Georgia’s ‘Dream Team’ recruiting class goes for 22nd win in Capital One Bowl

ORLANDO – Because of what happened with Isaiah Crowell, there is a tendency to think Georgia’s recruiting class of 2011 – better known as the “Dream Team” – was anything but dreamy.

Crowell, the No. 1-rated running back in the nation coming out of high school, was the crown jewel of that class. But after earning SEC Freshman of the Year honors, Crowell was unable to make it to a second season with Georgia. He was dismissed this past summer after his arrest on felony weapons charges.

But there were a lot of other elite prospects who signed in that 2011 class, which was rated among the top five in the nation of that year, and most remain prominent members of the 2012 team. Together they’ve helped the Bulldogs win 21 games and two SEC Eastern Division championship the past two seasons.

“We’re still here; we’re still standing strong,” said Malcolm Mitchell, a wide receiver from Valdosta who has 1,237 yards receiving and 8 touchdowns since becoming a Bulldog. “A lot of us came in and did play early. A lot of us are playing now. A lot of us will be leaving next year as just juniors. I still believe that our recruiting class will be big, and we did make a difference in some areas.”

They’ve definitely won a lot of games. They’ll be going for win No. 22 against Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl on Tuesday. That would be the same number of games the 1980 and ’81 Georgia teams won. Only the 2002-03 Bulldogs won more games (24) in a two-year stretch.

But they have come up short – so far anyway — of what was the stated goal that signing class. The concept of coming to Athens together was to win a national championship. The Bulldogs were five yards shy of a chance to play for one with their 32-28 loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship.

“I still feel like we had a great class,” said tight end Jay Rome, who redshirted that first year but is playing as a regular now. “Even though we’re missing a few that came in with us, we still have a lot of people that are out there making plays on both sides of the ball that are making plays for this team. There are other guys that haven’t been able to show all that they can do yet, like Justin Scott-Wesley, who I think is going to be an outstanding player. I really think we’re strong class and we’re going to be the new leaders of this football team.”

Georgia coaches were the ones who came up with the “Dream Team” theme. The crop of elite football prospects in the state was particularly strong in 2011.  Georgia’s coaches, armed with iPads featuring pictures of all the best recruits in a montage, pitched them to come come together and be part of the Dream Team.

“We had fun with that,” Richt said with a laugh.

The Bulldogs signed a full class of 26 players. Joining Crowell, Mitchell and Rome were top-rated prospects such as Chris Conley, Watts Dantzler, Ray Drew, John Jenkins, Christian LeMay, Nick Marshall, Damian Swann and Xzavier Ward.

“We kind of started that off saying, ‘hey we’re from Georgia; let’s go to Georgia; let’s build something special here,” Rome recalls. “I think has trickled down from our class to the next classes coming up. With all us getting together and coming in, it kind of inspired the next year’s class to do the same thing and keep up the tradition.”

Not all of them panned out and there was attrition. Like Crowell, Marshall, Chris Sanders and Sanford Seay were also dismissed for disciplinary infractions. And Lonnie Outlaw and Kent Turene never qualified.

But there were also some unexpected gems. Center David Andrews and linebacker Amarlo Herrera were relatively unsung compared to some of their more ballyhooed classmates but have become starters and captains on their respective units.

“A lot of guys have done well,” Richt said. “There were certainly some that fell by the wayside, which is pretty typical of just about any class you sign. You hope that everybody makes it from start to finish. But every year (new players come in) I always tell them, ‘look around; odds are not everybody is going to be here at the end.’ It’d be nice for everybody to be there but it usually doesn’t happen that way.”

But it worked out well for more than a few in that group. And, overall, it definitely worked out well for the Bulldogs.

‘I will always be honored to be a part of the Dream Team recruiting year,” said Mitchell, who has also played defense and special teams for Georgia. “Our class has already had some great success and I think there is much more to come. It was a special group and i think it helped build a strong foundation for Georgia in the future.”

