Can UGA get on a ‘hot streak’ in recruiting, too?

By February's signing day, where will UGA's recruiting class be ranked?

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UGA rescued its football season after an 0-2 start with 10 straight wins.

Can the Bulldogs have the same type of dramatic turnaround in recruiting? We’ll have a good idea within the next few weeks.

One year after hauling in the “Dream Team” recruiting class which was stacked with star power and ranked as one of the top 5-6 in the country, UGA is off to a struggling start with this year’s crop of talent. The Bulldogs have 15 commitments, with really only one big name — 5-star OL commit John Theus of Jacksonville.

How is UGA doing in the team recruiting rankings so far for 2012? They are No. 32 by Scout.com, No. 22  by Rivals, No. 22 by 247Sports.com and No. 15 by ESPN.

“Georgia is a little behind schedule with its recruiting class, compared to the last 4-5 years at this point,” said Chad Simmons, National Recruiting Analyst for Scout.com. “There were questions surrounding Mark Richt and his coaching status entering this season. With the way Georgia has played, however, I think Richt has solidified his spot. I think things will pick up and they’ll be back where they are used to being around signing day.”

Can Mark Richt get on a "hot streak" in recruiting, too? (AJC)

Can Mark Richt get on a "hot streak" in recruiting, too? (AJC)

Said Rusty Mansell of 247sports.com, “I don’t know if I’ve seen a Georgia class the last 4-5 years that had this many spots open this late. They could possibility have anywhere from 10-12 spots left to fill, depending on how they may want to fill it. Obviously, when you’re talking about offensive line prospects, it starts with John Theus. You’re talking about a kid who will probably be an NFL left tackle.”

“This class, whatever they end up with, this class will be known by whether or not they get Keith Marshall and another running back when it’s all said and done. I think it’s obvious to everybody who watches Georgia play that they need depth at running back, and they need it now.”

Who is Keith Marshall? He’s ranked as the No. 1 RB in the nation, and will announce his college decision on Dec. 6 between UGA and Clemson, along with Florida, South Carolina and Notre Dame. Georgia is rumored to be the longtime frontrunner for Marshall. Richt apparently wants Marshall so badly that he that he openly discussed the need for a “great running back” (without naming names) to reporters at a recent press conference.

Then on Dec. 10, UGA will have its biggest recruiting weekend of the year, trying to bring in as many of its current commitments and top targets as possible at the same time for official visits (we’ll discuss more in detail later).

Who are some of UGA’s top targets that could give the Bulldogs a big boost in the team recruiting rankings? There’s DE Jordan Jenkins of Harris County (considering Alabama, Florida, UGA and others), RB Todd Gurley of Tarboro, N.C. (UNC, UGA, others), LB-S Josh Clemons of Lowndes (top three are UGA, Florida and LSU), WR Cordarelle Patterson of Hutchinson, Kan., junior college (Tennessee, UGA, others), OL Avery Young of Palm Beach Gardens, DE Kenderius Whitehead of ML King (Clemson, UGA and North Carolina), and DT Dalvin Tomlinson of Henry County (Alabama, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Indiana, UGA).

AJC Super 11 LB Markuss Eligwe of Stone Mountain High School is committed to FSU (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

AJC Super 11 LB Markuss Eligwe of Stone Mountain High School is committed to FSU (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

UGA is also flirting with several players committed to other schools, including WR Jaquay Williams of Sandy Creek (Auburn), LB Dillon Lee of Buford (Alabama) and LB Markuss Eligwe of Stone Mountain (Florida State).

Who else? That remains to be seen after the UGA staff sits down to evaluate and discuss specific prospects at length after the SEC championship game. There are plenty of committed prospects considering other options after coaching turnover at Ole Miss, Ohio State, Penn State, North Carolina and UAB, among others.

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

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167 comments Add your comment

Wojoe

November 28th, 2011
2:07 am

First!!! Dawgs Rule!!!!!

aarh

November 28th, 2011
2:15 am

I sure hope so.

NewnanRxDawg

November 28th, 2011
2:34 am

Of course Richt will get on a hot streak. After a good showing in the SECCG, and a contract extension, the recruits will not be apprehensive to come play for the classiest coach in the SEC. the 12/10 date is a big one. If Marshall commits the 6th, then watch for that to be the icebreaker on this year’s class. Go Dawgs, Beat Tigers!

