On this episode of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast, Hannah and Jon break down National Signing Day with the help of Rusty Mansell from 24/7 Sports and GPB's voice of Football Fridays, Matt Stewart. 

Early Signing Day: asset-mezzanine-16x9




Jon Nelson: It's trickle down economics with high school kids.  

Recruiting Analyst Rusty Mansell: Well, I probably should have thrown a few more balls in high school, I think.  

Jon Nelson: Well, why don't you just go ahead and do game show voice and do it this way. East Coweta to Hawaii. That's the longest. That one. I know. When Deion comes calling and you get to be a part...  

Hannah Goodin: You answer the phone.  


Jon Nelson: Welcome to another round of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast, monthly edition. Since football never stops, we probably should end up doing this as a weekly. The way that things go. Jon Here, Hannah There. And for this month, February.  

Hannah Goodin:We have a special show.  

Jon Nelson: A, always. B, be. C, 'cruitin. Always be 'cruitin. It is signing day the OG wrap up here for Football Fridays in Georgia the February edition.  

Hannah Goodin: So we are talking all things signing day a lot of transfer portal talk as well on the podcast today. We have got GPB Sports voice of Football Fridays and co-host of Recruiting 2023, Matt Stewart on and 24/7 recruiting guru Rusty Mansell. So we break down a lot of different things on today's show, but for National Signing Day, it's just filling in holes, right? There's no big surprises, there's no flips. We've gotten through all of that with early signing day, Jon. For the most part, what was your biggest takeaways from the the 2023 class?  

Jon Nelson:  Well, I liked. The breadth and the depth of what we got to see because and it's a it's a point that I make later on in the show about trickled it's almost trickle down recruiting. And you get to see all of these athletes that we've seen on Football Friday's make an impact someplace else. And you know, if we didn't get to see them, you know, make that impact on the signing day in December, then they have the opportunity to wait for the first round of portaling and then they have the opportunity to to jump in to a school that really wants them to fill a need here and to to see how Georgia Tech has been filling their holes, to see what Clay Helton has been doing at Georgia Southern, to see what Shawn Elliott has been doing at Georgia State. West Georgia had a sneaky good signing day period, bringing in folks like, you know, the GMC had Germivy Tucker and Abe Stowe from Middle Georgia, Jonson County and Wilcox County, West Georgia had a great signing day, too, in Division II. So just to see how everyone was filling in the holes I thought was really, really cool when it came to Signing Day this go round.  

Hannah Goodin: We're going to touch on a lot of players over the next hour, but two of the state's top players from South Paulding going in complete opposite directions. You have three star running back Jamarion Wilcox heading to Kentucky and three star quarterback Kasen Weisman heading to Colorado to follow Deion Sanders. Jon, I love this story there out of South Paulding.  

Jon Nelson: Yeah, no doubt about it. It was fun to see them on Football Fridays this year and see what what they were building with their program. First up, Jamarion Wilcox. Interesting destination, but there's some history behind it.  

Jamarion Wilcox: I'm from Cincinnati, Ohio. I love the Ohio area and the coaches staff. I really love the coaching staff and I've been like feeling them for the longest. But since they started talking to me in they like, never, never let me down so far. So yeah.  

Jon Nelson: And now he gets to help the running game. Will Levis is leaving the University of Kentucky. So they're going to need they're going to figure out who their quarterback is, but he can be a part of that offense that Coach Stoops is looking to retool going into 2023.  

Hannah Goodin: And speaking of coaches that never let you down. Weisman heading out to his idol, Deion Sanders, playing for him. That's going to be a lot of fun.  

Jon Nelson: No doubt about it. And we caught up with him in that same interview to find out what it's like to be heading to Folsom Field in Boulder, Colorado.  

Kasen Weisman: It was pretty cool. You know, looking at him as a superstar figure, it was pretty cool. But I had to realize that he's going to be my coach and I'll be around him every day. So we're ready to go to work.  

Jon Nelson: And he'll be learning behind Shedeur Sanders at the quarterback spot. Initially, Weisman was supposed to go to Kansas and be a part of the rebuild there that we're seeing with Lance Leipold. Leipold!  

Hannah Goodin: Bless you.  

Jon Nelson: Thank you. And we've seen what Kansas was able to do and become bowl eligible and, you know, work their way in this season. And Weisman initially was going to be a part of that rebuild that we're seen in Lawrence on the football side but when Deion comes calling and you get to be a part...  

Hannah Goodin: You answer the phone.  