2011 ‘DREAM TEAM’

David Andrews, OL, Norcross — Starter on offensive line
Sterling Bailey, DE Gainesville — Redshirted and still awaiting opportunities
Devin Bowman, DB, Rossville — Backup player will battle for starting job next season
Chris Conley, WR, Dallas — Regular in wide receiver rotation
Isaiah Crowell, RB, Columbus — Dismissed and transferred to Alabama State
Watts Dantzler, OL, Dalton — Backup on offensive line
Zach DeBell, OL, Tarpon Springs, Fla. — Backup on offensive line
Ray Drew, DE, Thomasville — Top backup at defensive end
Quintavious Harrow, DB, Columbus — Quit team
Amarlo Herrera, LB, College Park — Starter at inside linebacker
John Jenkins, DT Meriden, Conn. — All-star noseguard but ineligible for bowl
Christian LeMay, QB, Matthews, N.C. — Third-string quarterback
Hunter Long, OL, Eads, Tenn. — Backup on offensive line
Nick Marshall, ATH,  Rochelle — Dismissed and starring as JUCO quarterback
Chris Mayes, DT, Griffin — Did not qualify by re-signed from JUCO this month
Malcolm Mitchell, DB/WR, Valdosta — Star wide receiver
Corey Moore, DB Griffin — Backup defensive back
Jay Rome, TE, Valdosta — No. 2 tight end after redshirt season
Chris Sanders, DB, Tucker — Dismissed and out of football
Justin Scott-Wesley, WR, Camilla — Still developing in backup role
Sanford Seay, WR Leesburg — Dismissed
Damian Swann DB Atlanta — Starting cornerback
Nathan Theus, OL, Jacksonville — Backup snapper
Kent Turene, LB, Lauderdale Lakes — Did not qualify
Xzavier Ward, OL, Moultrie — Backup on offensive line
Ramik Wilson, LB Tampa — Backup linebacker

125 comments Add your comment

GaSouthernFalcon

December 27th, 2012
5:13 pm

First !

I always wanted to do that !

GaSouthernFalcon

December 27th, 2012
5:14 pm

Good info about that recruiting class. It’s always good to go back and see how things turned out.

Sweet!

December 27th, 2012
5:16 pm

Lots of great names on this list. Amazing how well the Dawgs have played with so many young players. Thanks for being DGDs. For those men who are elsewhere, I wish you luck and success, you may not be a Dawg, but you are people. Good luck to you, hope you figure it out.

superDawg

December 27th, 2012
5:16 pm

Keep the dream alive.GO DAWGS!

BOB

December 27th, 2012
5:17 pm

What will really make a difference for UGA recruits is a 10,000 seat addition to Sanford stadium and a full scale inoor practice facility.

GB's Hamburgers

December 27th, 2012
5:28 pm

I think the list shows the perpetual problem UGA has in recruiting linemen. Recruits at other positions forced their way into starting roles. Not so with the linemen. Only two are holding down starting positions – one on defense and one on offense. This is a problem when we face teams like Bama.

Lonnie

December 27th, 2012
5:37 pm

Depth. It is the key to winning and this years class + another will really build our depth!!!! Yes we lost some and I would love to have Nick Marshall. But it has been a great run!!! Just think if Walsh had head straight we would have 2 more victories. Way to go dawgs!!!!

Put in Timeout by Ken Suguira,Filtered by Mark Bradley, Banned by Bill King, Chip Towers & only slightly loved by Jeff Schultz.

December 27th, 2012
5:39 pm

They BEAT anybody of consequence in those 22 games?

CEPH

December 27th, 2012
5:47 pm

The coaches at UGA did not come up with the phrase “dream team” Sterling Bailey’s father coined that phrase. As usual Richt is wrong again, what a joke!!!

kral

December 27th, 2012
6:03 pm

2 gators, 2 aub tigers.2 yeller jackets..(may not be of national consequence,but was still fun)…2 tennersees,,2 vandies,2 ole misseies ,and some ten others.was important to me

Put in Timeout by Ken Suguira,Filtered by Mark Bradley, Banned by Bill King, Chip Towers & only slightly loved by Jeff Schultz.

December 27th, 2012
6:03 pm

Crowell was the WRITERS choice for FOY. Clowney was the SEC Coaches choice for FOY.

Lonnie

December 27th, 2012
6:05 pm

GB. Our starting line has 3 from 2010. Gates, Burnette and Lee. I do agree we could use more talent but this year will be those 3 third year starting together! In addition, we have bodies that have been together + 3 hopefully 4 newcomers!

Nauti dawg

December 27th, 2012
6:16 pm

Yeah, they beat Tech twice. Oh, wait….Ga. Tech is of no consequence.

kral

December 27th, 2012
6:18 pm

I thought the Miami Heat coined the phrase or was it the miracle U. S. olympic hockey team.. oh who really cares that much..I guess cephus

Lonnie

December 27th, 2012
6:18 pm

You are right put in timeout! Clowney was best freshman in SEC. Just think Gurley and Yelden would have run away with the award last year!!!

kral

December 27th, 2012
6:20 pm

someone is into wet dreams as a team..wow

UGA and the 2013 D Line

December 27th, 2012
6:21 pm

After reading about the returning young men that will play on the 2013 D line and and some of new incoming kids,I feel much better about the D next year. Gardner being gone now, is good news.

