UGA Football

UGA or Alabama? The decision is in for five-star cornerback Tyson Campbell

American Heritage Patriots head coach Patrick Surtain talks with Tyson Campbell (8) as American Heritage plays Baker County Wildcats in Class 5A State High School Football Championship at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on Dec. 8, 2017.
American Heritage Patriots head coach Patrick Surtain talks with Tyson Campbell (8) as American Heritage plays Baker County Wildcats in Class 5A State High School Football Championship at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on Dec. 8, 2017. adiaz@miamiherald.com

Georgia has set recruiting history.

Since 2000, the earliest a recruiting ranking consensus has been archived, Georgia is the first program to land seven five-star players in one class, at least according to the 247Sports.com composite. The Bulldogs were able to do this by securing a commitment, and a later a signed national letter-of-intent, from American Heritage (Plantation, Florida) cornerback Tyson Campbell on Wednesday morning.

Campbell is considered the No. 2 cornerback in the country, only second to his teammate Patrick Surtain Jr. He chose Georgia over Alabama and Miami.

“Tyson Campbell, what's not to love? First of all, he's an extremely high-character kid," Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said. "This process took its toll on he and his family because he's a great kid. He's from a wonderful school that's supplied the University of Georgia with some really good players, from American Heritage, and he's a bright-eyed kid that enjoyed the process."

Campbell is the fourth defensive back to commit in Georgia's class of 2018, and the third from the Miami area. The other two secondary commits from Miami are Divaad Wilson (Northwestern) and Nadab Joseph (Miami Norland). The lone defensive back commit not from Miami is Chris Smith, who attends high school at Hapeville Charter in Atlanta.

The Miami pipeline is noteworthy, considering Georgia's No. 1 cornerback, Deandre Baker, is also from Miami. Latavious Brini, who redshirted after signing with Georgia in the recruiting class of 2017, is also a Miami-area product.

Campbell is a big cornerback at 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds who could compete for early playing time. With Malkom Parrish and Aaron Davis exhausting their eligibility, Georgia will have some options as to how it wants to fill at least one open spot. The Bulldogs could keep Tyrique McGhee outside or move him inside to the star position. Either way, there will be a position open and a lot of players vying for it.

During his signing day news conference, Smart gushed over Campbell's speed, saying he runs the 100-meter dash in 10.4 seconds.

"That's faster than pretty much anybody we've got on our team right now, and he's big," Smart said. "So he's big and he's fast."

Before Campbell's announcement, Georgia was only the fifth team to land six five-star players, based on the 247Sports.com composite, in one recruiting class. However, USC (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007), Alabama (2013, 2014, 2015, 2017), Florida State (2002, 2012) have been able to achieve this multiple times. Florida signed six five-star recruits in 2003.

Georgia is now the first program to sign seven five-star players in one recruiting cycle. Campbell joins quarterback Justin Fields, running back Zamir White, offensive lineman Cade Mays, outside linebacker Brenton Cox, offensive lineman Jamaree Salyer and outside linebacker Adam Anderson as five-star recruits.

While this recruiting class is quite the accomplishment, Smart said the end result doesn't mean much until these players are able to contribute.

"We do the best we can to get the best players we can, and we do a real good job of evaluating them," Smart said. "We try to get every good football player we can that can make our program better, and that's our goal each and every year is to upgrade that in character, academics and on the football field."

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