THE REAL PHIL

November 28th, 2011
3:19 am

The ranking of recruiting classes is biased toward skill position players as far as assigning “stars” to a players ability. For instance, a big time QB is given 5 stars, yet we have the number 2 fullback in the nation committed and he is a three star player. We have QB’s stacked up like cord wood. But we need a fullback. If we address that need with one of the two highest ranked players at that position in the NATION then shouldn’t that be considered just as good of a recruiting job as landing the number 2 QB if you needed a QB? You might argue that the QB position has more impact on the success of a team than the FB. But I would ask who would have the most impact on the success of a team, the 5 star QB who sat on the bench behind Murray, Mason, and Lemay or the fullback that gets lots of meaningful snaps as a Freshman?

Similarly there are many more 4 and 5 star WR, QB, and RB’s than there are 4 and 5 star OL. However there are many 3 star lineman that will become all conference type players. We need linemen. Why penalize us in recruiting rankings because we address the positions of need? Do linemen have as much impact as skill players on the success of a team? What if a team that signed 25 4 and 5 star skill position players each year? Of course they would have the number one class in the nation each of those years. How do you think that would translate to success on the field?

Recruiting classes are ranked simply by adding the total number of stars the commitments have assigned to them. And because the number of stars assigned is biased by position, don’t get too caught up in the class ranking as long as we fill our positions of need with high quality players.

Throw me a bone

November 28th, 2011
4:39 am

We will get marshall. We need gurley!!! Who is A real every down back. And avery young badly…. Dillon lee woukd be nice also

Throw me a bone

November 28th, 2011
4:40 am

Throw me a bone

November 28th, 2011
4:40 am

Throw me a bone

November 28th, 2011
4:41 am

7th, gurley. We need you more than marshall!

Rokievious watkins

November 28th, 2011
4:48 am

Anyone seen my uncle?

Rokievious watkins

November 28th, 2011
4:49 am

I think his name is tide roll

Rokievious watkins

November 28th, 2011
4:49 am

I think his handle is tide roll

Rokievious watkins

November 28th, 2011
4:53 am

The only way the class will be any better is when you create new years of eligibility for me and let me bring brandon greene and chance warmack and get rid of john theus and dallas lee….. At least thats what my uncle tells me!

Rokievious watkins

November 28th, 2011
4:57 am

The only way the class will be any better is when you create new years of eligibility for me and let me bring brandon greene and chance warmack and get rid of john theus and dallas lee….. At least thats what my uncle tells me!..

7576DAWG

November 28th, 2011
5:07 am

I think that extending Grantham’s contract is easily as important as CMR’s. Top defensive recruit’s see how effective Grantham has been in a very short time in teaching the players the 3-4 which put’s players that run the 3-4 in college ahead of other defenses that are taught in being ready for Pro ball. With Auburn having depth trouble and no Quarterback , Tennessee in a complete mess for at least 3 more years, and Florida State and Florida having Quarterback and coaching problems. If CMR and Gramtham could get extensions that would show a lot more stability than all the other main recruiting competitors that Georgia has except Alabama and South Carolina. Spurrier is about to turn 66 or 67 and only has a few more years to coach and Alabama will pay whatever it take to keep Saban around. Since Alabama can’t sign everyone Georgia will be in a great position to dominate the East for the next 5 years. Recruit’s are not stupid , they can see how unstable a lot of the programs are right now for at least a few years and we need McGarity to make sure Georgia doesn’t join that crowd. GIVE THE EXTENSIONS MCGARITY.

Destin Dawg

November 28th, 2011
5:58 am

Richt for President.. Grantham for Sec. of Defense.. yes to 3/4 year extensions !!

Destin Dawg

November 28th, 2011
6:05 am

Look at the SEC East.. Sporting News says ” Charlie Weis 2nd most overpaid.. over rated college coach ” Muschamp is dumb and crazy… Spurrier to retire soon ?? Kentucky beats Tenn. !! Malzahn going head coach ??? Dawgs improving by the week !!!! 2012 looks awesome for the Dawgs !!

tenn.DAWG

November 28th, 2011
6:07 am

I agree with all that 7576DAWG said,if they could somehow announce the extensions (no detail needed) before the 12/10 gala it could go a long way in securing some of these players.

Old Dawg

November 28th, 2011
6:09 am

Mcgarity is lucky to be gone from Fla.. is he responsible for Muschamp and Weis ??? Worst coaching hire in college football !!

Destin Dawg

November 28th, 2011
6:14 am

with Muschamp and Weis.. nobody in their right mind would go to Fla..

