Dogs’ 2010 class focuses on defensive line

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 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?


  1. DE T.J. Stripling (4 stars*)
  2. DE Dexter Morant (3)
  3. DE Brandon Burrows (3)
  4. DE B.J. Butler (4)
  5. DE Jalen Fields (4)
  6. DT Garrison Smith (5)

*Rankings by

40 comments Add your comment


July 30th, 2009
12:17 pm

Chip Towers has been critical of UGA ever since the Carver-Columbus incident where a QB’s offer was pulled ….. he insinuates that it was UGA’s fault but I have a feeling that he harbors ill feelings against UGA for some reason – could it be that he is a closet Tech big city guy? Most (if not all) of AJC’s so called reporters are pro Tech because it is the “home team” and I understand that. Bottom line is that AJC is an Atlanta paper not a Georgia paper and no longer “covers Dixie like the dew”. Too bad really.


July 30th, 2009
12:20 pm

I’ve looked at how well recruiting ratings correspond with a team’s ranking for the past few years. I take a weighted average (freshmen make up 4%, sophomores 20%, etc. based on how much a typical recruiting class is on a typical team’s 2-deep) of the recruiting ratings and rank order that and compare it to the rankings at the end of the year. I also just updated it for the 2009 season where the each team’s average recruiting rating was rank ordered. That shows how well a team should do purely on recruiting ratings. Linkage:


July 30th, 2009
12:33 pm

about the ajc sport writers. since they no longer deliver the ajc to our area[ellijay] i don`t read the ajc any more. if you like to read a good sports section, pick up the CHATTANOOGA TIMES FREE PRESS and you will be able to gather more sports than the ajc. they offer the best coverage of all sports in north ga. i will not buy another paper from atlanta regardless of who there writers are. as a matter of fact i do not care if they were to quit operating. there paper is good for one thing, TO WRAP UP FISH. i even wrote furman bisher and told him so.


July 30th, 2009
12:34 pm

not to forget about the jeffcoat kid out of texas he still have uga high on his list to add him to the talent that uga have already got will be a big plus. to have him and garrison smith in that middle will be a awsome duo.


July 30th, 2009
12:59 pm

It has been very common place for more than a decade to sign quick defensive end types and some mature into very quick 3 and 2 technique tackles. Many of the large DT’s in high school are turned into offensive tackles or guards in college. I’m not suggesting that UGA is planning to do that, but it does make sense. I am very excited about this class. I see a large number of great kids that play hard with great speed. That has been an area of weakness for the DAWGS. Go DAWGS.


July 30th, 2009
1:24 pm

I would assume a lot of the defensive recruits are going to bulk up and move to the DT positions. Very impressed with the size, speed, and weight of these recruits. We’re gonna have some big D players between the hedges over the next few years.

Ryan S

July 30th, 2009
1:24 pm

You forgot about Kwame Geathers as another incoming Dtackle (if he ever gets on campus)


July 30th, 2009
1:45 pm

Where is saint simons’ comment?

saint simons

July 30th, 2009
1:55 pm

45-42 hahahahahahah


July 30th, 2009
2:04 pm

Chip, I for one appreciate all the info the AJC gives us. I’m not a recruiting junkie but am always interested in the upcoming class. No Foriduh, the AJC doesn’t cover Dixie like the dew anymore but I somehow doubt it’s Mr Towers fault. Also the Ajc is paying dearly for their format and editorial stances and rightfully so.You reap what you sew


July 30th, 2009
2:05 pm

you are right Ryan S we all forgot about Kwame Geathers. if UGA dont get the job done this year next year both O-line and D-line is going to be solid and strong with a lot of talent. with T-bow out of the way next year should open the door for the Dawgs to dominate. as for the offensive side of the ball next year will be a great time for UGA to bring out the spread set with Murray. dont look like they are going to recruit any fullbacks no time soon. with Green, Brown, Wooten, Durham, Rogers, and King the spread set would be a great change for the Dawgs not to mention teams would not expect that from Georgia.

Chip Towers

July 30th, 2009
2:23 pm

Good catch on Kwame Geathers, folks: I overlooked him and here’s why — Georgia doesn’t list him among their 2009 football signees in their media guide, which was the reference tool I was using. Interesting that they’d leave him out. . . . The funny thing is, I’ve been trying to get updates on Geathers off and on for the last two weeks. The kid’s like a ghost he’s so hard to reach. I’ve called and left numerous messages for his coach at Carvers Bay High, Nate Thompson. But he’s never once answered our returned my messages. . . . Last thing I heard directly from a Georgia coach is “He’ll be here in August.” Guess we’ll find out soon enough.


