5-Star WR Prospect George Pickens Flips Commitment from Auburn to Georgia

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2019

Credit: Andrew Ivins, 247Sports

Highly touted wide receiver George Pickens has flipped his commitment from the Auburn Tigers to the Georgia Bulldogs, Keith Niebuhr of 247Sports reported Wednesday.

Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports broke down the impact this has on the loaded Bulldogs class:

The 5-star Pickens is the No. 4 wideout and No. 24 player overall in the 2019 recruiting class, per 247Sports' composite rankings.

The Hoover, Alabama, native originally committed to Auburn in July 2017. Unlike many other top recruits, he opted against signing a letter of intent during the early signing period in December.

"It can slow me a down a lot," Pickens said of his decision last October, according to AL.com's Josh Bean. "A lot of other guys sign with schools early, [and] they're in the playbook, in the offense already, and I'll still be in high school. It can hurt me, but it also can help me."

The move allowed Pickens the freedom to weigh all of his options before finally putting pen to paper.

In January, he spoke highly of Auburn but left the door open for flipping his commitment, per Bean: "Auburn is home-state feel. It's like me at home, but I already know what to expect. Auburn is a good school, but I want to see everything. If other schools present the same feeling as the other schools I've been to, it's probably going to be Auburn."

Beyond the obvious impact Pickens' reversal will have on Auburn's plans for the future, losing his commitment is a symbolic blow following a disappointing 2018 season.

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Auburn opened the year ranked ninth and 10th, respectively, in the Associated Press Top 25 and Amway Coaches Polls. But the Tigers won just eight games, the fourth time in five years they've registered fewer than 10 victories.

Head coach Gus Malzahn was assembling the framework for a dynamic offense through the 2019 recruiting class. Bo Nix and DJ Williams have already enrolled at the school. Nix is the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback, while Williams ranks 21st among running backs.

Now, the Tigers face the prospect of having Ja'Varrius Johnson (No. 43 WR) be the only wideout they add in this recruiting cycle.

Auburn's loss is Georgia's gain.

Head coach Kirby Smart has been excellent on the recruiting trail since joining the Bulldogs, and 2019 is no different. Georgia sits second behind Alabama in 247Sports' composite team rankings.

Pickens is the second blue-chip wideout to sign with the Bulldogs. They also landed Dominick Blaylock, who's the No. 5 WR nationally.

Georgia's top two receivers, Mecole Hardman and Riley Ridley, declared for the 2019 NFL draft, leaving a void in the team's passing game.

With Jeremiah Holloman, Tommy Bush and Kearis Jackson, the Bulldogs still have plenty of talent at the receiver position. The opportunity could be there for both Pickens and Blaylock to figure prominently in the offense as true freshmen, though.