Jon Nelson: Yeah I mean Michael Pollock that we know from Gwinnett County and Lincoln County, a part of that coaching staff, Charles Kelly, great defensive mind is a part of that coaching staff. Now, Kasen Weisman gets to learn at Colorado about what it's going to be like in the PAC-10,12,14.  

Hannah Goodin: Yeah, well, if you guys don't know, we had a 2023 recruiting our first 2023 recruiting show of the year.  

Jon Nelson: Yeah, we changed that two to a three.  

Hannah Goodin: Yeah, Jon and Matt hosted the show and there was live interviews with coaches and players. So let's break down before we bring our guests on. Let's talk about the University of Georgia, because, you know, a lot of our listeners are very curious about your thoughts on that.  

Jon Nelson:  They've never heard of the University of Georgia, have they?  

Hannah Goodin: Takeaways on who they were able to grab last week.  

Jon Nelson: Oh, I mean, you think about just the Dawgs in general, and they're always there's always that expectation of being the number one number two, recruiting class on this or any other planet, you know, And so you end up with.  

Hannah Goodin: Bo Hughley from Langston Hughes.  

Jon Nelson: No doubt about it, and Hughley, remember Bo was a part of that going back to his junior year, took it out of play completely and he's like, I'm going, I'm going as a junior. Nothing's going to waver and it's all good, and you end up making sure that nothing's going to happen. Bo Hughley ends up with with the University of Georgia going to be a large presence on the on the outside of that offensive line.  

Hannah Goodin: While let's let Rusty break this down, this thing down first, Jon, let's bring him on to the podcast.  

Jon Nelson: What he what you said. So it's now time to bring on the man who helps us out here at GPB, the recruiting major Domo at 24/7 Sports Rusty Mansell.  


Hannah Goodin: Okay. Our first guest today is Rusty Mansell, a recruit---  

Jon Nelson: Guru?  

Recruiting Analyst Rusty Mansell: I've been called a lot of things. I don't know where that was going.  

Hannah Goodin: I'm going to try it again. I'm going to say the same thing though. Okay, Here we go. Three, two. Our first guest on this recruiting podcast is Rusty Mansell, the recruiting guru for 24/7 Sports and part of our family here at GPB Sports. Rusty, I've got to get your overall thoughts and takeaways on National Signing Day within the borders of the state of Georgia.  

Recruiting Analyst Rusty Mansell: Well, I think the first thing that kind of stands out is Georgia signed only four of the top 30 players in the state of Georgia. Now, if I would have said that ten years ago, I think Georgia fans would have absolutely freaked out. But if you flip the page, Georgia finished number two in the country, according to 24/7 Sports composite team rankings.  

Jon Nelson: There you go. Nice drop.  

Recruiting Analyst Rusty Mansell: Industry wide. So, I mean, when you look at that, it kind of tells you the brand of what Kirby Smart has done. They didn't really do a lot of damage in Georgia and still had an elite class. It's kind of crazy to look at that number when you see that. But Alabama obviously comes in and they have the number one recruiting class in the country and they take the top two players in the state of Georgia. Guys, we've seen every many, many times on GPB with Caleb Downs at a Mill Creek number one player in the state, in the number two player and state Justice Haynes out of Buford. So kind of an interesting class, to be honest. When you start looking at the numbers, you know, kind of where these kids went.  

Jon Nelson: When you look at signing day in this particular signing day, Rusty is the one that we refer to as the OG signing day, the one that just passed. Yeah. Do we have too many signing day slash portaling windows currently going on. And this is strictly you know your opinion in all of this and I will follow this up with a theory that I have after you give your answer.  

Recruiting Analyst Rusty Mansell: I think there needs to be two windows. I do not like the December window because I don't think that...The decision was made by a lot of people with a lot of thought process into really not knowing how it was going to go. So it wasn't intentional. But I don't think people pay enough attention to what it does to the student athletes and the parents, because when you start talking about state championships, you start talking about these kids are taking final exams, there's coaching changes going on. You know, what are these parents thinking if they don't have official visits left and those types of things. So it speeds up, coaches getting fired and you see more coaches getting fired in October now. It also makes these kids have to make a decision. You know, I think this year, like December 22nd or something like that, I mean, you're a couple of days from the holidays.  

Jon Nelson: Merry Christmas.  