July 30th, 2009
2:29 pm

Boy, saint simons was late today. Kind of disproves the Chip Towers “conspiracy theory.” By the way, St. Simons, when was the last time GT even won its own conference? Tied with Florida State (whom they lost to that year) in 1998 ……hmmmmm……oh yeah, 1990. Eighteen years since Georgia Tech actually won their own conference outright. Dude, if you are a dude, no wonder you follow Bulldog football so closely. Come on, put on your big boy pants, come out of the closet, and enjoy some real football in the SEC. Go Dawgs !!!!


July 30th, 2009
2:34 pm

They have done the best job recruiting linemen this year in the country. What does it take to get an “A”?

Chip Towers

July 30th, 2009
3:00 pm

Dude: Like I said, some ready-made interior d-linemen. There will be seven defensive ends left on the roster after this season.


July 30th, 2009
3:16 pm

If you are asking what it takes to get an A at UGA, all you have to do is basically show up a couple of times a year, and have at least one tooth left – although I understand there is a petition floating around to abolish the one-tooth requirement

In The Trenches

July 30th, 2009
3:22 pm

Joe has too much time on his hands.


July 30th, 2009
3:23 pm

Yes, it seems that the Dawgs are favoring the D side of the ball this recruiting class. I feel we should be much improved this season on the D side. Would love to see a jeff Luc or Sharrif Floyd choose the Dawgs. Does anyone know their time frame for committing? Go Dawgs!


July 30th, 2009
3:45 pm

Chip, you were way to good for that liberal rag called the AJC. Every change that paper makes is for the worst. Visually, it now looks like a cheap knock off of the Natl Enquirer and the sports page is about 10% of what it was 4-5 years ago. I am just waiting to see how far down the college football coverage has sunk for this coming year..the CF coverage used to outstanding, then good, then half decent,now that has deteriorated badly each of the last 2 years to pathetic. and God help us if Tech or Ga has a night game, since their deadline is about 9pm. It is truly awful. The Marietta Daily Journal has better coverage on Sunday morning. It is amazing a city as large as Atlanta can have such a pathetic newspaper.

I dont understand how a paper can think it will improve itself by getting worse every single day.Isnt what is so obvious to all readers apparent to the paper’s management? If they ever start charging for; they might have 6 people sign up if they are lucky..and all of them will be related to Cynthia McKinney.

As far as great college football coverage..680 the Fan is it. Chip are you going to be involved there any more?.i thought you did a good job with them.


July 30th, 2009
6:02 pm

As we all know they can’t possibly sign all five commits unless they decide to play other positions.

saint simons

July 30th, 2009
7:53 pm

51-7 hahahahahahah

saint simons

July 30th, 2009
8:00 pm

reggie ball sucks hahahahahahah


July 30th, 2009
10:23 pm

It is funny to me how the gtu fans have replaced scu fans as the most delusional in college football. I must admit that scu has had more success against UGA during the last 18 years (with out cheating as per the NCAA) than has gtu. I really don’t hate tech, it goes much deeper than that.


July 30th, 2009
11:02 pm

Let the nerd herd have their fun…they deserve it…we are the ones who signed Ellerbe and Jones(a.k.a, the morons who think college football is 2handtouch!) No big deal…the year is about to start and when they lose their first couple games, they will forget to come on and spout their bullshiznit! How pathetic! Anyway…UGA is going to be better, as usual, than tech, so don’t worry about it!


July 31st, 2009
12:22 am

I would like to see them offer JUCO DT Maurice Hayes as he would be able to give immediate help at the tackle position. Like you said I’m a little worried as well about the D-Line. I think it’s almost necessary to get Michael Thornton and Maurice Hayes (Who would commit right away) or Floyd (would be absolutely amazing b/c the kid is a beast, but probably unlikely)


July 31st, 2009
9:52 am

chip good piece on georgias needs im little concerned about recruiting mostly defensive players.we are loaded at wide reciver but what about offensive lineman i guess you can always turn them around to play defence. by the way ive got inside info on kwame geathers he will be here next week count on it.


July 31st, 2009
9:53 am

Enter your comments here


July 31st, 2009
1:09 pm

The whole AJC sport crews are bad. Everyone write negative article toward the hometown team. Terrence Moore was the worst of them all. Now that he is gone, Jeff Schutz and Chip had took his place. You guys are like a tabloid newspaper for sport. That is why most fans of any Atlanta or Georgia team depise the AJC.

BTW, from what I heard, Kwame may be move to the OL.


July 31st, 2009
1:54 pm

I think your right on with this one Chip and I don’t understand why this is such a mystery in the college game. The big boys in the trenches control the line of scrimmage and the team that controls the line of scrimmage usually (bad luck, turn overs) wins the game.

