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Georgia Bulldogs football gained another recruit days after 2011 National Signing Day, with prized JUCO four-star DT Johnathan Jenkins choosing the Dawgs over the Florida Gators. The Auburn Tigers and Miami Hurricanes were also in the running, but only UGA and Florida hats were seen displayed in front of Jenkins as he announced his decision.
Now we just need to figure out whether he goes by John, Johnathon, Johnathan, Jonathon, or Jonathan.
Jenkins, a six-foot-four, 340-pounder from Gulf Coast Community College, should be an excellent fit in Todd Grantham’s 3-4 system. Nose tackle is the most critical position in any 3-4 setup, and the lack of interior line talent was one of the defense's biggest weaknesses last year. Plugging Jenkins in at the middle would take pressure off of formerly out-of-position defensive ends and increase the chances of linebackers running free.
Jenkins was offered by at least 15 FBS schools. While he may not qualify as a “Dream Teamer,” per se, as he’s from Mississippi, he’s still an outstanding pickup and the most likely of Georgia’s 2011 class to contribute from Boise State onward.
UPDATE: Jenkins picked Georgia over Florida.
As impressive as Mark Richt’s “Dream Team” of recruits is, it has an opportunity to add yet one more blue-chipper this weekend, when Johnathan Jenkins, a nose tackle out of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Perkinston, announces his commitment. That’s scheduled to happen this Saturday at 1 p.m. Eastern.
Jenkins, a native of Meriden, Conn., is rated at four stars by Rivals and Scout and checks in at a massive 6’3", 340 pounds — exactly the kind of dominating presence in the middle that Todd Grantham’s 3-4 defensive scheme needs but so far hasn’t quite been able to lock down. As of now the intel indicates that Jenkins will be picking from Georgia, Florida, Miami and Oklahoma State (the last of which he’d committed to before backing off last month).
Will his opportunities for near-immediate playing time at Georgia, combined with the momentum of the Dream Team’s success, be enough to sway him to the Dawgs? Guess we’ll find out this weekend.
Tre Jackson is a 6-foot-5, 295-pound defensive tackle from Wayne County high school in Georgia. He previously committed to Georgia Tech but had his scholarship pulled after agreeing to take an official visit to Florida State this past weekend. Jackson had been committed to the Yellow Jackets since October. Georgia jumped into the sweepstakes with a late scholarship offer to Jackson.
Jackson has the big body that many teams would love to have in the middle of their defensive line. Rivals ranks him as a three-star prospect but could be an underrated talent. After moving away from Georgia Tech, Jackson has been pursued by Alabama, Florida State, Miami, and N.C. State.
Bulldogs fans aren't going to be too bummed about losing Jackson after landing Isaiah Crowell and Kent Turene on signing day. Jackson is a nice get for a booming FSU class that most have ranked as the best in the country.
Mark Richt has a Dream Team -- Isaiah Crowell, the state of Georgia's No. 3 prospect, announced live on ESPNU from his Columbus high school that he'll play for the Georgia Bulldogs and not the Alabama Crimson Tide. Whether he lives up to the hype or not, Crowell's importance to this class can't be understated. The Dawgs have recruited him literally for years, selling his potential UGA commitment to other Peach State recruits along the way.
That strategy worked, by the way, as the Dawgs have a top-10 class composed largely of in-state talent, a departure from Richt's recent classes that have not only slipped in quality but also looked beyond the state's borders.
Before the announcement a red and black shirt was seen peeking out from under Crowell's jacket, so drama was somewhat muted, but still. This is big.
Crowell took what felt like hours to remove his Under Armour jacket, revealing ... a shirt and tie. He then dug around for a while, eventually pulling out a black and red hat with a Georgia logo peeking through a silhouette of the state, an appropriate symbol for his effect on this class indeed. Topping it all off, he produced a tiny white bulldog in a red sweater, whose name he did not know.
He's a running back, not a public speaker.
Crowell is rated as the No. 4 running back in the nation by Rivals and the No. 23 player overall. He had offers from 12 other schools. Auburn was in the running until late, when Crowell canceled a visit to the Plains. Crowell visited both Alabama and Georgia within the past month, attending a UGA basketball win at Stegeman Coliseum as fans chanted his name.
Tampa linebacker Ramik Wilson is one of Georgia's final signees of the day. Wilson is a four-star prospect according to Rivals and is ranked as the No. 34 prospect in the state. Wilson selected the Bulldogs over a host of schools including Florida and Arkansas.
Georgia expects Wilson to play inside linebacker in Todd Grantham’s 3-4 defensive alignment. While leading Jefferson High School in Florida to a 15-0 record and a Florida 3A championship, Wilson racked up 92 tackles and 18 sacks while also starting at tight end and handling punts and kickoffs.
Georgia is anxiously awaiting the announcement from Carver Columbus running back Isiah Crowell who is expected to announce his decision at 1:30 pm on ESPNU.
Jay Rome and Malcolm Mitchell, two of the bigger names on Georgia's commitment list, have made it official by faxing in their signed letters of intent to Athens. The Valdosta teammates both committed to Georgia on the same day and made it official by faxing their letters within minutes of each other. Both players selected the Bulldogs over Alabama.
Rome is a member of the AJC Super 11 and is rated as the No. 3 player in the state. The 5-star prospect is regarded as one of the best tight ends in the nation. Mitchell was viewed as a lock down corner prospect early in his recruitment but after totaling 77 catches for 1,419 yards and 13 TDs swayed Georgia to give him the option of playing on either side of the ball. He may be relied upon to help fill some of the gap that was created when A.J. Green left early for the NFL.
"Georgia’s a great school, they have great football and it’s known as ‘Tight End U," Rome said. "At the end of the day, I wanted to stay home, stay in-state and get all the in-state love."
Malcolm Mitchell on Alabama and Georgia:
"It was the last-minute official I took [to UGA]," he said. "I really enjoyed myself up there. I enjoyed myself at Alabama as well. They’re both two great programs, but I had to do what I thought was best for me.
The centerpiece of the Georgia Bulldogs 2011 football recruiting class, five-star RB Isaiah Crowell, will announce his school choice and sign his letter of intent live on ESPNU at 1:30 pm ET. His list is reportedly narrowed to just Georgia and the Alabama Crimson Tide, with whom the Dawgs have butted heads many times this recruiting season.
It’s been a good day for the Dawgs, despite missing out on Antonio Richardson and Jeoffrey Pagan. The entire list of commits is just about signed up, with Ramik Wilson’s the only player I see that hasn’t gotten paperwork in yet. The Dawgs also picked up three-star LB Kent Turene over Texas Tech.
