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Another article on UGA's Class.. All signed up..


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Tight end Dwayne Allen did an about face on Georgia Wednesday, signing instead with Clemson after saying Monday he would play for the Bulldogs.

Still, Georgia's 2008 signing class appears to be one of the Bulldogs' deepest in a number of years.

"We're extremely excited about this class," recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner said. "We feel like we signed a class which was able to address all the needs that we sat down as a staff and identify certain numbers that we were trying to target."

Case in point:

Of Georgia's 24 signees with Georgia, two wide receiver A.J. Green and running back Richard Samuel are rated 5-star prospects by Rivals.com, with 14 4-star and eight 3-star performers rounding out the talented group.

In other words, the new talent that is being injected into the Georgia football program should help keep the Bulldogs among the SEC's elite for the foreseeable future.

"Really, for the first time, we had more folks wanting to come than we had space for," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "It's a tough situation to have to tell some players no, but we signed a bunch of outstanding players, too and that's the news with how good things have been going at Georgia."

Richt said he does not expect to sign any further players this year.

Green should help the Bulldogs as soon as next season.

The nation's second-ranked receiver according to Rivals.com, Green (6-4, 184) hauled in 72 passes for 1,437 yards and 15 touchdowns for Summerville (S.C.) High after a junior season with 65 grabs for 1,203 yards and 14 scores.

With the losses of Sean Bailey and Mikey Henderson to Georgia's receiving corps, Green, along with Tavarres King will have the opportunity to step right in and compete for playing time.

Samuel (165 carries, 1,429 yards, 24 touchdowns at Cass HS) and Dontavius Jackson (247 carries, 2,462 yards as a junior at Heard County HS) will also get their shots.

The graduation of Thomas Brown and Kregg Lumpkin opens up a couple of spots behind starter Knowshon Moreno and Caleb King. Both Samuel (a 5-star performer from Cartersville) and Jackson, a 4-star performer, will both have the opportunity to make an early impression.

Both players enrolled in school early and will go through spring practice with the rest of their teammates, including fellow early enrollees and signees Akeem Hebron, offensive lineman Ben Jones and Taverras King.

Jones is another player who will have a chance at early playing time.

Georgia needs a starting center following the graduation of Fernando Velasco, and Jones is one of the players who has been mentioned as a possible replacement, along with starting left guard Chris Davis, redshirt freshman Ben Harden, and Kevin Perez.

Despite the loss of Allen, Rivals.com has Georgia's class No. 6 nationally, although Richt said he never gets too caught up in rankings.

"When I look a class, the thing I'm most concerned with is did we fulfill our needs with the right kind of talent, and person," Richt said. "When we look at numbers, we kind of look a couple of years down the road and then we want to make sure we don't get in a position where we're so low, that injuries could have an affect."

He's more concerned with whether or not the players signed can compete for jobs. It certainly appears that they will.

Kicker Blair Walsh will get a chance to win the starting job after the graduation of Brandon Coutu.

Other players to watch include defensive lineman DeAngelo Tyson (Statesboro) defensive lineman A.J. Harmon (Louisville), defensive end Toby Jackson (Griffin), linebacker Marcus Dowtin (Fork Union, Va.), running back Carlton Thomas (Frostproof, Fla.), defensive back Sanders Commings (Augusta) and defensive end Cornelius Washington (Waynesboro) are other players who could compete for early playing time.

Counting Jones and Harmon (who also played offensive line in high school but is expected to get a shot on defense at UGA), Georgia signed four for the offensive line, including Riverdale's Cordy Glenn (6-6, 315) and Jonathan Owens (6-5, 295) from Blountsville, Ala.

The secondary was also a priority, and along with Commings, Georgia signed Brandon Boykin (Fayetteville, Ga.), Makiri Pugh (Charlotte), along with Xavier Avery (Ellenwood) and Bacarri Rambo (Donalsonville).

A highly-touted baseball prospect, Avery is expected to be an early selection in next June's Major League Baseball Draft.

Along with Hebron and Dowtin, the Bulldogs also inked two other linebackers, Christian Robinson and Nick Williams. Williams, incidentally, was told recently by offensive coordinator Mike Bobo that he would get to learn about 20 plays as Georgia's fourth-team quarterback.

Defensive end Jeremy Longo and tight end Bryce Ross round out Georgia's 2008 class.

"I guess you could say this is an A-list, but only time will tell," Garner said. "It's going to take two or three years before we can look back at this class and evaluate them, but we're certainly glad with whom we have."

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