Georgia football, national signing day notes: Bulldogs' smaller signing class gets mixed rankings from recruiting websites

semerson@ledger-enquirer.comFebruary 1, 2012 

ATHENS, Ga. -- Last summer, Georgia helped lead the charge to stem the supposed scourge of over-signing in the SEC. In the first year of those new rules, the Bulldogs lived up to it by under-signing.

Georgia signed only 18 players and was still waiting for a letter of intent from Josh Harvey-Clemons. Either way, it was far short of the 27 spots the Bulldogs had available, but they also had to consider the overall roster limit of 85 scholarship players.

“You can’t sign any more than you don’t have room for as well,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said.

“So you don’t know what’s going to happen with that number.”

It’s not unprecedented for Georgia. Two years ago, it signed only 19, and it was a 17-member class in 2005.

The reviews on the overall ranking of Georgia’s class were mixed: It was as high as fifth (ESPN) and as low as 19th (Rivals). The status of Harvey-Clemons could impact that, since the ESPN and 247sports each still counted him in Georgia’s list and had the Bulldogs ranked higher than Rivals and Scout.com, which did not include Harvey-Clemons in their calculations.

Naturally, Richt thought fans should focus on the sites that he said reflected the quality of the signees, not the amount.

“There’s other people that look at it more per player. Did you take care of your needs? The players that you brought in, how quality are they? The services that have that type of philosophy I know our ranking was very high with those kinds of people,” Richt said.

“But we don’t get too crazy about those types of things. I’m saying that to educate those fans who might be concerned about something. We just know we’re very excited about the young men we did sign, and we got some very good ones.”

Light on receivers

Georgia signed only one receiver, Blake Tibbs, while missing out on two major targets: Cordarelle Patterson signed with Tennessee, and Jaquay Williams with Auburn.

But Richt pointed to all of Georgia’s returning receivers.

“So we know we’ve got some outstanding playmakers,” he said.

“And I think a lot of the recruits probably knew we had some outstanding playmakers. … My guess is next season’s recruiting class will be one that a bunch of receivers will see a bunch of opportunity (because) we only signed one in this class. Sometimes, when you nail it the year before, it’s a little bit tougher the next year at that position.”

Play them anywhere

Georgia loaded up on defensive players that can play outside, whether it is at outside linebacker or end. Four players, aside from Harvey-Clemons, fit that role, and the team wasn’t hurting at that spot with current players.

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said he expects to move players around from game-to-game, based on matchups, and could see playing three outside linebackers at the same time.

More from Grantham

Grantham, entering the final year of his contract, is set to receive a extension. But he said he and his bosses, including Richt, haven’t discussed it since the recruiting period ended.

Meanwhile, Grantham said he didn’t have any word on the status of cornerback Sanders Commings, who was arrested two weeks ago on a charge of misdemeanor domestic violence.

“Obviously we’ll address it as we move forward and now that we’re back we can get into those types of things,” Grantham said. “But I don’t know any more than you know.”

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