Recruiting Analyst Rusty Mansell: I mean, it's kids trying to take finals, you know, I mean, I just don't think it's the best day for overall for the student athlete. And that's what we're doing is for I would much rather like keep what we have in February. There's a lot I talked to two different power five schools in the last 24 hours. And there's some discussion. That doesn't mean it's going go this way, but there is some discussion behind closed doors about an August 1st date along with the February date. Now, you say, what would that do? Well, what that does is it takes the decision away for those kids that can concentrate on their senior year. which colleges may not like, it forces their hand to tell you if that's a real offer or not. Because if you can't commit on August 1st, obviously you don't have a real offer. So that is an interesting dynamic that I'm hearing that there could be potential for August the first signing day along with that February, when that would make things pretty interesting.  

Hannah Goodin: Instead of the December one.  

Recruiting Analyst Rusty Mansell: Correct.  August will replace December And, you know, a lot of these kids, you take Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State they're taking all these mid-year kids. So.  The December one doesn't hurt those schools as much as the other kids that are trying to go. These group of five schools and those type of schools, too, as well. So, you know, the August the first would do two things. It would tell you if you got a real offer or not. And you have got obviously, there's got to be an out if you have a coaching change, there's got to be an out there because you signed with that staff in August and that guy gets fired in October, you should be free of your letter and be able to help your recruiting out. So there's a lot of different dynamics. But I did talk to two different schools and two different conferences, and it didn't say it was happening, but they did say, look, there's a little bit of talk this potentially could happen. I thought that was interesting.  

Hannah Goodin: Well, it makes sense because Georgia signed, five stars for the 2023 class and they're already enrolled already at school. So it makes sense because December would be too late. They already knew. So it definitely makes sense.  

Recruiting Analyst Rusty Mansell: Yeah.  Look, let's take Vanderbilt. So Vanderbilt lost like six kids from October the first to December. And when I mean, lost other schools came and got them. I don't know all the details, but it just take a school like Vanderbilt. If there was an August the first date, maybe Vanderbilt. Don't lose those kids. Yeah. You know, so there's a different dynamic to all of this because there wasn't a coaching change of Vanderbilt. I mean, they just kind of went somewhere else and who knows what's going on and those types of things. But there's there's both sides of the fence to look at for these sorts of things. So I thought that was interesting just to kind of talk away and maybe a thought process. But I certainly am not a fan of the December signing Day at all.  

Jon Nelson: So my theory is this that the December signing day, as we have it right now, this is when all the marquee kids, they want to lock in for the most part. And I know that some that Hannah's got her eye on have not yet because one of them is still loose and rhymes with. Yes, it rhymes with loose. But so you have all of those five stars, all the big names that happens in the December signing day window. Then you get your portaling as your after effect of the December window. This window that we are in now is like stage three of that, where those teams that were bowl eligible, the five hundreds, the ones that were below 500, they have now got the chance to see the landscape and they can jump on the athletes that have been passed over in signing day window one portaling window one and the group of fives and the power fives that weren't doing anything. This is their chance to jump on the kids that weren't signed in December.  

Recruiting Analyst Rusty Mansell:Yeah. I mean, you start young. There's so much.  

Jon Nelson:  Trickle down economics with high school kids.  

Recruiting Analyst Rusty Mansell: I'll say his name, I've said it in a couple of interviews and he hadn't called me yet so but Bobby Lamb is the new head coach at Anderson, South Carolina. He told me he said, Rusty, we're getting kids that we would never have a chance at. Period.  

Hannah Goodin: Oh, he's also a great coach.  

Recruiting Analyst Rusty Mansell: He's a great guy. Great coach. And, you know, he's excited about his program at Anderson. I think he had to sign between the early and this one. He had a signed 75 high school football players, which was fantastic But he was telling me, but Rusty, we're getting kids that we really should have no shot at because so many kids, the trickle down effect from the portal. And so there's some you know, there's some of those things that happened as well. You know, you got Jon, you're kind of tied into that area and know it well, but. The Georgia Southern recruiting edit when that came out. Mm hmm. And they signed, I think, 17 NCAA transfers or 16. I can't tell you how many coaches said that to me and was like, Wow. And I'm like, That sums up where we're at because Georgia southern the history they have in the state of Georgia. Proximity to Florida and South Georgia. They are in the mecca of high school football. And what did they do? They went 80% portal. So that tells you kind of where we are in the landscape of this thing. All these portal windows and all this and that. And again, look, may the first thing opens up for 15 days and you don't think there won't be some action on that? I just saw Sam Pittman interviewed yesterday. The University of Arkansas has nine scholarships left for the poor. He is it 76 scholarships heading into spring practice. And my brain immediately goes to Nick Saban and Kirby Smart. If they had 76  scholarship players right now. Those two would be it would be not not nice to be around them, you know. But but that's the way Sam Pittman is looking at. Look, we got to get guys in this portal that can help us now. So there's a lot of different things, but there's so much things. You see this like this is the date, the state of college football, high school football and this portal, we're all learning about this and we don't have another 2 hours talk about NIL we could bring that up but we're talking about portal.  

