Sting Factor: Donovan Westmoreland flips from Georgia to South Carolina


When a major program loses a key recruit, Rivals.com takes a look at how big of a blow it is to the respective school, analyzing it from a local and national level. To quantify the “sting” of each decommitment, we assign a score from 1-10, with one being no big deal and 10 being a catastrophic hit.

THE STORYLINE

Donovan Westmoreland flipped from Georgia to South Carolina on Monday, a big win for first-year coach Shane Beamer on the recruiting trail and this one’s important for a few reasons.

The Gamecocks – mainly assistant coach Mike Peterson and others – never gave up on the three-star linebacker/edge rusher from Griffin, Ga., and it paid off when Westmoreland flipped.

A commitment to Georgia since January, Westmoreland said the constant attention South Carolina’s staff paid to him – and the opportunity with the Gamecocks – were definitely big selling points in his decision.

Like most recruiting cycles, the Bulldogs should be fine even after Westmoreland’s departure.

Georgia still has the second-best class in the country led by five-star commitments from quarterback Gunner Stockton and defensive linemen Keithian Alexander and Tyre West but Westmoreland could have provided a nice spark as an edge rusher for the Bulldogs.

*****

LOCAL REACTION

Georgia doesn’t lose a lot of recruiting battles to South Carolina in a normal setting, but with a coaching turnover, that might be even more pronounced. Westmoreland is a talented pass rusher, but he’s undersized and was an early take in this class for the Bulldogs. As the second-lowest rated recruit amongst the group, it’s hard to score this as a huge sting, but that doesn’t mean he won’t become a great player and contributor for the Gamecocks in the long term. This situation reminds me a little of Aaron Sterling in the 2017 class who committed to Alabama but there was a sense for a while that maybe he wouldn’t end up there and he went to South Carolina, too. — Jake Reuse, UGASports.com

Sting factor: 2

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NATIONAL REACTION

Losing Westmoreland is not going to break Georgia’s back and there is even a good possibility that the Bulldogs will replace him with a higher-rated edge rusher so it’s really nothing to worry about for UGA fans. But there is some significance to Westmoreland’s decision especially because he is a productive in-state prospect and he’s heading to an SEC East foe. Westmoreland is a talented kid but not even his ability alone will make the Gamecocks a real threat to Georgia in the division but talented players like him should be kept home. The Bulldogs will be fine, the recruiting class could very well end up even stronger by the time signing day rolls around but Westmoreland would have been a nice one to keep. — Adam Gorney, National Recruiting Director

Sting factor: 4

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH GEORGIA FANS AT UGASPORTS.COM

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH SOUTH CAROLINA FANS AT GAMECOCKCENTRAL.COM

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