Can UGA make up enough ground for another Top 10 recruiting effort?

With the SEC Championship game over, UGA can now focus its full attention on recruiting.

The Bulldogs have a lot of ground to make up if they wish to keep their 10-year streak intact of finishing in the top 10 of the national recruiting rankings by Rivals.com (Note: UGA has been the only school to place in the top 10 every year since 2002).

Where is UGA now in the rankings? They are No. 22 by Rivals and all the way back at No. 32 by  Scout.com.

One year after the “Dream Team,” UGA has gotten off to a struggling start with this year’s recruiting class. The Bulldogs have 15 commitments – much less than they usually have at this point on the recruiting calendar – and the only big name is 5-star OL John Theus of Jacksonville. They will likely sign around 25.

Can UGA sign another "Dream Team" class this year?

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Some of UGA’s recruiting woes this year can be attributed to the 0-2 start and rampant speculation over Mark Richt’s future. The lingering concerns about Richt will remain until his contract status is resolved.

What’s the good news? UGA can take a gigantic step in the right recruiting direction with Tuesday’s announcement by RB Keith Marshall of Raleigh, N.C. He’s ranked as the No. 1 RB prospect in the nation by Scout.com. The Bulldogs are considered the longtime favorites for Marshall, with Clemson, South Carolina, Florida and Notre Dame also in the running.

Also, UGA will have its biggest recruiting weekend of the year, beginning next Friday. For the Bulldogs to return to the Top 10, they will need a dominating finish among the state’s top uncommitted prospects, which include Harris County DE Jordan Jenkins and Lowndes S-WR Josh Harvey-Clemons, and be able to flip a few in-state players pledged to out-of-state schools, including Buford LB Dillon Lee (committed to Alabama), Sandy Creek WR Jaquay Williams (Auburn) and Stone Mountain LB Markuss Eligwe (FSU).

Now it’s YOUR turn. What do you think? Can UGA finish in the top 10 again? Or is just a dream? Please post below.

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

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185 comments Add your comment

Bad Dawg

December 3rd, 2011
9:53 pm

Final Score: LSU 42 UGA 10
Silver Lining: UGA scored more than Alabama on LSU :) and Keith Marshall decides on Dec 6, 2011 and it is also the holiday season so cheer up dawg fans.
Go Dawgs!

RiverDawg

December 3rd, 2011
9:54 pm

Still love the Dawgs… Just gotta play for 60 minutes. We need running backs.

chilidawg

December 3rd, 2011
9:55 pm

We have a spot for you, Mr. Marshall.

Bad Dawg

December 3rd, 2011
9:55 pm

Have to give credit to LSU as well. That team would not flinch if the world was going end. UGA just got beat by a better team, no excuses.

JRW7

December 3rd, 2011
9:59 pm

KEITH MARSHALL, UGA needs you, come and play NOW!!! GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!

Athens Dawg

December 3rd, 2011
9:59 pm

We need a couple running backs (Marshall & Gurley) and some offensive linemen. JUCO linemen that are ready to come in and dominate right away. We need at least 3 or 4 more linemen.

RNB

December 3rd, 2011
10:01 pm

All I can say is come to Georgia you can play immediately. We are a few players away from challenging LSU and Bama. Stay in state and be a Dawg.

Gator Hater

December 3rd, 2011
10:03 pm

Bring Keith Marshall in and kick Crowell out. She is a little too fragile to run the ball in the SEC.

Athens Dawg

December 3rd, 2011
10:03 pm

I wish we could get a big azz running back in the mold of Trent Richardson, Kenny Hilliard, Spencer Ware, etc. We need some bruisers. Maybe sign a JUCO RB? That’s about 6′0, 225-230? Maybe even 235-240? We need a beast that will torture defenses and wear them out. To be honest, I want Crowell out of here. He’s no good for our team.

JDawg1785

December 3rd, 2011
10:04 pm

Big time needs on the OL and in the backfield. Sounds like the Dawgs are doing well with Keith Marshall. Does anyone know where Gurley stands?

Taco Meat

December 3rd, 2011
10:06 pm

Great first half effort by the Dawgs. There’s no reason for us not to be back in the Dome next year. I think we have a great chance to finish in the top 10 in recruiting. Marshall and Harvey-Clemons are ours to lose IMO.

Gator Hater

December 3rd, 2011
10:09 pm

Looked like Boykin was shying away from contact towards the end of the game.

WONDERING

December 3rd, 2011
10:10 pm

42-10-remove rhe T and Down and what is left? OUCH. is that right? Just WONDERING.