Jon Nelson: We'll do that in the off season, Rusty 

Recruiting Analyst Rusty Mansell: We're all learning about portal after the NIL report I saw this morning on Andy Staples, the 250,000 a month for quarterbacks. I probably should've thrown a few more balls in high school, I think.  

Jon Nelson: Would Lynn Hunnicutt have allowed that?  

Recruiting Analyst Rusty Mansell: Absolutely not. But I would have come up with something. Coach, where can we get a reverse pass or something? Because I'm thinking 250,000. Rusty Mansell, if I would have got $250,000 a month my freshman year at West Georgia, I don't even known where Id be. I wouldn't know where I'd be in life right now. You probably had to visit me every other weekend somewhere. That probably would have been the best decision for me.  

Hannah Goodin: We'd be First in line.  

Jon Nelson: Remotes from Rusty, from the beach every single week.  

Hannah Goodin: Rusty, do you like the portal? Do you like the way that the transfer portal has worked?  

Recruiting Analyst Rusty Mansell: There's things I like about it, and I like that kids that are second and third string at places get to play. And to me, you know, listen, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, USC and Texas and all these schools, they're three deep. And you know, if a kid goes there and he does his thing, I would like for them to put a two year. This is just my opinion. I would like to say you have to stay there two years. So if you go somewhere else, because in life you can't portal out of a job,.  

Jon Nelson: Tate Martell.  

Recruiting Analyst Rusty Mansell:Yeah, yeah, Tate Martell. I'm saying all these guys bouncing around go somewhere for two years and if you don't fail in classes, you don't have to graduate. You just go for two years if you can show some. I didn't fail in classes I did what I was asked, I just can't crack a lineup here. Then you can go somewhere and it should be free reign. But this bouncing from school to school every year and those types of things, man, it is. I just don't know. I try to think long term and how are we making productive humans? How are we making people that can survive and a workforce and a corporate world? Because I was in a corporate world for nine years, and I'm telling you right now, high school football taught me so many things. I wasn't a college football prospect, but high school football taught me discipline, how to handle adversity. And that propelled me when I went to the job force 100%. I believe that. Now, what are we teaching these kids? Because you can't portal out of a job. You know, you walk out the door, but you're not getting paid. I mean, there's there's a lot of things we can get really deep with that. But there's some good and there's some bad. We all got to make the best decision on this thing.  

Jon Nelson: And that is why we brought you on the show. Rusty, as always, it's fantastic to have you and your perspectives. And we go philosophical on these kinds of things.  

Hannah Goodin: I said he was the guru.  

Jon Nelson: Well, yeah. And it's like, we can go philosophical on these topics. We can make deep dives. We can also talk about the success that Georgia's had a always BBC crouton. Rusty is always my friend. Thanks for hanging out with us on the show. You know, we got you on speed dial when it comes to these topics. And that and I'll podcast another.  

Recruiting Analyst Rusty Mansell: Thank you guys, Thank you guys for having me see you here sooner or later.  

Jon Nelson: You ain't kidding, brother. Be good.  

Recruiting Analyst Rusty Mansell: Thank you, guys.  


Jon Nelson: One recruiting guru down, one to go. And it's always fun to catch up with the voice of Football Friday's in Georgia Matt Stewart and get Matts thoughts, not on the philosophical aspects of it, but more getting into the nuts and bolts of what we got to see from a lot of the schools here in the state of Georgia to come National Signing Day 2023.  

Hannah Goodin: Joining us now is Voice of Football Fridays in Georgia and co-host of Recruiting 2023. That's Matt Stewart. And Matt, you are fresh off the set with Jon hosting our national signing day.  

Jon Nelson: He Survived it.   

Hannah Goodin: Special, which was outstanding. you guys started off predicting anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. You went an hour and 23 minutes.  

Jon Nelson: Right in the middle.  

Hannah Goodin: Perfect sweet spot. So give me your takeaways on National Signing Day in the state of Georgia.  

Matt Stewart:  Well, I mean, you know, when you talk about the state of Georgia and if you're talking about just all the colleges and universities. Georgia, of course, dominates. They finish as the number two team in the country. And I think the big story for Georgia is not only do they finish number two in the country this year, they're already lining up for what people are starting to call what historically could be the greatest recruiting class in Georgia history. They're already number 1 in 2024 rankings.  

