Friday, March 7, 2008

Team Recruiting Countdown: No. 6 Georgia Bulldogs

No. 6 Georgia Bulldogs (SEC No. 2)

2008 Haul: 24 signees, 3 Athlon Consensus 100

Scouting Report:

The stardom of Knowshon Moreno is only beginning to take off in Athens but with senior departures, depth in the backfield is certainly an issue. Dontavius Jackson (Franklin, Ga.) and Carlton Thomas (Frostproof, Fla.) should step in and help spell Moreno. Athlete Richard Samuel (Cartersville, Ga.) is a tremendous talent as a runner but he will probably be needed in other places. Watch out for redshirt frosh Caleb King as well.

The Bulldogs boasted one of the youngest offensive lines in the SEC last season but two key members graduated and depth is needed. Four newcomers, including Cordy Glenn (Riverdale, Ga.) and A.J. Harmon (Louisville, Ga.), head to Athens in 2008. Glenn and Harmon are big, versatile prospects. Look for Glenn to be the tackle and Harmon to be the guard. Ben Jones (Centreville, Ala.) is a needed piece at the center position.

The best area of this class is on the outside of the offense, however. The pass catchers in this class are phenomenal. A.J. Green (Summerville, S.C.) has been a star in the South Carolina prep ranks for years and now takes his game to the next level. He is arguably the top deep threat in the nation and with some added weight will be a super star in the SEC. Tavarres King (Mt. Airy, Ga.) is a wonderful compliment to Green. King is a classic open-field, slot-type receiver. He is impossible to tackle and has great speed and will also be a threat in the return game. Samuel could also end up at wide receiver. The best name in the class, Bacarri Rambo (Donaldsonville, Ga.) could also end up catching passes. He is a classic do-everything-type athlete.
Mark Richt and staff did a nice job of adding depth to all levels of the defense as well. Among the four defensive linemen signed, tackle DeAngelo Tyson (Statesboro, Ga.) and end Toby Jackson (Griffin, Ga.) have a chance to be great. Tyson is one the top tackle prospects in the nation and with some solid coaching Jackson could be a dominant beast off the edge. Cornelius Washington (Waynesboro, Ga.) could also see early time.

Four linebackers head to Athens in this ’08 group led by the tremendously athletic Marcus Dowtin (Fork Union, Va.). He is easily the most talented prospect of the group. Bulldogs fans will also be happy to finally have Akeem Hebron on campus. The talented class of 2006 linebacker comes to Athens from Gaithersburg, Md. by way of junior college in Milledgeville, Ga.

Brandon Boykin (Fayetteville, Ga.) is the most talented defensive back in the class. However, Samuel and sleeper Sanders Commings (Augusta, Ga.) could also play on the defensive side of the ball too.

The state of Georgia is always been a great state for football talent but 2008 was an exceptional year. Behind the big three – Texas, California, Florida – Georgia was likely the No. 4 talent producing state in 2008 and the Bulldogs capitalized, as did others. The usual suspects raided the Peach State (FSU, UF, S. Car, Clemson, Bama) but Georgia was so loaded in 2008 that teams like OU, USC and Notre Dame all landed top-20 prospects from the state of Georgia. The Bulldogs still ended up with 16 of the state’s top targets.

Top Prospect: A.J. Green – WR – Summerville, S.C. (6-4, 185) AC100 No. 6

A.J. Green might be the best deep threat at the wide receiver position in this year’s class. He has fabulous leaping ability and will go up and out fight defensive backs for the football. He has great ball skills, generally catching the ball at its highest point. He is at his best in the vertical passing game, stretching the defense to open up other options for the quarterback if defenses try to double-team him.

Green will need to add some weight to his lanky frame and work on his route running on the shorter and intermediate plays. For his size, he has solid after-the-catch ability but is not the shiftiest in the open field.

Best of the Rest:

Richard Samuel – ATH – Cartersville, Ga. (6-0, 200) AC100 No. 19
DeAngelo Tyson – DT – Statesboro, Ga. (6-2, 275) AC100 No. 24
Toby Jackson – DT – Griffin, Ga. (6-4, 245)
Tavarres King – WR – Mt. Airy, Ga. (6-1, 175)
Cordy Glenn – OL – Riverdale, Ga. (6-6, 310)
A.J. Harmon – OL – Louisville, Ga. (6-4, 308)
Dontavius Jackson – RB – Franklin, Ga. (5-11, 195)
Marcus Dowtin – LB – Fork Union, Va. (6-2, 218)
Brandon Boykin – CB – Fayetteville, Ga. (5-10, 170)
Cornelius Washington – DE – Waynesboro, Ga. (6-4, 220)

Sleeper: Sanders Commings – CB – Augusta, Ga. (6-1, 195)

Commings is a running back/wide receiver hybrid that excels with the ball in his hands. But much like Samuel, team needs – not talents – may decide where he plays. His size, agility and speed likely pushed this talented young athlete into the defensive backfield as a corner or safety. He is a naturally gifted runner/receiver, though, so it will be interesting to see where he ends up. One thing is assured: he will make an impact.

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