The nation’s No. 2 junior safety Peyton Woodyard has made his college decision

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This rep shares the decision made today by 4-star junior safety Peyton Woodyard. He’s the nation’s No. 2 safety and the No. 29 overall recruit for the 247Sports Composite. He’s also the nation’s No. 2 safety and the No. 34 overall prospect for the On3 Consensus.

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SAN ANTONIO, Tex. — The ‘Dawgs have already scored one massive victory over the next few days in California. Peyton Woodyard told the world he was a Georgia Bulldog moments ago.

The nation’s No. 2 safety in the 2024 cycle shared that news with the Georgia staff a few days ago.

He just shared the good word in real-time with a national NBC audience at the 2023 All-American Bowl down in Texas.

Why did he want to be a ‘Dawg?

“Just the whole vibe I got there,” he said. “It really feels like home. Not just having a great football program and they have great academics. It is just the whole vibe from the first time I got there and it feels like home. I can go to work there and to just go to work every day.”

The Bulldogs established very strong relationships in this process from Kirby Smart to co-defensive coordinator Will Muschamp. Those are two former safeties at Georgia and keen defensive minds.

We also must trumpet the work that first-year defensive backs coach Fran Brown put in here.

“Just with Georgia it’s just the relationships that I have got there,” Woodyard said. “What they do with their DBs. Coach Kirby. He’s a security guy. Muschamp. He’s a security guy. Coach Fran. He’s one of the best DB coaches out there. I like how they work their DBs out with each other. The safeties and the corners. They’re always working with each other and Georgia. They feel like that’s how they bring the best out of all of them.”

The decision came down to a chart of pros and cons for each school.

“I’m just excited to get ready for my senior year, just be committed and just ball out,” he said.

He said it just came down to “a feeling” with this decision. It just felt like Georgia was where his heart was.

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound junior was happy to tell the Georgia staff a few days ago.

“I got to talk to them a couple of days ago,” Woodyard said. “I got to talk to the whole staff that day. It was really exciting.”

Woodyard now becomes the seventh commit for the “Dawgs already in the 2024 cycle. He’s now the second-highest-rated commitment behind Colquitt County 5-star TE Landen Thomas. He is also now the fifth top-100 prospect already in this class. That breaks down to a split of two offensive players and three defensive players.

There are two in-state Bulldogs among the current group in a year in which the Bulldogs should stack up perhaps one of the strongest classes in history.

This particular Woodyard decision also gives the ‘Dawgs the No. 1 recruiting class for 2024 based on the 247Sports Team Composite rankings.

Georgia landed a commitment from 4-star safety Peyton Woodyard.

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Georgia DBs coach Fran Brown (left) has made a strong impact with 5-star junior safety Peyton Woodyard (right) along his recruiting process up to this point. (Instagram)

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5-star junior safety Peyton Woodyard just took another big visit to check out UGA. (Instagram)

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Breakdown: What the ‘Dawgs are getting here in Peyton Woodyard

This quote here sums up the high character makeup with Woodyard.

“If you are one of my friends then I have got your back forever,” he said.

The rest of the checklist here is pretty stout:

  • Already a four-year starter for one of the top five programs in the nation. The St. John Bosco Braves won the 2022 mythical national high school championship in 2022.
  • Three-down player with great versatility
  • Tremendous familiarity with the UGA defensive scheme. He will be able to come in right away in January of 2024 and have an advanced understanding of what the ‘Dawgs do with their safeties. Bosco basically runs the Georgia defense. He’s been playing in it for the last three years. it is almost verbatim. The Bosco coaches have studied the UGA defense for years and spoke at length with Kirby Smart and the Georgia staff.
  • Multi-sport athlete who also plays baseball and likes to golf in his spare time
  • Georgia freshman OT Earnest Greene III played with Woodyard at St. John Bosco and he has been a longtime advocate in his ear about coming over and playing for the “Dawgs.”
  • Strong family background. His father is the Deputy Police Chief in Los Angeles

Jason Negro, the coach at St. John Bosco, took the right angle here when asked to break down what stands out most about Woodyard.

“I think he’s a phenomenal human being for one,” Negro said. “That’s what the first thing is. The character he is going to bring to their program. The leadership he is going to bring and he is a championship-type caliber player. It makes me feel good that our guys are trying to pick the most elite programs in the country to go play college ball for and compete against. I think that’s what his mindset is.”

“Then in terms of a player, he is phenomenal. He’s very versatile. He can play all three downs on defense. First, second and third. He can play the single-high safety. He can play the two-high safety. He can play in the box. He’s physical. He can cover slots in the nickel. There’s a lot of versatility to his game.”

The defensive scheme fit here was a plus here for the Bulldogs. To go on top of where the program’s reputation now sits nationally.

“Honestly that’s why our kids are looking to go play at a place that runs that scheme because they already know it going in,” Negro said. “From the vocabulary. To the way we line up to the whole schematic lines up.”

Negro feels Woodyard could play quickly for the Bulldogs.

“Without question because he is going to step into a meeting room and already have the knowledge he is going to need. Any quality football coach will tell you that you’ll substitute intelligence for a little bit of talent or a little bit of growth in terms of body development and stuff like that if the kid just knows what he is doing. That is something that is going to be a big advantage for whatever program he goes into. He’s going to be mentally prepared and light years ahead in terms of the scheme but what we do in the weight room and how we lift. Our kids are going to be able to step into a collegiate weight room and not miss a beat.”

He’ll need to refine his speed to contend with the top-end receivers in the SEC. He’ll need to add more strength and speed, but that’s something common to every new college player. That includes the All-Americans.

“Just will have to work on the top-end speed and the elite linear speed to be right there with all those really fast guys he’ll have to defend,” Negro said. “But other than that it is going to be a seamless transition for him.”

Check out the Woodyard high school tape from his junior year. You’ll see his athleticism in his skill set. Look for those plays where he can simply run the alley and just erase the man with the ball.

He can play down in the box. He can play over the top. He can even come off the edge in certain looks.

Have you subscribed to the DawgNation YouTube channel yet? If so, you will be able to see special 1-on-1 content with 2023 commits CJ Allen, AJ Harris and Jamaal Jarrett.

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