Hannah Goodin: The greatest of all time  

Matt Stewart: And, you know, that started on this past National Signing Day when IMG five star Ellis Robinson committed. He's the number one rated cornerback in the country for 2024 and the number two overall prospect. But I know you'll talk about this with Rusty. I think the other prevailing storyline is what the impact the transfer portal has had on high school football recruiting. So what happens is with this new transfer portal window and don't want to cover too much ground that Rusty did, but it is, I think, a significant story and it's going to continue to be a significant story with this new transfer portal window that goes into mid-January. The recruitment for a lot of players, the serious recruitment for a lot of players, those players that didn't sign in the early signing period, which this past year was December 21, gets pushed back significantly. So they're not really getting that heavily recruited until after that transfer portal window closes and teams know what they need because it's kind of like free agency in baseball.  Then the draft comes, you pick up what you pick up and free agency. Then you know what you need to draft in the draft. So that's kind of the way college football is morphed in my mind.  

Jon Nelson: What do you think about what Georgia Tech did in their first two signing days with Brent Key finally named head coach? And we'll hear from one of the guys that we talked to on recruiting 2023 later on. And it's just fun, too, to see stories kind of like a Bailey Stockton line up. How do you think Tech did in there? First Brant Key administration signing days.  

Matt Stewart:  Well, number one, I thought what was significant about Brent Key and maybe one of the reasons why he ended up getting the job after getting the interim tag in midseason was he was adding recruits to the Georgia Tech 2023 class even before they knew he was going to be the head coach. So he was doing a really good job of selling Georgia Tech and not himself. And you see, so often recruiting classes are tied to the coach. I think the most the the most extreme example of that is Deion Sanders. You know, Jackson State, they went to Jackson State for Deion, They're going to Colorado for Deion. But forever in our lives, we've always been told coaches tell the kids, you know, you signed with the school, you signed with the program, not the coach. They say that, but that's not always the case. But I think that was the case here with Georgia Tech because Brent Key was doing a really good job of recruiting his alma mater, whether he got the job or not, which he ultimately did. Now, I think. You know, they've got work to do and it's a good, solid class. They're not up there in that echelon. They've got to get to a point where they're starting to get some four stars. I think they didn't get any four stars in this class. They got three stars. It's a good solid class, though. And he went heavy in the Atlanta area, which is good. And I think he made a lot of inroads with high school coaches or continue to make inroads with high school coaches because he's been recruiting Georgia for his whole life. I thought it was a solid class. And you're right, the Bailey Stockton was was the best individual story of them all of the entire high school football season and certainly any and maybe the one of the best high school football story recruiting stories I can remember ever where a young man had I think he had an all offer from Arkansas State, maybe one from Army and nothing against those programs, of course, good programs. And that was about it. And maybe some FCS offers going into the state finals, which it appeared he wasn't even going to get to play in because he'd suffered a broken collarbone the second week of the season. Well, he decided to play in the state finals, tremendous heroic effort, starred in their state championship victory. And ironically, as we discussed on the National Signing Day show when we interview Bailey, you know, what looked like was going to be a curse, a broken collarbone in the senior season, second round the state playoffs end your high school football career turned out to be a blessing because he did play. And the fact that he played with a broken collarbone and played so well impressed so many coaches, it opened up what would eventually be a scholarship to Georgia Tech.  

Jon Nelson: So here's Bailey Stockton on Recruiting 2023. Matt speaks it. It happens.  

Bailey Stockton: It was definitely difficult. I had great options on the table. Georgia Southern is a great school. They got a great coaching staff. Of course, I live in Athens, so I'm right down the road from UGA, but I felt like Georgia Tech with the opportunities they're giving me, I couldn't pass it up, so.  

Jon Nelson: Could not pass it up.  

Matt Stewart: And those options that he had on the table were not on the table until after the state finals. So after his performance in the state finals at Georgia State. Georgia State offered Georgia Southern offers. Georgia Tech eventually offers. They were among the latest to offer. In fact, four weeks prior to National Signing Day, he hadn't even made any kind of contact with Georgia Tech whatsoever. It was the hiring of Buster Faulkner, who had been on Kirby's staff at Georgia and got the job at Georgia Tech. That opened the door for Bailey Stockton to eventually land at Georgia Tech and Georgia even offered all those Theirs was a preferred walk on offer, which would eventually become a scholarship offer. But it was going to be a PWO to start.  

Hannah Goodin: So Bailey passed up on Georgia State and Georgia Southern. Who did those two schools get? Who were their top recruits that signed?  

