UGA’s impact freshman of 2010? Best bet is an Ogletree

Alec Ogletree walks by a poster of himself and his twin brother. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Alec Ogletree passes a poster of himself and his twin brother. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

AthensI tried this last February and was — stop if you’ve heard this before — wrong as all get-out. I thought Georgia’s biggest impact freshman of 2009 would be Branden Smith, who made a couple of plays but wasn’t half as significant as Washaun Ealey or Orson Charles. I thought Marlon Brown would be starting by the end of September; he didn’t start at all. I thought Aaron Murray wouldn’t be redshirted;  he was.

In sum, I guessed wrong on pretty much everything involving a true freshman last season. (Though I was correct in suggesting Abry Jones and Montez Robinson wouldn’t be redshirted.) This year I tried to cheat: I solicited Mark Richt’s help. And he, being smart, wouldn’t bite.

“If you say this guy’s going to make an impact,” he said Wednesday, “the other guys read it and say, ‘What about me?’ ”

And then Richt went into those cautionary tales that make recruiting so much fun. “Tra Battle was a walk-on, and he starts in our nickel package as a freshman. We offered Tim Jennings a scholarship the night before Signing Day — he was going to South Carolina State — because we’d seen him in an all-star game and he was the best player on the field.”

Postscript: Jennings will play in the Super Bowl on Sunday. He’s a cornerback for Indianapolis. He was a 2-star recruit exiting high school, according to Rivals.com, and he’s in his fourth season as a professional now.

Georgia's biggest freshman contributor in 2010 will be:

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In sum, you never know. But we, being all too human, love to guess. And the guess here is that no 2010 offensive signee will leave much of a mark this fall. Why? Because Georgia returns starters at every offensive position save quarterback.

Defense, however, is another matter. The Bulldogs have lost six starters and are thinnest up front. That could pave the way for Mike Thornton, the tackle from Stephenson. Todd Grantham, the new defensive coordinator, sees Thornton fitting into his 3-4 as the 1-gap tackle, and that’s a big thing. Because Georgia hasn’t been recruiting 1-gap tackles in previous years. Garrison Smith, the tackle from Douglass, would be another possibility.

T.J. Stripling, the defensive end from Southwest DeKalb, figures to see time at that position or, since Georgia will now field one extra linebacker, at that position. But Alec Ogletree, the safety from Newnan and the highest-rated Bulldog signee, stands to have the best combination of ability and opportunity. (There’s a chance Ogletree will become a linebacker before he’s done, but Georgia is listing him as a DB.)

Were I guessing today — and I guess I am — I’d go with Alec Ogletree as Impact Freshman of 2010. (Not to be confused with Alexander “Zander” Ogletree, his twin brother who’s likewise a Georgia signee and who UGA lists as a linebacker.) But I invite your input and, in the poll above, your vote.

166 comments Add your comment

Go Dawgs!

February 4th, 2010
8:47 am

[...] arrived at Georgia a 2-star recruit, and he’ll be playing in the Super Bowl come Sunday. More about Jennings and signees and impact freshmen is available in this post. So y’all come back, ya [...]

RMAC

February 4th, 2010
8:49 am

RMAC

February 4th, 2010
8:49 am

well ok, 2nd…dang

Tater

February 4th, 2010
8:50 am

First? Well woop-tee freakin doo!!!!

Tater

February 4th, 2010
8:52 am

OK, third….still woop-tee freakin doo

Bow Wow

February 4th, 2010
8:52 am

Seemingly, when UGA has a top recruiting class things are great. When they have a bad year, the missed recruits are bums, and quality doesn’t matter.

NC Dawg

February 4th, 2010
8:52 am

Hunker Down

February 4th, 2010
8:53 am

With the departure of Rashad Jone I feel Jakar Hamilton will be a starter on defense. Although he is a juco player he is of the 2010 class so not sure if he counts or not since he is not a freshman. Javomg played already 2 years he should be able to step in right away.

