Hunter Atkinson

Georgia adds brother of Alabama recruit

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Recruiting is all about relationships, and the Georgia Bulldogs may have pulled a trump card to eventually flip a current Alabama Crimson Tide commit.

The Bulldogs received a commitment from tight end Joseph Ledbetter, according to The Macon Telegraph.

“I’ll be at camp on Friday … and I will be on a full scholarship,” Ledbetter confirmed to Dawgs247.com.

Ledbetter, who played basketball for two years before deciding to transfer from Pfeiffer University, is the older brother of four-star recruit Jonathan Ledbetter.

Rivals.com ranks Johnathan Ledbetter as the third-best defensive end recruit in the nation. The defensive lineman committed to Alabama in January.

Despite his brother’s decision, Jonathan Ledbetter isn’t prepared to change his verbal commitment.

“It doesn’t really affect me,” Jonathan Ledbetter said. “I’m just glad he’s in school and has the opportunity, but we aren’t a package deal or anything.”

There could be some family pressure for Jonathan to eventually join Joseph at UGA, though.

“I would love to have two Georgia Bulldogs as sons, or three – because I have a third son as well,” the mother of Joseph and Jonathan Ledbetter, Teresa Belcher, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “But I try to stay out of it. I try to let them decide what is best for them. Of course, I give my opinion. But Jonathan will make his decision on what is best for him, as far as the type of team that fits his personality. I try not to overwhelm him with questions about that.

“Jonathan is very happy for Joseph. He is very excited for his brother. But I really don’t think it’s going to influence his college decision on way or the other.”

Georgia, meanwhile, will still benefit even if the younger Ledbetter doesn’t change his mind. Joseph Ledbetter will add depth and athleticism to the Bulldogs’ tight end position after Hunter Atkinson decided to leave the program.

The trend at the tight end position is get highly athletic former basketball players and convert them. Georgia now has two with Joseph Ledbetter and starter Jay Rome on the roster.

Incoming Georgia TE stepping away from football

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A Georgia native who once dreamed of playing for Georgia, is stepping away from football before ever getting a chance to suit up for a game. According to a statement released by Georgia on Wednesday afternoon, incoming freshman tight end Hunter Atkinson has decided to step away from football. No reason for his decision has been given, but he does so with Mark Richt sending along his best wishes.

“We will miss Hunter in our freshman class but understand his decision and wish him nothing but the best in achieving his career objectives,” said Richt in a statement released by the school.

Atkinson, a Georgia native, was a three-star tight end recruit according to Rivals.com. He chose Georgia after receiving a late offer in the recruiting process. Before Georgia offered, Atkinson was ready to join Cincinnati. Atkinson also held offers from Illinois, Georgia State and a handful of FCS programs.

“Georgia is a great school with both athletic and academic opportunities and I want to thank Coach Richt and the other coaches for their interest and all they have done for me over the past few months,” said Atkinson. “I realized I have other career goals and want to pursue those interests.”

Georgia has five tight ends on the roster (four on scholarship), so the depth is taking a hit, but this does not appear to be a severely detrimental roster change for the Bulldogs just yet.