Joseph Ledbetter

Georgia flips Alabama commit, will join brother in Athens


When Joseph Ledbetter signed to play football for the Georgia Bulldogs three weeks ago, his decision supposedly had no bearing over where his younger brother, Jonathan Ledbetter, a four-star recruit, would eventually attend.

Their mother, Teresa Belcher, even said as much.

“(Jonathan) is very excited for his brother,” Belcher told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “But I really don’t think it’s going to influence his college decision on way or the other.”

The younger Ledbetter originally committed to Alabama in January. Nearly seven months later, Jonathan Ledbetter announced he’ll be a member of the Georgia Bulldogs in 2015.

The fact is Joseph Ledbetter’s commitment to the Bulldogs was the tipping point for his brother to join him.

“I’ve wanted to do this for awhile,” Jonathan Ledbetter told’s Dean Legge. “I was thinking about it, but when my brother got in it was just a clear sign… it feels great to be a dawg, and I am glad I get to stay home and represent my state.”

It’s only an hour trip from the Ledbetters’ home in Tucker, Georgia to Athens. Family and familiarity were enough for the Bulldogs to pull one over on the Crimson Tide.

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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

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