Gunner Stockton kick-starts 2022 recruiting efforts for Georgia football

The 2021 recruiting cycle is coming to a close, with National Signing Day set for Wednesday. The Bulldogs have only one target left on the board in 4-star safety Terrion Arnold. It’s been that way for the Bulldogs for over a month now, with Georgia’s last 2021 commitment coming on Dec. 16.

The lack of activity in the 2021 cycle is perhaps what made Gunner Stockton‘s commitment all the more exhilarating. It brought some juice and attention back to the recruiting front for Georgia as it ramps up its focus on the 2022 recruiting class.

Stockton became the seventh commitment in Georgia’s 2022 class when he committed on Thursday. He is the No. 27 overall player in the country, the No. 3 player in the state of Georgia and the No. 1 ranked dual-threat quarterback for the 2022 cycle.

Georgia now has the No. 3 ranked class for the 2022 cycle and the Bulldogs are just getting started. A number of top targets in the 2022 class had a strong, positive reaction to adding Stockton to the mix.

“We talked right before he committed,” 4-star tight end Oscar Delp said. “Having a guy like him as the QB helps Georgia a lot. Every player wants to play with the best of the best and he’s one of them hands down.”

Related: Gunner Stockton: Assessing the seismic impact this commitment will have on the 2022 class

Stockton is one of two 5-star prospects in the class, joining defensive back commitment Deyon Bouie. This is also the second straight cycle Georgia has landed a 5-star quarterback, as the Bulldogs signed Brock Vandagriff in 2021.

Adding Stockton will go a long way in helping the Bulldogs bring in top skill players, something that didn’t happen in the 2021 class. Georgia didn’t sign a top-100 overall prospect that will play at either running back, wide receiver or tight end for the first time in Kirby Smart’s tenure in the 2021 recruiting cycle.

The Stockton commitment wasn’t the only big Georgia news of the week though, as Georgia learned its 2021 schedule, hired a new defensive backs coach and had a number of players take place in the Senior Bowl.

2021 Georgia football schedule drops

The Bulldogs, along with the rest of the SEC, now know the dates for their 2021 schedule.

The full schedule is as follows:

  • Sept. 4: Clemson, Charlotte
  • Sept. 11: UAB, Athens, Ga.,
  • Sept 18: South Carolina, Athens, Ga.,
  • Sept. 25: at Vanderbilt, Nashville
  • Oct. 2: Arkansas, Athens, Ga.,
  • Oct. 9: at Auburn, Auburn, Ala.
  • Oct. 16: Kentucky, Athens, Ga.,
  • Oct. 23: Off
  • Oct. 30: Florida, Jacksonville, Fla.,
  • Nov. 6: Missouri, Athens, Ga.,
  • Nov. 13: at Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn.,
  • Nov. 20: Charleston Southern, Athens, Ga.,
  • Nov. 27: at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Ga.,

The biggest game from a national perspective is the opener against Clemson. That game should be a top-5 matchup between two likely College Football Playoff contenders. It will be one of the most anticipated games of the offseason.

From an SEC view, the Florida matchup looms largest. The winner of the Georgia-Florida game has won the SEC East in each of the previous six seasons. The Gators won 44-28 in 2020, but that was with Kyle Trask guiding the Gators while JT Daniels was on the bench for the Bulldogs.

With Daniels as the starting quarterback, Georgia will be the favorite to win the SEC East. The Bulldogs have a rather favorable schedule, drawing Arkansas and Auburn from the SEC West. All three of Georgia’s road SEC contests also come against first-year head coaches.

RelatedWay-too-early game predictions for Georgia football 2021 schedule

Georgia does see non-conference games in 2021, as the Bulldogs take on Clemson, UAB, Charleston Southern and Georgia Tech. The off week for Georgia falls on Oct. 23.

Georgia hires Jahmile Addae to be defensive backs coach

Georgia hired its replacement for Charlton Warren on Wednesday when it named Jahmile Addae to be Georgia’s next defensive backs coach.

Addae comes from West Virginia, where he spent the past two seasons as the cornerbacks coach. He was also an All-Big East safety for the Mountaineers as a player and forced a fumble in the 2006 Sugar Bowl against Georgia.

“We are excited to add Jahmile to our staff and to welcome he and his family to Athens,” Smart said in a statement.  “Having been an all-conference safety himself while playing for West Virginia, we feel like Jahmile will boost our team both as a former player who understood the game as well as with his knowledge from coaching at a high level over the last decade.”

Related: How Jahmile Addae checks all the boxes

West Virginia had the nation’s top pass defense in 2020 and Addae helped develop two All-Big 12 cornerbacks and a Freshman All-American in 2020.

He’ll have a big task on his hand in 2021, as Georgia will be overhauling its secondary due to the departures of Tyson Campbell, Eric Stokes, DJ Daniel, Mark Webb and Richard LeCounte. Tyrique Stevenson also announced he would be transferring to Miami.

Georgia does have talent in the secondary and it will now be up to Addae to get the most out of Kelee Ringo, Lewis Cine, Nyland Green and others.

Two Georgia football players have strong showings at Senior Bowl

A total of six Georgia Bulldogs attended the Senior Bowl this past week and two of those prospects really stood out as they took home positional awards.

Daniel was named the top defensive back in practice for his team, while Tre’ McKitty took home the honor for his team at tight end.

Related: DJ Daniel biggest winner of Georgia players entering Saturday Senior Bowl

It wasn’t all good news though for the Bulldogs, as two participants picked up injuries. Ben Cleveland sustained an ankle injury that kept him out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Malik Herring suffered a torn ACL as well. Monty Rice did not participate in drills as he is still dealing with a foot injury.

The other big news to come out with regards to Georgia was what quarterback Jamie Newman had to say about why he opted-out of the 2020 seasont. He cited a family member getting COVID as to why he made the decision.

“No regrets of not playing this season,” Newman said, per a WFTV-9 AP report. “Still love DawgNation regardless of all the stuff that I get via Instagram. Still got love to that family. Still got love for the fans.”

Related: Jamie Newman on decision to leave Georgia: ‘No regrets …. still love DawgNation’

Newman repped Wake Forest during the week but that didn’t stop a number of people still referring to him as a Bulldog despite never playing in a game for Georgia.

The Senior Bowl wraps up on Saturday with the game starting at 2:30 p.m.

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