But what broke and what happened yesterday is part of the reason recruiting is fascinating. Dee Liner is one of the top overall players in the 2013 class. There had been little interest between him and Georgia coaches at all.
To summarize, Liner (a top defensive tackle, formerly committed to Auburn and until recently believed to be in Saban's back pocket) of Muscle Shoals AL has reached out to Georgia coaches. He had to hunt down a new phone number since Garner isn't around anymore, but once he found one the flirtations began. It reached a crescendo yesterday because Coach Richt, Grantham and new defensive line coach Chris Wilson flew out to see Liner in northwest Alabama. Now Liner is taking an official visit to Athens this weekend.
The end result is there is both much excitement and much confusion. Liner's interest draws into question all manner of once possible scenarios. But I think it's best if we focus on these points:
- Liner is a big fish. Just getting him to Athens is a huge get. If the coaches can convince him to sign with Georgia it will be quite the late game coup. Here's his essentials if you need them.
- The kid has had some legal problems. Don't kid yourself if that hasn't weighed on Richt's mind and been discussed at length in the halls of Butts-Mehre the last couple weeks. If he's visiting then the coaches are at least comfortable enough to spend some time getting to know him more.
- Liner and Reuben Foster have long been rumored to be aiming to end up at the same school. It doesn't appear as if Reuben will be back in Athens this weekend. But "the ringleader" and chief 2013 recruiter Shaq Wiggins will be back in Athens. Wiggins has long been vocal about getting top notch talent in the 2013 class.
- What this does with other recruits, namely those at Liner's position and those coming in this weekend is both easy and difficult. JUCO defensive tackle Toby Johnson isn't announcing until after signing day. He's had plenty of time to commit prior to what happened yesterday. And big time linebacker Matthew Thomas from Miami may still come to Athens, but he'll have to be content staying warm on a back burner.
In short, it appears our list of targets is this: Laremy Tunsil, Montravius Adams, Davin Bellamy, Alvin Kamara, Reuben Foster and Dee Liner, . The coaches are going for the deep ball. Don't get caught biting on the pump fake. It'll be a touchdown, or an incompletion.