June 28, 2011

Another offer goes out?

New Jersey linebacker Garrett Sickels wasn't sure what to expect when he made the trip with his parents down to Athens to check out Georgia for the first time.

The 2013 prospect certainly didn't come with any preconceived notions about receiving an offer.

But after meeting with head coach Mark Richt Tuesday afternoon, that's just what happened.

"I wasn't expecting it. I was just excited to be there, so when it happened … wow," Sickels said shortly after leaving campus. "I just said 'Thank you sir.' I was all smiles, really happy and excited."

The Georgia offer is the third for the 6-foot-4, 226-pounder, joining Rutgers and Florida.

There's about to be more.

According to Sickels, he and Notre Dame coaches are talking extensively, as is Tennessee, which is expected to make an offer of its own. Penn State, Florida State and Miami, among others, are also showing interest.

"After Rutgers made their offer and Florida came by my school, everything really took off," said Sickels, who has relatives in Atlanta, including some cousins who attended UGA.

As a sophomore, Sickels figures he collected over 40 tackles with nine sacks, with two fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles.

He would play outside linebacker in Georgia's 3-4 scheme.

Tuesday, Sickels got his first up-close look at what the Bulldog program has to offer.

"It was awesome. We got here at 10 a.m., toured the new facility and it was awesome," Sickels said. "We met Coach T (strength and conditioning coach Joe Tereshinski) and he was just awesome - there's no other way to describe it - he really knows his stuff."

Sickels also toured the meeting room and other facilities with assistant coach Scott Lakatos and talked with defensive coordinator Todd Grantham before meeting with Richt in the afternoon.

"I had been here one time before. I remember eating in this restaurant and everything was Georgia," Sickels said. "Georgia's got a great tradition and everything is over the top. They compete in the best conference in college football. Everything exceeded my expectations. The new facility is amazing. Coach Richt is a great guy and everyone is awesome. I'm very humbled that Georgia offered. I'm very excited.
"It's safe to say Georgia will be on my final list."

Sickels made Tuesday's trip because he is going to be unable to come to Dawg Night on July 15 due to a prior engagement with his high school, Red Bank Regional.

If Red Bank sounds familiar to Georgia fans, it should.

That's the same school that produced former Bulldog Kade Weston, who Sickels said was good friends with his sister.

Ironically, Weston was at Georgia working out Tuesday but could not speak with Sickels due to NCAA rules.
Sickels laughed that he waved at Weston through the glass.

"I don't know if he saw me," Sickels said. "But I thought it was funny."

What's not funny is how Sickels plays the game.

"My dad always told me don't ever take a play off because you never know who is going to be watching," he said. "Just because the ball runs to the other side of the field, that doesn't mean you're not going to make the tackle. If you run, you've got a chance to make a play. Don't stop playing until that whistle stops. The main thing is, don't take plays off."

Anthony Dasher is the managing editor for UGASports
and he can be reached via email at [email protected]