Skill positions are important but to take home the hardware you need the big boys.

you are a moron

July 31st, 2009
5:06 pm

uga signs the best defensive line recruiting class in the nation and you give them a B. show me another team that is anywhere close to uga’s class. NOWHERE.

you probably also complained about uga oversigning two elite 11 qb prospects last year.


July 31st, 2009
5:57 pm

i think uga will get thornton or whitaker, but they should really keep an eye on maurice hayes just in case.

12-V MAN

July 31st, 2009
9:14 pm

News flash: Shariff Floyd isn’t coming to Georgia.


July 31st, 2009
10:31 pm

Brandon Burrows will be the next David Pollack by the time he leaves UGA! What a class kid with all the tools to go with his abilities!! i can’t wait to see him eat up the SEC QB’s


July 31st, 2009
10:33 pm

Floyd is coming to UGA! I heard it from his Granny’s hair dressers sister.


July 31st, 2009
10:44 pm

UGA is ranked as high as third in 2010 recruiting class. I think with 6 of the top recruits in the nation on the D line that this is the strength of our recruting class. I would certainly rank this group a lot higher than a B Chip, but thats just me. So what does UGA have to offer a Sharrif Floyd to come and play between the hedges? Well, first the SEC many rate as the top conference in college football today. UGA seats and fills over 92k each home game. The Dawgs Losing Geno, JEff, Kade and Brandon tells me that Shariff would very likely get playing time as a freshman. It would be up to him but a chance to start as a freshman. Great campus, coaches, weather, program and tremdous opportunity and track record to be placed in the NFL by UGA. I say Sharrif that we need you and welcome you to play between the hedges.

GT Rich

August 1st, 2009
9:16 am

This push for D-linemen seems a year too late. Given the line play last year, I thought UGA would’ve pushed for some undecided high schoolers and JUCOs last Nov/Dec. Weren’t they pulling people from the Golden Corral buffett line this spring to practice on the D-line? In any case, recruiting sites try to project which side of the ball a player will be on, but a lot of these kids are two-way players and I imagine a few of them will switch to the O before they pull off the red shirts. Tech’s 340lb red-shirt freshmen Barnes was supposed to be an O-lineman and will be one of our DTs this year. Michael Johnson was a TE but was switched to DE his first year.

Tech and UGA both have big question marks on the D-lines this season.

Hopefully both teams can make it to Thanksgiving with top 15 rankings. Should be a good game this year on the Flats!!


August 1st, 2009
11:48 am

I feel the Dawgs D line should be much improved this year. Not only are the projexted starters more seasoned this year but also our interior line should be very good. With Atkins in there and Owens returning from first game season ending injury that should be a road block for running up the middle. We also have depth at the interior with tyson, Wood and others. Go Dawgs!


August 1st, 2009
1:39 pm

Chip what’s the deal with Kwame Geathers?


August 3rd, 2009
8:11 am

Thanks, Chip, for the update. As usual, you’re right. The recruiting game is about need and projected need. Unfortunatley, the coaches don’t always get it right, and are sometimes late in responding to positional shortages. That appears to be the case here, with the Dawgs playing catchup.

I, for one, like the new blogging format. I don’t know what arrangements the bloggers and columnists have with the AJC, nor do I particularly care. However, the changes at the AJC are not surprising. The newspaper business is a dying format. There’s no business model that will allow it to be profitable much longer in print. Those that hang on will be either be heavily subsidized by other cash streams or else their management will be likened to the railroad barons. Those guys thought they were in the railroad business, when in fact, they were in the transportation business and other modes of transportation passed them by. The newspaper business is the same. They’re actually in the information business, and other delivery methods are making them obsolete, at least until a new business model emerges. And you and I are (obviously) all on the new train. We’ll all be paying for this pleasure before long.

By the way, if you want a bad sports page, check out The Telegraph, a McClatchey newspaper. I would refer to it as the “AP” sports section, since 75% of its sports news are wire stories. MAYBE, two local/state stories and a local column. Same story, dying format, but with no useful blogging.

Go Dawgs!


August 3rd, 2009
10:18 am

As with anything these days if you want accurate good news you have to get away from the mass media sources. Get on forums and find the respected part time bloggers.

As for DL you can’t going wrong with stocking talent on the lines. Bama rarely has the best QB or is stocked with speedy WRs and RBs but if they can push you around they will get points and keep you from getting points. Good to see UGA stock the DL now lets get some more big uglies on the other side of the ball. There is no need to sign 2 Elite 11 QB when you have 2 who more spaced out on the team.