Mark Bradley

February 4th, 2010
8:54 am

First to Go Dawgs! Kudos.

Kenny "Bulletproof Tiger" Powers

February 4th, 2010
8:58 am

Can we use Zander Ogeltree as a undersized LB in the 3-4 with his brother, Richard Samuel, and Stripling? That would be a nice lineup.

newnandawg

February 4th, 2010
8:58 am

Mark, it is very likely that Zander will become a fullback. He is faster than the current fullbacks at UGA already. He will likely gain weight and could fit the mold already established up there. He played recievier and running back for Newnan this year, having never gone both ways before. He has great hands and runs very good routes. Also, he is a strong blocker and loves to hit. He could be a real strong point on offense in a year or so. He only played on offense his senior year and did a great job. He, like his brother Alec, is a very good athlete– he is point guard on the basketball team.

hammerhead

February 4th, 2010
8:58 am

Small class in terms of sheer numbers – quality players overall – several kids that, I think, will prove the “experts” wrong and be better than their assigned “stars”. Overall, however, a disappointing finish with some big names defecting or ultimately deciding on another school. We’ll be fine. Oh, and I agree, Ogletree is the most likely candidate to make an immediate impact. Thrilled with the addition of Mike Thornton to this class!

G8R H8R

February 4th, 2010
9:00 am

Mark, Zander is going to play fullback and special teams, not DB…with Chapas & Munzenmeier leaving in the next year or so, Zander will be a big contributor for the Dawgs in years to come as well. Congrats to ‘Tree & Zander!!

Herschel Talker

February 4th, 2010
9:01 am

MB:

I’d say Jakar, unless you’re excluding him because you said “freshman,” in which case I don’t think there’s really any other good candidates besides Alec

HT

JRM

February 4th, 2010
9:01 am

does anyone know where you can see a depth chart updated with the new guys?

Toe Meets Leather

February 4th, 2010
9:01 am

Sure am disappointed we missed out on Da’Rick Rogers. Dang, he had Bulldog written all over him. Lack of integrity in keeping his commitment, super ego, thug demeanor, etc. He would have been in an Athens jail before November rolled around.

Oh, well. You can’t win them all.

F-105 Thunderchief

February 4th, 2010
9:01 am

I like being surprised, so I don’t follow recruiting that closely. I’d heard of Herschel Walker before and was glad to see he signed. Ditto Stafford, because a long snapper was due to be the starter at QB. Other than that, recruiting ignorance is mostly bliss.

Jax Dawg

February 4th, 2010
9:05 am

Mark, will you write an article praising this class if it pans out? You’ve written several articles saying Georgia takes a highly touted class and underachieves with. Just asking?

lagadawg

February 4th, 2010
9:09 am

The elite teams sign 25 to whatever and turn kids away,Ga. wants to sign 25 and can’t,somethings wrong.If Ga. don’t sign at least 28 players next year I think CMR should be showed the door.

KJ

February 4th, 2010
9:13 am

Toe Meets Leather, you forgot to add your spam for your retarded tshirts nobody wants to buy, you’re slipping.

FalconUGAFan

February 4th, 2010
9:16 am

F-105 I’m with you. I seldom know names until game time.

4tix4dogs4cokes

February 4th, 2010
9:17 am

lagadawg — You are complete moron if you think GA did not sign 25+ players because they couldn’t get kids to accept a scholarship. The number of signees is dependent upon total number of kids currently on scholarship + new signees not exceeding 85 total. If you don’t understand that basic fundamental of CFB, then you are an idiot.

Tom Dawg

February 4th, 2010
9:20 am

Im not worried about our recruits, however, Im worried what our coaches are going to do to get these guys to compete on a level that UGA should be competing in order to win championships. Im ready to see discipline and focus restored on this team. I dont want to see guys dancing on sidelines when the game is still in doubt. I want to see their heads in the game. We have the tools and we have the resources. Im rooting for CMR to get the dawgs back so we can play with Florida and Tennessee and not getting blown out. Come on Dawgs and come on Dawg nation lets G A T A !!!!