Nub

November 28th, 2011
6:25 am

Glory to CMR….. !!!!! He did what he had to do…!!! He is a class act and will be playing for championships for years…… How bout them dawgs!

brick

November 28th, 2011
6:40 am

Bama and LSU aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, unless Texas comes offering more money to Miles or Saban than LSU or Bama can match, and no neither one can match Texas money. Spurrior has 2-3 years left, Petrino could dump Arkansas in the middle of the night, he has done it before but he is building a good team, UGA is improving rapidly and will push Bama and LSU next fall for tops in the conference. Vandy is Vandy, MSST will fight AU for 4th in the west, while Ole Miss, UF, UT and UK are complete messes right now, Ole Miss doesn’t have a coach, UK was one of the worst teams in the country, UT lost to UK and looked bad doing it and UF made a mistake on a coaching hire. Good times are heading our way Dawgs.

Destin Dawg

November 28th, 2011
6:46 am

Being a Bull Dawg and Seminole fan.. its fun watching Fla. Implode… Go Dawgs.. beat LSU !!

TampaGator

November 28th, 2011
6:47 am

Destin Dawg….

Do you post anything based on fact, reason, or logic? Fact…..Florida currently has enough commits to be ranked in the top 5 classes of every recruiting site……I guess a lot of top recruits are “out of their minds” including two TE’s in ESPN’s top 150……and sense you live in “South Alabama”……a reminder…..Nick Saban was 6-6 in his transition year to Bama and lost to La-Monroe. How has that worked out for him and his coaching staff?

TampaGator

November 28th, 2011
6:50 am

also Destin Dawg…..

FSU “imploded” this year…….started #5 in the country and ended up 8-4. Their offense was totally shut down by Florida’s defense. I would not be raving too much about FSU’s year. And Georgia just came off their “implossion” last year. Both Florida and FSU have a lot of work to do on the offensive side of the ball….and are solid on defense. But I think both will show a lot of progress in that area next year.

RabidDog

November 28th, 2011
6:56 am

Muschamp looks like a rabid dog. I would rather play for a coach that has some sense of control when things don’t go my way. Get the guy a rabies shot, please hurry.

North Campus Trash

November 28th, 2011
7:04 am

CMR pushed the boundaries of an NCAA violation with his “Ode to an Anonymous 5-Star RB.”

Guru

November 28th, 2011
7:06 am

With their main East rivals coaches on the hot seat (Dooley, Muschamp) and Spurrier close to retirement, Georgia is set to dominate their division for years. As bad as Saban ex-assistants are, it’ll be interesting to see how Kirby Smart does at Bama when Saban leaves. The first two(Dooley, Saban) are awful.

Guru

November 28th, 2011
7:13 am

Correction- Dooley and Muschamp are awful and Jimbo Fisher. Fisher coached under Saban and he hasn’t shown much either.

VinnyD

November 28th, 2011
7:18 am

Tampa Gator is right, we can’t really assume UF will be down for long. They are just as bad as we were last year when we completely changed our D to a 3-4. They completely changed coaching and the offensive style. As much fun as it was to watch UF stink it up (and still almost beat us in Jax), there is no way we can assume they will be down forever. Too much talent.

News | MrSEC.com

November 28th, 2011
7:19 am

[...] Georgia has won 10 straight games. Can the Bulldogs hit a “hot streak” in recruiting, too?2. Vanderbilt has reached a bowl game and looks to be receiving an official visit from star [...]

Guru

November 28th, 2011
7:23 am

Florida had top 10 talent this year, didn’t help. Meyer was a great recruiter, Muschamp is recruiting good but not like Meyer did, FSU is getting more than they did when Urban was there. There will be a drop off at Florida that continues.

Destin Dawg

November 28th, 2011
7:24 am

TG… Thats right coach ‘em up Muschamp and Weis… it will be FUN to watch

BulldawgNation

November 28th, 2011
7:29 am

All things considered, Florida is not bad on defense, Muschamp had to use what was already there and make it work in a 3-4 defense, and IMO he done pretty dam* good, wait untill he guys in there he recruited for the 3-4……………their first year stats are not bad, they will be a good defensive team next year if they have somone to take Jay Howard’s place……..their offense is horrible…………but then again they playing pro style offense with spread players hard to judge this team right now………I think they are a year or two away on offense but could be good on defense next year

Ben Hill Griffen Citrus Co.

November 28th, 2011
7:29 am

we’re all depressed.. its in the Orlando paper.. we have the talent.. Weis is a loser.. ND went down.. Muschamp is a loser.. Texas went down.. Now my beloved gators..

Destin Dawg.

November 28th, 2011
7:33 am

when signing day gets here.. UGA and FSU will get the top recriuts..

