The Georgia Bulldogs worked briskly to grow their 2019 class and landed an in-state product just three days after handing out an offer.
Rashad Cheney, a defensive end out of Booker T. Washington, announced his pledge Saturday while in Athens as a part of the program’s junior day festivities. Georgia was the undoubted leader from the point when it offered him Feb. 15, and it came to fruition. LSU (Feb. 1) and Tennessee (Feb. 17) also offered the 6-foot-4, 256-pound prospect.
“When I got in that office with (head coach) Kirby (Smart), everything turned real,” Cheney said. “He quickly told me how much I can contribute to this program.”
Cheney is the third player to commit in the class of 2019, joining North Murray offensive tackle Luke Griffin and IMG Academy weak-side defensive end Nolan Smith, who recently has transferred to the powerhouse prep academy from Savannah.
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The addition of Cheney is the first under new defensive line coach Tray Scott, who made his way to Athens from Mississippi to replace Tracy Rocker. Scott has made plenty of recruiting efforts already, with prospects in the 2018 and 2019 classes. The player-to-coach relationship with the Bulldogs’ latest pledge was one that clicked immediately.
“I like his personality,” Chaney said. “He jokes around, but he is about business. When he first talked to me, he said that his job was to keep the best in the state. He sure did do his job with me. He’s such a good dude, and he showed me nothing but love the entire time.”
Cheney said that he is a lifelong fan of the Bulldogs, and despite only being a high school sophomore, he is solid in his commitment.
It’s frequently said that a scenario can be a “dream come true,” but it holds significance for the Atlanta-area native.
“The visit went exactly how I wanted it, and the coaches showed me a lot of love,” Cheney said. “I’m very excited to be on campus, I’ve been waiting for this moment since I was a little kid.”
Georgia’s coaching staff already has a successful 2017 class under its belt, and the future classes may be able to rival the pedigree of the top-three class nationally. Cheney said that Smart and his assistants are the “best coaches ever” and praised their efforts on the recruiting trail.
With three pledges already made, Cheney indicated that he will make an effort to add some more prospects, with a target on Upson-Lee defensive tackle Travon Walker and Tucker defensive end Derek McClendon. A clear vision is present for Cheney’s efforts and the program’s direction, and the newest pledge likes Georgia’s future.
“The class of 2019 will bring a national championship to Georgia. We’re not done yet,” Cheney said.