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.