Crowell’s addition would provide a definitive signature to Mark Richt’s Dream Team class. A recruiting haul based around signing Peach State talent that misses on the state’s biggest name is going to feel like something of a disappointment for many, even though it’s still a very good class regardless.
UPDATE: If you're looking for Isaiah Crowell news: yes, he signed with the Dawgs, as did his puppy.
Florida ILB Kent Turene, a longtime USC commit who re-opened his recruitment shortly before national signing day, has announced he’ll join the Georgia Bulldogs, not the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Early rumors had him signing with Texas Tech, and he reportedly entered his announcement ceremony wearing a Red Raiders hat, but he pulled out the hurr durr gotcha move by signing with the Dawgs, always a nice stunt to pull on a school that offered a four-year education. /rant
His announcement was supposed to come at 10 am ET, but was significantly delayed. Perhaps he didn’t want to share airtime with Antonio Richardson, who announced Tennessee over Georgia at about 10:15 am.
A three-star with dozens of FBS offers, the six-foot-three, 230-pounder is ranked as the nation’s No. 18 ILB and Florida’s No. 52 player.
That’s one big hit in three swings for Georgia today. Next up for the Dawgs: Isaiah Crowell at 1:30 pm ET on ESPNU. Yes, that means it’s OK to take a lunch break. We’ll find out soon whether the Dream Team is a major success or just a pretty good class, at least in the eyes of the public.
Damian Swann's commitment last month was the start of a strong run of commitments leading up to signing day for the Bulldogs. Swann has made it official by faxing in his letter of intent this morning. Swann, who told the AJC that he kept his decision to goto Georgia secret for a month, is rated as a four-star cornerback out of Grady High School in Atlanta. Rivals ranks him No. 3 at his position and as the No. 5 player in Georgia.
Swann had over 18 offers from schools and selected Georgia over the likes of Alabama, Auburn, and Florida. While listed as a DB, Swann possesses the athletic ability to play on either side of the ball and is dangerous with the ball in his hands. Georgia has been looking for bigger cornerbacks and at 6-foot, Swann possesses that size. Adding upper body strength will be a priority for Swann once he arrives in Athens.
Corey Moore is a 6-foot-1, 195-pound defensive back from Griffin Georgia. Rivals rates him as a four-star prospect. He is the No. 5 safety and the No. 9 player in the state. Moore selected Georgia over Auburn and Clemson. During his recruitment, Moore called Georgia his dream school. After committing last January to the Bulldogs, Moore now gets to realize his dream.
Zach DeBell is a three-star offensive tackle from Tarpon Springs, Florida. DeBell is listed at 6-foot-7, 265-pounds with a frame that offers room to grow. Rivals lists him as a potential red-shirt candidate who needs to add bulk and strength to his long frame. They go on to say that he has the potential to be a three-year starter at his position and maybe even an all-conference player. I think Georgia would be very happy with those results.
Devin Bowman has faxed in his LOI and becomes No. 12 for Georgia. A three-star athlete according to Rivals.com out of Ridgeland High School in Rossville, Georgia. Bowman selected Georgia while also holding offers from Georgia Tech, Clemson, and Notre Dame. Many schools recruited Bowman as a running back but he agreed to play cornerback for the Bulldogs. Bowman is listed at 6-foot, 175-pounds and is ranked as the No. 33 player in the state.
Bowman comes from a famous family of athletes. His brother Adarius Bowman was a wide receiver at Oklahoma State and is currently in the CFL. His brother, Michael Bowman, is currently a wide receiver at Alabama.
Georgia also announced the signings offensive tackle Xzavier Ward out of Coquitt County High School and Quintavious Harrow out of Carver Columbus. Both players are rated as three-star prospects by Rivals.com. Ward selects Georgia over Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, and Florida but held offers from over a dozen schools.
“I feel great about it,” Ward said. “I feel like it’s a great opportunity
Georgia offered Ward early but had to pull the offer back as they waited on roster moves to open up scholarships. They came around and offered again late last week and Ward jumped at the chance to become a Bulldog.
“Well, they called and offered me and I decided to take it this time,” Ward said. “I had an offer from them before but they filled up for a while, like Alabama and Auburn did. When Coach[Mike] Bobo called this time I told him I wanted to be a Dog.”
Quintavious Harrow of Carver Columbus makes it official and he will be a Bulldog next season. Georgia made waves with its scholarship offer due to Harrow being the best friend and teammate of highly recruited running back Isaiah Crowell. Harrow told the AJC that Georgia had been recruiting him for a long time but had held off on offering him until he obtained a qualifying ACT score.
At 6-foot, 185-pounds, Harrow is expected to play defensive back at Georgia. He has been timed with a 4.42 in the 40-yard dash.
“He’s got a lot of upside and potential that can be nourished and developed at Georgia,” McGee said. “Hopefully, he can develop into a great football player on and off the football field. Most importantly, he can get a free college education.”
Antonio Richardson, a four-star offensive tackle from Tennessee, has announced his decision to sign with the Tennessee Volunteers over the Georgia Bulldogs from his high school in Nashville. He’s rated as the top prospect in the state, the nation’s No. 7 offensive tackle, and the No. 74 prospect in the nation.
Richardson also listed Auburn and Miami among his finalists alongside Tennessee and UGA. He visited Auburn and Georgia within the past two weeks, with the visit to the Plains the most recent. Six-foot-six and 310 pounds, he’s added to a very strong day for the Vols that also includes Lamar Dawson, the top player from Kentucky.
That’s two misses for Georgia today, after Jeoffrey Pagan surprisingly picked the Alabama Crimson Tide over the Dawgs. Still up are Isaiah Crowell and Kent Turene. Turene is scheduled to announce any minute now, while Crowell won’t announce until 1:30 pm ET, live on ESPNU.
Amarlo Herrera became the 11th player to fax his letter of intent to Georgia this morning. Herrera is a four-star linebacker out of North Clayton High School in Georgia. Herrera selected Georgia over Auburn, Florida, and Georgia Tech while having offers from at least seven other schools. Herrera committed to the Bulldogs last February and stuck with the commitment all the way through his senior season. Rivals ranks Herrera as the No. 17 player in the state of Georgia.
“He already knew I was going to do it so it wasn’t much of a surprise,” “I had made my decision a while ago because I always wanted to go to Georgia. I said if they offered me I was going to go with them. This just made it official.”
The 6-foot-2 215-pound linebacker said that one of the big reasons he selected Georgia was due to defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and the 3-4 defense that is now employed by the team.
“I like the 3-4,” Herrera said. “We already run it in high school, so it should be an easy transition for me.”
Jeoffrey Pagan became the first recruit to spurn Georgia on signing day announcing that he will play next season at the University of Alabama. While it would have been great to have added Pagan, having Ray Drew and Sterling Bailey already in the fold definitely lessons the sting.