Wolfman

December 27th, 2012
6:30 pm

What is their won/loss record against top 20 teams???

11 of 12

December 27th, 2012
6:47 pm

Two of the best years ever against our rivals and I enjoyed the hell out of it. Getting to the SEC Champ win or lose beats the hell out of watching a rival play in it. I dont care what any haters say because it has been a great ride and nothing you say can change that. Also as mentioned above read this and suck on it:

2 gators, 2 aub tigers.2 yeller jackets..(may not be of national consequence,but was still fun)…2 tennersees,,2 vandies,2 ole misseies ,and some ten others.was important to me

Rick James

December 27th, 2012
6:57 pm

I knew this story would bring out the Tech trolls..

bitter "spoiled recruit"

December 27th, 2012
6:58 pm

These kids came with-in 5—frigg-in yards of winning the SEC

——All you HATERS can—sux my dik

kral

December 27th, 2012
6:58 pm

well thanks for quoting me 11out of 12

Sowega Dawg

December 27th, 2012
7:05 pm

Great Class many should have gone to other schools so they would have played early like Justin-Scott-Wesley and Sanford Seay. Justin was the fastest kid in the state and 5th fastest in the nation but hasn’t been used on offense nor special teams but is a 1st team SEC TRACK guy. Sanford was the leading wr in 2011 but redshirted you lost your next AJ green better hope he returns, UGA cause if he goes to another SEC school mark my words you will PAY and pay BIG Sanford go to FSU if you listening. UGA does not give SOWEGA guys respect FSU plays playmakers from sowega look at your home boi rashard green. UGA desrves everything they get for being onesided!!!!!!! So sad when BOBO from thomasville and richt a FSU man. UGA will never be on top because they can’t dominate they STATE in recruiting I actually thought the DREAM TEAM was the 1 but they didnt even play the best guys and left out the TOP ath’s Rashard Green and Jessie Atkins. UGA alumni Kill yourself!!!!!!!!!! yall just wanna do just enough to get by smh @ uga RECRUIT to win a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP not a sec championship settle for 2nd thats what I see in UGA and thats NOT RICHT thats a UGA thing!.

Put in Timeout by Ken Suguira,Filtered by Mark Bradley, Banned by Bill King, Chip Towers & only slightly loved by Jeff Schultz.

December 27th, 2012
7:12 pm

Rick James you should see the GT v USC game blog. It is nothing but MUTTS and a few are actually being nice cause they hate Kiffin. They are slamming Kiffin and tech in most of the dWag posts.

Toe Meets Leather

December 27th, 2012
7:13 pm

Always have top 5 class with NOTHING to show for it.

jack bull

December 27th, 2012
7:29 pm

A lot of back-up OL in that class,,,,hmmmmm…

kral

December 27th, 2012
7:30 pm

nothing to show for it is in the eye of the blogger..we can be reminded of our losses…which makes you what???? and we just came up 4pts. short of playing for it all in the crazy system that we have..so I guess you can look on the bright side or like filtered look through your hineyside..easy for him when it comes to UGA like ole sponge bob he has always got his head up his ;;take a guess where I meant..bet you nailed it

Time and Tide

December 27th, 2012
7:36 pm

Nebraska 45, Georgia 13

Time and Tide

December 27th, 2012
7:39 pm

“Always have top 5 class with NOTHING to show for it.”

You noticed, eh? :-)

WestOfAthens

December 27th, 2012
7:42 pm

And the majority is associated w/offense.
Is why Dawgs offense will be loaded next year. Yes, number 11 is returning.

Todd Grantham, keep doing what you do. Continued success relies upon Defense

Rick James

December 27th, 2012
7:44 pm

@ Put in Timeout by Ken Suguira,Filtered by Mark Bradley, Banned by Bill King, Chip Towers & only slightly loved by Jeff Schultz.

Rick James you should see the GT v USC game blog. It is nothing but MUTTS and a few are actually being nice cause they hate Kiffin. They are slamming Kiffin and tech in most of the dWag posts.
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I understand Tech fans slamming Georgia in blogs because they have nothing to talk about when it comes to football.Georgia fans retaliate at every opportunity and the solution to that if for Tech to win or at least stop making excuses.Personally I’d like to see Tech win the game.

