With 18 commitments already on the books and as few as 21 scholarships possibly available, Georgia would appear to be fairly well set for the Class of 2010. But there’s at least one glaring omission on the Bulldogs’ shopping list so far.
A game-breaking tailback.
Georgia has just one commitment from a running back so far and that’s from Southwest DeKalb’s bruising Kendrun Malcome. The 6-foot, 215-pound Malcome is good back in his own right — he rates four stars from Scout.com, three from Rivals.com — and no doubt will make a good college player. But he’s more of a “downhill runner” than a “home-run hitter,” to use recruiting jargon, and he might even end up being a fullback when it’s all said and done.
There are three consensus 5-star tailbacks uncommitted at this point. While Georgia has an outside shot at one of them, Auburn appears to be trying to corner the market all of them.
The consensus top three backs in America: Lache Seastrunk of Temple, Texas, Marcus Lattimore of Duncan, S.C. and Michael Dyer of Little Rock, Ark. Rivals.com lists them 1, 2, 3 in that order while Scout.com has them 2,1,3. In any case, they’re all very good and all three lists Auburn as a finalist.
But it’s doubtful Auburn will land them all, or even two of them. And Dyer, a 5-foot-9, 200-pound star at Little Rock Christian, sounds like he’s about ready to pull the trigger on a commitment to the Tigers. He’s traveling to The Plains for an official visit during the West Virginia game this weekend.
“Auburn is at the top of my list,” Dyer, who also likes Ole Miss, Arkansas and Florida, told Rivals.com. “They are without a doubt my top school right now.”
On video at least (see above), Seastrunk looks to me to be the best of the backs. But he still lists a handful of schools, including Auburn, LSU, Florida, Texas and Baylor. Rivals.com’s Jamie Newberg told me he thinks it’ll come down to LSU and Auburn. You’ve got to think Dyer’s committing to the Auburn might affect that scenario.
That leaves Lattimore, who just visited Athens this past weekend. To be sure, the Duncan, S.C., resident was there to see his home-state Gamecocks as much as he was Georgia, and he did not list the Bulldogs among his top five going into the weekend. But he did coming out, telling Scout.com that Georgia is “back in it for me.” South Carolina has long been considered the team to beat for Lattimore (along with Auburn, of course). But he’s also still considering Florida State, Penn State, North Carolina and Oregon. So who really knows?
Georgia thought it had this need covered coming into the fall. The Bulldogs put a lot of time and energy into recruiting Mack Brown of Lithonia’s M.L. King High. Brown is ranked No. 4 and 5 nationally by Scout and Rivals, respectively, and No. 1 in Georgia. He camped with the Bulldogs and has numerous friends already there or headed there. But he abruptly committed to Florida on a visit in late July.
However, it doesn’t appear the Bulldogs have given up on Brown entirely.
“They’re still recruiting me,” Brown said in text Wednesday night. “I haven’t talked to them lately though.”
Short of someone of that stature, it doesn’t appear likely Georgia will be in the market for another tailback type. The Dogs are recruiting four-star prospect Eduardo Clements of Miami but are likely chasing the Hurricanes and Florida State in that battle.
Meanwhile, Georgia is surely keeping an eye on the state, waiting to see if one of its own blossoms this season. There are few candidates so far.
McEachern’s Rajaan Bennett (9 TDs), Houston County’s Robert Williams (672 yards, 9 TDs), Westside Macon’s Robert Brown (290 yards, 3 TDs last week) have all put up big numbers but don’t appear to have the speed needed to compete in the SEC. And for whatever reason there does not seem to be a connection between Georgia and Loganville’s Storm Johnson, a one-time LSU commitment who’s back on the market.
Whatever the case, the Bulldogs can afford to be picky. Barring injury or other unseen attrition, Georgia will return all five tailbacks next season. Here they are with their current class followed by their recruiting rankings coming out of high school:
Player, class, Rivals, Scout