Matt Stewart: Well, let's just we'll start with Georgia Southern. And again, you know, and we interviewed, you know, Coach Helton on the show, and he did a really good job of laying it out. No program in the state signed more Georgia high school football players than Georgia. Southern has his first two years. And of course, this was his first full year. Well, remember, he got the job in November in his first year or so and did a good job of putting together a solid first year class. This year, he had a season to work with on an entire recruiting season to work with. And, you know, they did a good, solid job, I think 40 plus players from the state of Georgia. For them the last couple of years, they were heavy in the transfer portal as well. Elijah Lacy, the three star edge out of New Hampstead, was their highest rated prospect. The Deandre Buchanan dynamic wide receiver kick returner out of Carver, atlanta was their number two highest rated prospect, and then they capped it off on, you know, signing day with a couple of more of this last signing day young man out of southeast Georgia wide receiver that they were really high on. They got him and so they had a nice solid class. Georgia State's class is a little different. And Jon and I talked about this not necessarily on the air, but off there. You know, Georgia State, you know, Atlanta works for them, but Atlanta also might work against them. So here in the state of Georgia, where, what, 75% of the prospects that's just my guess come from the Atlanta area, You've got to convince them to stay home. Yeah. When so many kids, when they go to college, what do they want to do? They want to go off to college. They don't want to stay home. They want to go somewhere else. They want to have a new adventure in life. They want to get away from home. So I think, you know, that Atlanta aspect helps them with kids outside the area. And I think that's reflected in, you know, some of the players They landed out of the northeast who want to come to Atlanta and play and it maybe works against them a little bit with the high school players. What it does help them with is players that, you know, in the transfer portal. And you see that a lot quite often in the transfer portal. What you get are kids who starred in high school in a particular area, went off to play college ball. It didn't work out. Then they come back to their quote on quote home area to finish up their college football careers. But yeah, you know, Georgia State's class is much more far flung than, you know, Georgia Southern's or even Georgia Tech's class, for that matter. The one big prospect they got out of the state, they picked up Quinton Thomas, three star wide receiver out of Eagle's Landing. They picked up Charlie Pace, three star running back out of Colquitt County. And then they got a lot of guys from all over the country, including three star defensive lineman Ricardo Williams, who had been at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.  

Jon Nelson: Kevin Swint out of Carrollton, who we've seen on Football Fridays. Cameron Marshall out of Perry was a part of this as well.  

Matt Stewart: That's right. And signing those and that and those were signing day. February one signing day. And Swint is kind of an example of what I'm talking about. Swinton went from Carrollton started his career at Clemson as a four star linebacker. Now he's in the transfer portal. He's coming back closer to home and playing at Georgia State.  

Jon Nelson:  So Shawn Elliott mentioned that this current part of life as a high school football, as a college football coach is kind of like living in a tornado. Here's what he told us On recruiting 2023 about it.  

Shawn Elliott, Georgia State Head Coach: It was hard early on to be, to be honest with you, because, you know, you got your early signing period, which was mainly at that point in time, you know, your high school athletes that you've been recruiting for so long and then the transfer portal window opens up and you you scurry to get all that taken care of and evaluation. And I call it speed dating because they get in the portal and then you're like, okay, we got to talk to them, got to offer them, we've got to go down. And and that moved really, really quickly. And then you had the second signing period. And the second signing period for us was the same way as the first is that we were a little bit more involved in, I guess, in recruiting the transfer portal because some of the guys that we lost late and moved on from us. So we had to replace those guys with older and now we're sitting here preparing for the last segment of this, you know, going through spring looking at guys and the second transfer portal window. We're trying to be prepared for that one and to make sure we have what we feel like is a good plan in place to move forward with the positions of need that we still have.  

Jon Nelson: So that's where we are right now with Georgia State as we get ready for segment number four of all of this, Matt.  

Matt Stewart: Correct and in the transfer portal and there'll be more players at the end of spring football practice. So I think that next window, I don't know the exact dates, but I think it's like the 1st of May to mid-May. You get two weeks. Yeah, at the start of May. By then everybody's had their spring football practice. By then, the players who went through spring football practice have figured out, Well, I'm not going to play here this year or maybe ever, so I'm leaving. And then you got others that are you know, they're in the same boat now. They're looking around, where can I jump to where I get a chance to play? So it's become a year long process because, you know, once you're done with May, you're never done with recruiting. As you know, June is a heavy, heavy, heavy official visits months. So you'll have a lot of your big time high school prospects or at least those prospects that are big to your program. I don't necessarily mean they're all five and four stars, but whoever your big time targets are that you really want to get in the 2024 class, this is when they're going to be make a lot of them will be making official visits in June and making decisions June and July is a very heavy month for commitments.  

