ATHENS - From here on out, it's pretty much all about the stars.
There are still more than six months - and an entire football season - until the next signing day. And when it comes to recruiting, Georgia is already nearing its limit.
There are now 15 young men committed to sign with the Georgia football team next February, a number that will easily comprise more than half the final number. The Bulldogs could sign as few as 20, and it will probably be no more than 25.
That gives Georgia a luxury, but also a challenge: Fill out the class with the big names still out there.
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"I think it's definitely number-crunching time," said Chad Simmons, a recruiting analyst for Scout.com. "Because they're not gonna sign a full class. They're not gonna sign 25. I think it's gonna be around 22 when all is said and done. ... I think they're still going to be very selective. Not necessarily always a four- and five-star, but what kids fit their needs. It's not always the ranking, but the position of need, and the quality of kid."
So here are the main names to know as Georgia enters the stretch - a stretch lasting more than six months:
- Lorenzo Carter, a defensive end/outside linebacker from Norcross who is a consensus five-star prospect, and rated in many people's top 10 overall.
- Lamont Gilliard, a defensive tackle from Fayetteville, N.C., who is a five-star according to several recruiting sites.
- Elisha Shaw, a defensive tackle from Tucker, and a consensus four-star prospect.
- Raekwon McMillian, an inside linebacker from Hinesville, who is also a consensus five-star. Georgia has a lot of competition for him.
- Davonte Lambert, a defensive end at Georgia Military College. Lambert is rated a four-star by 247sports.com.
- Christian Miller, a four-star linebacker from Columbia, S.C. Miller is the son of Corey Miller, a former South Carolina star who through his radio job has been at odds with the Gamecocks, and his son is considering Georgia, Florida and Alabama.
- Josh Malone, a receiver from Gallatin, Tenn., and yet another consensus four-star prospect.
- Cortez McDowell, a safety from Locust Grove. Georgia also has an uphill climb here, but will take him in a heartbeat.
- Kentarious Webster, a cornerback from Stockbridge.
There are other players who are or could be in the mix. SEC signing rules permit a team to sign 25 in a given year, a number that can be fluid with early enrollees. Georgia signed 33 players earlier this year, 13 of whom enrolled early, and nine of whom could count towards the 2012 class. That technically leaves one spot left open to apply for a 2014 early enrollee, so Georgia could sign 26. (This is per my math, which hasn't been confirmed by UGA.)
Either way, most indications are Georgia will have a more intimate signing class next year.
"It's going to be very interesting to see how this class finishes up with the numbers being so tight," Simmons said.
Here is the current list of Georgia's commitments for the 2014 class, with vital statistics via Dawgs247.com, and comments from myself:
RB Sony Michel .... 5-11, 205 .... Fort Lauderdale, Fla. ... 5 stars
A potential immediate-impact type of player, even with Gurley and Marshall around.
OT Kendall Baker .... 6-6, 275 .... Atlanta .... 4 stars
He's got the height for tackle, now he has to put on the weight, a la Xzavier Ward.
RB Nick Chubb ... 5-11, 216 ... Cedartown ... 4 stars
Another tailback good enough to play right away, or at least once carries are available.
TE Jeb Blazevich ... 6-4, 230 .... Charlotte, N.C. ..... 4 stars
Georgia has succeeded lately with out-of-state tight ends, (Arom White, Orson Charles, Arthur Lynch), and hopes Blazevich is next.
CB Malkom Parish ... 5-9, 186 ... Quitman ........ 4 stars
Speedy and skilled, rated in the national top 100 and No. 6 overall in the state of Georgia.
QB Jacob Park ... 6-3, 202 .... Goose Creek, S.C. .... 4 stars
A pro-style quarterback with some mobility, Park chose Georgia over Alabama, Virginia Tech and other elite programs.
DT Dontavius Russell .... 6-3, 300 .... Carrollton .... 4 stars
One of Chris Wilson's first recruits for Georgia, a player who will have a chance to play right away.
OT Dyshon Sims .... 6-4, 278 ...... Valdosta ...... 4 stars
Considered one of the top in-state O-line prospects this year, Sims also had an offer from Alabama, among others.
WR Shakenneth Williams ... 6-1, 195 ... Macon .... 4 stars
Williams plays at a high school (Rutland) that hasn't had much on-field success, but impressed enough at camps to earn an offer.
G Isaiah Wynn .... 6-2, 272 .... St. Petersburg, Fla. ... 4 stars
Georgia won't sign many offensive linemen, so it likes a kid it can immediately pinpoint as an interior linemen.
S Kendall Gant ......... 6-2, 185 .... Lakeland, Fla. ... 3 stars
The tall safety was another Dawg Night addition.
ILB Detric Dukes .... 6-0, 220 .... Tucker .... 3 stars
Flipped to Georgia after originally committing to Louisville, he may be small and "only" three stars, but so was Reggie Carter last year.
S Nick Glass ............ 6-2, 205 .... Suwanee ..... 3 stars
Committed to Georgia way back in April of 2012.
G Jake Edwards .......... 6-4, 270 ...... Franklin .... 3 stars
An interior lineman whom Georgia hopes will continue to grow in the weight room.
WR Gilbert Johnson ...... 6-2, 190 ..... Miami, Fla. ... 3 stars
Actually looked taller than 6-2 at Mark Richt camp.