Georgia National Signing Day Preview: Targets, Predictions and Rumor Roundup
January is coming to a close, which means college coaches are making that final push to get more recruits to commit before national signing day.
It’s been a busy month for Georgia head coach Mark Richt, who hired Jeremy Pruitt as his new defensive coordinator and also brought in two new defensive coaches (Tracy Rocker and Kevin Sherrer). This will either help or hurt the Bulldogs in the recruiting process, because all of UGA’s defensive targets have been recruited by Todd Grantham, who is now the new defensive coordinator at Louisville.
But Pruitt did have the No. 1 defense in the country in Florida State last year and the Seminoles are the 2013 national champions. So odds are that the addition of Pruitt will help the Bulldogs on national signing day.
Speaking of which, he’s a preview of signing day for the crew in Athens.
Looking at the Commits
Here’s a list of all of Georgia’s commitments, courtesy of 247Sports. The Bulldogs have 17 committed players, including one who is already enrolled in school. 247Sports has the Bulldogs' class ranked 10th in the country, but they are seventh in the SEC.
Kendall Baker, DL, Atlanta, Ga. (Marist)
Jeb Blazevich, TE, Charlotte, N.C. (Charlotte Christian)
Keyon Brown DE, Wauchula, Fla. (Hardee Senior)
Nick Chubb, RB, Cedartown, Ga. (Cedartown)
Detric Dukes, LB, Tucker, Ga. (Tucker)
Jake Edwards, OL, Franklin, Ga. (Heard County)
Shattle Fenteng, BD, Loganville, Ga. (Grayson)
Lamont Gaillard, DL, Fayetteville, N.C. (Pine Forest)
Kendall Gant, DB, Lakeland, Fla. (Lake Gibson)
Gilbert Johnson, WR, Miami, Fla. (Southridge)
Rico Johnson, WR, Swainsboro, Ga. (Swainsboro)
Sony Michel, RB, Plantation, Fla. (American Heritage)
Jacob Park, QB, Goose Creek, S.C. (Stratford)
Malkom Parrish, DB, Quitman, Ga. (Brooks County)
Dyshon Sims, OL, Clyattville, Ga. (Lowndes)
Shakenneth Williams, WR, Macon, Ga. (Rutland)
Isaiah Wynn, OL, St. Petersburg, Fla. (Lakewood)
Looking at the Targets
Here’s a list of the Bulldogs' top targets that are not committed also via 247Sports.
Lorenzo Carter is the top target, followed by Tavon Ross and Wesley Green. Ross is already committed to Missouri, and Green was recently committed to South Carolina.
Lorenzo Carter, DE, Norcross, Ga. (Norcross)
Andrew Williams, DE, McDonough, Ga. (Eagle’s Landing Christian)
Wesley Green, DB, Lithonia, Ga. (Martin Luther King)
Myles Autry, WR, Norcross, Ga. (Norcross)
Derrick Kelly, OT, Havana, Fla. (East Gasden)
J.C. Jackson, WR, Immokalee, Fla. (Immokalee)
One of the latest rumors has to do with an Alabama commit who possibly took a trip to Athens this past weekend. Linebacker Christian Miller from Columbia, S.C., told 247Sports.com (h/t Michael Carvell of AJC.com) that he would visit UGA on January 24. When he said that, though, he did not have it set in stone because he had recently gone on a visit to Alabama and he wasn’t sure he was ready for back-to-back trips.
Andrew Williams has become as top target for Georgia over the last few weeks. According to Michael Carvell of AJC.com, the Bulldogs are a dark horse to win the race for Williams, who is also interested in Auburn and Clemson. He became an interesting prospect for Georgia as soon as Pruitt took over as defensive coordinator. Pruitt visited Williams’ home last week.
Another dark-horse prospect for the Bulldogs is Bryson Allen-Williams, who recently committed to South Carolina. Per Carvell, when Pruitt spoke on the phone with Williams earlier this month, he told the prospect he wanted him and Allen-Williams as Bulldogs. Allen-Williams is scheduled to visit UGA next week.
Based on how the coaching staff is gathering some of the top targets to finalize the class, I think the Bulldogs will finish strong.
I believe they will get Carter and Williams to sign to strengthen the defensive line. I also think they will get Derrick Kelly Jr. to help bolster the offensive line. I don’t think they will end up with Green or Allen-Williams, but they will most likely sign three more players to have 22 signees.
The most important thing for the Bulldogs is to land Carter, and I think the more they pursue him, especially Pruitt, the more likely he will sign with the team.
Expectations for the Class of 2014
This class won't be the best in the Mark Richt era, even if Georgia signs Carter. But it does have a chance to do some big things if all of the players buy into the system.
Having Park enrolled early is big because he has a chance to be the starter in 2015, which will also be the year most of the 2014 signees start to see a lot of action.
Nick Chubb and Sony Michel could be the next Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley. Both players have power, speed and can score from anywhere on the field.
As far as the defense goes, Lamont Gaillard has as chance to be a very sound nose tackle. He is strong, quick and athletic, which is a must for Pruitt’s defensive scheme.
Overall, it will be another strong class for Richt. But will this be the class that leads the Georgia to a national championship?