With another Signing Class in the can, the Georgia Bulldogs addressed many pressing issues and filled many holes on both sides of the ball.
The Dawgs were hit hard this past off season with the departure of QB Matthew Stafford and RB Knowshon Moreno. Losing two skilled players of that caliber will be tough to fill, but as we all know its the nature of the beast.
Georgia has gone from a team that rebuilds to a team that RELOADS. Here is the future of Georgia Football. Meet the Recruiting Class of 2009
Branden Smith - CB - (5-foot-11, 175 lbs)
When asked about the best quality that he has, Smith responded by simply saying, "Speed...speed kills baby." He has plenty of it, with setting the Georgia High School Track and Field record in the 100m with time of 10.5 sec. Smith, who is expected to play cornerback in college, is listed as the No. 44 player overall and the No. 4 athlete.
Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo has stated that the team would like to use his talents on the offensive side of the ball. Offensively, he caught 32 passes for 1,085 yards (33.9 average) during his senior. That is not the only place we should see this kid.
Let's just say this kid is Special Teams freak. This past season at Booker T. Washington High in Atlanta, he returned 12 kickoffs for 481 yards and scored three touchdowns. He also returned 20 punts for 456 yards and two touchdowns.
Consider by many to be the Top Georgia prospect ( ongoing debate versus Greg Reid). Named ESPN Rise Gatorade Football Player of the Year. Look for this kid to play early and play often. Reminds me of a kid who use to do everything at Georgia. Can anyone say...Champ Bailey?
Marlon Brown - WR- (6-foot-5, 209 lbs)
Ahh.....the one that got away, or as Lane Kiffin would like to put it, "the one Georgia stole away." Anyways, meet Marlon Brown, this kid is big, fast, and strong. Wide receiver, quarterback, running back, slot back, kick/punt returner and defender all appear on his resume.
The most noticeable aspect of Brown's game is his size. He has a massive wing span and great frame to work with in the future. In fact, he may be big enough to grow into an H-back/TE type player. Brown's upper body strength is adequate, making him difficult to bring down in one-on-one situations.
The Nation's No. 2 WR (scout.com) No. 5 WR (rivals.com) with 4.5 speed.
Mr. Tennessee "All- Everything". This kid has all the qualities to be a big time star at the WR position. With A.J. Green (6-4, 195 lbs) more than likely becoming his "better half" on the other side of the field, look for opposing team's secondary to have their work cut out when they play the DAWGS.
Aaron Murray - QB- (6-foot-1, 205 lbs)
What is with Georgia taking the best QB prospects from other states? No complaints from the Dawg fan, but it seems that Georgia is doing an excellent job of going out of state and nabbing the best talent. Georgia got Matthew Stafford from Texas back in 2005, and they are hopeful that they have landed another "heir apparent" in Aaron Murray out of Plant High, Tampa FL. Rated as a gunslinger, and deceptively quick out of the pocket. Murray has all the attributes to compete early and should see some playing time this year.
He has what football people like to call the "it" factor. He is as complete a quarterback prospect as there can be, but there is one glaring weakness: his size. But what he makes up for in statute and height, is the "size" of this kid's heart. Murray broke his leg during October of this past year. Doctors said that his season was more than likely done, but Murray refused to sit back and wait for his playing days of Georgia to come. He bounced back, and helped lead his team to a State Championship.
He will throw off his back foot if needed, and most of the time, has the arm strength to get it down field even when not planted correctly. He simply makes plays and wins games.
During his Junior year, Murray posted 4,012 yds, 51 TD, 7 INT (201/329), 932 rush yds, 12 TD. That is a totally of 62 Touchdowns!!! He also won MVP honors at the EA Sports Elite 11 Camp.
Washaun Ealey - RB- (5-foot-11, 205 lbs)
Could this be the next "Shon" at the University of Georgia...not quite. A big powerful back, with the likes of a Jevon Ringer "type" back, that doesn't have blazing breakaway speed, but can still bulldoze his way up the middle. Ealey has smashed all kinds of records in the state of Georgia. Most notable, he owns the state record for most rushing TDs in a single season with 58 Touchdowns.
2008: Rushed for 2,825 yards and 41 touchdowns. Class A Offensive Player of the Year. Class A First-Team All-State selection. Named Atlanta Journal Constitution Player of the Year for 2007.
