Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That's what the Intel brings. This entry gives a glimpse of what the Bulldogs aregetting with recent 2021 D-line commitment Marlin Deanfrom Elbert County High School in Northeast Georgia.
Marlin Dean will serve as the 6-foot-6 footnote to Georgia's loss to rival Florida on the basketball court last week.
The Gators won on March 4 by a 68-54 margin at Stegeman Coliseum, but that event wasn't a total loss. The University of Georgia picked up a 6-foot-6 win in another area inside the arena that night.
That was Dean. The 265-pound defensive line prospect had traveled the 40-odd minutes from the tiny hamlet of Bowman with UGA on his mind.
"Yes, sir," Dean told DawgNation. "At first became I came up there I was telling my parents I was going to commit. I knew I was going up there to commit that night. The coaches were all going to be up there."
He told the Georgia staff he was going to be a Dawg that night. The rest of the world had to wait another two days as he put two unique plans in motion.
The first was to get a "clue" edit in mind. He chose the talented graphic artist @HayesFawcett3 for a slick edit of his top schools.
This was a different request. He wanted to subtly try to let the world know what Tray Scott found out the night Florida beat Georgia on the hardwood.
Dean devised an edit which would shed a lot of light on the way he was thinking. Just as long as the individual could count.
If they could count, they would notice that there were 11 schools that made up his top 10. There was also a certain uniform that Dean was wearing at the center of it all.
Marlin Dean (@MarlinDean5) March 5, 2020
"Like I told my coach there was an egg in the center in the middle of it all," Dean told DawgNation. "Of all the top teams that I had really shown me interest and was ready to fall in love with they didn't have really anything to compare with Georgia. So with me having the Georgia jersey on in the center of it all, it kind of gave it away."
While everyone was noticing his calculation, it was intended to plant a seed. This wasn't a top 10. Or a top 11.
It was a top 1. It came out on the eve of his commitment.
Marlin Dean (@MarlinDean5) March 6, 2020
"I was just having fun with it," Dean said. "I had already committed so I was just having a little fun."
Some recruits want to keep their decision reveal in with locked-up encryption on their phones. Zipped-up lip emojis all over the place.
Dean wanted to tell the world.
"So when I posted that I was trying to give it away before I posted the commitment poster," Dean said. "But not that many people caught on to it so I just didn't really even say anything until I posted that picture."
Marlin Dean: What UGA is getting with its third 2021 commit
Brad Waggoner is the head coach at Elbert County. He played his high school ball at Landmark Christian and for two seasons at Georgia Tech.
He feels that Dean is going to gain a lot more weight. He believes that he will wind up as a 300-pounder in the SEC as his body develops.
"He can run as well," Waggoner said. "He's very athletic. Very agile. Got great feet. He will run extremely well for a big man. The one thing that stood out to me when I got here to Elbert County. He's raw. He's got a way yet to improve but at the same time, his ceiling is going to be very very high. He's got a long way to improve but the things that he has got for sure is he has great great feet and he can run."
What is Georgia getting here? Waggoner brings up the name of a former Bulldog as a means of comparison. This one was a former sixth-round draft pick who would win up playing 11 seasons in the NFL.
"I coached Kedric Golston all through high school," he said. "He went on to play at the University of Georgia. When I first saw Marlin, he made me think about Kedric back when I coached him in high school. Kedric was a little bit bigger from a weight standpoint and a little more explosive but Marlin can definitely run better than Kedric did."
Dean can grow to be a "zero" or a "three" or a "five" technique at the next level. The most likely projection would be as a "5" technique to start with.
The Elbert County standout said that he was not likely at this time to enroll early at Georgia in January of 2021.
Line coach Tray Scott and area recruiter Glenn Schumann proved to be big factors during the recruiting process for the Bulldogs.
Dean camped at Georgia last summer. He went to several games last fall, but things really escalated for Dean with the Bulldogs when the staff saw him in person at a "Junior Day" event back in January.
The "raw" part of his early evaluation comes from the notion that Dean worked as an offensive lineman during the summer. He had only played offensive line for Elbert County up until this past season.
"I just saw a different player this year when he went over to the defense," Waggoner said. "You saw a different motor and everything else."
Good kid. Humble kid. Team player. Waggoner felt comfortable using each of those phrases to describe Dean. That's certainly what he is like in person, too.
He shares a story about the next big thing at Elbert County. That would be 2023 prospect Christian Harris. Folks around the Elbert County program try to not say too much too soon about his potential. But when they do, they will bring up the name Mecole Hardman Jr. while describing his skill set.
"He's fast now," Waggoner said. "Fast fast fast."
Harris is just going to be a little bit bigger than Hardman. He's already a couple of inches taller than Hardman right now. The 6-foot freshman also already has SEC offers from Arkansas and South Carolina.
When Waggoner took Dean and Harris to visit the Gamecock this winter, he was struck by how happy the big Bulldog commitment was that day.
"South Carolina offered our freshman that day and I really got to see a different side of Marlin that day," Waggoner said. "He was just so happy and excited for his young teammate that day. He was more excited about that freshman getting that offer than anything else that day."
Why was it Georgia here for Marlin Dean?