JB

November 28th, 2011
7:37 am

I don’t see enough OL on this list. I would prefer at least 2 more which would give us 4 I believe. I’m not sure how many we have on campus now and returning. I believe we start 2 seniors starting now……. And you are correct Ben Hill, I ‘m not bashing, but the worm has turned. Florida will struggle the next 2 years. Your best hope is that Muschamp loads the roster for the next guy.

The New Dawg Consultant

November 28th, 2011
7:38 am

There are so many top notch prep athletes that list UGA in their final group, I can’t help but think Georgia will finish very strong. They will, at the end of the day, be in the top 10 of these recruiting rankings again. More importantly though, I think there is a new focus to UGA’s recruiting. They are now not just chasing the top ranked players at a given postion, they are projecting people into their 3-4 scheme for defense. This new focus is rubbing off on the offense coaches also. For the first time this past season, Georgia is asking before they offer: will this guy be good enough to help us beat Florida? Does this kid project to a true cover corner, or big and fast inside backer.

For those of us that have followed UGA recruiting for a long time, we fell off playing wise during the same time that we offering kids that had a good weekend at a Nike camp, or ran fast, but had no football instincts.

Yes, my friends the future looks very bright indeed in Athens.

JB

November 28th, 2011
7:43 am

Consultant,,,you are correct….Bryan Evans is a perfect example out of Florida…..Real fast,but a horrible DB……….He should have never played for UGA. Most Td’s passes thrown on him, he was 20 yards away in coverage.

Dap01

November 28th, 2011
7:48 am

At least we don’t have Weiss on our sidelines. He is painful to look at.

Dawg1

November 28th, 2011
7:51 am

Florida is Florida and they will be back. Tampa Gator is correct. And the changes Muschamp is making are the right changes. Not sure if he will survive the change – but it is the correct move.

Dooley might end up being the ‘fall guy’ for other people’s sins. He came into a mess at UT and is doing all the right things off the field. But it might take the ‘next coach’ to turn around ‘on the field’. Bottom-line; UT will eventually be back.

Georgia needs to focus on Georgia. Lock in Richt and Grantham. And hope the Marshall kid picks Georgia and then take that momentum and run with it.

zookgator

November 28th, 2011
7:54 am

Ron Zook is considering a contract to return to UF but only if he will sign a peace treaty with the frat houses.

ole yeller

November 28th, 2011
8:14 am

Listen up Dawgs fans. Kieth Marshall will sign the letter in Feb. 2012 with the UGA Dawgs. He knows he will play as a true freshman and on a team with champinship player comming back. He wants to be a part of the push toward a SEC champinshiip and maybe beyond.

Slew Holds

November 28th, 2011
8:17 am

Maybe we could show some of the recruits this video of Gus’ wife: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=EMqUaaTrFBs

Joey

November 28th, 2011
8:24 am

I wonder what Evans’ career would have looked like with 4 years of Todd Grantham, JB?

LakeDawg

November 28th, 2011
8:24 am

Muschump will get those Gators turned around. ;) LMAO

Guru

November 28th, 2011
8:29 am

Memphis coach is fired and Tennesee admin refused to give Dooley a vote of confidence. With Muschamp’s sour start and Miami looking at probation, Georgia will probably poach some top players from Florida and Tenn this year and next. Chizik refused to say his assistants will be back next year when asked so Georgia may get some Auburn commits to flip if Auburn coaches get fired.

Destin Dawg.

November 28th, 2011
8:30 am

Weis couldn’t get up ( even with a cane )to call the next play vs. FSU… LMAO

DawginIt

November 28th, 2011
8:31 am

What about that kid whose name I cannot spell or pronouce? Nidimiche or something like that? The one that counted Georgia out but then took a visit during the Auburn game? Is he still considering Georgia?

Destin Dawg.

November 28th, 2011
8:32 am

Guru.. Malzahn going to Ole Miss.. while he still can ??

Big Dawg

November 28th, 2011
8:32 am

Fellow Dawgs we only need concern ourselves with the University of Georgia. As far as the Gators, Tide, Vols, Gamecocks are concerned they are the problem of their respective coaches and fans. But I will tell you Tampa Gator happens to be right about the Gators, they will be pretty good on D and are now recruiting to suit Muschamp’s style of offense, so I don’t expect they will be down for long, just too much talent.

Now as to running backs Yes I would like to see us get Marshall, but Gurley is the better of the two. It would be great to land both of them though. Now our real problem is the big ugglies we have to sign 5 to 6 top o-linemen each year and 4 to 5 top d-linemen otherwise you are not going to be consistently good. Football is won in the trenches it is just that simple.

Go Dawgs