Pagan is ranked as the No. 4 defensive end in the country and the No. 42 player in the nation. According to Rivals, he is a four-star defensive end who most recently was thought to be going to Clemson before declaring that he wasn't committed anywhere last Thursday. Georgia was recruiting Pagan earlier this year before he abruptly committed to Clemson on Jan. 16th while on official visit there. Pagan originally committed to Florida in April but backed off this November. The Gators, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia were the schools that have been mentioned the most in regard to Pagan in the last month.
Pagan is a 6-foot-4, 280 pound defensive end from Asheville North Carolina. Rivals.com describes him as "a skilled athlete with the speed to catch skilled players from behind and destroy immobile quarterbacks". Pagan suffered a season-ending knee injury during his senior season and is still recovering from surgery.
Sanford Seay is a 6-foot-2, 198lbs wide receiver out of Lee County, Georgia. Seay is a top-50 ranked player in the State of Georgia and committed to the Bulldogs back on January 21st . Georgia was by far the biggest program that he received offers from selecting the Dogs over Louisiana Tech, Marshall, and South Alabama. Seay was named Class AAAA all-state this past season at Lee County. He totaled 68 receptions and 1,105 yards with 15 touchdowns this past season.
Sanford Seay had this to say about his commitment to Georgia:
“They said I’m play a position of need for them and they believe I can come in and helped them right away,” “I was really happy about it because it’s the school I always wanted to go to.”
Georgia also received a letter-of-intent from massive 6-foot-7, 315 lb offensive lineman Watts Dantzler out of Dalton High School. Dantzler is a top-40 rated player in the state of Georgia by Rivals.com and ranks No. 44 at his position nationally. Rivals rates him as a three-star prospect. Dantzler is following in his father's footsteps as his dad, Danny Dantzler was a Georgia offensive lineman from 1971-73.
“One thing my dad taught me when I was a little kid was to say, ‘Go Dawgs, sic ‘em, woof, woof, woof!’”
The first batch of Georgia letters of intent have rolled off the fax machines at Butts-Mehre in Athens.
Ray Drew is a five-star 6-foot-5 243lb defensive end out of Thomas County Central. He committed to the Bulldogs on January 28th and has since called out many of his fellow Georgia players to follow suit.Rivals ranks Drew as the No. 1 defensive end in the nation and No. 9 overall.
The sky is the limit for this south Georgia phenomenon. He will most likely see playing time early because of his speed and overall athleticism. He is definitely one of the top players - if not the No. 1 prospect - in Georgia.
Georgia also received a letter of intent from East Hall defensive end Sterling Bailey. Bailey is a four-star rated recruit by Rivals.com. He committed to Georgia in May over teams such as Auburn, Florida, and Tennessee. Rivals rates him as the No. 8 defensive end in the country and the tenth best player in the state of Georgia.
Nick Marshall is a four-star athlete out of Wilcox County Georgia who can play multiple positions. He is expected to play defensive back for the Bulldogs and is also expected to play Basketball. Marshall chose Georgia over Alabama, Florida State, and Georgia Tech among many others.
Nathan Theus is a two-star offensive lineman/long snapper from Jacksonville Florida. Rivals lists him at 6-foot-3, 255lbs. Theus is a potential grayshirt candidate which means he may not join the Bulldogs until January of 2012.
The Georgia Bulldogs are announcing their 2011 national signing day letters of intent en masse, with the second batch including North Carolina QB Christian LeMay, who was at one point the biggest name in the class. Remember this guy, Dawg fans? The nation’s No. 4 pro-style quarterback and the nation’s No. 88 player? They turn out talent outside the Peach State too, you know.
Joining him are DT Chris Mayes, OL David Andrews, and WR Chris Conley. Mayes is rated as a four-star by Rivals, with the other two rated as three-stars. Mayes had nine other offers, including Miami, Michigan State, and Oklahoma State, but chose to stay home.
Conley is the nation’s No. 37 WR, who had offers from Clemson, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, and elsewhere, while Andrews is rated as the nation’s No. 9 center with offers from Michigan, Duke, and Vandy.
Considering all three of these players are from Georgia — and ranked among the state’s top 40 players — their early commits should be remembered as positive “Dream Team” momentum.
Just as the Dawgs are hitting the home stretch of their 2011 recruiting efforts, wide receiver Logan Gray may have given them another scholarship to hand out. Gray announced plans to transfer to a school closer to his Missouri hometown to get his master’s, taking advantage of an NCAA rule permitting early graduates to transfer to another Division I-A school without having to sit out a year if they plan on getting a postgraduate degree.
If Gray opened up another scholly for the Dawgs, though, it’s one they may need to restock a depleted receiver corps — he makes the third upperclassman on the WR corps to depart following Kris Durham’s graduation and A.J. Green’s early departure for the NFL. That represents the departure of more than half the Dawgs’ 3,151 total receiving yards from 2010, meaning now would be a great time for a big step-up from either an existing blue-chipper (looking at you, Marlon Brown and Israel Troupe) or one of UGA’s highly touted ’11 recruits such as Justin Scott-Wesley or Sanford Seay.
While unexpected, Gray’s departure isn’t really a shocker, as his role in the offense had been steadily minimized from QB down to WR and, effectively, fair-catch specialist. Here’s hoping his next school gives him a chance to display some of the skills that earned him four stars as a recruit in 2007.
If the Dawgs' first losing season in 14 years has weakened the program's prestige, someone apparently forgot to tell the nation's blue-chip high-school recruits -- 23 of whom (at last count) will be coming together, Voltron-style, to form perhaps the best recruiting class of Mark Richt's tenure.
The class is significant in that it snatched a couple high-profile players (Ray Drew and Malcolm Mitchell, to name but a couple) away from potential suitors, such as Alabama and Auburn, who had significantly better seasons than Georgia did in 2010. But it also addresses looming needs on the offensive line and in the receiving corps. And there's a whole stable of defensive backs with the speed and size to reverse the slide Georgia's pass defense has experienced over the past few seasons.
There are still several big targets on Mark Richt's list -- Columbus, Ga., running back Isaiah Crowell, rated the top recruit in the state, and man-mountain JUCO defensive tackle John Jenkins -- but both are said to be leaning toward Athens. And the 2011 class might rank among the nation's top 5 even without them. Here's the list of current commitments, in alphabetical order.
