At one time, it looked like Georgia had moved on from three-star cornerback Latavious Brini after he renounced his pledge from the program in October.
From then on, it seemed as if Brini had honed in on Miami, Florida International and Florida Atlantic, with a desire to stay in-state.
On Georgia’s end, there was little public noise in terms of interaction with Brini. The south Florida product didn’t make a trip to Athens during the season and even considered canceling his Jan. 20 official visit if he didn’t hear back from the coaches after the recruiting dead period. But there was more communication between the two parties than what was evident.
“Georgia had the most consistent relationship that Latavious had built throughout the last year or so,” said Jeff Pond, Mater Academy’s defensive coordinator. “FIU came on strong with (head coach) Butch Davis and South Florida did with (head coach) Charlie Strong. But Georgia never wavered, and recruiting is definitely a marathon, not a sprint.”
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Brini cited the efforts of wide receivers coach James Coley and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker as the cause of Georgia putting itself back in the conversation. According to Brini, he had gotten into trouble at school and the two showed support despite it not being the most ideal situation.
Coley, Tucker and head coach Kirby Smart made the trip to Hialeah, Florida on two occasions to visit Brini in the closing stages of open recruiting. The face-to-face interaction is an obvious method to gain some appeal from high school recruits, but the dialogue that was exchanged in those conversations is what led Brini to sign.
“Coach Coley stayed consistent with his message,” Pond said. “He told him that Georgia was going to keep recruiting him. He understands the pressures that these 17-year-old kids are under. Loyalty is everything to Latavious, as it’s tattooed on his bicep. The fact that they stuck by him meant a lot.”
The continuation of recruiting Brini was not only evident from the coaching staff, but from the 25 other committed Georgia prospects as well. One of the Bulldog signees told The Telegraph that all of the commits had a group message, and the player would normally be removed or voluntarily leave after he had decommitted. For Brini, he decided to stay, and thus the close-knit group elected to keep recruiting him.
Brini took his official visit to Athens with 10 other prospects and came away impressed with his trip. He tried to play it down after the visit as he said it was an even split between Georgia, Miami and FIU. That was an effort to keep it a surprise because he knew his destination nearly right after his return.
“We knew when he came back from his Georgia visit about a week and a half ago,” Pond said. “We sat down and talked, and he let me know that this was where he wanted to be.”
The National Signing Day festivities for Georgia resulted in adding a heap of defensive backs. Aside from adding place-kicker David Marvin – who is on scholarship by way of a blueshirt – the Bulldogs added cornerbacks Eric Stokes and Ameer Speed in addition to Brini.
Consequently, Brini will have a significant amount of competition with the new signees and roster players that still obtain eligibility. A more reasonable area to see early impact from Brini could be on special teams, which is an area he found success in at the prep level.
“He took a lot of pride in being on special teams and being the first one down on kickoff to make the tackle,” Pond said. “I think he can definitely make an impact there. (On defense), Brini has faced some of the top wide receivers in the country throughout the past couple of years. He won’t see anything he hasn’t seen before in Miami.”
Murchison explains why he didn't end up at Georgia
Louisburg College defensive lineman Larrell Murchison was set to flip his commitment from Mississippi to Georgia, and both programs had been notified. Then things didn’t go as planned less than 24 hours before his national letter-of-intent was to be signed.
The ceremony was set for 9 a.m. on Wednesday but it was delayed for a reason that was unbeknownst to many at the time. It was because Murchison was scrambling to find a new destination.
“I guess things didn’t work out with Georgia because there wasn’t enough space,” Murchison said. “They had filled the roster with scholarships and I understood that, so I had to look to take my talents elsewhere.”
Murchison had a sense of optimism without hard feelings through the process with Georgia and said that he’s “blessed to have options.”
Murchison knew his primary option last Thursday after Georgia defensive line coach Tracy Rocker visited the junior college product in-home. He committed then and let both parties know of the situation prior to the official visit to Ole Miss.
It would be believed that Ole Miss would be Murchison’s backup destination after being committed to the program since Jan. 5. But he simply stated that it was no longer an option and declined further comment.
Murchison finally came to a resolve after a nine-hour delay of his announcement and signed with N.C. State. His encounter with the Wolfpack was no ordinary one, since it didn't consist of multiple visits and face-to-face interaction.
“They came into the picture (Tuesday) night and saw the situation,” Murchison said. “I was told, ‘Look, you don’t need to go through what you’ve been going through,’ and I was convinced to stay in-state. (Head coach Dave) Doeren explained a lot of things to me and I said ‘Man, why not?’ An offer from a school that’s moving up, why not? I know these defensive line coaches are some of the best in the nation, and I can’t wait to get to work.”