Tennessee finished second in the race here. Penn State actually came in third place.Dean said that the Bulldogs earned his commitment because they showed the most interest.
"I will say it was Georgia because they really showed the most interest," he said. "Other coaches showed interest but Georgia texted me every day. They came to the school. They check up on my parents and stuff like that. Then towards academic wise, they really cared what I wanted to major in and stuff like that. They really showed the extra effort that they really wanted me and they showed the extra effort that they really wanted me. That's what made me fall in love with them so fast."
He considered the offer from Georgia to be his first really big offer. That opportunity came back on January 18. It was his first offer from a Power 5 school.
"They were the first big one to show interest," he said.
Marlin Dean (@MarlinDean5) January 18, 2020
Coach Scott made a big early statement to Dean that stood out.
"He said that when coach showed him the film he said he saw me," Dean said. "He made sure he saw me. He said he saw an animal in me. He said there was more that I can improve in. [Coach Scottt] said that he wanted to be the coach that give me the tools I need to continue to play."
2021 DL @MarlinDean5 from @ElbertFootball on 4th set of cleans today gets 315 #ALLIN #SAMEMISSION @CoachSchuUGA @KirbySmartUGA @CoachMikeBobo @CoachWMuschamp @Mansell247 @ChadSimmons_ @RecruitGeorgia pic.twitter.com/4XNqZP7y3N
Brad Waggoner (@CoachWaggonerGT) February 4, 2020
Hardman also hails from the same community as Dean. That's quite a coincidence. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, that town had a population of 862 residents. It now has a former Georgia Bulldog among its former residents and a future one.
The odds of that, we might say, seem longer than the 6-foot-6 Dean.
Dean said this he has been inspired by Hardman and his older brother. His older brother inspired him at an early age and showed him that he could play the game.
"But then Mecole really set the tone," he said. "It was Oh just because you come out of Bowman you can still go farther and farther' and since he is in the league now it really showed me that anybody can come out of a small town and make a name for themselves."
He said that Hardman was reaching out to him even before he got that offer back in January. He even had a unique reaction to that offer.
"At first I was like, this is not real," Dean said. "Not Georgia. Out of all people? Georgia? Nah. I had gotten invited to a lot of Junior Days' but not offered. When I went to Georgia I just thought that they were just looking at me. The next guy was really going to get the offer."
Scott and the Georgia staff actually told his parents he was getting the offer first.
"I still felt like it was fake," he said. "To this day, I still feel like it is kind of unreal. It is just crazy. Everything is moving so fast."
That's because it did.
When Dean told Scott he was going to commit, that news was met with great joy.
"Let's get it done," Scott said in reply. "Momma, your son is a Bulldog now."
That made it seem very real. He looked over and saw that his mother was about to cry.
What will motivate Marlin Dean between thehedgesat UGA
Waggoner believes this commitment will stick. That is the type of person he sees in Dean. Dean told DawgNation that the pledge is solid, but that he might still go check out other schools on visits, too.
"He's a high-character kid," Waggoner said on Dean. "Never going to get in trouble. He also has a lot of respect for his parents. You don't see it all the time anymore but he has great admiration for his parents and his parents have played a great role in his life."
Dean is already squatting more than 500 pounds. His power clean is also north of 300 pounds. Those are very good lifts given his age and size and the length of his arms and frame. Waggoner believes that the young man has clear NFL potential.
"He's raw but he has NFL talent," Waggoner said. "I've coached several guys who played in the NFL and he's just like they were. Now, he's going to have to keep improving and fulfilling that potential but he has all the intangibles to do it."
Dean wore No. 56 last year. That was because his grandmother was born in 1956. He plans to change that to No. 55 this fall for a very good reason.
He's inspired to do so in memory of his grandfather. Ernest Fortson was born in 1955. He took a job at a Hartwell machine assembly plant when he was 14 years old.
He had a job at that same plant until Jan. 27 of this year.
Fortson passed away at the age of 63. He was a huge Georgia Bulldog fan. That's why there is a R.I.P. Pops message with a blue and red heart atop his Twitter page.
R.I.P GRANDPA HEAVEN GOT ANOTHER ANGEL TODAY
Marlin Dean (@MarlinDean5) January 27, 2020
"My biggest motivation now is my grandpa," Dean said. "Ever since he passed. The last conversation we had he told me he said to me You keep going' and Don't let me down' and that just gives me more motivation to keep going."
"I know that he's looking down on me now from heaven. He's smiling and looking down on me and saying that he is proud of his grandson."
When that offer came, Dean said that his grandfather was able to go around saying that his grandson was going to go to Georgia. There's no doubt that it gave him great pride to say that.
When Dean told him about the offer, he said the first thing Forston asked was if UGA had seen his grades yet.
"He was like That's good' because he says that it is not always about the talent," Dean said. "It is about what is in your head, too. You have got to make smart decisions when you go up there. That really gave me something to think about with that, too."
It mattered a great deal to him.
"He didn't know about all the other offers," Dean said. "He just knew about Georgia. With me committing to Georgia, I feel like that he would be saying that he was proud of his grandson."
When you see Dean with his head bowed and his hands clasped in his commitment edit, that's the reason why.
Marlin Dean (@MarlinDean5) March 6, 2020
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