David Andrews, OL, Norcross, Ga. (Wesleyan) ★★★
Sterling Bailey, DE, Gainesville, Ga. (East Hall) ★★★★
Devin Bowman, ATH (CB), Rossville, Ga. (Ridgeland) ★★★
Chris Conley, WR, Dallas, Ga. (North Paulding) ★★★
Watts Dantzler, OL, Dalton, Ga. (Dalton) ★★★
Zach DeBell, OL, Tarpon Springs, Fla. (Tarpon Springs) ★★★
Ray Drew, DE/OLB, Thomasville, Ga. (Thomas County Central) ★★★★★
Quintavious Harrow, DB, Columbus, Ga. (Carver) ★★★
Amarlo Herrera, LB, College Park, Ga. (North Clayton) ★★★★
Christian LeMay, QB, Matthews, N.C. (Butler) ★★★★
Hunter Long, OL, Eads, Tenn. (Briarcrest Christian) ★★★
Nick Marshall, ATH (DB), Rochelle, Ga. (Wilcox County) ★★★★
Chris Mayes, DT, Griffin, Ga. (Spalding) ★★★★
Malcolm Mitchell, CB, Valdosta, Ga. (Valdosta) ★★★★
Corey Moore, S, Griffin, Ga. (Griffin) ★★★★
Jay Rome, TE, Valdosta, Ga. (Valdosta) ★★★★
Chris Sanders, ATH (FS), Tucker, Ga. (Tucker) ★★★
Justin Scott-Wesley, WR, Camilla, Ga. (Mitchell County) ★★★★
Sanford Seay, WR, Leesburg, Ga. (Lee County) ★★★
Damian Swann, CB, Atlanta, Ga. (Grady) ★★★★
Nathan Theus, OL/LS, Jacksonville, Fla. (Bolles) ★★
Xzavier Ward, OL, Moultrie, Ga. (Colquitt County) ★★★
Ramik Wilson, LB, Tampa, Fla. (Jefferson) ★★★★
(Note: Conley and LeMay have already signed letters of intent.)
For more on recruiting from the national perspective, including looks at what some of D-IA's other recruiting powerhouses have been up to, head over to SB Nation's National Signing Day stream.
Georgia’s 2011 football recruiting class is drawing raves for being a top-10 assortment composed mostly of in-state talent, but a few big announcements on Wednesday could make it a statement of a class for Mark Richt. Four of the five players listed in Ray Drew’s call to arms will also announce on Wednesday, with DT John Jenkins waiting until Saturday.
Isaiah Crowell, the nation’s top running back, is expected to announce his commitment on national signing day at 1:30 pm ET. Alabama is in the running, but all signs point to him becoming a Dawg.
Four-star Tennessee OT Antonio Richardson lists Georgia along three other SEC schools and Miami among the schools in the running for his services. Of the five, Georgia and Auburn are the only two schools to which he’s taken official visits. He's been saying for months that he expects to choose on signing day. He's expected to announce at 10 am ET on signing day.
Kent Turene, a three-star LB from Florida, recently de-committed from USC and took a Texas Tech visit. Nebraska and Georgia are the only other schools he’s visited. He'll announce at 10 am ET on signing day.
Another recent de-committer, four-star North Carolina DE Jeoffrey Pagan, is a strong Georgia lean after leaving Clemson. He'll announce at 9 am ET on signing day.
The Dawgs are very much in the thick of it for all four players, with Crowell and Pagan appearing to be in the bag. (And hey, remember that moment long, long ago when UGA fans wanted rid of Richt?)
Shortly after Ray Drew announced his commitment to join the Georgia Bulldogs "Dream Team" recruiting class, David Pollack tweeted this picture of the two, with Drew wearing a red Dawgs hat. Pollack also noted Drew as "the new #47" -- the five-star defensive end from Thomas County Central High wore No. 99 in high school, but getting to wear Pollack's number could've been one of the perks offered to the prized player. Or he could just be, you know, David Pollack's spiritual sequel, or something:
Mighty big shoes to fill, if that's how we're pitching this commitment. Pollack, a fellow Peach State defensive end (the state's defensive lineman of the year, in fact), was one of the best players in UGA football history. A three-time All-American, two-time Ted Hendricks Award winner, he became the Cincinnati Bengals' first-round pick in 2005.
Pollack's pro career was cut short by a scary vertebrae injury. These days he co-hosts an Atlanta sports talk show, hangs out with Ray Drew, and so forth.
Top recruit Thomas County Central DE Ray Drew will be a member of the 2011 Georgia Bulldogs class, the five-star reverend announced Friday. In a well-attended ceremony at a meeting room near his high school’s gym, in front of Yellow Jackets (his high school's mascot!) banners bearing his name, the six-foot-five, 243-pounder picked UGA over the LSU Tigers, Auburn Tigers, Clemson Tigers, and sundry other tigers.
Guests in the house included David Pollack and Mike Bobo. Leading up to the announcement, the buzz was all but unanimous that he’d end up in Athens. This is a huge validation for Mark Richt’s “Dream Team” pitch. Next up: Isaiah Crowell.
Drew had made a game for himself of his highly publicized recruitment process, sending “War Damn Eagle” and “How bout them Dawgs!” messages with equal measure. He once posted online, “I just farted and it smells like Bulldogs,” then told an Atlanta radio show he didn’t like Georgia’s 3-4 scheme. This sense of audience and suspense will serve him well in his presumable post-football career as a megachurch pastor.
The Dawgs will just have to hope they don’t have a LeBron James on their hands. At least he didn’t go to South Beach to play for the Miami Hurricanes, who were in the running until late in the process.
Rivals considers Drew the nation’s second-best defensive end, the No. 2 player in the Peach State, and the No. 9 player overall nationwide. He had offers from oh gosh like every school you’ve ever heard of.
UPDATE: Dream Team on -- Ray Drew has committed to UGA.
The story of the morning: prized high school football recruit Ray Drew is set to announce where he’ll commit to play college football. He’ll do the honors at 10 am ET from Thomasville, promising a simpler ceremony than that Malcolm Mitchell production, which would be a welcome treat after Drew’s theatrical performances all season.
Most are writing off the Auburn Tigers chances after Drew cancelled a visit with them. You’d have to also think Miami is out of it as well, as they’ve been losing talent left and right since Al Golden took over for Randy Shannon. A Drew commit could salvage the coach’s year-one class, but it’s a longshot.
Then again, Drew has teased the possibility of signing with a longshot. He’s also teased the possibility of everything else at one point or another.
Drew would be the highest-rated player in Georgia’s 2011 class, for now at least.
National signing day is next week, and the Georgia Bulldogs still have at least two very big fishes to try and reel in, but another one might be jumping out of the fish lake and into Mark Richt’s big floating football boat of metaphors. DE Jeoffrey Pagan, a four-star (according to Rivals) from North Carolina, has de-committed from the Clemson Tigers and says he’s “excited about Georgia.”