Rick James

December 27th, 2012
7:57 pm

@Time and Tide

Nebraska 45, Georgia 13
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HA HA!! Nebraska gave up 70 points and over 500 yards rushing in the Big 10 championship game.Todd Gurley alone rushed for over 100 yards against one of the top rushing defences in the nation in the SEC championship game.I’m sure this just wishful thinking on your part but its still crazy.

Rick James

December 27th, 2012
7:57 pm

Put in Timeout by Ken Suguira,Filtered by Mark Bradley, Banned by Bill King, Chip Towers & only slightly loved by Jeff Schultz.

December 27th, 2012
8:00 pm

Refs in the DUKE game are letting Cincy lay so pretty questionable hits.

Reality Strikes

December 27th, 2012
8:01 pm

Go Dawgs! Time to show them the REAL UGA team.

Good idea. Have the UGA team members come with their lawyers, bail bondsmen, and probation officers, plus the arresting officers. That’s the REAL UGA team.

A-Ville Ranger

December 27th, 2012
8:03 pm

Really when you look at how many have been lost to attrition and how many have yet to produce, it hasn’t been a great class. It’s not like dream teamers have been the primary factors in winning those 21 games either.

kral

December 27th, 2012
8:15 pm

agree a- ville,but the core has been there only 2 years. so maybe the core can still help produce a dream who knows…and reality takes the never before shot at UGA players..good job..quite humorus..feel good..make you the man ..laughed out loud..and you are proud..of what

kral

December 27th, 2012
8:15 pm

agree a- ville,but the core has been there only 2 years. so maybe the core can still help produce a dream who knows…and reality takes the never before shot at UGA players..good job..quite humorus..feel good..make you the man ..laughed out loud..and you are proud..of what

Neutral

December 27th, 2012
8:18 pm

@put in timeout…..
You are really struggling my friend. I think you are suffering from a major case of BullDawg envy!

[...] more from the original source: Georgia’s ‘Dream Team’ recruiting class goes for 22nd win in Capital One Bowl ← Back to Home Tags: bulldog, class, elite, focal, games, helped, jay rome, malcolm [...]

Put in Timeout by Ken Suguira,Filtered by Mark Bradley, Banned by Bill King, Chip Towers & only slightly loved by Jeff Schultz.

December 27th, 2012
8:23 pm

Refs SCREWING DUKE bad…………….

Bob

December 27th, 2012
8:33 pm

Question…when was the last time we were underdogs in a bowl game? Thanks.

JUNKYARD DAWG

December 27th, 2012
8:38 pm

Time and Tide suck it loser.

kral

December 27th, 2012
8:42 pm

now actors call that was funny..best new slanderous approach against CMR I have seen in a while…you should be saluted for your creativity..hailed for your..oh gosh you just wasted one of your best moments on a blog

Castle pines canine

December 27th, 2012
8:47 pm

Put in……….whatever. I didn’t know Tech had a blog. Most Dog people only care aboutTech the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and usually not much past the middle of the third quarter

KJ

December 27th, 2012
9:08 pm

“Have the UGA team members come with their lawyers, bail bondsmen, and probation officers, plus the arresting officers. That’s the REAL UGA team.”

No, if you want to see the criminals, you’ll have to go to Baton Rouge or Alabama State. But maybe if you say dumb stuff like this long enough, it’ll come true, and that doll under your bed will turn into a real woman!

Rick James

December 27th, 2012
9:18 pm

@Actors Express

*** ANNOUNCING A CASTING CALL ***
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I think that is the lamest post I’ve ever seen on an ajc blog.With as much time as that took it should be good for at least on laugh,even from Georgia fans.I hope you thought it was funny.

Rick James

December 27th, 2012
9:26 pm

@uncledaddy

Nebraska is going to the bowl game hungry to win while UGA’s star players are looking for ways to stay home.
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Nebraska was hungry in the Big Ten title gave but they gave up 70 points.USC thinks so little of Tech that they’re not even playing Matt Barkley and skipped having dinner with them.The dream team will leave Georgia 4-0 against Georgia Tech.I dont agree with John Jenkins flunking out of school but this time next year he’ll be a millionaire,will you?

wolfman

December 27th, 2012
9:27 pm

The record against top 25 teams is just not good… Lucky for UGA they are in the east.

uncledaddy

December 27th, 2012
9:32 pm

Actors Express

December 27th, 2012
8:28 pm
*** ANNOUNCING A CASTING CALL ***

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TL;DR