Georgia could flip elite 2025 cornerback recruit from SEC rival

Shamari Earls committed to South Carolina back in April, but Kirby Smart is reportedly attempting to change his mind after a June 21 visit to Athens.
Georgia Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart (right) and South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Shane Beamer (left)
Georgia Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart (right) and South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Shane Beamer (left) / Joshua L. Jones, Athens Banner-Herald /

Shamari Earls, the top-rated recruit in South Carolina’s 2025 recruiting class now 247Sports’ Benjamin Wolk expects him to flip his commitment. In June, Kirby Smart was able to successfully flip five-star edge rusher Isaiah Gibson from the USC Trojans and Earls could be next. 

South Carolina’s 16-commit class is ranked No. 23 in the country and is headlined by Earls. The 6-foot-2 cornerback from Chester Virginia is considered a top-100 recruit and the eighth-best player at his position according to 247Sports. 

Despite his commitment to South Carolina, Earls took a visit to Athens on June 21 and is still being recruited by Georgia and Michigan, though the Bulldogs reportedly have the upper hand.

It’s not just that Georgia would like to pluck a top recruit away from the Gamecocks, Smart’s defense needs Earls. Four-star safety Todd Robinson is the only defensive back in Georgia’s 17-player 2025 recruiting class so far, and this offseason, the Dawgs lost three defensive backs to the NFL with three more departing through the transfer portal. 

In the 2024 class, Smart brought in five-star defensive backs Ellis Robinson IV and KJ Bolden who, because of that recent attrition, could see significant action as true freshmen. Both should be foundational pieces of the secondary going forward, and 2024 four-stars Ondre Evans and Demello Jones project to eventually provide depth, but not so much that Smart can afford to neglect the position throughout this recruiting cycle. 

If Georgia is unable to flip Earls, Smart will need to recalibrate and hone in on another elite cornerback prospect to prioritize. Besides Earls, four-star recruits Jontae Gilbert, Ben Hanks Jr. Dijon Lee, and Chris Ewald have all taken official visits to Athens. Only Ewald is committed, announcing his intent to play at Miami at the end of June.