While that’s not a commit to the Dawgs, it’s tantalizingly close to it. The only other school thought to be in the running is the — I’ll give you three guesses — Alabama Crimson Tide. Georgia has border-war’d it’s way to a potential top-five class by butting up against Nick Saban at every turn, and it looks like this will be the latest battle. It’s a little too instant to be a battle, so maybe a skirmish.
Pagan is rated as the nation’s No. 4 defensive end and the No. 42 player in the nation, so we’re talking about a very big deal here.
If you've been frustrated by the regression of Georgia's pass defense over the past few years, the Dawgs' 2011 recruiting class brings good news -- no fewer than seven recruits are poised to inject some new blood into the secondary. Actually, the better news might be that all seven are at least six feet tall, bringing an apparent end to the Willie Martinez philosophy of recruiting defensive backs who could barely see over their front seven to get a look at the opposing QB.
The headliner of the class, of course, is Valdosta speed demon Malcolm Mitchell (6'1", 187 pounds), who picked the Dawgs over Alabama in a drama-filled announcement just last week. But there are three other four-star DB prospects in Georgia's 2011 class, one of the biggest gets being Nick Marshall (6'2", 185), a converted quarterback out of Wilcox County High in Rochelle, Ga. Marshall represents a major coup on a couple levels -- for one, he intends to play on both the football and basketball teams at UGA; for another, he switched commitments from a silent verbal to Georgia Tech last June. Yes, Dawg fans, Marshall would rather play DB in Athens than quarterback for the Bugs. (Though, it should be said, he's got plenty of reasons to think he can flourish as a DB, as evidenced by his 99-yard pick-six in the above video.)
The other top commitments include Damian Swann (6'0", 175), who played cornerback for Atlanta's Grady High School. Ranked the No. 5 prospect in the state of Georgia by Rivals, he turned down a laundry list of schools ranging from Alabama and Florida to Oklahoma and Southern Cal to sign with the Dawgs. He'll need to bulk up a bit and fine-tune his tackling a bit upon his arrival in Athens, but his speed and agility are already elite-level. Rounding out the list of four-star DB prospects is Corey Moore (6'1", 195), a safety with blazing speed and an impressive work ethic, according to his coaches. Moore also represents Griffin High School's first-ever selection as an Army All-American.
A couple intriguing prospects show up as "ATH" on Georgia's commitment list, one of them being Georgia's first commitment of the 2011 class: Chris Sanders (6'1", 176), who actually committed to the Dawgs four days before National Signing Day 2010. Sanders, who hails from Tucker, Ga., also entertained offers from Auburn and FSU; he played offense, defense and special teams at Tucker High but will play safety at UGA, where he'll slot into a 3-4 system similar to what his high-school team ran. Rossville's Devin Bowman (6'0", 175), meanwhile, looks like a likely candidate at cornerback for the Dawgs, even though he turned down a number of offers to play running back at other schools. Bowman is one of the fastest players in a very fast stable of DB recruits, as exemplified by his 85-yard run in his high school's regional championship win over Carrollton in 2009.
The wild card of the class, and a player whom Georgia's coaches hope is a potential sleeper, is Quintavious Harrow (6'0", 190) out of Columbus' Carver High School. Harrow wasn't exactly one of the state's more highly publicized recruits, and many observers both within and outside of the Georgia fan base speculated that the Dawgs offered him in the hopes of landing his friend and teammate, Isaiah Crowell, a running back and the state's top-ranked recruit. But Harrow's speed (he was clocked at 4.42 in the 40 at last summer's Scout Showcase in Atlanta) is right up there with the rest of the recruiting class, and he brings versatility to the table after playing as a linebacker/safety hybrid in Carver's 3-5-3 defensive setup. Whether his commitment to the Dawgs has any effect on Crowell, of course, is something we won't know until next Wednesday.
National signing day is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 2 (next week!). The Georgia Bulldogs have already pulled in a good class based around Mark Richt’s return to the homegrown philosophy that helped win the program SEC titles in the early part of the last decade. But it could get a whole lot better, and a little bit more Peach State, by the time those faxes are done rolling in*.
Five-star DE Ray Drew, who’s clearly having fun with this process, will announce Friday at 10 am EST whether he’ll join the Dawgs, Auburn Tigers, LSU Tigers, Clemson Tigers, some other Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, or his secret mystery “shock the world” school. You can’t type about Drew without mentioning something about him being an ordained minister, which certainly makes clear his excellent sense of the dramatic.
Woe unto anyone who dares to make a
prediction prophecy about Drew.
Five-star RB Isaiah Crowell will wait until signing day to commit, but he’s at least a little bit easier to read. Just like Jay Rome and Malcolm Mitchell, it’ll come down to Georgia vs. the Alabama Crimson Tide. Crowell canceled a late visit to Auburn after attending a UGA basketball game.
If I had to bet, I’d expect Crowell to become a Dawg.
Georgia's 2011 recruiting class includes just one addition to the Dawgs' offensive backfield, but he's kind of a big deal.
Christian LeMay, a 6'2", 200-pound QB prospect from Matthews, N.C., in the Charlotte suburbs. He committed to Georgia at the end of April after considering offers from a wide range of schools including Florida, Alabama, Auburn, Clemson and Notre Dame. LeMay's summer was not without some controversy, as he elected to complete his graduation requirements "in a private setting" rather than attend his senior year at Butler High School. According to his father, Stacy, the reason is because of a 30-day suspension for a violation of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System code of conduct; the senior LeMay contended that the suspension would've delayed his son's graduation and caused him to mass all but the final month of football season. The exact nature of the suspension is still unknown, but the LeMay camp insists that it doesn't involve drugs or violence.
Assuming that LeMay's lengthy layoff (his senior football season has basically been replaced by preparation with private trainers) doesn't hinder his natural talent, he presents the Dawgs with an intriguing option behind starting QB Aaron Murray. In his junior season, LeMay threw for 3,296 yards and an unreal 44/2 TD/INT ratio; he sizes up as a pocket passer who's all but perfect for Georgia's pro-style offensive scheme. His throwing motion is described as lightning-quick yet also smooth and compact, and other than an occasional tendency to throw off the back of his foot, he's also a dangerous passer on the run. The only major thing he needs to do before becoming a factor at the college level is add some muscle bulk, but with Georgia in pretty good shape at QB with Murray and backup Hutson Mason, the Dawgs can probably afford to redshirt LeMay in 2011 and let him gain some weight and learn the offense. After that, watch out.
Rivals five-star Thomas County DE Ray Drew, one of the top 10 players in the nation, has backed away from the Georgia Bulldogs in part due to the team’s defensive scheme. This would seem to put the Auburn Tigers or LSU Tigers in the drivers’ seat for Drew’s services, especially since he’s been using “War Damn Eagle” as a text message sign-off.
