As national signing day approaches, we are counting down Georgia's top 10 recruits of the past decade (since the 2003 class), ranked in order of performance as a Bulldog.
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And now we bring you No. 7:
LB JUSTIN HOUSTON
2007 signing class
High School: Statesboro High School
Star rating: Four stars by Rivals and Scout.
Rankings: The No. 21-ranked weakside DE by Rivals.com, and the No. 27-ranked DE by ESPN.com, and the No. 41-ranked DE by Scout.com. Rated the 20th-best player in Georgia by Scout.com.
Recruiting accolades: Prep Star All-Region. Macon Telegraph Top 50 selection.
Georgia career: Houston was the first player to really flourish in Todd Grantham's 3-4 system, racking up 10 sacks in 2010, which was second in the SEC, behind Nick Fairley. Houston then bolted for the NFL, and this past year made the Pro Bowl, after notching 10 sacks. During his college career, Houston had 20 sacks, 38 tackles-for-loss, and 125 total tackles. He started 24 games, and after that junior season he was a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski and Butkus awards, and a first-team All-America by the FWAA.
And for the sake of comparison, we also reviewed the recruiting rankings of the past 10 years, and came up with the top 10-ranked players who signed with Georgia, according to how they were ranked at the time.
No. 10: Alec Ogletree, rated No. 19 in the nation overall in the 2010 signing class, according to the 247composite.
No. 9: Richard Samuel, rated No. 18 in the nation overall in the 2008 signing class.
No. 8: John Theus, rated No. 16 in the nation overall in the 2012 signing class, and No. 23 in Rivals.
No. 7 was:
2003 signing class
No. 15 in 247composite that year. No. 19 overall in Rivals.