Athens Dawg

December 3rd, 2011
10:11 pm

We need some athletic linemen. We got some fat azzes right now. We need big guys, but guys that can move while also using their power.

Athens Dawg

December 3rd, 2011
10:13 pm

Boykin always seems to shy away from contact unless it’s someone he feels he can take on. He won’t hit anybody bigger than him. That spells puzzy. But he’s a good player. Just needs to tackle.

The best lineman we have right now is Ben Jones but he’ll be gone next season. Bean Anderson is just that, a bean. Dude is horrible at blocking. Most of the pressures came off his side.

Hit The Weights Or Go Home!!!!

December 3rd, 2011
10:15 pm

Keith Marshall will have the same impact as Crowell. Keith Marshall is a little running back who won’t be able to take the pounding like Crowell. You UGA fans are dumb if you think Marshall will produce in college. Go back one year and you dummies were trying to push King and Ealey out the door for Crowell, now it’s get rid of little Crowell for even smaller Marshall.

One last thing, Marshall’s highlight tape hardly shows him running between the tackles or breaking tackles. Marshall and Crowell equal weak and weaker. UGA is a JOKE!!!!

Athens Dawg

December 3rd, 2011
10:16 pm

I would LOVE to have Marshall right now and Gurley as well. But the guy I’m really wanting is the 2013 guy, Derrick Henry I believe his name is. 6′2, about 235. Yeahhhh buddy. He’ll be a good one. He’s big, and physical and he’ll look good in red and black. I just want a physical team and we don’t have that right now. Alabama and LSU are the most physical teams in the country and guess where they’ll be next month? In New Orleans. Being physical is the key.

Gator Hater

December 3rd, 2011
10:16 pm

Richt has been burning through alot of highly recruited running backs lately. I hope that does not scare away Keith Marshall.

RiverDawg

December 3rd, 2011
10:16 pm

I’m gonna hold out judgement on Crowell. Can’t trust the rumors about his attitude and I don’t think the kid is healthy. He will have nearly a month to get healed and let’s see how he runs the ball in the bowl game.

Athens Dawg

December 3rd, 2011
10:17 pm

How big is Gurley?

Jeff

December 3rd, 2011
10:19 pm

Well, let’s see how Crowell comes back next season. Remember he got here in June fresh out of the high school running against SEC defenses. Give him a season under our S & C, and let him lift them weights and get bigger. He’ll be about 220-225 next season.

Fred

December 3rd, 2011
10:22 pm

South Carolina lost big to Auburn last year in SEC Championship and still had a very good recruiting class because they made it to the BIG game. Georgia will come on strong in recruiting before the deadlines!

Bad Dawg

December 3rd, 2011
10:28 pm

Come on now don’t be sore losers dawg fans. Boykin has been one of the best players on the team all year and he had a chance to go pro after last season. Thank the young man for coming back and helping UGA win the SEC East. Sure he got ran over a couple of times but he got back up and kept gutting it out for his team. Again give LSU credit their depth at all positions is overwhelming.

JDawg1785

December 3rd, 2011
10:31 pm

True, Bad Dawg. Boykin is the heart and soul of this team and should be thanked for his efforts on the field and in the locker room.

Buford T. Pusser

December 3rd, 2011
10:36 pm

So, Dog Fans, is Crowell, the next Hershel? Or another bust in the long line of successors to fail? Five star recruits, three star results. Admit it, players are coached down at UGA, not up.

The Sheriff has Spoken.

Jeff

December 3rd, 2011
10:40 pm

Oh I thank Boykin for being loyal to Georgia and doing something Stafford, Moreno, or Green never did and that’s help us to an SEC title game, but he needs to hit.

Jeff

December 3rd, 2011
10:43 pm

Pusser, Crowell is a bust. I don’t like him and he’s only a freshman. Maybe he improves next season with a little more SEC seasoning, but it’s his attitude. I tell you what he needs….competition.

Remarkable

December 3rd, 2011
10:45 pm

One good thing that can come out of this game is that the coaches can point to our depth and say that we are just a few players away from a top ten team. We got wore down but we held our own for the first half. Hopefully Georgia recruits can see that if they stay in state, we have a state team that can play with the big boys. Come on guys, lets have a Dream Team Two.

Tech86

December 3rd, 2011
10:53 pm

Why would Marshall want to attend GA, he will be asked to leave after one or two years. Something is going on with these running backs, Ga always get’s the best, Tailback U, but something is now happening with them. Could be just a bad run, but you guys have lost so much you got no depth. Look at LSU, 4 big bruising backs to dominate the SEC. Looks like the single A and Double AA backs in Ga are just Div I-AA backs. Good luck, but stop with the dream team crap, that was for the 1992 Olympic basketball team.

