As for Georgia’s 2010 recruiting class, I don’t think it was nearly the failure it’s being made out to be.
Granted, the Bulldogs lost a lot of prospects toward the end. In total four recruits that were committed before the season began backed out and signed with other teams by signing day, most notably five-star wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers of Calhoun.
And Georgia whiffed on a lot of high-profile talent it tried to land at the end. Five-star athlete Christian Green of Tampa signed with Florida State, as did Lowndes linebacker Telvin Smith (don’t kid yourself, this was close and Jimbo Fisher was sweating it). Defensive tackle Jeff Whitaker went to Auburn. And receivers Kadron Boone (LSU), Adrian Coxson (Florida) and Jordan Akins (UCF) all went elsewhere. The fact that the Bulldogs finished second on most of those players means nothing.
But recruiting is, after all, about the players you bring in. And Georgia brought in some really good ones.
It was routinely being reported Wednesday that the Bulldogs did not sign a five-star prospect (which, of course, may or may not mean anything). But that depends on whose rankings at which you are looking. Safety Alec Ogletree gets five stars from Scout.com and just four from Rivals.com, which nonetheless rates him the No. 3 safety in America. That’s pretty good.
The Bulldogs, who need safeties, also got JUCO transfer Jakar “Hitman” Hamilton from Georgia Military College. So there’s two players right there that could have an impact at a need position.
And speaking of needs, Georgia most assuredly was going after defense in this class. Twelve of their 19 signees play on that side of the ball, including six defensive linemen. And those DLs were among the best this state had to offer, guys like Michael Thornton, T.J. Stripling and Garrison Smith.
If there were shortcomings, I’d point to two areas: wide receivers and linebackers.
As evidenced by their scrambling at the end, the Bulldogs needed more wide receivers, especially after losing Rogers. Alpharetta’s Michael Bennett was the only addition for next season. But barring injury, that’s not something that’s going to derail next year’s squad. Georgia returns six, including All-American A.J. Green, Kris Durham, Israel Troupe, Tavarres King, Rontavious Wooten and, yes, Marlon Brown (coaches think he’ll have an impact this year).
Losing leading tackler Rennie Curran and switching to a 3-4 puts a premium on linebackers and Georgia ended up adding only two, Demetre Baker (6-0, 200, Orange Park, Fla.) and Zander Ogletree (5-9, 205, Newnan). The Dogs needed more. But there’s a lot of experience returning at the position and Richard Samuel is making his much-anticipated switch to the position from tailback.
A lock-down corner or two and/or another big offensive linemen would have been nice but that’s the case every year.
And lest we forget, 2011 is setting up to be a banner year for in-state prospects. The Dogs may actually go into it with a couple of extra grants, which can only be a good thing.
No, Georgia’s is not going to be one of those lauded Top 5 or 10 classes this year. But that distinction hasn’t meant much the last couple of seasons anyway.
Give it a solid B-plus.