Jan. 3: Why Diana Collins chose Georgia to lay foundation for 2023 class
Lady Bulldogs added their first pledge of the 2023 recruiting class in Brookwood's Diana Collins
ATHENS, Ga. — After Diana Collins dropped 20 points and led her Brookwood team to a holiday tournament championship over prep power Holy Innocents', she had more business to handle.
Forty-five miles stand between Athens and her hometown of Snellville. She needed to take a late-night trip to Stegeman Coliseum to deliver some news — a jolt of energy, at that, after Georgia lost a close SEC opener to LSU — to her future coaching staff.
Collins had a commitment in mind. She wanted to announce to Joni Taylor and her staff that her next basketball uniform would be red-and-black.
"When you know," Collins said of the timing. "You know."
Collins' announcement was met by many hugs and smiles. It triggered the signature "Midnight Train" tweet by Taylor. Collins kickstarted the 2023 class with her pledge, after the Lady Bulldogs signed a star-studded 2022 class which included the No. 3 prospect nationally, Janiah Barker.
Collins is rated as a four-star prospect, according to the ESPN HoopGurlz' recruiting rankings, with a scout rating of 91. Shortly after the commitment of Collins, 2023 four-star guard Olivia McGhee out of Louisa County (Va.) High School included Georgia in her final 11 schools.
"Georgia has been recruiting me f0r a long time and I feel wanted," said Collins, who mentioned her decision came down to a few schools. "It was ultimately the best fit for me."
Collins added that Georgia had recruited her since the seventh grade, which fits the mold of Taylor's recruiting philosophy. The Lady Bulldogs pride themselves on adding prospects that fit the program from a character, people-first perspective.
"They tell me how important I am to the program," Collins said. "They're always there. They never stopped recruiting me heavily."
Collins, at 5-foot-9, prefers to run in a fast-paced offensive scheme. Taylor's transition-based offense attracted her to play in Athens. Collins also said she enjoys playing with defensive intensity, which is a priority in order to earn playing time at Georgia.
Georgia's recruiting efforts never stop, and the foundation has been laid for another class laden with top prospects. After its narrow loss to open SEC play, too, Collins' visit came at an ideal time.
"It feels good," Collins said. "I also most likely caught a lot of people off guard."