University of Georgia Football Early Enrollees Change Recruiting

The University of Georgia Bulldogs had six early enrollees out of the 2016 football recruiting class. There was the number one quarterback in the nation, Jacob Eason and number one tight end, Issac Nauta. The group rounds out with defensive tackle Julian Rochester, offensive tackle Ben Cleveland, wide receiver Riley Ridley, and cornerback Chad Clay.

The early enrollees are some of the most impressive thus far on the field for Georgia.

University of Georgia Football Early Enrollees Change Recruiting

These six athletes made the commitment to come to Georgia a month before national signing day. They enrolled in classes on January 11 and the rest is history.

There were many ups and downs for this tight knit group. The major downfall was when Chad Clay got dismissed from the team in June. The rest of the group is now tighter than ever, making sure they support each other.

This group of highly talented recruits have been quite the addition to the football team here in athens. The group was one of the most talented set of athletes that the Georgia Bulldogs haver ever recruited.

Jacob Eason

Eason is in the running to become the first true freshmen quarterback since Matthew Stafford. He is under much speculation about whether he should start. Since arriving to Athens, he has grown an inch in height and now weighs 242 pounds. He has put a lot of work into this team starting back in January when he arrived.

This off-season, Eason seems to be getting more and more reps with the first team offense. It looks as if he will be the starter. By coming in January, the extra four months of working with the team seems to be working in his favor. It seems that the coaching staff is really buying into him starting and becoming the leader of the team.

Issac Nauta

He has also benefitted from enrolling early. Another highly ranked recruit, Nauta is expected to do great things. By coming early, has put him in a better position to start for the Bulldogs. He is a  6’4 246 pound, strong and tough tight end that the Bulldogs needed.

Nauta is earning his spot on the team. By deciding to enroll in January he has the opportunity to learn the offense. Nauta also gain trust in his teammates, and help the team prepare for the up coming season.  Nauta is going to become a key assets to the team this season.

Julian Rochester

The sole defensive early enrollee left for this amazing 2016 class is definitely holding his own. He has turned a new leaf after getting into some trouble early on at Georgia.

Rochester is getting a lot of reps with the first and second team defense. He is also quite the stand out at his position. The coaching staff has a lot of expectations for Rochester, knowing how talented he is.

Rochester is a guy coming in at 6-5 and weighing in at 316 pounds. He has an extremely amount of speed that makes him agile and a great asset to attacking opposing quarterbacks. He’s been able to really get some great one-on-one time by coaches because he came in January.  The hard work he has put forth it is really showing on the field this summer.

Expect great things to come out of this young defensive tackle, and expect him to make a statement.

Ben Cleveland

A big offensive tackle that looks to be the next great linemen out of Georgia. Cleveland comes in at 6’6″ and weighs 341 pounds. He is the player that the University of Georgia was looking for to replace the graduated offensive linemen. Cleveland is a power house blocker, that since January has just impressed coaches.

Cleveland is also relatively quick on his feet, which is something new offensive line coach Sam Pittman looks for. He is huge and plugs a big hole in the line, that will protect Eason. Cleveland seems to really have grown this off-season becoming stronger and mentally prepared for this season.

Cleveland will play early this season, and will eventually earn a starting position.

Riley Ridley

Last, and certainly not least, there is stand out wide receiver Riley Ridley. He is the younger brother of a receiver, Calvin Ridley who plays for Alabama. It was a complete shock to the bulldog nation when he decided to come to Georgia.

Ridley is a really fast wide out that can get pretty physical if he has to. He is a decent size receiver, coming in at 6-2  and 197 pounds.

This off=season, he has really grown into his strengths by working with receiving coach, James Coley. There seems to be high praise when it comes to Ridley. This is the type of talent that the Bulldogs needed on the offensive side of the ball. This will allow them to expand their play calling to more than just running every play.

Ridley is a receiver that has really come into his own. He knows what he has to do, and he could potentially become a leader for this receiving corp.

Changing Recruiting

There has to be this want and drive by the guys who decide to come early. The players have to be prepared to be put down and then built back up again. This isn’t the biggest early enrollee group that UGA has had. However, it is one of the most talented ones. Each of these athletes have grown this offseason.

They have each earned their way up into the mix of starting. They have achieved this bond of brotherhood that every football team strives for. This group of five, is something extremely special.

Not all early enrollees will be successful. However, the amount of talent these five athletes have, there seems to be a desire to win for this team.

These guys changed the face of recruiting by enrolling early. They are proving that even though they are freshmen they deserve to play with the big dawgs.


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