BALTIMORE -- Coaches at the University of Georgia should be in turns excited and then worried by recent comments from five-star safety Rashad Roundtree (Evans, Ga./Lakeside). While he speaks very highly of the home-state Bulldogs, Roundtree has some reservations about recent roster upheavals at Georgia. The dismissal of two highly-recruited, starting safeties as well as a spate of transfers to other programs have not gone unnoticed.
"It is really different," Roundtree said. "You're wondering what's the problem or what's going on at Georgia that makes everybody either get kicked off or want to leave. So it is kind of like, 'Is there something under the covers that they are just hiding?' So there is always that kind of feeling that this could be the wrong choice."
That is not to say Roundtree is overly concerned. A number of fellow recruits at the Rivals 5-Star Challenge this past weekend predicted Roundtree would wind up in Athens when he makes his decision on signing day. Some of those prospect already committed to the Bulldogs took the opportunity to try and sway the hard-hitting safety.
"Everyone has been telling me that Georgia is the place to go, to stick with the home state all the way and that they have something special going on at Georgia," Roundtree said. "I feel the new coaching staff can really make a difference and turn the program around. I definitely think they can make me better. I think Coach [Jeremy] Pruitt can help me with my defense and really take me to the next level."
The 6-foot, 195-pound defensive back is one of Georgia's top priorities in this recruiting class because he plays at a position of great need for the Bulldogs. The dismissal of Josh Harvey-Clemons and Tray Matthews left the Bulldogs razor-thin at safety.
"I am hearing from Georgia the most," Roundtree said. "After that it would be Florida and Ohio State or Auburn. All the schools tell me how they can make me better and how I can work in their defense."
Roundtree has 15 scholarship offers so far but would still like to hear from a couple other schools.
"LSU and USC," Roundtree said. "I just hear that being out on the west coast is different, there is an entirely different kind of atmosphere and feeling. I really want to see what it is like. I talked to [USC commit] Chuma Edoga on the bus about why he chose to go all the way out to the west coast and not stay in Georgia. He said the type of way he plays, he is more of a West-coast offense kind of player than an SEC guy. I like the coach at LSU, the tradition they have and so I want to go see what it is like."