Jon Nelson: Matt, as always, thanks for hanging out with us here on the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast and letting everybody know what's going on around the state of Georgia. Games will count before we know it, sir.  

Matt Stewart:  I know it's crazy. Looking forward to Hey, and we're looking forward to we're now a month away from basketball.  

Hannah Goodin: Basketball  

Matt Stewart: Championships.  

Hannah Goodin: Yeah, we'll have to call you back on the next podcast and we break down the March Madness.  

Matt Stewart: Looking forward to it. We're going to, you know, we're I think region playoffs some of them start begin this week, right? Or next week?  

Jon Nelson: Next week. Yeah.  

Matt Stewart: And the state playoffs start on February 21. So that's what two weeks from now, basically two weeks from tomorrow or something like that.  

Hannah Goodin: championships March eight or 11. So look that's my wrap of the show right there.  

Jon Nelson: Now she's teased the basketball championship, which is next month's podcast. As always, my friend, thanks for hanging out with us and letting letting everybody know what's on your mind.  

Matt Stewart:  Absolutely. Thank you.  

Jon Nelson: So as always, it's great to catch up with Matt and get his thoughts about how everything was going on around the state of Georgia. I thought it was really cool to get the philosophical point of view from Rusty Mansell about December signing Day, which leads into portaling, which leads into signing day two, which leads into Portling, which leads into spring practice, which leads into practice, which leads in the game.  

Hannah Goodin:  He was very passionate about the portal. I loved his take on it. I agree with him and we definitely need to do some sort of NIL podcast and have him on because he was holding back on us jon. 

Jon Nelson: Yeah, I mean, he said we could go for another 2 hours and do stuff specifically on on name image and likeness. And it is its own animal now. It is the quiet part being said out loud when it comes to NIL so that's that is its own animal. And don't be surprised if we end up doing another podcast pretty quickly, about that kind of stuff. 

Hannah Goodin: Pop quiz time. Oh, we're calling it, calling a pop quiz.  

Jon Nelson: I was going to say, Ambassador Jeremy, are we going to get like a drop or something when it comes to the pop quiz now, is that how this is going.  

Ambassador Jeremy: Yeah through the magic of radio, it's going to be here already. 

Theme Song Singing: It's pop quiz time. It's pop quiz time.  

Ambassador Jeremy: It's already, as we're having this conversation. It's already happened.  

Jon Nelson: Okay, fair enough. All right. So, Pop, how many questions?  

Hannah Goodin: Well, it's just one.  

Jon Nelson: Okay, It's just one. lets See if Jon can go o for one  for another week.  

Hannah Goodin: Yeah because,You lost the last one.  

Jon Nelson: Oh, yeah, No doubt I did.  

Hannah Goodin: You have not gotten one, right?  

Jon Nelson: I have not had one right. Don't anticipate getting another one.  

Hannah Goodin: Correct. Okay. Name.  

Jon Nelson: See, she can't even.  

Hannah Goodin: She can't.  

Jon Nelson: See.  

Jon Nelson: Jeremy. Do you, do you need to help her with this question?  

Ambassador Jeremy: Oh, no, no, she's fine. Okay, Let her do it.  

Jon Nelson:  All right?  

Hannah Goodin: 'm trying to get my Jeopardy voice.  

Jon Nelson: Well, why don't you just go ahead and do game show voice and do it this way?  

Hannah Goodin: Name a  small county in the state of Georgia or a very small highschool  

Jon Nelson: I have 159 opportunities to do.  

Hannah Goodin: That had the most recruits sign.  

Jon Nelson:  On which signing day are in general. Are we talking the envelope of signing day?  

Hannah Goodin: The envelope of signing day. 

Jon Nelson: The Envelope of signing day. 

Hannah Goodin: For the Signing 2023 class.  

Jon Nelson:  You see now you go small town. Then you have to sit there and you think about, okay, who's done well, who? I mean, you go to South Georgia, obviously you lean into somebody like Colquitt County. That to me is the first one that pops to mind. But I don't know if that means that Hannah's version of small is different from my version of small Brooks County with Maurice Freeman. That's another one that's small in South Georgia. Those would be the first two off the top of my head. Hannah, what's the correct answer? See. She can't even do it with us. She can't even do this with a straight face. She can't. She can't do this with a straight face. She can't do game show, voice.  

Hannah Goodin: Those sound great to me, Jon. Those two sound great to me.  

