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5-star DB Talks Relationship With Kirby Smart, Will Muschamp

February 28, 2022

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HOSCHTON - After winning the 2021 national championship last fall, it’s now recruiting season for Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs. The staff is permitted to have prospects on campus starting Tuesday, and they’ll be hosting one of the top prospects in the country that day.

That would be 5-star DB Caleb Downs‍.

One of the top overall prospects in the country, and Dawg Post’s No. 1 prospect in Georgia, Downs is a dynamic 6-foot-0 190-pound defender who checks all the boxes as a rangy, ball-hawking safety. 

Downs took visits to Georgia, Alabama, Clemson, UNC, Notre Dame and Ohio State last fall, and he broke down his recruitment recently with Dawg Post.

The Georgia game that Downs attended in the fall was against Kentucky, and Georgia’s big victory over the No. 11 Wildcats left a lasting impression.

“Brock Bowers’ performance really stood out,” Downs said. “I think he had about two touchdowns. The defense didn’t really give up anything the entire game.”

“The first coaches I met up with were coach Muschamp and then Dell McGee”, Downs said. “Then I met up with coach Smart. I was with AJ Harris‍ at the game so we spent some time hanging in the recruiting lounge before kickoff.”

Downs is a major target for both Kirby Smart and Will Muschamp, who went to go watch Downs play in-person last fall against West Forsyth. When Smart was able to stop by high schools during the evaluation period in January, sources say one of his first stops was to Mill Creek to check on Downs. 

“Coach Muschamp is a great guy and has put a lot of guys in the pros”, Downs said. “I respect him a lot. He’s really funny and he’s a guy I know I can learn from. The way we talk about things is really similar. He and coach Smart are really similar too. They are recruiting me to play the safety spot that Chris Smith currently plays and they’ll give me some opportunities to play the STAR position as well.”

“I definitely feel like a priority at Georgia”, Downs added. “They put in a lot of effort to show me that they care. I love coach Smart’s desire to win. He wants to do whatever it takes to get to another national championship.”

Downs was back in Athens last month to take in Georgia’s national championship parade.


“I was with coach Muschamp most of the time. It was a great experience. I’ve never been to a parade like that before.”

Downs is obviously a major Georgia target, but every other school wants him as well. Alabama is a team to keep an eye on, as well as North Carolina. Downs’ brother currently plays for the Tar Heels and Downs has a very close relationship with assistant Dre Bly. 

Downs also mentioned that Oklahoma, Ohio State, and Notre Dame are other teams towards the top of his list. He hasn’t released a “top group”, and it doesn’t appear he’ll release one before making a final decision in a few months.

“I think one day when I’m ready I’ll make a commitment date and commit on that day. I don’t think I’ll drop a top group or anything like that”

So what is Downs looking for a school?

“I do want to play early and have coaches and other players that I want to be around”, Downs said. “I also want to be at a place where I’ll be proud to graduate from. I want to go somewhere where I know I can succeed.” 

Downs has visits lined up to Georgia on March 1st, North Carolina on March 5th, Alabama in April, and has plans to check out Oklahoma soon as well. 

“In a perfect world I would like to have my mind made up at the end of the summer after my official visits.”

As a junior last fall, Downs made 77 tackles, one sack, five INTs, and 11 pass deflections. 

Downs is ranked as the No. 1 safety in the country according to the 247 Composite rankings. He’s also ranked as the No. 11 overall prospect in the country.

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