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In-State Success key for Georgia


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In-state success key for Georgia

By Jamie Newberg

ESPN Recruiting

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/recruiting/football/news/story?id=5400716

Who the Bulldogs have

So how has Georgia's recruiting pitch worked so far? It's safe to say it's been a huge hit. The Dawgs currently rank eighth in the ESPN team rankings and have a chance at a top five class when it's all said and done.

Headlining Richt's class to date is nation's No. 4 quarterback prospect, four-star Christian LeMay (Mint Hill, N.C./Butler), an ESPNU 150 member and an Under-Armour All-American who has the physical tools to be an outstanding signal caller in Athens.

LeMay completed 68.5 percent of his passes for 3,296 yards, 44 touchdowns and only two interceptions last season as a junior. But will he end up at UGA?

He will have to serve a 30-day suspension for an unspecified rule infraction that was not alcohol- or drug-related. There's some talk that if he doesn't win his appeal of the suspension, LeMay could transfer to another high school.

The Georgia football staff will still take him, but will the Georgia admissions committee accept him? They didn't accept defensive back Michael Grant a few years ago.

The Bulldogs signed another talented quarterback in three-star Nick Marshall (Rochelle, Ga./Wilcox County), a versatile athlete who will likely end up playing safety initially. Marshall could switch back to the offensive side of the ball and play wide receiver.

Georgia has landed two ESPNU 150 wide receivers in Justin Scott-Wesley (Camilla, Ga./Mitchell-Baker) and Chris Conley (Dallas, Ga./North Paulding). Scott-Wesley is big, fast and quick and still learning how to play the position. He was the state champ in the 200 meters and the runner-up in the 100 meters. Conley has good size (6-foot-3, 191 pounds) and makes plays after the catch in the open field. Last season he caught 81 passes.

The offensive line was a pressing need for Georgia, especially at tackle, and the Dawgs have two monster tackle prospects in Watts Dantzler (Dalton, Ga./Dalton) and Zach DeBell (Tarpon Springs, Fla./Tarpon Springs).

Danztler, a four-star prospect who is 6-7 and 314 pounds, is a mauler who is terrific as a run blocker. Dantzler is a Georgia legacy, as his father played in Athens. Meanwhile, DeBell has been one of the hottest recruits in the Sunshine State this spring and summer. A converted defensive end, he is just beginning to learn the position and to fill out his 6-6, 270-pound frame. He has long arms, great feet and a bright future.

Georgia has also received commitments from two centers and a long snapper. Andrews is a four-star recruit and the nation's No. 6-rated center. He's athletic and can get to the second level quickly. Hunter Long (Memphis, Tenn./Briarcrest Christian) will join his brother, Austin, at UGA. Nathan Theus (Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School) is a long snapper who committed to Georgia last week.

As for the defense, one would think the change in schemes would have the Bulldogs with more commitments on that side of the ball at this point.

Four-star Sterling Bailey (Gainesville, Ga./East Hall) is an elite defensive end prospect and a member of the ESPNU 150. Bailey has great size (6-5, 239) and the frame to add a whole lot more. He is quick, is tough against the run and plays in the opposition's backfield.

One linebacker has committed to the Dawgs. Amarlo Herrera (College Park, Ga./North Clayton) is a physical outside guy and a big hitter who will make his presence felt immediately on the Georgia defense.

Georgia has secondary help on the way with Moore, four-star cornerback Devin Bowman (Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland) and three-star safety Chris Sanders (Tucker, Ga./Tucker).

Bowman can help out the Bulldogs on both sides of the ball as well as on special teams. He has good size, great speed and quickness and the ability to make plays. Moore is a safety who can play in the box or the deep middle, supporting the run or playing the pass. Sanders is likely a free safety who plays with range.

Four-star athlete Zachary Witchett (Washington, Ga./Wilkes) checks in at 6-foot, 182 pounds and will probably first get a shot at receiver. Witchett could play cornerback, but he may be too good with the ball in his hands to not play on offense.

That's 15 commitments for Georgia and it's still July. Richt and his staff hope to close with 24 to 26 recruits on national signing day.