But we can’t be too sure of that at this point. With a little bit of LeBron James showmanship, Drew has also claimed he won’t be going to either Georgia, Auburn, or LSU, but that his Friday decision will “shock the world.”
He’s been offered by virtually every school in the Southeast and then some, but the most shocking schools he could possibly attend would be, like, Duke or Purdue. There’s also a New Mexico State offer in there. That would be pretty shocking, right?
And what would be more shocking than saying no to Georgia before saying yes to Georgia? Think big!
Like Malcolm Mitchell, Drew is loving all the attention he’s getting as the recruiting process wraps up. The difference is Drew is doing it with the flair of a seasoned troll, making his performance that much more enjoyable for the neutral fan.
Georgia head coach Mark Richt has put together a "dream team" of recruits that he thinks will help get Georgia back to their winning ways. They have done a good job so far by grabbing star prospects from Valdosta High School, Jay Rome and Malcolm Mitchell. But the Bulldogs got a hit to the gut, as super star prospect Ray Drew is possibly ruling out Georgia as his college of choice.
Drew broke the news last night on Score Atlanta's The Official Visit, a recruiting radio show on 790 the Zone. One of the things he mentioned about Georgia is he is not sure how he will fit into the 3-4 defensive scheme. He also said that Georgia is looking to put him as a outside linebacker rather than his natural position, defensive end.
Then again, Drew has been toying with the media throughout the process, so who knows?
Many have said Drew is the best prospect in the state, and some have gone further and said he is one of the 10 best prospects in the country. He is set to make his decision on Friday. Some of the finalists could be Auburn, LSU and Clemson.
For more on this, you can go to the Sports by Fletch blog, which is ran by Fletcher Proctor, the co-host of the Official Visit. He has quotes from the interview with Drew.
After receiver A.J. Green, linebacker Justin Houston was probably the early draft entrant who left the biggest void to fill on the Dawgs' roster. As of now, Georgia has only two LB commitments for 2011, but both are poised to make an early impact.
Amarlo Herrera, a 6'1", 224-pound ILB from North Clayton High School in College Park, has impressed numerous coaches with his strength and size, enough to get offers from Florida, Auburn and Ohio State. He's had some trouble reading play-action looks, but he hits hard and relishes the opportunity to wreak havoc in opposing backfields. If he can pick up Todd Grantham's defensive scheme, he could be a very early contributor to Georgia's efforts to replace Houston's sack production, and he has the quickness to play a valuable role on special teams as well.
Beneath the Busta Rhymes dreadlocks, Tampa's Ramik Wilson combines size with remarkable athleticism -- the 6'3", 218-pound ILB flies to the ball yet still has room to add the kind of strength and bulk that would make him dangerous on both the inside and the outside. Like Herrera, he has the speed to get to opposing quarterbacks in a hurry, but he's also seen some playing time at tight end (he caught 20 passes for 310 yards his junior year), so with hands like those he could also present a threat when dropping back into coverage. He, too, attracted interest from a wide range of top-tier programs, including Florida, Arkansas and Southern California.
Xzavier Ward, a three-star Rivals OT from Colquitt County, has committed to joining the Georgia Bulldogs according to Chip Towers. Ward was reportedly offered a grayshirt deal at Georgia, which means he wouldn’t join the team until 2012. As a six-foot-seven, 255-pounder, Ward wasn’t exactly going to be seeing the field anytime soon anyway.
Rated as the state’s No. 31 player and the nation’s No. 42 offensive tackle, Ward also had offers from at least 14 other schools, including six SEC programs and Georgia Tech. He visited with Mississippi State last week and had a visit scheduled for this weekend with Auburn. Other schools reportedly in the running have included Louisville and Clemson.
Mark Richt may have his vision of what a Georgia dream team recruiting class would look like, but if it does not involve two players named Xzavier, how much of a dream is it really?
Ward wasn’t expected to commit this early, and especially not with a visit to Auburn still on the calendar.
You've already read about the decisions of blue-chippers Jay Rome and Malcolm Mitchell to try their hands at catching Aaron Murray's passes for the next few years; here's the rest of Georgia's substantial incoming class of receivers. The Dawgs may or may not be able to fill A.J. Green's shoes, but they won't lack for people who are willing to try.
The headliner of the class: Justin Scott-Wesley (6'1", 210 pounds), a four-star prospect from Mitchell County High School in Camilla, Georgia. Scott-Wesley's blazing speed (he runs a 4.4-second 40 and is a candidate for Georgia's track team) could make him the kind of field-stretching deep threat the Dawgs are bound to miss once A.J. Green leaves campus for good, but don't be surprised to see him getting some early looks as a kick returner, too. The one area he could stand to improve: precision in his route-running.
The Dawgs may have another deep threat in North Paulding High School's Chris Conley (6'3", 180). He needs to add some bulk to improve his tackle-breaking ability, but there are no concerns about his hands; he has the skills to provide a potent weapon either at the corners or over the middle. The potential sleeper of the class: Sanford Seay (6'2", 198), who hails from Leesburg, Georgia. Seay has the speed to match Scott-Wesley and Conley -- a reported 4.4-second time in the 40, and a 10.78 in the 100-meter dash -- and initial concerns about his ability to qualify academically seem to have died down in recent weeks.
Georgia has commitments from a number of players with high school experience on both sides of the ball; two of them look like locks to play in the defensive backfield at Georgia, but Rossville athlete Devin Bowman (6'0", 175) doesn't have a designated position just yet. Bowman played everything from running back to wide receiver to cornerback at Ridgeland High School; most of his time was spent on defense, but he's still earned raves for his hands, as well as for strength that belies his wiry frame. Wherever Mark Richt decides to put him, he could turn out to be the most versatile player on the Dawgs' 2011 commit list.
Valdosta WR/CB Malcolm Mitchell, a Rivals four-star, verbally committed to the Georgia Bulldogs over the Alabama Crimson Tide at a crowded hibachi restaurant in his hometown Thursday night as his mother looked on in a Florida Gators hat (?). Mitchell eventually placed the hat on the table next to Georgia and Alabama hats, delaying the announcement for over 40 minutes and actually personally calling for a commercial break at one point. Congrats, Dawgs, you’re getting a drama queen.
Jay Rome was also in attendance — both he and Mitchell were decked out in red and black.
The announcement was also supposed to broadcast live on talk921.com, but seriously, you guys just invited every Bama fan at once onto your website and you’re surprised it crashed? ROLE TAAAAHD.
Mitchell, like Rome before him, narrowed his list down to the Dawgs and Tide, but this one was actually a battle. While Rome had been thought of as in the bag for Georgia for weeks, the race for Mitchell came down to the wire, with coaches from both teams paying him visits up until today.
