work... things I will forever cherish. As you could imagine it's been tough lately, But I am relieved to say that I am officially committed to The University Of Georgia 100%. Proverbs 16:3 says that if you commit to the lord in whatever you do, he will establish your plans. Jeremiah 29:11 says that God knows the plans he has for my life and I will trust in him through any and everything as I have always done. Once again, thank you so much to all my true supporters and my community. I will make you nothing short of proud.”

Georgia now has 29 signees to their 2015 recruiting class. Of the 29, 18 were signed expecting to contribute on the defensive side of the ball, seven players in the Bulldogs’ secondary.

Georgia 2015 Verbal Commitments
DB Johnathan Abram, 6’2”, 202 lbs, East Marion HS, Columbia, Mississippi
DB Deandre Baker, 6’0”, 175 lbs, Northwestern HS, Miami, Florida
CB Juwuan Briscoe, 6’1”, 185 lbs, Thomas Stone, Waldorf, Maryland
S Kirby Choates Jr., 5’11”, 184 lbs, Tri Cities, East Point, Georgia
CB Rico McGraw, 6’0”, 190 lbs, Ensworth, Nashville, Tennessee
DB Rashad Roundtree, 6’0”, 189 lbs, Lakeside HS, Evans, Georgia
DB Jarvis Wilson, 6’1”, 189 lbs, Tupelo High School, Tupelo, Mississippi
DE Michael Barnett, 6’4”, 239 lbs, Woodland HS, Ridgeville, South Carolina
DE Jonathan Ledbetter, 6’3”, 272 lbs, Tucker HS, Tucker, Georgia
DE Natrez Patrick, 6’2”, 257 lbs, Mays HS, Atlanta, Georgia
DE Chauncey Rivers, 6’2”, 254 lbs, Stephenson HS, Stone Mountain, Georgia
DE D’Andre Walker, 6’3”, 212 lbs, Langston Hughes, Fairburn, Georgia
DE Justin Young, 6’3”, 255 lbs, Grayson HS, Loganville, Georgia
DT DaQuan Hawkins, 6’4”, 285 lbs, Westlake HS, Atlanta, Georgia
DT Trenton Thompson, 6’4”, 293 lbs, Westover School, Albany, Georgia
LB Chuks Amaechi, 6’2”, 230 lbs, Arizona Western C.C., Yuma, Arizona
LB Gary McCrae, 6’5”, 220 lbs, Randolph Clay HS, Cuthbert, Georgia
LB Roquan Smith, 6’0”, 200 lbs, Macon County HS, Montezuma, Georgia
LB Juwan Taylor, 6’0”, 196 lbs, Hallandale HS, Hallandale Beach, Florida
OT Patrick Allen, 6’5”, 286 lbs, Franklin HS, Reisterstown, Maryland
OL Sage Hardin, 6’6”, 260 lbs, Marist School, Atlanta, Georgia
OT Sam Madden, 6’7”, 345 lbs, Barnegat HS, Barnegat, New Jersey
OT Devondre Seymour, 6’6”, 305 lbs, Hinds C.C., Raymond, Mississippi
RB Tae Crowder, 6’2”, 220 lbs, Harris County HS, Hamilton, Georgia
TE Jackson Harris, 6’5”, 241 lbs, Columbia Central, Columbia, Tennessee
WR Michael Chigbu, 6’2”, 214 lbs, Holy Cross, New Orleans, Louisiana
WR Jayson Stanley, 6’2”, 205 lbs, Creekside HS, Fairburn, Georgia
WR Terry Goodwin, 5’11”, 166 lbs, Callaway HS, Hogansville, Georgia
ATH Shaquery Wilson, 6’1”, 189 lbs, Coral Gables HS, Coral Gables, Florida

Photo credit: macon.com; No. 1 Roquan Smith.