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.