Recruiting Break Down - Analyzing Georgia's 2012 Class
1... 2... 3... Breathe.
That is how I spent a lot of my time Wednesday morning. As the letters of intent rolled in, the remaining Georgia targets began to make their announcements. One by one, guys like JaQuay Williams, Brandon Greene, Patterson, and Avery Young decided to head places other than Athens.
Add in the spectacle of the Josh Harvey-Clemons commitment, and you've got a lot of Dawg fans with high blood pressure.
However, after sitting back and looking at the 18 (19 if you add in Clemons) guys we signed, I can definitely say that Georgia's class of 2012 definitely deserves some attention. Here is my thoughts on the areas where I felt Georgia did well... and where I felt they could have done better.
AREAS OF HIGH NEED WHERE GEORGIA SUCCEEDED:
The additions of Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley are absolutely the highlight of the 2012 Georgia Bulldog signing class. Marshall has elite speed, vision, and ability. As an early enrollee, Marshall will get a chance to get 1/2 a year in under his belt before any of the other freshmen, which will make him able to produce come the fall. Gurley, actually, rose higher than Marshall as the post-season went on. Gurley's addition gives Georgia a unique position in have 3 very legitimate top running backs. Finally, one of my favorite signees is FB Quayvon Hicks. Georgia's need for a traditional FB was very evident in the bowl game. Having a true fullback will allow Georgia to be multiple in their run and pass game, which is what they want to do.
Althought Drew Butler and, especially, Blair Walsh had down years, the Dogs were definitely going to be thin at the specialist areas. However, Collin Barber and Marshall Morgan will both basically come in and replace those guys. Both young men are very talented and, hopefully, Georgia will be able to rebound from a down special teams year. Morgan has the ability to be very consistent and long with his kicks - which will help on kick-off's and on offense.
Althought we will have Sterling Bailey and Ray Drew after this year... Jarvis Jones & Cornelius Washington will be gone after 2012. Therefore, the OLB position was one of definite need, and, boy did the Dawgs get a few good ones. The, hopeful, addition of Josh Harvey-Clemons is a big addition. Jordan Jenkins is a guy that is also very talented and very versitile. He can play standing up and he can play with his hand on the ground. Finally, Leonard Floyd will add depth, but will be a guy that needs to be developed.
AREAS OF HIGH NEED WHERE GEORGIA FELL SHORT:
This is probably the most glaring issue. Georgia needed more than 3 guys, so not getting Chester Brown, Avery Young, and Brandon Greene were a bummer. Georgia really needed another big man and, actually, I would have felt pretty good if Georgia would have gotten one of those 3 guys. However, even though Georgia fell short, the three that Georgia did get are very good players and will be quality depth. OT John Theus and OL Mark Beard are guys that will contribute immediately. Theus is just a once in a few years kind of guy and his talent will make him available come the fall. Beard being a JUCO guy should be able to come in, learn the system, and contribute. Greg Pyke will need a little development, but is definitely a guy who will contribute in the future.
Although Georgia does have some depth in the defensive secondary, I felt like Georgia needed to get some more DB's to add depth. Sheldon Dawson is definitely a talented player, and will be a Brandon Boykin kind of player. However, Georgia will need to add numbers and quality to the 2013 class.
Georgia did not sign one inside linebacker. Having guys decide to flip and having some very talented targets go elsewhere was tough to swallow. Although Georgia has guys like Herrera and Ogletree, they needed to sign some guys to work in for after this year. 2013 will be a big year for ILB.
Georgia got two good players in Blake Tibbs and Ty Smith. These areas would have been better with the addition of Williams, Patterson, or adding another tight-end. Thankfully, in both these spots, Georgia at least has some young depth and at least signed some "Plan-A" players.
While Georgia has Aaron Murray, Christian LeMay, and Hutson Mason, the Dawgs got another very good prospect in early enrollee, Faton Bauta. Bauta will more than likely redshirt, however, that is not a bad thing. Bauta is an interesting prospect in that he will be very unique with his dual threat ability. After Aaron and Mason leave, the combination of LeMay and Bauta will give Georgia fans some big time excitement.
Although Georgia didn't have a ton of big needs at DL, they got some big time talent in DT's Jonathan Taylor & John Atkins and DE's James Deloach and Josh Dawson. Taylor and Atkins are big time guys in the middle, and may actually play this year. Dawson and Deloach may need some development, but could see reserve time to develop their skills in live situations.
At first, I was a little frustrated in Georgia's lack of numbers. I felt like UGA needed to get to 21-23 players to give some extra depth. However, just throwing out last minute offers to "Plan-B" guys may not have been the right move.
However, the guys that Georgia did get are very, very good. There is a reason that Georgia's class is ranked #5 and top 20 by tons of other recruiting services. Having guys like Clemons, Theus, Marshall, Gurley, and Jenkins make this group a very talented class - and as Coach Grantham put it, a great compliment to last year's group.
What are your thoughts on this year's class?