December 17, 2012

Recruiting notebook

Now that the high school playoffs are over in every state, the recruitment of the nation's top athletes will start to pick up steam.

Before that can truly happen with official and in-home visits, all schools and recruits will have to observe the NCAA mandated "Dead Period" that begins today.

The dead period will last until January 4, and during that time, coaches are not allowed to have in-person contact with a recruit of any sort. Recruits can't visit a campus and they coaches can't visit the prospect in any way.

During this time, however, coaches are allowed to call a recruit, at most, once per week, and recruits can call coaches as often as they would like.

The purpose of the dead period, which will last 17 days, is two-fold.

It gives the recruit a chance to focus on finishing their first semester of high school and wrap up final exams or any sort of standardized testing that might take place. It also prevents, in essence, punishing schools that are playing in bowl games.

If a coaching staff is preparing for a bowl game, then it may not have the opportunity to hit the road whereas schools that are not preparing for a post-season game would be able to spend much more time on the recruiting trail.

There is one exception to the NCAA's dead period, and it is that coaches can have contact with prospects that have been admitted as mid-year enrollees.

Once the current dead period has ended, there will be two more stages of the sort before National Signing Day on February 6, 2013. Those two dead periods will be January 7 through January 10 and February 4 trough February 7.

Five-Star officials

Going into the dead period, there are a number of big Georgia targets that have set official visits to Athens.

• Auburn (Auburn, Ala.) linebacker Reuben Foster will visit the Bulldogs on January 25, which is two weeks before National Signing day.

• Booker T. Washington (Miami, Fla.) linebacker Matthew Thomas will visit Georgia on February 1. Thomas is considered a long shot for UGA, but if he makes that visit, the Bulldog coaching staff will have the chance to be the last staff to host the five-star prospect before Signing Day.

• Columbia (Lake City, Fla.) offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil has been a top priority for the Georgia staff, and the star tackle has set up his official visit to Athens for January 18.

Those close to Tunsil believe it is a Georgia/Alabama battle, and the nations top offensive lineman will visit Alabama on January 11. Tunsil will also take two visits after his UGA visit with one going to Ole Miss on January 25 and the other to Florida State on February 1.

Other top target officials?

Two of the top players left on Georgia's board are in-state prospects in Norcross running back Alvin Kamara and Dooly County defensive lineman Montravius Adams.

Neither has set up an official visit to Georgia yet, and the two have one visit set up between them at this point with Adams scheduled to visit Clemson on January 11.

Kamara told UGASports on Monday that he plans to take the week off from recruiting and enjoy his team's 15-0 season and state title before getting those visits schedule.

Adams told UGASports on Sunday that he plans to set up more official visits "sometime soon" and that he will likely take "most if not all" of his official visits before deciding.

As Georgia coaches contact these two prospects in the first week of the dead period, a large portion of the conversation will be focused on scheduling the latest possible official visit for each prospect.

2014 Prospects getting busy

While thinks are certainly getting hectic for 2013 recruits, things are also beginning to pick up for 2014 prospects as well.

Georgia was one of a number of schools that hosted its first Junior Day on Saturday, and a number of the state's top prospects were invited.

In addition to the Junior Day that has already been held, 2014 recruits are getting set to participate in junior combines like the U.S. Army All American combine that will be held in San Antonio shortly after the new year.

Many Peach State juniors will be participating in the annual Rising Seniors Bowl in Atlanta on December 31, and most, if not all, 2014 prospects will be attending Junior Days almost every weekend after the start of the New Year.

During this time, dozens of offers go out to the nation's top 2014 prospects, and the cycle starts all over again.

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