Jon Nelson:  So, Sean Calhoun and Maurice Freeman, you've won this week's pop quiz on the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast. Did that work?  

Hannah Goodin: That was great.  

Jon Nelson: All right, so what else is what else is on your agenda before we go?  

Hannah Goodin: Well, there's another question that I don't know the answer.  

Jon Nelson: Here's another question Hannah doesn't know the answer to.  

Hannah Goodin: we're going to do a staff whip around , but we also need a sound for that. 

Jon Nelson: Whip around music inserted right here. Yeah staff whip around. So now.  

Hannah Goodin: How many recruits did all of our podcasts staffs High school.  

Jon Nelson: Okay. Yeah, you're there. You're correct with your possessive. So. All right. So. So I know of a couple. Jeremy knows how many signed with Darlington.  

Ambassador Jeremy: There were three.  

Jon Nelson: Okay, So three with Darlington. And we know with a class eight program that makes deep playoff runs that I understand. I know for a fact that Commander Sandy's Decatur Bulldogs kicker Isaac Kone signed with Georgia State. And for those that missed that recruiting, 2023, when we caught up with Shawn Elliott, Shawn Elliott actually breaks down the recruiting of what it was for Isaac Kone. Coach Elliott says, I can drive in from my house and pick up Isaac and take him to school every day. Wow. That's a has a really cool story about how Shawn Elliott got Isaac Kone from Decatur. So uninformed as we all are. We are petitioning all of our alumnus alumni and alumni.  

Hannah Goodin: Lassiter Athletics did not tweet February 1st, and.  

Jon Nelson: Neither did Lakeside, although I can check with our friends at DeKalb County. So we're looking at Lassiter, we're looking at Lakeside, we're looking at Park View, we've got Decatur and Darlington taking care of we need Central Macon and we need President Reagan's high school from out of state. So that's the answer. So let us know.  

Hannah Goodin: We will be coming back to you with those answers.  

Jon Nelson:  Yes, we'll be coming back. We'll be coming back with those answers.  

Hannah Goodin: I thought of another pop quiz question.  

Jon Nelson:  Oh, see, she can't even she can't even she can't even fake figure out how to say it. So she comes up with another one. Yeah.  

Hannah Goodin: Which player? Which player in the state of Georgia  went the farthest  

Jon Nelson: Ooh. Oh. Oh, I know this one. He went from East Coweta to Hawaii.  

Hannah Goodin: Oh.  

Jon Nelson: That one. I know. East Coweta to Hawaii. That's the longest. That one I know. Got that one. Yeah.  

Hannah Goodin: But do we know his name?  

Jon Nelson: We'll go to Hawaii.  We'll go to the Rainbow Signing day because we were making a big deal out of it when we saw it. It's like, man, he went a long distance. But, you know, what's, what's. What's recruiting.  

Hannah Goodin: I think I'm beating you.  

Jon Nelson: What's recruiting like for that? 

Hannah Goodin: Delion Freemen  

Jon Nelson: Delion Freeman out of out of East Coweta. Awesome. Yeah, so Delion freemen is the answer to a player from East Coweta receiver and corner. What do you think recruiting is like it. What do you think the recruiting is like in Hawaii for them? 

Jon Nelson: Do you get do you get an official visit?  

Hannah Goodin: I'm sure And you get you get to lay when you get off the or plane.  

Jon Nelson: Or is it a Zoom.  

Hannah Goodin: I would think you would get a visit? Why would you not get a visit? 

Jon Nelson: An OV to Hawaii. That would be pretty sweet. So, yeah, Delion Freemen, I think is the answer to the question. Furthest east kaweda to hawaii?  

Hannah Goodin: All right, we got to wrap this up. I've got a basketball interview. Okay. At 2:30, the number one girls prospect in the state, Courtney Ogden? Okay, so I got to go. I got to run downstairs and chat with her.  

Jon Nelson: Okay. So you're going to go run downstairs, chat with her. That's another round of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast. I guess we're shutting it down.  

Hannah Goodin: We got to.  

Jon Nelson: Go. Yeah, we got to go. So for. For Hannah, for me, for as I look, I look into the room. So it's Jake the Snake, Commander Sandy. Lets see, it's Ambassador Jeremy, King James, and President Reagan. Thanks for hanging out with us for another round of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast. Thanks to all of them for putting up with all of us on a monthly basis. And thanks to all of you for hanging out. However you do so once again, another round here GPB Sports. Don't forget to download the GPB Sports app available on iOS and Android and follow us on all of our social media platforms. For all of us here, be good. We'll see you next time.  

Hannah Goodin: Bye guys.