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Monday, January 31, 2011

Recruiting: The last stand ... or where things stand

The recruiting success for Georgia football is being noticed elsewhere: The other day a colleague of mine in another state, which rhymes with Shalabama, e-mailed me to ask, basically, "How is Georgia doing this after a losing season?"

Well in case you didn't see it, here's my story from the weekend where I speak to a couple experts, one national and one regional. But there are still a few big names out there, headlined by Columbus tailback Isaiah Crowell.

Crowell's announcement on Wednesday will be streamed online by the Ledger-Enquirer, which has this story on the star tailback.

So the remainder of this week will determine whether Georgia's 2011 recruiting class - at least on paper - will be known as a home run or a stand-up triple.

Here's our last "big board" update of where things stand for Georgia:

- First, a ranking of the most important current Georgia commitments. The criteria for “most important” is a combination of immediate impact, long-range potential, and filling a need position. A list that is purely a snapshot in time and a wild guess into the future. In other words, a list I guarantee to eventually be wrong.

- Next, the top remaining targets on Georgia’s big board: Not to say anyone not on the list has no chance of signing with Georgia, but according to the experts, these are the main focus at this point for the Bulldogs.

- An update on what to watch this week, in terms of announcements.

The most important current commitments (With height, weight and star-rankings by, and

1. DE Ray Drew, Thomasville, Ga.
6-5 ….. 248 …. 4-5-4
2. DB-WR Malcolm Mitchell, Valdosta, Ga.
6-1 …… 190 ….. 4-4-4
3. TE Jay Rome, Valdosta, Ga.
6-6 ….. 240 …… 5-4-4
4. QB Christian LeMay, Matthews, NC (enrolled)
6-2 …. 188 ... 4-4-4
5. MLB Amarlo Herrera, College Park, Ga.
6-2 …. 215 …4-4-4
6. CB Nick Marshall, Rochelle, Ga.
6-2 …. 186 ….4-4-4
7. DB-ATH Damian Swann, Atlanta, Ga.
6-0 …. 175 … 4-4-4
8. S Corey Moore, Griffin, Ga.
6-1 …. 185 ….4-4-4
9. OT Zach DeBell, Tarpon Springs, Fla.
6-7 …. 265 ….3-4-3
10. C David Andrews, Norcross, Ga.
6-2 …. 276 ….3-3-3
11. S Chris Sanders, Tucker, Ga.
6-0 …. 173 …4-3-3
12. OT Watts Dantzler, Dalton, Ga.
6-7 …. 310 … 3-3-3
13. WR Justin Scott-Wesley, Camilla, Ga.
5-11 … 202 …3-4-4
14. WR Chris Conley, Dallas, Ga. (enrolled)
6-2 … 185 …..4-3-3
15. DE Sterling Bailey, Gainesville, Ga.
6-4 …. 230 …..3-4-3
16. DT Chris Mayes, Griffin, Ga.
6-5 …. 292 …..3-4-3
17. LB Ramik Wilson, Tampa, Fla.
6-3 …. 218 …. 3-3-3
18. G Hunter Long, Memphis, Tenn.
6-4 …. 290 ……3-3-3
19. CB Devin Bowman, Ridgeland, Ga.
6-0 …. 175 ….3-3-3
20. Xzavier Ward, Moultrie, Ga.
6-7 ... 255 .. 3-3-3
21. WR Sanford Seay, Leesburg, Ga.
6-2 … 198 ….. 3-3-3
22. LS Nathan Theus, Jacksonville, Fla.
6-3 …. 252 ….. 2-2-2
23. LB Quintavious Harrow, Columbus, Ga.
5-11 ….. 190 ….. 2-3-2

Drew, who made his long-expected commitment on Friday, enters the list at No. 1. He's ranked higher than any other current or potential commit, but he also figures to contribute right away for the Bulldogs, either at defensive end at linebacker. If Justin Houston hadn't left it may have been a different story.

Ward, who also committed last week, was an interesting case. Georgia mainly took him for depth reasons, and he will be a grayshirt candidate if numbers become an issue for the enrollees.

The most important (known) players left on the board

1. RB Isaiah Crowell, Columbus, Ga.
6-0 ….. 210 …. 5-5-5
2. DT John Jenkins, Mississippi Gulf Coast JUCO
6-4 …. 340 ….. 4-4-NR
3. DE Jeoffrey Pagan, Asheville, N.C.
6-4 ... 255 ... 4-4-4
4. OT Antonio Richardson, Nashville, Tenn.
6-6 …. 310 …. 4-4-4
5. ILB Kent Turene, Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.
6-3 …. 230 ….. 3-3-NR

Pagan is new to the list, after he de-committed from Clemson last week. Turene also officially de-committed from Southern Cal.

- What to watch this week:

Jenkins is due to make his announcement on Saturday at his Connecticut high school. He is deciding between Georgia, Auburn, Florida and Miami.

Everyone else is due to announce on signing day. Georgia is considered the favorite for Crowell and Pagan. Richardson may still be a bit of a longshot, but the Bulldogs are still in the hunt. Turene's choice is anyone's guess.


Tyler said...

It seems to me that even after a disappointing season, the Dawgs are stepping up their game on the recruiting trail. I have to say I am extremely interested in how the rest of the offseason turns out, and am becoming cautiously optimistic about next season!

Go Dawgs!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I have to say I am becoming optimistic about next season also. The knock on Richt is that he isn't really passionate about his job. I think the work Richt and his staff have been doing on the recruiting trail show the passion that they have. Here's hoping this carries over into the offseason.

Anonymous said...

"The other day a colleague of mine in another state, which rhymes with Shalabama, e-mailed me to ask, basically, "How is Georgia doing this after a losing season?"

Didn't those losers have a good recruiting year after Saban's first losing year?

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's the fear of God and the fear of being fired after the 2011 season that has energized Richt and caused him to do the recruiting job he currently seems to be doing. Nothing like being fired from a $3 million a year job to get one's A$$ in gear.

Anonymous said...

Why is it My Bradley over at the AJC is trying to use this as some sort of sign of the coming Apcolypse? Really? You want to know why it's so dang impressive? He went 6-7 and a slew of fans want him hung for it! And yet, he has every great player in this state believing in something. He has amassed a great recruiting class, while feeling the noose around his neck. That's why you worthless piece of.....

OldDawg55 said...

Contrary to some of you "fans", I wildly enthusiastic about the Dawgs in the coming year! We've still got one of the best coaches in the nation, a good staff, some great returning players and a fantastic group of recruits. This year will see the Dawgs compete for the SEC and that always leads to the NC if successful there. Go Dawgs, GATA!!!!

Anonymous said...

You can't underestimate the Dream Team concept, whoever came up with that(Garner?Richt?Someone else?) is a genius. The recruits are buying into it, feeling they can accomplish great things if the best from Georgia with a few from border states all go to one place. The word is this is a tight knit group led by Drew that is recruiting the last targets along with the coaches.That said, the coaches had evaluated and targeted these kids, some since their sophomore year, to make this happen.

Anonymous said...

Ever notice UGA recruits a lot of guys with their first names ending in "tavious" Dontavious, Rontavious,Quintavious and so on and so on. How about some Jimmy's and Joe's ? Some good ole Kuntry corn fed boys just might be what the doctor odered for this football program.

Anonymous said...

Ahh yes, there's that hint of racism the blog was missing.