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Georgia Recruiting: Five 2015 Recruits Every Dawgs Fan Should Follow This Summer

Andrew HallCorrespondent IIIMay 5, 2014

Georgia Recruiting: Five 2015 Recruits Every Dawgs Fan Should Follow This Summer

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    Georgia head coach Mark Richt
    Georgia head coach Mark RichtSam Greenwood/Getty Images

    The lull of the summer months can cast a shadow over college football fans.  With the early portion of the offseason boasting such annual staples as national signing day and spring practice, it's the latter half that tends to demoralize fans.

    With no formal practices or major events, any news in the summer tends to be bad news for supporters of college programs.  Unless, of course, that news comes from the recruiting trail.

    For a Georgia Bulldogs team looking to establish a top-10 recruiting class in 2015, these summer months will be crucial.  In light of that, here are the five recruits every Georgia fan needs to keep tabs on this summer, as ranked by the 247Sports composite rating.

     

    Note: Unless otherwise noted, all stats, rankings and ratings courtesy of 247Sports.

Trent Thompson, DT

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    Time will tell if Richt really is Thompson's Dawg.
    Time will tell if Richt really is Thompson's Dawg.Photo credit: 247Sports
    • 247Sports Composite Ranking: 1
    • Height: 6'4"
    • Weight: 292 pounds
    • High School: Westover (Albany, Georgia)
    • Leaders: Georgia, Florida State, Alabama, Auburn

     

    Trent Thompson, the nation's top overall prospect per 247Sports, is on everyone's wish list, as evidenced by a hefty load of scholarship offers from national powers such as Florida State, Alabama, Auburn, Clemson and Penn State.

    Thompson seems to favor the Seminoles and the Bulldogs, but his recruitment is far from over.  According to Shea Dixon of 247Sports, Thompson recently picked up an offer from LSU—a favorite program for many elite defensive linemen—and he still has several visits left to take.

     

    What to Watch For

    The general consensus is that the home-state Bulldogs are the leaders for Thompson, but much of his interest in the Dawgs stems from receiving his first offer from them.  Now that he's the nation's top overall prospect, attention will be poured on him from all over the country.

    Georgia fans need to keep an eye on Thompson to see how steadfast his interest in Georgia really is.  Case in point: Thompson has already expressed interest in going to a Penn State camp (held in conjunction with Georgia State) in Atlanta.  When asked about attending, Thompson told Kipp Adams of 247Sports, "Yeah I would try to go up there."

Martez Ivey, OT

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    Martez Ivey
    Martez IveyPhoto credit: 247Sports
    • 247Sports Composite Ranking: 3
    • Height: 6'6"
    • Weight: 270 pounds
    • High School: Apopka (Apopka, Florida)
    • Leaders: Florida, Alabama, Auburn, South Carolina, Georgia

     

    Admittedly, Georgia is a dark horse in the pursuit of Martez Ivey, the nation's top offensive tackle.  That being said, it's not out of the question for Georgia to steal one of the state of Florida's best offensive linemen.  After all, the Dawgs did so just a few short years ago with the signing of offensive tackle John Theus.

    Furthermore, Georgia has experienced a high degree of success in recruiting the Sunshine State as of late.  Over the past three seasons, the Bulldogs have signed 14 players from Florida; seven of those signees ranked in the state's top 50, per 247Sports.

     

    What to Watch For

    For Georgia, this summer is all about making noise in Florida.  The Dawgs have done plenty of that on the field—winning the last three meetings against Ivey's favored Gators goes a long way—but Mark Richt and Co. must establish firm interest and sell Ivey on the vision of being the next Theus.  Theus, as you may recall, arrived in Athens and fought his way into the starting lineup immediately as a true freshman.

    If Georgia can sell the concept of playing immediately at a program that is still at the top of the SEC East over the summer and back up those claims this fall, the Dawgs will suddenly be a very real contender for Ivey's services.

     

Rashad Roundtree, DB

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    Rashad Roundtree
    Rashad RoundtreePhoto credit: 247Sports
    • 247Sports Composite Ranking: 63
    • Height: 6'1"
    • Weight: 195 pounds
    • High School: Lakeside (Evans, Georgia)
    • Leaders: Georgia, Auburn, Alabama

     

    The Dawgs need help in the defensive secondary.  According to recruiting experts, Rashad Roundtree is capable of bringing immediate relief.  The 4-star defensive back projects as a safety, and that's most likely where Georgia wants him given his size and experience roaming freely in the secondary.

    According to Adam Rowe of 247Sports, Roundtree will take all five of his available official visits. He was visited last week by coaches from North Carolina, Vanderbilt, Duke and Georgia.

     

    What to Watch For

    Georgia has been steady in the recruitment of Roundtree.  After receiving a scholarship offer in January, he visited campus (unofficially) in March, and coach Mike Ekeler checked in on him last week.  For the Dawgs, slow and steady may be enough to lure in the talented safety.

    After all, the idea that new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt is bringing open competition to the secondary and looking for the best men available should be appealing to a young prospect looking to play early and often at an elite SEC school.

Roquan Smith, LB

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    Georgia's recruiting portrait of Roquan Smith.
    Georgia's recruiting portrait of Roquan Smith.Photo credit: 247Sports
    • 247Sports Composite Ranking: 71
    • Height: 6'2"
    • Weight: 205 pounds
    • High School: Macon County (Montezuma, Georgia)
    • Leaders: Georgia, Auburn, Florida

     

    Roquan Smith can do a little bit of everything, and that's why Georgia wants him.  Primarily a linebacker, Smith has the speed to get outside and pressure quarterbacks.  But he also has the athleticism to drop into coverage. 

    This unique combination bodes well for Smith seeing early playing time at Georgia.  The Dawgs love speedy outside pass-rushers from the linebacker spots (Think Jarvis Jones in the past and Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd now.), but Smith could also play a hybrid linebacker spot like Alec Ogletree did early in his career.

     

    What to Watch For

    According to Rusty Mansell of 247Sports, Smith thinks Georgia is recruiting him the hardest at this point.  That's not likely to change. 

    Smith also told Mansell that his most recent visit to Athens was a tremendous success: "It was great. I went around the whole campus, toured the whole place and I spent a lot of time with the coaching staff. ... I got to chop up different things like watching football, life stuff, a lot of different things. It was a great experience."

    Expect Georgia to keep the pressure on this summer and push for an early commitment.

Jalen Thompson, CB

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    CB Jalen Thompson
    CB Jalen ThompsonPhoto credit: 247Sports
    • 247Sports Composite Ranking: 715
    • Height: 5'10"
    • Weight: 170 pounds
    • High School: St. Paul's Episcopal (Mobile, Alabama)
    • Leaders: Georgia, Auburn, Florida

     

    Jalen Thompson may seem like a late bloomer, but he's actually young.  One of the few elite prospects in this class who has not yet turned 17, Thompson has been turning heads as of late.  He's picked up offers from Florida, Georgia, Nebraska, Miami and Clemson since February.

    Although he's undersized, Thompson has athleticism in droves and tremendous instincts and reaction skills as a cornerback.

     

    What to Watch For

    According to Jake Rowe of 247Sports, Thompson is planning to visit Georgia early this summer, which is an encouraging sign for Bulldog fans.  Even more valuable, Thompson told Rowe that Jeremy Pruitt is recruiting him "really hard right now."

    Thompson is a player on the rise (hence his relatively low ranking), but look for home-state players Alabama and Auburn to make hard pushes for his services.  Georgia must get in good with him during his upcoming visit.

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