CPDawg06

December 3rd, 2011
10:53 pm

While we did lose to 3 rank opponents I am proud of the the dawns this year. I feel like we are back on track toward maintaining our position as the top team in the east and contender. I am still 100% behind Crowell guys the kid is not healthy when he was he produced lets just give the kid time. I would love to add Marshall to the mix to play with Crowell. We will continue to get better and have the Dream Team back next year bigger faster and stronger.
#GODAWGS

dawgforlife

December 3rd, 2011
11:06 pm

Tech86…your right we stink (31-17) but never fear, your program is really coming along…you know, I said if the team showing up for the Auburn game was there, LSU was in trouble. If the team showing up against Kebtucky was there, we were in trouble…and guess what?…both those teams showed up…We worn down terribly in the 2nd half…which makes me wonder about all that strength and conditioning magic Joe T brought to the team…

dawgforlife

December 3rd, 2011
11:07 pm

uh..wore down

Rodney Dangerfield

December 3rd, 2011
11:16 pm

GA fans always propping up their incoming tailbacks to only tear them down after a year or two in the program, and on to the next Herschel. The endless cycle continues.

Ga DawgLOL

December 3rd, 2011
11:19 pm

I hope someone in Athens talks D. Swope into transferring to UGA .He seems to be the best back in Ga. 255 today. Not too shabby against Alabama either.

rpdawg

December 3rd, 2011
11:50 pm

Gezz, will everyone especially the AJC get a grip. In september who honestly would have predicted 10 wins. Now that isn,t good enough after we lose to a team that some in the media have already annointed as one of the best teams ever. Yes LSU is very good and it is their year, no doubt. Are we in their league yet? No. But only time will tell. We desperately need depth at a number of positions. Running back and O line come to mind. But our Defense is outstanding and will only get better. Offense is just a couple of players and one consistent quarterback away from being very good. So please get off the players backs. They played the hearts of and did UGA proud. The AD needs to cut the bulls..t and extend the contracts of Richt and Grantham NOW. Then the recruits will fell comfortable in comitting to us. The future is bright. All of you people who have never been on the field at this level have no clue. Quit your negative crap about the players and coaches, You certainly could do no better. And if you think there is a better man and coach than Mark Richt for UGA your are dillusional. With all that is going on in college sports today, I am one Dawg that is very happy that we have a man of Mark Richt’s character leading our program. Go Dawgs. Lets get after that Bowl opponent.

LibertyDawg

December 4th, 2011
12:07 am

Looking at the Stats (other than the score) and the Dawgs beat the snot out of LSU. The special teams plays killed us. The long returns and the LSU kicker.

We need improvement on special teams. It killed us all year. It killed us today.

LibertyDawg

December 4th, 2011
12:09 am

Tech86 ,

I heard Marshall is an A student and has his head on straight. This is what we need for stability at the position. Plus, the dude has the jaw line of Hershall. :-)

From Where I Sit

December 4th, 2011
12:20 am

Until GA can win a few NC’s, do not look for big time recruits to want to jump on the bandwagon as GA has done nothing in 30+ years.

cochise

December 4th, 2011
1:05 am

No wonder Al fans always talking about Ga high school football players they would never win crapp with there own state players, they even need the water from Ga’s lakes and rivers to survive. Sure do talk a lot of crap for a state whoose very state of being depends on the empire st of the south…..Georgia.

BUCCADAWG

December 4th, 2011
1:58 am

Gotta give credit lsu is pertty good, But im a dawg fan now, i was a dawg fan before and by the grace of God i will be a Dawg thru eternity! I support our coaches and players and think the best is yet to come. GO DAWGS !! thanks for a great fun season and i cant wait till next year G.A.T.A. HOW BOUT THEM DAWGS

BamaDawg

December 4th, 2011
2:10 am

Will UGA sign a top 10 recruiting class this year…probably not. What Alabama and LSU seem to have that’s lacking at UGA are players who will do what it takes to win…although Jarvis Jones and Richard Samuel seem to understand – we need more like them regardless of the number of stars.

UGA may sign Keith Marshall but he is a different type of runner than Crowell, who is different than Ken Malcome so each will be needed going forward. Malcome has shown brief glimpses of what he can offer even though he has been in Richt’s doghouse most of the year. For all of Richt’s good qualities, once a player falls out of favor w/him – particularly running backs – it is tough to fully recover.

