The Georgia Bulldogs will once again have a sound recruiting class, as they are ranked in the top 10, according to 247 Sports. Led by players such as running back Nick Chubb and quarterback Jacob Park, the Bulldogs should be competitive in the SEC for many years to come.
And if they are able to land top targets like defensive end Lorenzo Carter and linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams, the Bulldogs could have a top-five class when all is said and done.
But of the 18 commits that are likely to sign with Georgia this week, via 247 Sports, who are the few that are underrated? Which players that are not expected to be the best in their class will stand out? Here’s a look at three of the more underrated players in UGA’s 2014 recruiting class.
WR Rico Johnson—5'10", 170 pounds; Swainsboro, Ga.
Rico Johnson was originally recruited by Georgia last year, but he was ruled ineligible to play and had to spend last season playing at Georgia Prep Sports Academy.
247 Sports had him listed as a 3-star recruit and the 42nd-best receiver in the state when he was playing high school ball at Swainsboro High School. But when he was at Georgia Prep Sports Academy, he worked to become one of the top, if not the top, prep receivers in the country.
Because of his experience with GPSA, Johnson will likely be in the mix to play receiver right away. He will have some competition ahead of him in players like Michael Bennett, Malcolm Mitchell, Justin-Scott Wesley and Chris Conley, but because of his speed, he should see some time on the field—at least on special teams, which should lead to more time at receiver by the start of the 2015 season.
DB Dominick Sanders—5'11", 187 pounds; Tucker, Ga.
Tucker High School has been one of the top programs in Georgia for the last 10 years. The Tigers recently reached the Class 5A State Championship Game only to lose to Creekside. But the reason they were able to reach the championship game was the talent on the roster, led by defensive back Dominick Sanders.
A 3-star recruit and ranked as the 48th-best player in the state, Sanders has the tools to be a complete player on defense as well as offense. On defense, he pulled down eight interceptions—the most in all of DeKalb County. He also did some good things on offense, rushing for 592 yards on 88 carries and 12 touchdowns. And he could throw the ball, completing five out of nine passes for 126 yards and three touchdowns.
Sanders has the ideal size to be a cornerback (5'11", 185 pounds), but because of his ability to make plays on both sides of the ball, don’t be surprised if he's used in many different ways when he comes to Athens.
Tucker HS (Ga) DB Dominick Sanders is 5'11" (stood next to him) & explosive playmaker. Way, way under-recruited: http://t.co/qMgJxW1Awy— Michael Carvell (@RecruitingAJC) August 26, 2013
LB Detric Dukes—6'0", 220 pounds; Tucker, Ga.
Detric Dukes, Sanders' teammate, is also making his way to Athens, and he’s another guy who can make plays on both sides of the ball.
He is a 3-star recruit, according to 247 Sports, and he brings some versatility to the linebacker position. He has good lateral movement and great instincts, which is needed to play in the 3-4 scheme.
In his senior year at Tucker, Dukes tallied 65 tackles, five sacks and three interceptions in 15 games. He was also a productive receiver, catching 10 passes for 125 yards and four touchdowns.
Though the Bulldogs struck out on Raekwon McMillan, Dukes is the next best thing. He will have a chance to prove to the scouts that he’s just as good as any linebacker in the country as soon as he gets on campus.