EARLY SIGNING: Dawgs snag Salyer and Cox; Jones flips from OSU to Florida

Cartersville's Trevor Lawrence inked with Clemson as expected. Credit: AJC

NCAA football opened up its first-ever early signing period today, which will run through Friday, and there was no shortage of big storylines involving prospects from the state of Georgia.

UPDATE: Stockbridge 5-star DT Brenton Cox, previously uncommitted and choosing between UGA and Alabama, has signed with the Bulldogs. This is a huge get for Kirby Smart, giving Georgia six 5-star prospects currently, the most in the program’s history.

As expected, the consensus top two recruits nationally in the Class of 2018, Cartersville pro-style quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Harrison dual-threat QB Justin Fields, signed with their schools of choice. In signing ceremonies at their high schools, Lawrence inked his Letter of Intent with Clemson and Justin Fields made it official with UGA. Each of their college choices will play in the College Football Playoff semifinals on Jan. 1 and could even meet in the CFP title game later in the month at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. According to Dawgnation, Fields said at his ceremony that he will make a decision next week regarding early enrollment. Lawrence is expected to enroll at Clemson early as well.

QB Emory Jones, a 4-star who had a phenomenal playoff run with Heard County in leading the Braves to the Class AA semifinals, may have generated the most signing-day drama for a Peach State prospect. Jones, listed by 247Sports as the No. 40 overall prospect nationally and the No. 4 dual-threat, had been committed to Urban Meyer and Ohio State since July 2016 but reportedly had been talking with powerhouse SEC and ACC schools for months. Jones officially flipped to Florida and head coach Dan Mullen on Wednesday after a late push by Florida State as well. Gators fans hope Jones can put an end to Florida’s years-long struggle at the QB position.

According to 247Sports, Georgia had the No. 3 overall recruiting class entering the early signing period, and Fields wasn’t the only in-state talent to bolster the Bulldogs’ haul. Jamaree Salyer, the nation’s No. 1 offensive guard prospect from Pace Academy, dropped a video for Dawgnation on Wednesday announcing his commitment to UGA. Salyer narrowed his choices to UGA or Clemson early Wednesday morning. He joins fellow Georgia O-line commit Trey Hill from Houston County, a 4-star.

On the other side of the line of scrimmage, Rome 5-star OLB Adam Anderson sent in his paperwork to the Dawgs a little after 2:15 p.m.

Clemson did pick up a top running back to pair with Lawrence as 4-star Greater Atlanta Christian back Kyler McMichael signed with the Tigers as well.

To round out the committed prospects in the 247Sports Georgia Top 10, Crisp County OLB Quay Walker remains publicly committed to Alabama but has not signed today, and Lassiter S Derrik Allen inked with Notre Dame.

Georgia Tech got early pledges from 17 players. Peach County LB JaQuez JacksonThomasville DB Charlie ThomasDarlington RB Tijai Whatley and Mountain View WR Malachi Carter (all 3-stars) are some of the Yellow Jackets’ top signees from in-state.

Georgia State also had 16 of its commits signed as of 3:30, and updating. The Panthers’ first two signees were Georgia products, with 3-star Mountain View LB Blake Carroll and Central Gwinnett OL Brandon Joseph kicking things off this morning.

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