Don’t close the book on the 2016 class just yet.

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.




Filed under Academics? Academics., Georgia Football

17 responses to “Don’t close the book on the 2016 class just yet.

  1. Uglydawg

    Some just seem to be born with the light on. For some, in never comes on. For most, it comes on when at the last minute…but at least it’s on! I hope Brian signs with the Dawgs with no problems and continues this great effort to excell in all areas of his life! He sounds like a great young man!


    • A lot of kids grow up in situations where from their perspective there doesn’t seem to be much point of making good grades. If nobody around you is going to college, it’s a rather abstract notion that’s hard for a kid or even a 16 year old to grasp before habits are formed.

      The kid’s highlight reel is sick, and I hope we can get him in.


    • wet willie

      This may be the real hoss for the Dawgs!


  2. Big Shock

    And somewhere, a kid with a 3.6 and a 27 ACT wonders why he is headed to Statesboro in the fall after being rejected by Athens.


    • W Cobb Dawg

      What’s his time in the 40? Did he sign a LOI?


    • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

      Which kid would that be? Is there really such a prospect or is this just a meme that really isn’t true?


      • Debby Balcer

        Not a football playrr but a regular student. I know some who headed to other colleges with those scores.


        • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

          You could say that about most football scholarships awarded. For that matter, the University does not have a hard cut off number where a football scholarship bumps an academic admission. It’s complicated and involves a target range for total number of students, amount of tuition, and stats like GPA and SAT/ACT. Admissions people and their deans are acutely aware of the profile they want to have when the USNews people come around. My point is that with 30,000+ enrolled, if someone is rejected it doesn’t have to do with one football scholarship. I’d like to know the ‘rest of the story’ as Paul Harvey used to say.


  3. Dawganova

    Yeah so why was this kid unranked/unrated on recruiting sites? Looks like a total badass.


  4. Walt

    I read where the coach said he’s been getting up at 5 am every day to study. The kid seems to be working hard and just might make it here.


  5. W Cobb Dawg

    Whatever happened to the good ol days when all we had was attrition after signing day, and additions waited until early entrees came in January? Roster management is 24/7/365. PWOs, post-signing day announcements, graduate transfers, etc., etc. Coaches really have to be on their toes and proactive. How many years did we sit back and let attrition bleed our roster down into the low 80s or 70s during the off season. As much as folks loved CMR, that was just asking for criticism, plain and simple.


    • No doubt, WCD. As one of those who thought CMR was good for Georgia, roster management was the area where I never thought he got it. By the way, I still don’t want us running people off who don’t pan out and surprising a guy with a last minute grayshirt.


  6. Puffdawg

    That crack back block at 40 second mark. Dayum!


  7. lakedawg

    Something evidently really motivated him to be 2 semesters left in senior year with a 2.16 gpa , and then suddenly ace every course the last two. If he was just showing up for class he was pulling a 2.16. Will feel better once the clearing house puts a stamp on it.


  8. DawgPhan

    This is great. Glad that Kirby hasnt stopped working on this class.

    Is there still a kid from Grayson that is trying to get grades as well.