Who the Bulldogs still want

There are some huge names still on Georgia's wish list, such as five-star running backs Isaiah Crowell (Columbus, Ga./Carver) and James Wilder (Tampa, Fla/Plant). Alabama and Georgia are in a heated border war for Crowell, the nation's top running back, and right now it looks like the Dawgs could be the team to beat.

The Dawgs have made a late rally with Wilder and find themselves in the sweepstakes for his services alongside Florida, FSU, Miami, Georgia Tech, Alabama and others.

Georgia would love to claim Jay Rome (Valdosta, Ga./Valdosta), the nation's top rated tight end, but it is in a battle with Alabama and Clemson. The word is that the Dawgs and Tide are co-leaders.

The Bulldogs want to land one more tackle prospect in Brandon Shell (Charleston, S.C./Goose Creek), but they are in a heated battle with neighboring South Carolina and others. At this point, he's the only other tackle they would bring in with this class.

On the other side of the ball, Gabe Wright (Columbus, Ga./Carver), Ray Drew (Thomasville, Ga./Thomas County Central) and Xzavier Dickson (Griffin, Ga./Griffin) are three defensive linemen to keep an eye on. Wright favors Georgia, Alabama and Auburn, and it will be a battle to the bitter end. Dickson wants to go to Georgia, but his father prefers Alabama.

Meanwhile, Drew seems to be playing things close to vest. Georgia, Tennessee, Auburn, FSU and Clemson are five teams to watch with Drew. Don't sleep on Chris Mayes (Griffin, Ga./Spalding), a defensive tackle who could very well end up in Athens.

One of Georgia's most recent scholarship offers was to Ramik Wilson (Tampa, Fla./Jefferson). The Dawgs have done well in Tampa, so why not with Wilson? The Bulldogs are fighting Florida and Alabama for Malcolm Mitchell (Valdosta, Ga./Valdosta) and are the team to beat for athlete Damian Swann (Atlanta/Grady).

The bottom line

There's no question Georgia is off to a big-time start in recruiting. The Bulldogs are working their plan hard and things seem to be falling into place. The staff has made few scholarship offers since early June and seems confident in its ability to close on its current targets.

Things won't come easy, though, when fighting off the likes of Alabama, Tennessee, Auburn, Florida, South Carolina, Clemson, FSU and others. How the Bulldogs play this fall will dictate certain outcomes as well. A good year on the field will go a long way.

Regardless, this recruiting season has proved Richt is open to new ideas. He has successfully implemented those ideas, as simple as they are, into his recruiting pitch.

"I know some players that will commit but are holding out," Moore said. "Georgia's plan is working, and it's going to be a special class and a special time in Athens for the next four or five years."

Jamie Newberg has been covering recruiting in the Southeast and nationally for 19 years. He can be reached at jamienewbergbw@yahoo.com.

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On the other side of the ball, Gabe Wright (Columbus, Ga./Carver), Ray Drew (Thomasville, Ga./Thomas County Central) and Xzavier Dickson (Griffin, Ga./Griffin) are three defensive linemen to keep an eye on. Wright favors Georgia, Alabama and Auburn, and it will be a battle to the bitter end. Dickson wants to go to Georgia, but his father prefers Alabama.

what's this Dickson father-son thing? anyone know anything?

Edited by matt marshall
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Nice article, thanks for posting. As you see we have a lot of competition for a bunch of guys, but we are in great shape for most of them still on our board: Crowell, Rome, Swann, Mitchell, Shell, drew, chris mayes, and ramik wilson. Regarding Dickxon, we haven't lost someone from griffin we have wanted, but with the situation with the dad you never know. I believe we get him in the end. Regarding Gabe, you can't believe his updates because he is playing around so who knows. IMO if the dawgs offer a jarrett or a battle that tells me all i need to know where we stand with Gabe. Regarding justin garrett he is more of a nickel lb so unless we strike out with everyone we won't take him.

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Nice article, thanks for posting. As you see we have a lot of competition for a bunch of guys, but we are in great shape for most of them still on our board: Crowell, Rome, Swann, Mitchell, Shell, drew, chris mayes, and ramik wilson. Regarding Dickxon, we haven't lost someone from griffin we have wanted, but with the situation with the dad you never know. I believe we get him in the end. Regarding Gabe, you can't believe his updates because he is playing around so who knows. IMO if the dawgs offer a jarrett or a battle that tells me all i need to know where we stand with Gabe. Regarding justin garrett he is more of a nickel lb so unless we strike out with everyone we won't take him.

