Priority OL Juan Gaston Jr. ponders a ‘smart decision’ to play for Georgia football after a big official visit (2024)

Welcome to "Sentell's Intel" where Jeff Sentell not only provides you the latest recruiting information, he takes you into the homes of these students and what makes them special to the Georgia program.

This Sentell’s Intel rep on Georgia football recruiting has the latest with 4-star OT target Juan Gaston Jr. He ranks as the nation’s No. 16 OT and the No. 158 overall prospect for 2025 on the 247Sports Composite. The On3 Industry Ranking has him as the No. 13 IOL and at No. 184 overall.

While Juan Gaston Jr. gets better seemingly every day meeting the media, there are times when the coaches at Westlake High School hope to hear even more out of him.

That’s what happened this week when a member of the Westlake staff saw him hunkered down for an interview about his weekend official visit to Georgia football.

“Elaborate Juan,” one of his coaches said while walking by. “Elaborate.”

Gaston Jr. went on to do just that when asked about the big pitch he got from Georgia offensive line coach Stacy Searels, Kirby Smart and the rest of the program.

“They are a winning program and they are losing five of their starters and they said I have the potential to be a starter when I get there,” Gaston Jr. said.

That was a big pitch for a big OT prospect.

What went through his mind when he heard that?

“Ok,” he said. “I have a chance of starting at UGA. Might be a smart decision to go there and stuff like that.”

The weekend was more vital than the 6-foot-7-plus, 355-pound mauler eating a few burgers, some mac and cheese and getting some Taco Bell on the visit.

He said the amped-up UGA visit photo shoot was his favorite part of the official. The NCAA passed a measure earlier this year where that once-popular offering is now only permitted on official visits.

Georgia went all out with its version.

The Bulldogs built multiple sets, including one that looked like the inside of a “G6″ Gulfstream jet. They also had the recruits walk out of a tunnel to music, flashing lights and a crowd of fans holding up their smartphone flashlights just like the beginning of the fourth quarter at Sanford Stadium.

Gaston wore a UGA No. 73 in white with a white helmet, white jersey and red pants. He appreciated the chance to try out all the different variants the Bulldogs offered for the photo shoot.

The 4-star OT chose that combo because he said it was the only one he had not yet previously worn across at least a half-dozen visits to UGA during his recruiting process.

“I did [before] all black,” he said. “I did red. I didn’t do a white jersey so I just wanted a white jersey.”

He said this look below is his new favorite look for a Georgia uniform.

Priority OL Juan Gaston Jr. ponders a ‘smart decision’ to play for Georgia football after a big official visit (1)

4-star Westlake High School OT prospect Juan Gaston Jr. poses during his official visit to UGA on the first weekend in June. The 6-foot-7-plus Gaston is one of the top targets in the 2025 recruiting cycle for the Bulldogs. (Instagram)

(Instagram

/Dawgnation)

Priority OL Juan Gaston Jr. ponders a ‘smart decision’ to play for Georgia football after a big official visit (2)

4-star Westlake High School OT prospect Juan Gaston Jr. poses with 3-star RB Bo Walker during his official visit to UGA on the first weekend in June. The 6-foot-7-plus Gaston is one of the top targets in the 2025 recruiting cycle for the Bulldogs. (Instagram)

(Instagram

/Dawgnation)

Georgia offensive line coach Stacy Searels has made Gaston a priority in 2025 for quite some time. Gaston has unique athleticism and movement traits for someone his size. That has a lot to do with the fact his father played basketball in the ACC when Georgia Tech basketball captivated the city of Atlanta.

What was the main message from Searels over the weekend?

“Commit to the G,” Gaston Jr. said while laughing. “That’s all he said.”

The rising senior OT went on to describe an official visit that has to be seen as crucial for Georgia’s chance to sign him. He made it clear to DawgNation that the trip was the last time he will see UGA prior to his college decision.

“I’m not going on any more visits after my OVs,” he said.

The Westlake road grader said he will see South Carolina this weekend, followed by Oregon (June 14) and Tennessee (June 21) this month. There’s a chance he might add a fifth official visit later on during the season, but he wasn’t sure which school might get that trip at this time.

The Gaston decision timeline could be changing. It is now trending a tick earlier from the midseason of his senior year to perhaps right at the start of the season.

“I’m still figuring it out,” he said. “I’m going to wait until after the OVs.”

He also got to go to a few football meetings while he was in Athens.

“Very exciting,” he said. “Fun. You do got to wake up on official visits at 8 a.m. to get breakfast and stuff. But it was a nice experience, though.”

That early wake-up call was the biggest surprise for him on his OV to UGA, he said.

Freshman IOL Daniel Calhoun was his host. That says something about how much the 2024 signee has already impressed those inside the program. Calhoun has lost a lot of weight and reshaped his body to best be able to compete to be in the two-deep this fall.

Calhoun told Gaston that life as a Dawg will not be easy.

“Running at six o’clock in the morning he said,” Gaston said.

Gaston was also asked to stray away from elaborating and condense his big takeaways from the visit to a few simple terms.

“Fun, exciting and educational,” he said.

Check out the full interview with Gaston below in Wednesday’s “Before the Hedges” DawgNation program.

Have you subscribed to the DawgNation YouTube channel yet? If so, you will be able to see special 1-on-1 content with key 2025 prospects like Ethan Barbour, Julian Lewis, Travis Smith Jr. and David Sanders Jr.

Priority OL Juan Gaston Jr. ponders a ‘smart decision’ to play for Georgia football after a big official visit (3)

4-star Westlake High School OT prospect Juan Gaston Jr. poses during his official visit to UGA on the first weekend in June. The 6-foot-7-plus Gaston is one of the top targets in the 2025 recruiting cycle for the Bulldogs. (Instagram)

(Instagram

/Dawgnation)

Priority OL Juan Gaston Jr. ponders a ‘smart decision’ to play for Georgia football after a big official visit (4)

4-star Westlake High School OT prospect Juan Gaston Jr. poses during his official visit to UGA on the first weekend in June. The 6-foot-7-plus Gaston is one of the top targets in the 2025 recruiting cycle for the Bulldogs. (Instagram)

(Instagram

/Dawgnation)

SENTELL'S INTEL

(check on the recent reads on Georgia football recruiting)

Priority OL Juan Gaston Jr. ponders a ‘smart decision’ to play for Georgia football after a big official visit (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kerri Lueilwitz

Last Updated:

Views: 6584

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (47 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kerri Lueilwitz

Birthday: 1992-10-31

Address: Suite 878 3699 Chantelle Roads, Colebury, NC 68599

Phone: +6111989609516

Job: Chief Farming Manager

Hobby: Mycology, Stone skipping, Dowsing, Whittling, Taxidermy, Sand art, Roller skating

Introduction: My name is Kerri Lueilwitz, I am a courageous, gentle, quaint, thankful, outstanding, brave, vast person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.