The six-foot-one, 187-pound speedster also received offers from four other SEC schools plus the Clemson Tigers. He’s ranked by Rivals as the nation’s top cornerback and the No. 15 player from the state of Georgia. Quick and lengthy with 4.4 speed, he’s been talked about as a potential return man.
Valdosta TE Jay Rome, a four-star Rivals prospect, selected the Georgia Bulldogs over the Alabama Crimson Tide during a Thursday evening broadcast of ESPNU’s Recruiting Insider. The No. 4 tight end and No. 4 player in Georgia, he’s the first tight end to join Georgia’s 2011 class, and will join an offense that has led Dawgs fans to lobby for more tight end involvement.
Rome said he made up his mind about a week ago, claiming his mother didn’t know his choice until he put a Dawgs hat on and said he wanted to stay in state.
Georgia has held the No. 1 spot on Rome’s list for some time now, according to Rome himself, though he visited Bama within the past week. He’s been thought of as one of the most critical pieces of Georgia’s 2011 recruiting class. As Dawg Sports put it earlier today:
Other prospects have pointed to him as the “ringleader” of Mark Richt’s Dream Team and he’s being recruited primarily by one of the southeast’s best recruiters (John Lilly) to play a position which Georgia has always recruited and utilized well under Mark Richt.
Fifteen schools offered Rome, but it came down to Bama and the Dawgs, followed by Tennessee. Among his most entertaining offers: Duke and FIU. The six-foot-five, 255-pound pass-catcher has a 3.8 GPA to boot.
By the time National Signing Day rolls around, Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham will have finally put a full recruiting season under his belt. Job one for Grantham as he heads into his second year in Athens: Find the right mix of players for his 3-4 formation. As of this writing, the Dawgs had only two defensive linemen on their commitment list, but both could prove critical to the Dawg defense as it tries to move forward with the new scheme.
The first commit was Sterling Bailey, who hails from East Hall High School in Gainesville, Ga.; Bailey earned four stars from Rivals, who lists him as the No. 8 player in the nation at his position. What the 6'5", 260-pound Bailey lacks in size, at least for a DE, he makes up in speed -- he's been clocked at a 4.7-second 40 and will likely play a major role in Georgia's effort to reload its pass rush after the early departure of linebacker Justin Houston for the NFL. And there's still plenty of time for him to add more upper-body bulk.
Perhaps the most pressing need for Grantham and the Georgia defense is a dominant presence at nose tackle. That need might be filled by Griffin, Georgia, product Chris Mayes, a four-star prospect who checks in at 6'5", 295. Georgia's recruiters were no doubt attracted by Mayes' versatility, as he's capable of playing either tackle or end. But his frame is capable of adding some more bulk, and if he does that, he could become the center-clogging NT that would allow Grantham's system to finally click into place.
Columbus safety Quintavious Harrow has committed to play for the Georgia Bulldogs, according to a tweet by the Athens Banner-Herald’s Marc Weiszer. Harrow is a friend and teammate of Carver-Columbus’ Isaiah Crowell, the state’s No. 3 prospect according to Rivals and a very high target of Georgia, the Auburn Tigers, and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Harrow is unrated and had no other offers, according to Rivals. The buddy scholly may have worked earlier this week for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, who snagged Stephon Tuitt from Notre Dame after offering Tuitt’s friend Demon Smith. Could Mark Richt pull off the same maneuver?
Harris, a six-foot tall 190-pounder, is the second likely defensive back to commit to Georgia for the 2011 class, though he played a hybrid safety/linebacker position (though it's hard to tell where the "safety" component comes in) in high school. Based on videos it’s hard to tell how well he’ll do in pass coverage, but he’s certainly experienced at blitzing:
If you like your safeties unafraid of contact, Harrow’s your guy. Now let’s see if he can get Crowell to come along too.
A major factor in Georgia's underwhelming 6-7 finish last season was the offensive line, which was supposed to be one of the best in the nation but was plagued by minor injuries and just plain subpar conditioning all year long. If Georgia is to reclaim its strong tradition in the trenches, it will start with the 2011 recruiting class, which could bring in as many as five linemen on signing day.
The headliner is Zach DeBell, a four-star tackle out of Tarpon Springs, Florida, who committed in December. He checks in at a rangy 6'7", 265 pounds, with a frame that could hold 25 or 30 more. DeBell has been pegged as a prospect for redshirting while he builds up that additional weight; this is good in that Georgia returns a fair bit of line experience next season that he'll get to learn behind, bad in that it will likely deprive us (for the time being) of any soundbites in which DeBell expounds on his zombie-apocalypse survival strategy.
Not far behind him on the list of hot prospects is Watts Dantzler, a fellow offensive tackle from Dalton, Georgia. If the name sounds familiar, it's because he's the son of Danny Dantzler, who lettered for three years under Vince Dooley in the early 1970s; fittingly, Watts announced his choice of Georgia over Auburn this past Father's Day, a year after Danny lost a lengthy battle with Lou Gehrig's disease. At 6'7", 315, Watts carries no caveats about size or muscle, but he's also reported to be impressively quick on his feet; he's been ranked as the nation's 12th-best OL prospect by ESPN.
The OL class rounds out with three centers, headlined by David Andrews (6'2", 276) from Norcross, Georgia. Andrews is yet another product of Mark Richt's "snap 'em up early" strategy, having selected the Bulldogs last February shortly after a standout performance in the Army All-American Bowl combine in Texas. His competition, at least in the early going, will be Hunter Long, a 6'3", 293-pound prospect from western Tennessee who joins his older brother Austin on the Bulldogs' squad. The younger Long apparently impressed Georgia's coaches with his versatility; he'll be a candidate at both center and guard when he arrives in Athens.
The final OL recruit is 6'3", 255-pound Nathan Theus, a long-snap specialist from Jacksonville, Florida, and by all accounts (including Mark Richt's) the first long-snapper Richt has ever offered directly out of high school. Georgia's coaches have made no secret of their intention to play the long game with the Theus family, as Nathan's little brother John is considered the Sunshine State's top offensive line prospect for 2012. Nathan will grayshirt in 2011, which means he and his brother would begin their eligibility at the same time if John selects the Dawgs a year from now.
After a long dry spell, 2011 Georgia Bulldogs recruiting is suddenly on a roll. Jefferson, Florida linebacker Ramik Wilson becomes Mark Richt’s third commit in four days after nary a nibble since summer. Damian Swann committed at the US Army All-American Game, and Sanford Seay committed late last week.
Six-foot-three, 220-pound Wilson is rated three stars by Rivals, the No. 16 linebacker and No. 58 player from Florida. He also visited the Purdue Boilermakers, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, and Texas Tech Red Raiders and was recruited by over a dozen other schools.