With the RBs Caleb King, Richard Samuel, and Dontavious Jackson all competing for the starting role in the backfield this year, look for Ealey to be redshirted this season and compete in 2010.
Zach Mettenberger- QB- ( 6-foot-5, 229 lbs)
Georgia is going to have a problem that most teams would love to have in the coming years. They will have two Quarterbacks that rated in the Top five of QB when it comes to their arm strength. Murray and Mettenberger both have outstanding throwing abilities, and both have a knack for the game. But only one can land the starting job, and only time will tell on that saga.
But back to Mettenberger, he is a big, tall, and strong kid. He can make all the throws well, and for the most part is impossible to bring down in the pocket. He has elite velocity on throws to the perimeter, nice touch and accuracy on short and intermediate passes. And boy, can this kid throw the deep ball.
It should be real interesting to see the QB competition in the next couple of years with previous Top rated QB recruits in Logan Gray, Aaron Murray, and Zach Mettenberger all vying for the starting QB role. I believe the question on most peoples mind going into summer camp is which kid is gonna get the redshirt....Murray or Mettenberger.
Also competed with fellow Georgia recruit, Aaron Murray, at the EA Sport Elite 11 camp.
Chris Burnette -OL- (6-foot-3, 275 lbs)
Georgia continues to load up on the Offensive Line, and why shouldn't they. Last year the injury bug plagued Georgia's Offensive Line for the better part of a whole year. Burnette bring size and quick feet to the Georgia line.
Looks to be slotted as a Guard, and will need to add a little bit more bulk. Burnette has an outstanding first step and quickness that allows him to get to the second level of defenders. He is adept at pass blocking.
He'll need to get stronger and play with more leverage on the college level, but his quickness and athleticism are huge assets. Look for this kid to try and compete for early playing time. No redshirt for this kid.
Rated as the No. 3 Offensive Guard (rivals.com).
Rantavious Wooten - WR- (5-foot-11, 175 lbs)
Another steal out of the state of Florida. Wooten was more of a "under the radar" type WR in this recruiting class. Choose Georgia over offers from Michigan, LSU, Auburn, and Miami. Two sport athlete in Football and Track and Field. Excellent SPEED after the catch, and is not afraid to go over the middle.
Seems to be a good asset to have on Specialty Teams. Wooten catches the ball in-stride and is fluid turning up field. He catches the ball away from frame and isn't going to drop many passes that should be caught. Wooten is quick and displays good change-of-direction skills, which what the Dawgs have lacked over the years.
Should give the Bulldogs some excellent speed at the slot receiver spot, and can contribute on Punt Return as well as Kick Return.
Orson Charles- TE- (6-foot-3, 230 lbs)
One of the highest rated unsigned prospect in the country after National Signing Day. Charles had narrowed his choices down to Georgia, Tennessee,Florida, and USC, before picking the University of Georgia on March 6th,2009. This kid has all the things you want in a TE/WR.
He has size, speed, quickness, and strength. Charles has good hands and displays the ability to consistently catch the ball away from his body. He runs adequate routes, and displays good concentration to catch the ball in a crowd.
He is also the former teammate of UGA recruit, Aaron Murray.
There were rumors that Georgia would maybe utilize Orson's talent in more of a non-traditional tight end position, more like Jermaine Gresham of Oklahoma. But according to AJC and Rivals.com, Georgia Coach Mark Richt made it clear that Charles would be playing in a Pro-Style Offense that uses the Tight End on the line and not split off to the wide side.
With the signing of Orson Charles, Georgia finished its 2009 Class with 20 Commitments, and the # 8th Ranked Signing Class.
Abry Jones — DT — (6-foot-3, 275 lbs)
Jones could start off at DE and will likely grow into a d-tackle.
Austin Long — OL — (6-foot-5, 270 lbs)
Has versatility to play anywhere along the o-line.
Arthur Lynch — TE — (6-foot-5, 240 lbs)
Lynch caught 16 passes for 249 yards and three scores as a senior.
Montez Robinson — DE — (6-foot-4, 220 lbs)
Robinson is rated as the #8 DE in the 2009 class, quick off the edges
Dexter Moody — LB — (6-foot-2, 210 lbs)
Moody is an athletic linebacker prospect who can really lay the lumber
Kwame Geathers-OL- (6-foot-6, 320 lbs)
Had a stellar performance in the Offense-Defense all-star game recording seven tackles and two sacks.