The Biggest Takeaways from Georgia's Recruits Performance at the Opening

Sanjay Kirpalani@@SanjayKirpalaniNational Recruiting AnalystJuly 11, 2016

Georgia QB commit Jake Fromm was one of a handful of Bulldogs pledges who performed well at The Opening
Georgia QB commit Jake Fromm was one of a handful of Bulldogs pledges who performed well at The OpeningCredit: Student Sports

BEAVERTON, Oregon — There’s little question that new Georgia head coach Kirby Smart has galvanized the program since taking over the program in January.

The Bulldogs brought a nice contingent of six commitments led by 4-star quarterback Jake Fromm and 4-star safety Richard LeCounte III.

However, the Bulldogs program was among the stories of the week in Oregon as their class added three members by week’s end.

Additionally, Georgia was represented by star running back Nick Chubb—who was at the event as one of the college coaching counselors.

“There’s a lot of talent out here and a lot of future Bulldogs on team Alpha Pro. They are looking good and I like what I see,” Chubb told Bleacher Report. “I just tell them to keep working hard and to just stay humble. Don’t think just because you are out here that you have arrived. Just stick with what got you here and keep working hard.”

What are their commits saying about the program and how did they perform in the nation’s premier summer camp showcase?

Let’s take a look at the most interesting news surrounding Georgia’s 2017 class.

Dawgs Add Pair on Commits on Sunday

Georgia’s week started off with a pledge from 5-star defensive end Robert Beal. That was just the beginning of the fireworks for Smart and his staff.

By week’s end, the class had expanded to add two more members in 4-star running back Toneil Carter and 4-star offensive lineman Andrew Thomas.

The additions helped the Bulldogs surge in the national recruiting rankings where they occupy the No. 2 spot overall.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

B/R Commitment Week: 4-star RB @CarterToneil interrupts our FB Live show to announce his decision #BRCommitmentWeek https://t.co/i9fdML7tRi

According to Fromm, the Bulldogs' program is definitely gaining steam with a number of top prospects who were in attendance for The Opening.

“We are definitely putting Georgia on people’s minds, especially with the way our team played,” Fromm said. “We kind of turned some peoples' heads and we had a few guys tell us that they may come down and check us out soon. That gives us a chance and hopefully, we take advantage of it.”

With 15 current commitments and a ton of momentum surrounding Smart’s arrival, the Bulldogs have a shot to bring home the nation’s top class if they finish on a strong note.

Fromm Excels On and Off the Field

While most of the quarterbacks struggled at the beginning of the seven-on-seven tournament, Fromm was the exception to that rule.

On Saturday, Fromm was clearly the best quarterback in the Elite 11 field, as detailed by Barton Simmons of 247Sports. He led his club to seven scores on his first nine drives

His team had a rougher go of it on Sunday, but he kept his individual performance in perspective.

Sanjay Kirpalani @SanjayKirpalani

Fromm hits Trevon Grimes for the TD. Then everyone hit flips. https://t.co/UoofduTBmz

“Honestly, yesterday, even though everybody thinks I played amazing, I made a lot of mistakes yesterday,” Fromm said. “Today, I made a lot of great throws. But that’s how football goes sometimes, especially in seven-on-seven where it’s like a roller coaster that goes up and down.”

Still, perhaps the highlights of his trip was bonding with LeCounte.

“Honestly, I already love playing with Richie. He is amazing. It’s going to be great facing him in practice everyday,” Fromm said. “He’s one of the most competitive people I’ve ever met and one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. I can’t wait to spend the next four years of my life with him.”

He also took the experience of learning from the Elite 11 staff as one that could help his transition from high school to college.

“I just tried to focus on perfecting my craft and doing things like working under center and going through progressions and really not getting greedy. I think those things will help me transition to college.”

LeCounte Talks Loud, Carries a Big Stick

What Fromm was to his team on offense, LeCounte filled the leadership role on Alpha Pro’s defense. 

The 5’11 ½”, 174-pounder was all over the field as he recorded three interceptions on the first day of tournament play, as detailed by Keith Niebuhr of 247Sports.

LeCounte was simply a ball hawk in pass coverage and an intimidating presence who performed well overall even though his team fell short of advancing in the tournament.

“I hate to go out like that, but we did our thing out here this week, and I really appreciate everything Nike and everyone did for us,” LeCounte said. “I felt like I did pretty well overall. There’s always room to improve. I’m always looking for ways to get better.”

LeCounte was easily one of the more energetic prospects in attendance. His motorand mouthwas always moving whether he was on or off the field.

SB Nation Recruiting @SBNRecruiting

#UGA safety commit Richard LeCounte (@LilEasy_35 ) with the hands and concentration @TheOpening https://t.co/69KlMf1Uup

Still, one of his favorite memories of the event will be the time he spent bonding with a handful of his future teammates.

“It was great to get a feel for the guys I’m going to be playing with at the next level. I had a great time with them. I couldn’t ask for a better week,” LeCounte said. 

Being that he was one of the more vocal recruiters on hand this week, LeCounte is full steam ahead on getting the Bulldogs class to be among the nation’s elite.

“I’ve been working my butt off trying to get the class to be the best it can be," he said. "I’m excited about where we’re headed. That’s one of our main things we talk about. We want to build our team up and win a national championship for our home state.”


Blount Relishes Opportunity To Compete Against Nation’s Best

One of the added bonuses for 4-star receiver and current Bulldogs pledge Trey Blount was the opportunity to catch passes from his future quarterback in Fromm.

The 6’2”, 185-pound Atlanta native was one of Fromm’s main targets when he was on fire early in tournament play.

“It’s great to get that early connection so that when we get to college, we will already be clicking,” Blount said. “He throws a great ball. It’s very catchable. I watched his film and he controls the game well. I just love being here with him.”

For his part, Fromm agreed and noted that working with Blount this week has already helped them establish a strong connection on the field. 

The Nation. @SportsRecruits

Jake Fromm TD pass to Trey Blount for #AlphaPro lead in 7on7 action at #TheOpening #D1Bound https://t.co/lggtwaUXna

“It would probably take us a couple of weeks in practice, but we made a couple of nice connections. I can’t wait to throw to him,” Fromm said.

Blount also noted that he’s among the legion of Bulldogs commits hoping to recruit other talented players to Athens.

He can already consider himself a success after Thomas—who is teammates with Blount at Pace Academy in Atlanta—made the call for the Bulldogs on Sunday.

He mentioned 5-star running back Cam Akers and 5-star athlete JaCoby Stevens as two targets he will continue to work on.

Sanjay Kirpalani is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand and all recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

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