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Georgia Football Recruiting: 5 Commits and Top Targets to Watch at 'The Opening'

Andrew HallCorrespondent IIINovember 29, 2016

Georgia Football Recruiting: 5 Commits and Top Targets to Watch at 'The Opening'

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    Landing these prospects could make signing day sweet for Mark Richt in 2015.
    Landing these prospects could make signing day sweet for Mark Richt in 2015.Jason Getz/Associated Press

    The Opening, an annual proving ground for some of the nation's best football recruits, is less than a month away.  The Nike-sponsored event, which begins July 5, features a little bit of everything—lineman drills, 7-on-7 passing competitions and even elements of standard performance combines.

    More importantly for Georgia fans, however, The Opening will feature several of Georgia's top committed recruits and targets.

    Here is a look at five commitments worth watching at The Opening as ranked by the 247Sports Composite and two top Bulldog targets.

Terry Godwin: 5-Star Athlete

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    High School (Hometown): Callaway High School (Hogansville, Georgia)

    Height/Weight: 6'0", 168 lbs.

    Recruitment Status: Committed to Georgia

     

    How He Got Here and What to Watch For

    According to Michael Carvell of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Terry Godwin earned an invite to The Opening at Atlanta's Nike camp in March of this year.  247Sports' Kipp Adams reported that Godwin was the wide receiver MVP of that camp.

    Godwin is athletic enough to do a lot of things, hence his recruitment as an athlete.  But assuming his commitment stays firm to Georgia, he'll likely be counted on as a receiver to replace a host of talent that could be departing after the 2014 season.  In that regard, his athleticism and hands—arguably his greatest two traits—are worth watching during 7-on-7 competition.

    The 247Sports Composite regards Godwin as the nation's 19th-best player.

Natrez Patrick: 4-Star Defensive End, Outside Linebacker

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    Photo courtesy of 247Sports

    High School (Hometown): Mays High School (Atlanta, Georgia)

    Height/Weight: 6'3", 220 lbs.

    Recruitment Status: Committed to Georgia

     

    How He Got Here and What to Watch For

    Natrez Patrick also had a solid showing at the local Nike camp in Atlanta and garnered attention from The Opening's staff.  At the time, he was an uncommitted prospect, and he told Keith Niebuhr of 247Sports (subscription required) that his choice would be a "family-based decision," but he's now narrowed in and committed to Georgia.

    Considered the nation's 76th-best prospect (per the 247Sports Composite), Patrick already boasts a college-ready frame but must learn to maximize leverage.  Competition from the nation's best at The Opening should help him do so.

Chauncey Rivers: 4-Star Defensive End

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    Photo courtesy of 247Sports

    High School (Hometown): Stephenson High School (Stone Mountain, Georgia)

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 247 lbs.

    Recruitment Status: Committed to Georgia 

     

    How He Got Here and What to Watch For

    Rivers earned an invitation to The Opening thanks to a stellar performance at the Atlanta Nike Football Training Camp according to Todd Huber of Student Sports.

    Ranked 115th in the 247Sports Composite, Rivers is known for his athleticism more so than his size and could settle as an outside linebacker at Georgia.  At The Opening he'll get an opportunity tho show his explosiveness and speed off the edge against some of the nation's best linemen.

Rico McGraw: 4-Star Cornerback

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    Photo courtesy of 247Sports

    High School (Hometown): Ensworth School (Nashville, Tennessee)

    Height/Weight: 6'0", 190 lbs.

    Recruitment Status: Committed to Georgia

     

    How He Got Here and What to Watch For

    According to Todd Huber of StudentSports.com, Rico McGraw received an invite to The Opening following an impressive performance at Nike's camp in Birmingham.  

    Ranked 120th by the 247Sports Composite, McGraw has college-ready size for a cornerback at 190 pounds.  His speed is more than respectable and he plays very instinctively, but 7-on-7 drills at The Opening could present a challenge for McGraw, who plays for a high school with fewer than 500 students.

     

    Note: Unless stated otherwise, all recruiting stats, rankings and ratings courtesy of 247Sports.

Jackson Harris: 4-Star Tight End

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    Photo courtesy of 247Sports

    High School (Hometown): Columbia Central High School (Columbia, Tennessee)

    Height/Weight: 6'6", 250 lbs.

    Recruitment Status: Committed to Georgia 

     

    How He Got Here and What to Watch For

    Regarded as the nation's 219th-best prospect by the 247Sports Composite, Harris comes in the mold of a large, sturdy blocking-ready tight end.  He's already got college-ready size, but his athleticism will be worth watching at The Opening.  How will he perform in passing drills?  Does he have the quickness to create mismatches downfield against smaller defenders? How are his hands in traffic?

    Expect these questions to be answered at The Opening.

Josh Sweat: 5-Star Defensive End

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    High School (Hometown): Oscar Smith High School (Chesapeake, Virginia)

    Height/Weight: 6'5", 237 lbs.

    Recruitment Status: Uncommitted, considering Florida State, Georgia, Ohio State, Oregon, Virginia Tech and Tennessee

     

    How He Got Here and What to Watch For

    According to JC Shurburtt of 247Sports, Josh Sweat was a "freak" at the Nike Combine in Charlotte this past February, and his performance warranted an invite to The Opening.

    Ultimately, it's his first step and explosiveness that set him apart.  At 6'5", Sweat looks the part of a basketball player and has the athleticism to boot.  That being said, a little added weight and technique could render him terrifying coming off the edge of the line.

    Sweat is regarded as the second-best player in the nation, according to the 247Sports Composite.

Roquan Smith: 4-Star Outside Linebacker

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    Mark Richt hopes to draw Roquan Smith in.
    Mark Richt hopes to draw Roquan Smith in.Photo courtesy of 247Sports

    High School (Hometown): Macon County High School (Montezuma, Georgia)

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 205 lbs.

    Recruitment Status: Uncommitted, considering Georgia, Auburn and Florida

     

    How He Got Here and What to Watch For

    According to Kipp Adams of 247Sports, Roquan Smith was invited to The Opening following Nike's camp in Atlanta this spring.

    Smith may—at the moment—lack elite size for an outside linebacker, but he knows how to hit, moves well laterally and plays well in space.  With those factors in mind, Smith may make more sense as an inside linebacker.  It will be interesting to see how he performs in open field drills at The Opening, particularly if he gets some 7-on-7 opportunities and can showcase coverage skills.

    Smith is ranked 75th in the nation by the 247Sports Composite.

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