Lagdawg

December 4th, 2011
3:58 am

Marshall will be a good pickup but, UGA needs to start recruiting bigger RBs. Too many small RBs on the team and CMR needs to learn how to get rid of the riff raft on the team. If they are not producing, make room for some better talent. Will not finish in the top ten with all the low level talent already verbally committed. In order to bring in the big, talented OL. UGA will have to make a better effort to recruit nationally and recruti the JC better and harder. Top ten classes don’t matter if your player evaluations are off. Southern Cal. only has 15 schollys avaliable but they are bringing in top talent on every hit. UGA’ s player evaluations have got to get better. UGA still needs to pursue Matt Jones from Seffner Fla.. He will bring in the physical running style that is needed in the SEC but, the OL play has got to get better. The team needs to spend a lot more time in the weightroom. They are still not strong enough or physical enough to compete with the talent of LSU and ALa. There is a lot of work to be done in the offseason. Also, the CB need to be bigger and more physical. Stop recruiting for the ACC and recruit for the SEC.

Throw me a bone

December 4th, 2011
4:49 am

LAY OFF CROWELL! I KNOW HE HAS SOME ISSUES BUT WHERE WOULD WE BE WITHOUT HIM!

IN ALL HONESTY , I THINK HE REALLY SHOULDVE BEEN REDSHIRTED AND HAD TIME TO PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY MATURE FOR A YEAR, BUT WE HAD TO PLAY HIM OUT OF NECESSITY

AND LETS JUST BE HONEST. HES NOT AN EVERY DOWN BACK, BUT WOULD BE KILLER IN A STABLE WITH HIM, MARSHALL, GURLEY, BOO, AND SAMUEL…. THEN DERRICK HENRY (IF HE PLAYS OFFENSE)!

Paddy

December 4th, 2011
5:46 am

Throw me a bone. IC needs to mature physically??? He is 5′11″ 215lbs. Great size for a running back. If CMR would have told IC he was going to red-shirt him, the kid would have been off campus that very day. If he needed mental preperation he should have gone to Prep School. This is SEC football not Fr. Flannagan’s Boy’s Town.

Bone-A-Fide Dawg

December 4th, 2011
6:27 am

I’m not as optimistic about next year as most Dawg fans. Our defense in championship level and should get better. Coaching on offense isn’t nearly as conpetent though. I think Friend was a bad hire. He’s only on the staff becaude Ritcht likes him and he thought he could dictate how he wants the OL to play. What we need is a housecleaning of the offensive staff. If we could bring in the right people for offense and special teams we could compete with the very best most years.

What I’m afraid will happen is Richt will sign an extension, won’t make the needed changes and we’ll be stuck in the also ran spot for years to come.

Midtown Dawg

December 4th, 2011
7:00 am

Congrats to our Dawgs for coming back from 0-2 to make it to the SEC championships. That shows a winner mentality no matter what any ‘winners’ on ajc blogs say.

I do believe UGA is a great opportunity for great players including Marshall and Jenkins. We are a few good players away from a national championship. I would really like to steal Humphries from NC for our OL because he is a high caliber and dominant OL. I think Humprhies is like Marshall, Burnette, LeMay, Murray, Charles and the other DGD we have but Avery is not.

Red and Black to the Core

December 4th, 2011
7:03 am

@Bone-A-Fide-

You’re right on the money. We’ve been irrelevant in the national picture too long…despite all our “top ten” recruiting classes. Richt can’t coach up that kind of talent?

Richt coasted through a weak schedule and “saved” his job, but his “redemption” may have sealed our fate…we could be mired in mediocrity for another decade.

Richt may be too good to fire but not good enough to win championships.

GaTruth

December 4th, 2011
7:11 am

If we learned anything lst night, it is that:
- we need more strength (not just size) on the O-Line
- we need receivers who can catch (King has dropped A TON of easy balls this year)
- we need speed AND size at DB (our little corners can’t tackle big backs)
- we saw what we can do in the first half because we have heart, we need to recruit replacements for any player that lacks heart – call them Tin Men

Paddy

December 4th, 2011
7:21 am

I would not be dissapointed with a recriting class that is out of the top 10. Maybe a lot more players that want to be a Dawgs and a top running back or two and a top QB. It is broken ( our fixation on top 10) A slightly different direction would produce football players and not prima donna’s!! I am not saying turn down great players. They must buy into the team concept. A few rotten apples can ruin a locker room. If you can’t depend on them, they will not win the big games when they are needed the most.

The Alpha&Omega Dawg

December 4th, 2011
7:25 am

Big nast OL; Big hard running backs; Big nasty DL and a heart that beats for Georgia. I`m from Georgia and I can not see myself playing for another state making their program better. Thats if I had offers from other schools.