Georgia Football: 2014 Recruits Bulldogs Must Land to Finish with a Top 3 Class
The Georgia Bulldogs are in the process of putting together another strong recruiting class. Mark Richt maintains a perennial SEC contender in Athens by stockpiling talent and consistently replenishing the roster with premier prospects.
Georgia has gathered 17 commitments during the 2014 recruiting cycle, including three 5-star players. The Bulldogs' efforts have earned the team a spot at No. 3 in the current 247Sports recruiting rankings.
The program hasn't wrapped up national signing day with one of the nation's top three classes since 2008, when Georgia finished No. 2 behind only Notre Dame. There's a long way to go in the 2014 recruiting process, but the Bulldogs have an opportunity to land one of the top groups of incoming freshman during Richt's tenure.
The team has already secured commitments from some of the top players at their respective positions, including running back Nick Chubb (Cedartown, Ga.), defensive tackle Lamont Gaillard (Fayetteville, N.C.), running back Sony Michel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and quarterback Jacob Park (Goose Creek, S.C.).
Still, there are several uncommitted recruiting targets who would add considerable clout to Georgia's 2014 haul. Here's a look at prospects who should be top priority for Richt and company as national signing day approaches.
5-star defensive tackle Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga.)
Norcross High School star Lorenzo Carter commands national attention with his elite skill set as an edge-rusher. The 6'5", 235-pound playmaker is the nation's No. 1 weak-side defensive end prospect in 247Sports composite rankings.
He dominated as a junior, racking up 136 tackles and 18 sacks. Carter is considering a lengthy list of schools, but Georgia ranks among his favorites, according to 247Sports.
The Bulldogs are battling with a bevy of programs for his commitment, including SEC rivals Alabama, Florida and LSU. Carter participated at Georgia's camp this summer and visited Athens twice in September.
4-star wide receiver Josh Malone (Gallatin, Tenn.)
Few uncommitted pass targets present the versatility Josh Malone displays. The 6'3", 190-pound Station Camp standout is a large wide receiver who clocks a sub-4.5 time in the 40-yard dash, according to 247Sports.
Malone makes defenders miss with excellent burst and lateral movement. He's a legitimate red zone target, presenting major matchup issues with his size and leaping ability.
Various teams are in pursuit of Malone, who has dominated throughout his senior season. Through seven games, Malone has 38 receptions for 862 yards and 15 total touchdowns, per 247Sports.
Malone arrived on campus at Georgia for an official visit on Sept. 27. He spent the first weekend of October at Tennessee and will take an official visit to Florida State in November.
4-star defensive tackle Elisha Shaw (Tucker, Ga.)
Elisha Shaw is a dominant interior defensive lineman capable of making an immediate impact at the collegiate level. The 6'5", 295-pound Tucker High School senior shows immense raw strength and evolving technique at the tackle position.
He is listed as the nation's No. 8 defensive tackle prospect in 247Sports composite rankings. Shaw is likely to land in the SEC, though his eventual destination is far from clear.
He visited the Bulldogs this summer, along with Alabama and Ohio State. Shaw is seriously considering offers from Georgia, Ole Miss, Auburn, Alabama and Arkansas, according to 247Sports.
If Richt is able to pair him with current commit Lamont Gaillard (No. 3 defensive tackle prospect), the Bulldogs have the makings of a fearsome defensive front for years to come.
4-star linebacker Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Ala.)
Coveted Alabama athlete Rashaan Evans lives in SEC territory but he's caught the attention of teams across the country. The No. 4 outside linebacker recruit in 247Sports rankings is a hot commodity, and represents a key target for the Bulldogs.
Georgia could greatly use an infusion of elite athleticism in its linebacker corps and Evans fits the bill perfectly. He is a rangy 6'3", 220-pound speedster who runs the 40-yard-dash in 4.51 second, according to 247Sports.
Evans spent an official visit weekend at UCLA in September and checked out home state campuses at Auburn and Alabama this summer. 247Sports lists those three schools, along with Georgia, as those he favors.
His offer sheet also features Florida State, Oregon, Notre Dame and USC.
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