It may be on the verge of adding another member.
Brian Herrien reached his goal line.
According to school officials at New Manchester High School, the unrated 6-foot-1, 210-pound running back prospect will be able to qualify and enroll at UGA. The achievement goes far deeper than becoming the first SEC recruit from the five-year-old high school.
Herrien entered his final semester believing he needed to get all As in his three remaining core courses and achieve a 16 on his ACT in order to qualify. He did more than that in recording an 18 on his most recent ACT attempt. That gave him some wiggle room in order to qualify to sign at UGA for its Class of 2016. He only had to make all As and Bs in the spring semester.
What’s next? A big day tomorrow in Athens.
“We found out at some time yesterday that he became academically eligible to sign a D-1 scholarship and he is going to Athens tomorrow to meet with coach (Kirby) Smart and some of the other coaches at the University of Georgia,” just-retired New Manchester coach Rob Cleveland told DawgNation. “Unless something unforeseen happens he will sign a full scholarship with the University of Georgia tomorrow. They are going to go over that transcript one final time. I have been told he is going to get offered tomorrow and he is going to sign tomorrow.”
Herrien had a lot of work to do to reach his goal. A whole lot…
He told DawgNation in March he had a 2.16 grade-point average at this time. If he gets all A’s this semester, he would qualify with a 2.5 average. He made one “B” last semester. He had to finish this semester out with a 4.0 GPA if he made that 16, but the 18 made qualification on the NCAA’s sliding scale a little less taxing.
To ensure his marks moved those few points north, Herrien arrived at school an hour earlier than his peers. He does all his extra work and any needed assignments, adds tutoring after school and then goes home to study.
The senior started waking up at 5 a.m. every morning in late March to study for his ACT and take practice exams online. Herrien told DawgNation in March that “he wanted this more than anything” and left no doubt that he would 100 percent sign with UGA once he qualified.
As much as making the grades is a testament to the kid’s work ethic, it’s also a testament to the impact of the new NCAA academic requirements. High schoolers had best wake up to the reality of that if they want to play college ball. Herrien cut it almost too close for comfort.
“I don’t think Brian understood how extremely important his grades were early on in his high school career for the academic side of this scholarship,” Cleveland said. “But I think once Brian saw the possibilities he had with football, he was able to overcome the hole he had gotten in. He’s been perfectly capable of qualifying the entire time. He’s an intelligent young man. I just think he was lazy in the classroom early on and he had to work hard in his junior and senior year to catch up. Luckily for him and the University of Georgia he was able to do that.”
Left hanging is the final step in the process.
It is very important at this time to state the grades are in and they are known, but they won’t become official until his final transcript prints from the school district office on Monday morning. That final transcript will then be sent to the NCAA Clearinghouse for approval.
That last sentence always makes me a little nervous in late blooming cases like this. I hope for the kid’s sake his effort is rewarded. Oh, yeah, and it’s not like Georgia can’t use his talents. Best of luck to both.