How can you end an Easter Egg hunt without finding the golden egg? How can you call a recruiting season over when the top rover, along with three other big dogs, are still off the chain? Undoubtedly, you can’t calculate team rankings until these difference makers are sign, sealed and delivered. And so the scheduled announcement by Geathers takes on added significant, particularly if he triggers a domino effect that topples the final four.
Georgia, Tennessee and Central Florida are the finalists for the 6-foot-6, 320-pound D-lineman out of Carver’s Bay High School in Georgetown, S.C., where he is expected to announce his decision between 1:00 to 2:00 p.m., EST on Friday. Geathers, who is being recruited as a defensive linemen, has taken official visits to all three campuses.
The four-star defensive lineman comes from a long line of big defenders, including older brother Clifton, a defensive end at South Carolina, older brother Robert Jr. who played linebacker for Mark Richt at Georgia and now plays for the Cincinnati Bengals of the NFL. His father played college football and his uncle, Jumpy Geathers, had a 13-year NFL career as rangy, athletic defensive end.
Kwame Geathers was a standout in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl at defensive tackle, earning him the attention of Tennessee and Georgia among other elite programs. Until these SEC East rivals began to pursue Geathers in earnest, Central Florida was regarded as his leader. The Knights are still in play and can’t be dismissed as a serious contender.
Tennessee and Georgia are also among the contenders for five-star tight end Orson Charles of Tampa Plant High School along with FLorida and USC. He completed his visits last week and is expected to cut it down to two by Feb. 23 with an announcement expected by the end of the month.
Georgia was believed to be his leader at one time, but Charles’ last two visits to Tennessee and USC may have altered his thinking. Florida also remains a viable contender and further clouds the picture for the 6-foot-3, 230-pound talent.
No timetable has been established yet by running backs Brown and Oku. Tennessee’s lack of depth at tailback make these dissimilar big-play runners a high priority. Oku is still thought to be considering Auburn, Syracuse and Tennessee, although he has avoided recent interview requests.
UT isn’t a clear-cut leader for any of these unsigned grid stars, but one win could make a big difference in the short term and down the road.