I’m basically in the recruiting business now but I’m still not a big fan of ranking classes. Schools’ needs are simply too varied from year-to-year to compare side-by-side and, as we’ve all seen, the same teams tend to dominate the ratings anyway. So let’s go ahead and put Florida, Southern Cal, Texas, Alabama and LSU up top and be done with it, OK?
But seriously, recruiting is actually about addressing a team’s needs in a given year. So I decided to take a look at Georgia’s and Georgia Tech’s lists of commitments for the 2010 and try to discern how they’re doing so far. In the interest of time and space, I’ll just hit the Bulldogs’ defensive line in this blog and pop backand forth between the two teams and their positions over the next few days or so. (Programming note: I will be out Friday and the blog won’t resume until Monday).
A quick glance at Georgia’s list reveals the Bulldogs’ area of emphasis this year and that’s defensive linemen. Defensive ends in particular. Georgia has commitments from five defensive ends and one defensive tackle. This is interesting on a couple of fronts.
First, clearly Georgia struggled to put pressure on the passer last season and it aims to address that in this class. But strictly from a numbers standpoint I find it curious the Dogs have gone after so many ends and so few tackles. That’s where they’re going to take a major hit after this coming season.
Georgia’s going to lose Geno Atkins, Jeff Owens, Kade Weston and Brandon Wheeling off the interior line. That leaves DeAngelo Tyson, Ricardo Crawford and Brandon Wood and two incoming freshmen, Abry Jones and Derrick Lott, to fill the void. Meanwhile, the Dogs lose only senior Rod Battle from the DEs position.
So I’d say the Dogs could use at least another big-time defensive tackle or at least a couple of the these defensive ends might need to slide inside, which is surely possible. You can’t get much better than the one pure defensive tackle they have the hook. Douglass’ Garrison Smith gets the ultimate of five stars of from Scout.com. But of course, he plays a lot of D-end in high school. T.J. Stripling (6-6), Dexter Morant (6-6) and Jalen Fields (6-5) look more like prototypical DEs because of their heights. But B.J. Butler and Brandon Burrows, both 6-3, look like they could play pretty much anywhere and Fields could probably slide inside as well.
So until it looks a little more cut-and-dried to me I’m going to have to give the Dogs a “B” at this position, which is very good, of course. But nab a guy like 5-star DT Sharif Floyd or maybe even a pure tackle like Stephenson’s Mike Thornton and this could easily pop up to an “A.”
What do y’all think?
UGA D-LINE COMMITMENTS
*Rankings by Scout.com