Tate Ratledge grew up in a household full of lifelong Tennessee fans. He became a football star down in Georgia. It was only fitting his college decision came down to the two SEC programs, but everyone knew there would be some sort of heartbreak no matter what he chose.
On Monday morning, the 6-foot-6, 310-pound offensive tackle from Darlington School (GA) committed to play for head coach Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs, meaning the consensus four-star recruit and his family won’t have to travel far to play and watch college football games in 2020. There has to be some mixed emotions, too.
Ratledge was raised to be a Tennessee fan and lived in Chattanooga until he was four. He made three trips to Knoxville this spring, including for the Vols’ spring game at Neyland Stadium, according to 247Sports. At the end of the day, though, the Bulldogs won the recruiting battle, and the family is all in.
That’s why Tate Ratledge’s father stripped the Tennessee “Power T” decal off of his Ford truck to show full support for his son, and Cody Chaffins of Fox 5 in Atlanta was on hand to capture the moment.
If you are a Tennessee fan, that’s got to be a tough thing to see.
There is no telling whether or not the Ratledge family will put new decals on the truck, especially since the nation’s No. 67 overall prospect and No. 5 player in the Peach State won’t officially sign his National Letter of Intent for months, but it appears the recruitment is over for the Rome, Georgia offensive lineman.
UGA associate head coach and offensive line coach Sam Pittman deserves a lot of credit here. Some of the biggest names in college football, such as Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Ohio State, had offers out to Ratledge. Yet, the Bulldogs are getting on the best offensive tackles for the 2020 recruiting class and made sure he didn’t leave the state after high school.