UGA Football

Blount ‘excited’ to play close to home at Georgia

Georgia wide receivers coach James Coley, right, high-fives Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason on April 16 during the G-Day game in Athens.
Georgia wide receivers coach James Coley, right, high-fives Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason on April 16 during the G-Day game in Athens. Georgia Sports Communications

It’s a short 72 miles from Pace Academy to the Georgia campus.

That was one of the reasons four-star wide receiver Trey Blount chose to continue his playing career in Athens. In addition to the revamped coaching staff, staying near to his roots was a no-brainer for Blount.

“It just felt like home, and also playing for the home state is huge,” Blount said. “It’s close to home, so all of my family will be able to see me play. The new coaching staff and the new energy they brought in is an awesome feeling.”

One of the biggest influences in Blount’s decision to head to Georgia was his future position coach, James Coley. Blount believes he is a big part of the new energy from the Bulldogs’ coaching staff.

Making his way to Georgia from Miami, Coley has brought a new level of importance in recruiting. He has been on the job for only eight months, but his recruiting game has still been strong, luring in numerous top-tier pass catchers in both the 2016 and 2017 recruiting classes. Coley’s expertise both on and off-the-field lead Blount to think highly of his future coach.

“Coley is an excellent recruiter, one of the best, if not the best in country,” Blount said. “And what makes him the best is because he’s genuine, honest, and down to earth with the recruits. “(He is good on-the-field) because he communicates well with his players, he’s a great a teacher of the position, and he gets the most from his wide receivers.”

In addition to Coley, Blount believes Kirby Smart is the right man to call the shots in Athens. Smart has a tradition of winning the crucial games at Alabama, and Blount believes he will carry that over to Georgia.

Georgia is currently suffering through a 36-year national championship drought, and Blount believes the right man is in charge for that to change soon.

“Smart brings great leadership and a great work ethic to the program,” Blount said. “He also knows how to win the big games, he was formerly at a program that won national championships, so he brings the same winning attitude to Georgia. The future is very bright for Georgia; the ceiling is so high that it’s unbelievable.”

Georgia has gained a lot of attention in terms of enhanced recruiting since Smart took the helm in January, as the Bulldogs’ 2017 recruiting class ranks as the third best nationally, according to 247Sports. Blount, however, believes they’re not done yet.

Currently, Georgia has 14 commitments for the 2017 class, but Blount is actively trying to lure some of the biggest names left on the table. The constant efforts of Blount and others could be a part of adding the necessary talent and depth in order to compete for a national championship in the coming seasons.

“We’re always trying to make it better,” Blount said. “This class has the opportunity to be one of the best classes in the country for the year 2017, and I believe it’s going to be the best.

“Right now, I’m trying to recruit Jacoby Stevens, Will Ignont, Malik Herring, Deandre Swift, Monty Rice, and my teammate at Pace, Jamaree Salyer.”

Earlier this summer, Blount among other top-tier high school athletes attended “The Opening,” an event hosted by Nike at their headquarters in Oregon. The event allows these players to display their skill set on a national stage.

With numerous stars of present and past on hand, Blount was able to take a lot from the event and better his craft after being coached up by some of the game’s best.

“(The Opening) was an awesome event,” Blount said. “Just the amount of athletes in one setting was an amazing experience, and I definitely learned a lot from the college players, current NFL players, and retired NFL players to take back home and apply to my game, on and off the field.”

The famed Nike event also opens a door for player-to-player recruiting. There was a great deal of that going on for Georgia, as numerous commitments and current Bulldogs were on hand. The recruiting was a focus at “The Opening,” and it paid off for Georgia.

Throughout the week, the potential of building a talented team was whispered in the ear of Georgia targets, and it worked. By week’s end, Georgia added two high-caliber players, and one is Blount’s teammate at Pace Academy.

“I’m happy that all of my hard work to recruit (Andrew Thomas and Toneil Carter) was able to lead them all the way to Georgia,” Blount said. “I’m very excited to have them be a part of something special that Coach Smart and the whole Georgia football program is building.”

Thomas, Blount’s teammate at Pace Academy, was a solid addition for the Bulldogs. The two have a tight bond at the high school level, and Blount is glad it will carry over for the next few years.

Thomas was a player who not many knew about at the time he committed, but Blount explains what he brings to the table. The qualities off-the-field hold Thomas to a higher standard than simple recruiting rankings and a breakdown of the tape.

Simply put, Blount believes Georgia has added a good one.

“Andrew brings supreme athleticism,” Blount said. “He’s extremely smart on and off the field, and he has great technique. He’s a true leader, and overall, Georgia is getting a wonderful student-athlete. I’m excited because Georgia is getting one of the best offensive linemen in the nation. He is humble and down to earth. He comes from a family in which their faith is first and foremost and, overall, Andrew is just a great guy.”

At 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, Blount fits the mold for an explosive wideout. He seems eager for the opportunity that lies ahead. After he finishes his career at Pace, Blount hopes to come into Georgia and immediately buy into the team concept.

“I can fit in by continuing to try and improve in all aspects of being a receiver, and I want to come in and work hard everyday,” Blount said. “I just want to do what’s best for the team to help us be successful.”