Bulldogs Beat

Morning musings: Oconee County's Jaleel Laguins picks Georgia over Auburn

Jason Butt


Video: Jaleel Laguins explains why he chose Georgia

Oconee County linebacker Jaleel Laguins talks about his decision to choose Georgia.
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Oconee County linebacker Jaleel Laguins talks about his decision to choose Georgia.

Oconee County linebacker Jaleel Laguins kept it short and sweet.

Barely a minute into a press gathering, Laguins announced he would play football for Georgia next season. The room erupted with cheers, given most of the student body probably grew up Georgia fans thanks to the proximity of Watkinsville to Athens.

Following his decision, Laguins got emotional with his family. They took a lot of pictures with one another before it was time for Laguins to make the call to Georgia head coach Mark Richt. Later, Laguins said no other coach developed the kind of relationship that Richt was able to strike up with him.

“I never had relationship with a college head coach like that since I started the recruiting process," Laguins said. "With a college coach, it’s kind of breathtaking.”

Laguins said Georgia's known he'd likely commit to them since late July or early August. However, Laguins said Auburn made a late push to get him and admitted it was tough to turn down the Tigers. He'll still take some official visits this fall, which includes the Iron Bowl in Auburn.

Laguins is considered a four-star linebacker and one of the main reasons Oconee County has been able to have some recent success. He plays multiple positions on defense with the defense featured around him. The Warriors haven't been completely void of talent over the past two decades. Laguins follows in the footsteps of former Warriors Tyson Browning, Tony Taylor and Zach Mettenberger as those that have earned scholarships at Georgia.

Laguins said defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt is looking at him to be either a Mike or Will linebacker at the next level, which excites him given the talent the Bulldogs are bringing in up front on the defensive line.

"If Georgia brings in the defensive line that they're bringing in I think I'll be running scot-free a bunch," Laguins said.

Georgia tight ends coach John Lilly saw the news and took to Twitter to comment on it -- in roundabout fashion to NCAA rules on what coaches can say during the recruitment process, of course.


There's a storm coming. Forecast calling for more thunder & lightning....in Sanford Stadium for the next few years! #CommitToTheG #homeGrown

— John Lilly (@JohnLillyUGA) August 19, 2015

Hitting the links

Hunter Long serving as sixth man on Georgia's offensive line.

Nick Chubb talks about preparing for the upcoming season.

Georgia welcomed receiver Isaiah McKenzie back to practice on Tuesday.

Prized recruit Jacob Eason will sign his financial-aid agreement this Friday before a Lake Stevens high school football practice.

Brian Schottenheimer adjusts to Georgia's tempo, writes the Athens Banner-Herald's Mark Weiszer.

The Red & Black's Taylor Denman writes that Georgia players receive their first cost of attendance stipend this Friday.

Receiver rotation

It's easy to get caught up in the first, second and third teams when it comes to the depth chart.

At the receiver position, it's best not to think of it that way this year. Richt said he wants to rotate eight or nine guys in there at the position. Based on what's been seen at practice, that does appear to be accurate.

For now, there is a solid core of five healthy receivers that will see the field plenty. Those are Malcolm Mitchell, Isaiah McKenzie, Reggie Davis, Terry Godwin and Michael Chigbu. Justin Scott-Wesley will be in the mix as long as his knee injury doesn't cost him the season, or the majority of it.

From there, Shakenneth Williams is a name to watch. He's impressed in recent practices and offers another option out there. He admitted he needs to continue working to get into the coaches' trust zone, but Williams could be someone that sees his game reps increase.

Kenneth Towns, an experience junior walk-on with game experience, could see some time as well.

With the tempo Georgia wants to run at, expect the receivers to get plenty of rotation time, regardless of experience.


Oconee County head coach Travis Noland on Laguins committing to Georgia: "Any time you have anyone that can play SEC football, that's a big deal. I don't care what high school you're at or how many students you got. What it makes it nice is because he's a character kid. He's a great role model for the next group of kids coming."

Song of the day

"Homegrown" by Zac Brown Band