Recruiting update: Georgia's big board snapshot

semerson@macon.comJanuary 9, 2012 

ATHENS - Tis the season ... for college football recruiting. One more month, one more big push for programs finishing up their classes.

Jordan Jenkins, the state's highest-rated recruit, will announce his college decision on Monday night. We haven't mentioned his name much in this space because Georgia wasn't thought too be a favorite for the defensive end from Harris County. But all reports are that Georgia has made a big run at Jenkins, with defensive coordinator Todd Grantham making a personal visit to Jenkins over the weekend.

Jenkins will choose between Georgia, Alabama, Auburn and Florida. We'll have an update on that tonight.

In any case, this is as good a time as any to update Georgia's class as of now. As we pointed out in yesterday's roster breakdown, the Bulldogs have room for as many as a dozen more commitments, but don't have to use all those spots.

I'll break this into two parts. First, a look at Georgia's current commitments, in order of star rating on 247sports.com. (Many of the following comments are rehashed from a similar post in December, but I updated when appropriate):

TB Keith Marshall (5-11, 195), Raleigh, N.C. ..... 5 stars
Comment: Marshall has enrolled early at Georgia. Mark Richt will be free to discuss Marshall once he attends class, and I'll be interested to see what he says about him.
Projection: Marshall will contend to start, and at minimum will share carries with Isaiah Crowell and Richard Samuel.

OT John Theus (6-5, 305), Jacksonville, Fla. ..... 5 stars
Comment: The brother of Georgia freshman long snapper Nate Theus committed over the summer, and is one of the nation's top-ranked offensive linemen.
Projection: A serious candidate to start at left tackle. With Georgia losing both of its tackle starters, Theus has a great chance to start somewhere, with Kenarious Gates shifting from guard to one of the tackle spots.

DT Jonathan Taylor (6-4, 317), Millen, Ga. ..... 4 stars
Comment: Also the nation's 55th-ranked overall player by Rivals.com. Jenkins County High School product committed in June. Gives the team another big, physical nose guard.
Projection: Despite presence of John Jenkins and Kwame Geathers, might be too good not to play some snaps as a reserve.  Looked good in the Under Armour All-American game.

DL John Atkins (6-3, 305), Thomson, Ga. ..... 4 stars
Comment: Georgia has decided it can never have enough big linemen. Rivals has Atkins rated as a three-star prospect.
Projection: Atkins is listed as a defensive tackle, but that would be for a 4-3 team. At Georgia he figures to play more on the outside, so he would have an outside chance to play next year.

OLB Leonard Floyd (6-5, 211), Eastman, Ga. ..... 4 stars
Comment: Dodge County standout could also play defensive end, but would need to add weight.
Projection: Georgia's not hurting for outside linebackers, as evidenced by Drew struggling to see the field. But Floyd might be another player who's too good not to play.

OT Greg Pyke (6-5, 290), Baltimore, Md. ..... 4 stars
Comment: Projects as a tackle, though Will Friend wouldn't have any problem plugging him in at guard for depth reasons.
Projection: Given all the depth issues on the line, if Georgia doesn't get a bunch of JUCO recruits at that spot, Pyke has a good chance of seeing the field next year.

TE Ty Smith (6-3, 230), Moultrie, Ga. ..... 3 stars
Comment: The Colquitt County High School star committed back in March, and has put on some weight since then. He's an athletic tight end.
Projection: If Orson Charles leaves, Smith has a chance to play right away.

OT Chester Brown (6-5, 355), Hinesville, Ga. ..... 3 stars
Comment: A potential sleeper because of his size, and coaches really like him.
Projection: Don't rule out Brown getting some very early playing time, if he can pick up the blocking schemes.

WR Blake Tibbs (6-1, 170), Lithonia, Ga. ..... 3 stars
Comment: A speedy prospect whom Rivals ranks as a four-star prospect.
Projection: Georgia should be loaded at receiver next year, but it likes to have about six-to-eight guys ready to play at the beginning of the year. Tibbs could squeeze his way in.

FB Quayvon Hicks (6-2, 249), Blackshear, Ga. ..... 3 stars
Comment: Pierce County High School star committed in June, and has ideal size for a fullback.
Projection: Zander Ogletree returns, but Bruce Figgins is gone, so Hicks could play.

ATH Faron Bauta (6-2, 222), Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. ... 3 stars
Comment: A quarterback in high school who can also play tight end and fullback. He has also enrolled, and it will be interesting to see what Richt says about his position status.
Projection: Bauta's ability to play a lot of positions makes him an intriguing candidate for immediate playing time. A lot depends on Hutson Mason's immediate decision.  

DE James Deloach (6-2, 249), Millen, Ga. ..... 3 stars
Comment: Teammate of Jonathan Taylor, hoping to put on some weight and could also play OLB.
Projection: A redshirt candidate because of the depth at the position.

K Marshall Morgan (6-3, 195), Fort Lauderdale, Fla. ..... 3 stars
Comment: Blair Walsh figures to be replaced by a fellow South Floridan.
Projection: It's not a certainty that Morgan will be the guy, but he'll get every chance.

P Collin Barber (6-1, 190), Cartersville, Ga. ..... 2 stars
Comment: Punters are never highly-ranked, but George felt enough about Barber to offer him a scholarship.
Projection: The punting job could be wide open. Some current walk-ons could get a shot as well.

***

And now here are Georgia's top remaining targets, along with a comment:

DE-OLB Jordan Jenkins (6-3, 242), Hamilton, Ga. .... 4 stars
Alabama may still be the favorite, but if he signs with Georgia, he'll play next year, and push Abry Jones, Garrison Smith and Derrick Lott for playing time.

RB Todd Gurley (6-1, 209), Tarboro, N.C. .... 4 stars
Georgia is now regarded as the favorite by analysts. The Bulldogs have continued recruiting Gurley hard after Marshall's commitment, as they seek to stock up on tailbacks who promise to behave themselves.

OLB Josh Harvey-Clemons (6-5, 200), Valdosta, Ga. .... 4 stars
Florida and Georgia are making a hard run at Clemons, who is good enough to get some time as a true freshman.

RB Mike Davis (5-11, 195), Stone Mountain, Ga. .... 4 stars
Another top 100 prospect at tailback that the Bulldogs have pursued. South Carolina appears to be the team to beat for Davis, who until last month was committed to Florida.

OT Avery Young (6-6, 281), Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. .... 4 stars
He would be a candidate to play right away for Georgia, which obviously needs the healthy bodies on the line.

WR Cordarelle Patterson (6-3, 205), Hutchinson Community College, Kan. .... 4 stars
According to Rusty Mansell of Dawgs247.com, the favorites for Patterson have been Tennessee and Georgia.

DE Kenderius Whitehead (6-5, 210), Lithonia, Ga. .... 4 stars
Whitehead grew up around Athens, and it's between Georgia, Clemson and perhaps N.C. State for his services.

ATH Sheldon Dawson (5-11, 178), Memphis, Tenn. .... 4 stars
Dawson can play tailback, cornerback or perhaps another position if a team sees fit. He's officially committed to Memphis.

CB Will Redmond (6-0, 180), Memphis, Tenn. .... 3 stars
Officially committed to Mississippi State, but could end up being a package deal with Dawson.

***

I might have missed a guy or two, and there's still a month for Georgia to get involved with someone else. But that's basically the list as of now.


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