[...] Mark Bradley of the AJC predicts who will be Georgia’s biggest impact freshman. [...]

SimpleDawg

February 4th, 2010
9:21 am

“Missing out” on The’Rick will probably be a good thing……he seems to be a follower and easily swayed by double-talk. He’ll be a candidate to wear the Knox County orange…..just like some of Tenneysee’s other recent prized stars.

The Dawgs class looks pretty strong on paper. Now let’s see if what’s inside these young men matches the exterior.

Tom Dawg

February 4th, 2010
9:26 am

One other thing … I want our guys to have fun on the football field and I think everyone should raise hell about Dooley’s celebration rule. Taunting is something different and I think fans should let Michael Adams, Damon Evans and the SEC commish know how we all feel about this stupid rule in CFB.

Bennett, WR, #1 Immediate Impact Player

February 4th, 2010
9:27 am

It’s usually not the guy we think, so it won’t be Alex. “Automatics” usually underachieve because they feel their success is “automatic”.

Probably gonna be Bennett, at WR. We have no depth there, so he’ll get playing time, if he produces, he’ll get lots of touches. He’ll have a chip on his shoulder, like most Non 5 stars, won’t be hard to get him to work hard. He won’t see any double teams, those will go to AJ. Could be a BIG year if he produces.

F-105 Thunderchief

February 4th, 2010
9:27 am

4tix: “showed the door?” Consider the source.

GeoffDawg

February 4th, 2010
9:28 am

Given our depth at DL and safety, I think you’d have to go with Thornton and Alec Ogletree. Thornton most likely as Jakar Hamilton will probably walk into one of the starting safety spots right off the bat.

Mike S

February 4th, 2010
9:30 am

Lagadawg – Georgia’s target this year was 19 the entire time. They signed 18. Now there are a few scholarships opening up because jones, Curran, etc are leaving early, but Richt said weeks ago he was going to save those for next year or for current non-scholarship players or walk-ons that earn one this summer.

Da'Rick Rogers

February 4th, 2010
9:30 am

I am UGA’s impact player for 2010! I impacted your recruiting class making it one of the WORST in the SEC. In October I am going to impact the Bulldogs again by catching 3-4 TD passes in a lop-sided beatdown administered to the Bulldogs by CDD & Company. Lastly, I am going to impact recruiting for 2011 because all the good SEC recruits will want to play on the same team as “The ‘Rick”. So you see, I am the biggest impact player on UGA for 2010! Rocky Top is DA’Bomb!!!

PMC

February 4th, 2010
9:31 am

Does Richard Samuel count since he will probably be at ILB for the first time in College?

Across the back could be Smith, Rambo/Hamilton, Ogltree/Commings, Boykin

That’s a tremendously exciting group for Lakatose to work his magic with. If Grantham can simply improve fundamentals you will see a very very stout defense next year.

Last years addition simply wasn’t quite up to the early difficulty of that schedule. They still finished strong. There is plenty of reason to believe this years addition will be much improved regardless of the haul in this class. It just makes the next year of recruiting that much more important.

Bill

February 4th, 2010
9:31 am

Tebow is having Lunch with Obama today……..How about those apples.

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

February 4th, 2010
9:32 am

wouldn’t suprise me if the smaller brother has more impact before his career is done, he might just feel like he has more to prove and work harder glad to have them all. question about junior college is it a requirement that you have to stay at a junior college for two years if you dont qualify or can one year get you ready to transfer to the hedges?

