When the last No. 1 overall recruit hailing from Georgia, defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, made an early announcement, it was only the beginning of a five-act recruiting grand opera.
Here's hoping that Mitch Hyatt's recruitment will go a little more smoothly. Hyatt, the No. 1 overall player in 247Sports composite ratings for 2015, has released a top-five list of Georgia, Clemson, South Carolina, Louisville and Auburn, as reported by Michael Carvell of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The offensive tackle stipulated to the AJC that his list wasn't final and he didn't have any favorites at this point.
“It’s not final or anything, or in any order. I’ve got UGA, Clemson, South Carolina, Louisville, and Auburn,” Hyatt told the AJC. “It’s more like schools I’ve seen, and who I like to this point. But it’s not finalists.”
The North Gwinnett product burst onto the recruiting scene when he squared off with Nkemdiche during last year's Georgia state playoffs.
According to Carvell, Hyatt has an uncle, Dan Benish, who played on Clemson's 1981 National Championship squad. However, Hyatt said that his uncle isn't pushing him in any particular direction:
He just shares what went on when he was going through the same (recruiting) process. He gives me advice. He tells me not to stress out. He says to find a place where I will feel comfortable for four years. He’s not really pushing Clemson on me or anything. He just wants the best for me.
Hyatt's recruitment could be a direct contrast to Nkemdiche's. Nkemdiche committed to Clemson early in his recruitment, only to be pulled away because of family ties to Ole Miss.
Hyatt also shared his visit past experiences and future visit plans with Carvell. The 6'5", 271-pound junior has already taken unofficial visits to Clemson and Georgia over the past two weeks, and he would like to visit Auburn and Ohio State in the future, while also taking a return trip to UGA when the Bulldogs take on LSU.
This weekend, Hyatt has his own matchup to worry about, as he is slated to take on another highly touted defensive end prospect, Lorenzo Carter from Norcross.
Hyatt spoke with Carvell about Carter, who is the No. 1 recruit from Georgia for 2014, and how he presents a different challenge than Nkemdiche:
They’re different. Nkemdiche will put more power moves on you. From watching Lorenzo on film, I think I will see more finesse (moves) out of him...I think what stands out is his athleticism, and his ability to change speeds. I mean, he just changes up on you in an instant, and you don’t know where he’s going. He’s really good at not selling what he’s going to do (on a play). He’s just a great athlete, and he’s very fast.
Hyatt, Carter and Nkemdiche all hail from Gwinnett County outside of Atlanta.
Looking forward, Hyatt might be destined to do battle with his two Gwinnett County foes in college. The majority of the 247Sports staff currently predicts that Carter will end up at Alabama.
If Hyatt also heads to the Southeastern Conference, he could be matched up with both of his rivals, Carter and Nkemdiche, on Saturdays.