Reuben Foster made his way on to the Georgia practice fields later than most high school players attending the Mark Richt Camp on Saturday.
The nation’s top linebacker prospect in the 2013 class and a current verbal commitment to play for Alabama didn’t drive from Auburn, Ala., to compete.
He came to pay Richt and the Georgia coaching staff a visit — creating easily the biggest storyline on a day full of news.
“Anytime you can get a kid of that magnitude on your campus, it’s huge,” Fox recruiting analyst Chad Simmons said. “He’s not 100 percent set on going to Alabama just yet, so for him to be visiting Georgia is huge.”
Foster spent most of the day with Richt, talking and laughing while also watching players compete. Foster spent time with defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, too, as well as a group of current Bulldogs commitments, including 2013 cornerback Shaq Wiggins, of Sandy Creek High.
“The attention Reuben got today was probably second to none when it comes to all the visits he’s had to Georgia,” Simmons said.
While Foster didn’t compete, rising senior Rico Johnson did. Johnson, a two-way standout from Swainsboro High, wowed coaches by running the fastest 40-yard dash of the day.
He continued his outstanding play, enough so that Richt pulled him to the side and offered Johnson a scholarship.
“I kind of cried a little bit and went to the side to talk to my coach about it,” Johnson said. “I came back and told Coach Richt I was ready to be a Bulldog.”
Georgia was Johnson’s “dream school” growing up, making the decision to commit virtually on the spot an easy choice to make. According to Johnson, Richt told him the staff liked him as a wide receiver, but that he could potentially play defense, too.
Johnson became the Bulldogs’ 19th verbal commitment in the 2013 class, bolstering the group after two players — tailback Derrick Henry (Yulee, Fla.) and wideout Kyrin Priester (Snellville) — decommitted earlier this week.
After informing Richt of his commitment, Johnson raced to deliver the news to the group of players already pledged to the Bulldogs, including rising junior Nick Glass (Atlanta) who committed to Georgia months ago. He, along with a group of players, were on hand Saturday watching the camp and bonding with future teammates.
“The camp was amazing,” Glass said, reflecting on the commits’ camaraderie Saturday.
Added Johnson: “I think our class can be very good. It was fun becoming part of the group. We’re all becoming close to one another.”
Other commitments who were seen in Athens on Saturday: offensive linemen Brandon Kublanow (Marietta) and Josh Cardiello (Buford), defensive backs Wiggins and Glass, wide receiver Demarre Kitt (Tyrone), defensive lineman DeAndre Johnson (Newnan), linebacker Johnny O’Neal (West Laurens) and running back Stanley Williams (Monroe).