Herschel Walker could whip your ass right now at 47

February 4th, 2010
9:32 am

Biggest impact will be when NuKeese…err….Da Rick comes over the middle and Jakar or Tree lights him up.

dawgfan

February 4th, 2010
9:33 am

I live in Newnan, GA and had the chance to see Ogletree in person most Friday nigts and I will tell you he has a nack for making the big play when its needed. Go to youtube and find his films and sit back and watch the highlite reel this kid has. He would hit running backs or receivers coming across the middle of the field and not only did it sound like a small car crash you could some times feel it in the stands.

lagadawg

February 4th, 2010
9:34 am

4TIC4,i Read numerous times they wanted to sign between 23 to 25 and if Robey,Greene,Rogers,Witaker,and etc. had signed with Ga. they would have signed that many moron.

J Dawg

February 4th, 2010
9:35 am

Todd Grantham, is definately the best person that CMR went out and got this year, with out a doubt, and he,and the restof the defensive staff will make a huge impact this year. But, as for the kids Ogletree will make an immediate impact once he gets on the field ( think Thomas Davis type hits) but might not be early in the season, but hopefully he have a chance to introduce himself to Da’Rick as he goes over the middle PPOOWW!!!!!
go Dawgs!!!!!!

Mike S

February 4th, 2010
9:36 am

With a Defensive backfield of Tree, Hamilton, Rambo, and the Brandon’s opposing recievers are going to quickly become Lakatos Intolerant this season. hehe

Barnacle Bill Bavasi

February 4th, 2010
9:36 am

Most who go to JC are only there a year.

Tom Dawg

February 4th, 2010
9:37 am

Just put the best damn players on the field ! I don’t care if they are freshmen or 5th year Seniors. Cut out being loyal to upperclassmen if thet are not the best players ! Just Win Baby !

uga_b

February 4th, 2010
9:40 am

TODD GRANTHAM

Randy

February 4th, 2010
9:40 am

This won’t be a popular post, but something is wrong in Athens…not sure what it is, but we have under-performed on the field, and now in recruiting. We can try to make ourselves feel better by talking about how much Rogers is a thug and we’ll be better off without him….or that our class was small but good quality…the truth is, we have sunk to average at every level and we need to get it fixed. Go Dawgs

Bulldawg1444

February 4th, 2010
9:40 am

Maybe some of you so called BullDog fanatics will think the next time you are in the stadium and decide to BOO 18-22- year old kids. I know of 1 big recruit that was in attendance at the LSU game that said that was a deciding factor in him choosing AU over UGA.So maybe a lot of so called self proclaimed experts need to clean up their own act first

Richard Hamilton

February 4th, 2010
9:41 am

Thornton is my prediction. He looks ready body wise, and I get the sense that he knows he is going to make an impact and ready to earn his spot. I really believe we will look back on this class and he will be the standout.

lost

February 4th, 2010
9:42 am

what is GATA

BrokeBackJacket

February 4th, 2010
9:43 am

If I may change the subject line a bit, allow me to express MHO as to UGA’s most important newcomers next year!

1. coach Todd Grantham…and it aint even close…..by far UGA’s best recruit and will give IMMEDIATE results!

2. db coach Lakatos….UGA’s dbs will no longer allow recievers running free in the secondary…often with the db in another zip code!

3. Whatever other defensive coach UGA is yet to hire…..Whoever it turns out to be will be a marked improvement!

4. Jakar Hamilton…6ft 1in…200+lbs..can fly..and loves and lives to hit! Can’t wait to see Da’rick run a crossing pttern across the middle!

5. Alec Olgetree….a “player” and will meake 2 deep chart at s/olb

Other possibles to make 2 deep depth chart…Thornton, Smith, Stripling. Bruce Benedict great potential, but will need rs to complete recovery from serious knee injury. Also let’s not forget C. Durham coming back will be tremendous addition and take a lot of pressure off AJ…as dependable possession reciever…Durham is MONEY!

Bennett, WR, #1 Immediate Impact Player

February 4th, 2010
9:43 am

An immediate impact player has to be intelligent to learn the playbook and schemes fast.

Bennett is very smart, 3.5 gpa.

Immediate Impact:
1) No depth at WR
2) 3.5 gpa
3) rated 3 star, will have chip on shoulder

lost

February 4th, 2010
9:44 am

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