Hey Sac,

I posted this question to Chip from the AJC, I want to see what your take is on this.

It seems that UGA has put all of its chips on the table for TE Rome and TB Crowell. I understand that they're must gets and have unbelievable talent. At the same, it seems UGA has practically put all other TE and TB prospects on the back burner. I get that we are in good shape with those boys but you and I know that this recruiting games changes everyday.

Worst case scenario; Crowell ends up at Bama, Rome ends up at Clemson. Where will UGA turn then? Will UGA be too far behind with other top prospects at those respective positions, I do believe there are quality players out there that UGA is not pursuing strong enough as an insurance policy.

I sure hope UGA lands them or else there will be some scrambling going on in Athens, at least that's what it looks like to me.

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we offered dickson later than his dad wanted and upset him. it was the old defensive staff. we will see how it ends up, but we are in it for him and we do great in griffin.

Dickson needs to ignore his dad and not because it seems to favor us. If he decides to go to Bama, thats fine, but he needs to do what he wants not what his dad wants. His dad needs to realize this is about his son and not his own personal pride.

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Rome won't end up at Clemson, you can take that to the bank. In all honesty, we are solid at the RB and TE positions. Rome and Crowell are elite, blue chip prospects and I do think we get them but we aren't dying for depth at either position. Next year we're in great position for RB prospects like Matt Jones and Kenyan Drake and we are also going after Keith Marshall. But I think we'll add one RB this year (we will take Wilder as well if he wants though..) and one RB next year. Crowell and Rome are the least of my worries.

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Scott-Wesley is big, fast and quick and still learning how to play the position. He was the state champ in the 200 meters and the runner-up in the 100 meters.

Just a clarification here. Scott-Wesley won the 200 and was runner up in the 100 as a sophomore. He won both events this past year as a junior.

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Hey Sac,

I posted this question to Chip from the AJC, I want to see what your take is on this.

It seems that UGA has put all of its chips on the table for TE Rome and TB Crowell. I understand that they're must gets and have unbelievable talent. At the same, it seems UGA has practically put all other TE and TB prospects on the back burner. I get that we are in good shape with those boys but you and I know that this recruiting games changes everyday.

Worst case scenario; Crowell ends up at Bama, Rome ends up at Clemson. Where will UGA turn then? Will UGA be too far behind with other top prospects at those respective positions, I do believe there are quality players out there that UGA is not pursuing strong enough as an insurance policy.

I sure hope UGA lands them or else there will be some scrambling going on in Athens, at least that's what it looks like to me.

There is a big reason why uga isn't targeting other players at their position. The coaches know where they stand. One thing in following recruiting is you take note of what additional offers go out. If you see some plan b type guys offered then you know there may be a question about getting rome or crowell, but until then I like where uga stands with both guys. If some how we miss out on both then we go without til the 2012 class where we lead big for a matt jones. RB and TE are not need positions IMO, but if you can get the top 2 in this year's class you go for it. One thing about shell is we feel confident in him even though it seems like he is going to usce with the last week. Like with cliff matthews things do change.

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i wanted to re-emphasize this comment by moore:

"I know some players that will commit but are holding out," Moore said. "Georgia's plan is working, and it's going to be a special class and a special time in Athens for the next four or five years."

have they been instructed to do so by coaches? Is the reason for doing that for momentum/perception?

any news on montgomery and/or bray?

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have they been instructed to do so by coaches? Is the reason for doing that for momentum/perception?

any news on montgomery and/or bray?

i have no idea who is behind them not going public with commits. it doesn't matter when they do it, but that they finally do.

nothing new on bray or montgomery.. just getting ready to enjoy some practice reports.

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I feel as though some of these "silents" are justing waiting to see what the team looks like...mostly what the new defense will look like.

i don't see it that way.. i know of a few silents that are going to drop no matter what, but they are waiting.. could be trying to set up momentum during the season or do what branden smith did and wait til an all star games.. there is usually a reason behind the setting up of commits. i do agree there may be some guys who haven't committed yet waiting to see how the team does this year, but those guys aren't committed yet and are holding off that commitment due to waiting on our season.. that's why having a 10 win season is impt.

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