One of the reasons that the Georgia Bulldogs have been a competitive program is they get some of the best recruits in the state as well as the nation.
There have been a countless number of athletes to play at Sanford Stadium that made names for themselves on Friday nights in high school, Saturday afternoons in Athens and some even went on to have great careers in the NFL.
But if one was to make a list of the best recruit at each position for the Bulldogs, who would make that list? Some are obvious choices, while others may be surprising.
Here’s a look at the best UGA recruit at each position.
Matthew Stafford was a 5-star prospect from Texas and was also considered the No. 1 high school quarterback in the country, according to Rivals.com.
Stafford already had ties with the Bulldogs because his dad went to graduate school at UGA, and he and his family lived in Dunwoody before moving to Texas.
In his senior year of high school, he threw for nearly 4,000 yards and 38 touchdowns, which was more than enough to help his team go undefeated and win a state title.
He went on to lead the Bulldogs to a Sugar Bowl victory in 2007 and was eventually selected as the No. 1 player in the NFL draft by the Detroit Lions in 2009.
Herschel Walker was not only a tremendous college football player, he was considered by many as the best high school player in the country.
He rushed for 6,137 yards at Johnson County High School in Wrightsville, Ga. from 1976-79, which was a state record at the time.
In a piece by Sports Illustrated in 1980, it talks about how Walker was needed by the Bulldogs because they were coming off a disappointing 6-5 season. After weeks of pondering, Walker announced he would play for Georgia on Easter Sunday in 1980.
Walker went on to help the Bulldogs win a national title that same year and also won the Heisman in 1982.
A.J. Green was dominant in the college game and is doing the same thing with the Cincinnati Bengals.
But he was also a great recruit coming out of Summerville High School in Summerville, South Carolina. Green was listed as the No. 1 prospect in 2008 by Sports Illustrated, was a four-time all-state player and was named to the USA Today All-American team his junior year.
Green went on to be an All-SEC and All-American player during his three-year career in Athens. He is now with the Cincinnati Bengals where he has been named to the Pro Bowl twice.
There have a been a number of great tight ends to play for Georgia, but Leonard Pope maybe the best tight end recruit in UGA history.
Pope, a 4-star player, was listed as the 10th-best tight end in the country and had offers from Florida, LSU, Clemson and Miami, according to Rivals.com.
Scout.com said that Pope has very soft hands and can block well.
Pope proved that when he tallied over 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns during his career in Athens. He has been in the NFL since 2006 and had played for the Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers.
There haven’t been many offensive lineman recruits to come through Georgia that had got as much hype as John Theus.
The 5-star recruit (via 247 Sports) from Boles, Florida was a longtime commit to the Bulldogs, but got offers from all over the country including Notre Dame, Alabama, Arkansas and Florida.
Chad Simmons of Scout.com said that Theus was one of the most college-ready prospects in high school today.
Theus was the top recruit out of Florida in 2011 and was the No. 3 best offensive tackle prospect in the country, which makes him one of the highest offensive lineman recruits to ever sign with the Bulldogs.
Theus earned a spot on the starting lineup last year and was named to the Phil Steele and Sporting News Freshmen All-American team.
A lot of great defensive linemen have made their way to Athens, but when Ray Drew signed with the Bulldogs in 2011, he was expected to be one of the saviors on defense.
Drew was rated as a 5-star recruit (via 247 Sports) from Thomasville, Ga. and was considered as the one of the 50 best players in the country. Drew was one of the top recruits from the class that was considered “The Dream Team.” He was an All-State and All-American player from Thomasville High School.
Drew has yet to start in a game for the Bulldogs in his two-year career and has tallied 31 tackles and 0.5 sacks.
To be fair, Josh Harvey-Clemons plays safety with the Bulldogs now, but when he came out of high school, he was listed as the best outside linebacker in the country (via 247 Sports).
It was a two-team race for Harvey-Clemons as Georgia and Florida wanted him to help bolster the defense. But at the end of the day, Harvey-Clemons signed with the Bulldogs.
However, he did not sign right away because his grandfather did not want him to sign with the Bulldogs at first and would not sign the letter of intent with him. But Harvey-Clemons’ grandfather did sign the next day, and the outside linebacker/safety's career in Athens began.
Harvey-Clemons played as a true freshman last year and recorded 14 tackles and one pass breakup.
Reshad Jones came to Georgia in 2006 as the top player in Georgia (via Rivals) as well as the No. 14 player in the country.
Scout.com said that Jones breaks on the ball very well and is also a good open-field tackler. He ended his senior year and Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, Ga. with 72 tackles and two interceptions.
In his final year at UGA in 2009, Jones recorded 73 tackles and four interceptions. He is currently a member of the Miami Dolphins.