He can play tight end too, having started there this season. Bulldogs fans who lamented UGA’s tight end use this season, this is probably not the solution to that problem.
The 6’0, 175lbs Cornerback out of Grady High School made it official today at the US All-American Game in San Antonio.
With a proclamation of “Go Dawgs!” Swann grabbed the University of Georgia cap. He choose the Bulldogs over Alabama and Southern Cal.
“My heart is at Georgia. I’m ready to help bring the program back,” Swann told the NBC national television audience.
This is huge get for Mark Richt and 2nd year DC Todd Grantham. Swann is a tremendous cover corner with very good top end speed and long arms. Swann will need to hit the weight room hard upon arrival in Athens but has the frame to do it.
Damian is the 9th 4 star recruit to commit to the Bulldogs and the second Bulldog to pledge in 2011 along with Lee County WR Sanford Seay. Swann is also the first Metro Atlanta verbal in nearly 5 months.
Lee County High School WR Sanford Seay has committed to joining the Georgia Bulldogs, according to Marc Weiszer. Though he’s not rated by Rivals and his only other offers were from Marshall, Louisiana Tech, South Alabama, and Western Kentucky, Mark Richt has apparently been waiting a while to make sure Seay would be academically eligible.
Seay isn’t the biggest get, but he breaks Georgia’s long recruiting dry spell. The Dawgs haven’t landed a commit since August and missed out on two top targets in Wednesday night’s Under Armour game. Though they still have several game-changers up for grabs, any commit has to feel like a good commit for right now.
Six-foot-two, with 68 catches and a 10.78-second 100-meter dash time, Seay’s academics are still going to be a concern, but according to Weiszer’s report he’s on track. He’ll shore up the wide receiver class that took a hit Thursday with the revocation of Zack Witchett’s scholarship.
Booker T. Washington WR/DB Zack Witchett’s scholarship has been revoked by the Georgia Bulldogs, Michael Carvell reports. Witchett was recently suspended for three games by high school coach Stanley Pritchett for violating team rules, which appears to have contributed to the revocation.
The Atlanta athlete has been a Georgia commit since June. He’s rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals, the No. 40 player in the state and No. 58 overall wide receiver.
Witchett had actually been dismissed from his high school team earlier this season before rejoining them later, though it’s not clear whether that was a separate issue. Anybody know?
In light of his recent Fulmer Cup win, Mark Richt really can’t take any more chances on potential troublemakers, both for practical and PR reasons. No word on where Witchett might land, though he was also offered by the Minnesota Golden Gophers, West Virginia Mountaineers, and Toledo Rockets. The loss leaves the Dawgs with two likely wide receivers in their 2011 class.
Lagrange, Georgia athlete Quan Bray verbally committed to play for the Auburn Tigers during the second half of the 2011 Under Armour All-America Game. Both of the potential Georgia Bulldogs in tonight’s game are headed west to the state of Alabama, with Xzavier Dickson picking Alabama in a two-team race.
Both players have looked pretty good, too. Dickson has at least two sacks and forced another, while Bray has returned kickoffs competently.
Bray is the Peach State’s No. 8 player according to Rivals, so it’s hardly a surprise to see him leaving the state. That’s what top-10 Georgia players do, after all. He was offered by 15 schools, most of them in the Southeast, including Georgia Tech. Georgia and Auburn were the only schools he visited, both of them in the past few weeks.
Auburn’s decent class is getting quite a boost tonight, with two four-star recruits picking the Tigers. Robenon Therezie was the other.
For more Auburn, join Track Em Tigers.
Though he didn’t break out the Two Face coin as promised, four-star Griffin DE Xzavier Dickson picked the Alabama Crimson Tide over the Georgia Bulldogs during the first quarter of the 2011 Under Armour High School All-America Game. Dickson said a few words about the quality of Bama’s program after sliding a crimson hat on his head, a crimson hat with a Braves logo that somebody scribbled on the top of.
Troup RB Quan Bray could still select Georgia tonight. The list of competing schools is much longer there, and he’ll likely need to use an eight-sided die instead of a coin. Bray returned a punt earlier, sort of breaking one tackle, and his team tried to get the ball to him once so far.
Dickson boosts Alabama’s second-ranked class, becoming their 17th player rated four stars or more by Rivals.com. Just for some perspective, the fourth-ranked class, Oklahoma’s, only features 17 total players.
According to Chip Towers, tonight’s the night to find out whether a pair of four-star recruits will be joining the Georgia Bulldogs. Both Griffin DE Xzavier Dickson and Troup RB Quan Bray are planning to announce their commitment at tonight’s Under Armour High School All-America Game.
Dickson is adamant he’s breaking a tie between Georgia and the Alabama Crimson Tide by coin flip, and has kept that same story going to multiple teammates. We can respond with incredulity, or we can remember BCS standings decide which teams get to go to eight-figure bowl games and just shrug.
Dickson has been offered scholarships by nine SEC and ACC schools, plus Middle Tennessee and Purdue, bless their hearts. Bray’s list of offers looks much the same, but with Oklahoma State and Stanford among the non-Southeastern schools. Both are among the top ten players in the state according to Rivals and would instantly be among the best player’s in Georgia’s 2011 class.
The Georgia Bulldogs 2011 recruiting class includes a few studs, but a string of near-misses on a number of five-star prospects has put the Dawgs in line for their second-straight finish in the teens among the nation's recruiting hauls. Most programs would be happy to finish anywhere near the top ten, but UGA's standard during Mark Richt's career as head coach has been top-ten classes -- eight in a row from 2002 to 2009 according to Rivals, in fact.
The prize of Georgia's class so far is North Carolina quarterback Christian LeMay, a top-100, six-foot-two dropback passer who also had offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, and ten other major schools. He committed to the Dawgs early, back in April. Some have expressed concerns about him taking his game elsewhere after Aaron Murray's lights-out first year as a starter, especially since he'd said back in May that he wouldn't want to sit for three years as a backup a la D.J. Shockley. But all is apparently well on that front, as LeMay is still scheduled to enroll in January.
Florida just changed head coaches, prompting several commits to consider a change of plans -- though Will Muschamp is an energetic and devoted recruiter, Florida could still lose some talent. And Ole Miss is hauling in their usual swelling congregation of players, with more commits rated three stars or less than Georgia has commits.
If you go by quality, not quantity, Georgia's class is just a hair behind Florida's, with UGA commits averaging a Rivals rating of 3.44 stars each to Florida's 3.47, and would move ahead if the Gators were to lose a highly ranked player.
Here's a very brief glance at each 2011 commit, with much more to come on each soon. Ratings, as always, via Rivals.com.
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