Georgia Football Recruiting: 5 Former Blue-Chippers Who Will Shine in 2014

Andrew HallCorrespondent IIIMay 19, 2014

Georgia Football Recruiting: 5 Former Blue-Chippers Who Will Shine in 2014

0 of 5

    Georgia head coach Mark Richt
    Georgia head coach Mark RichtJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

    A consistent power in the national recruiting scene, the Georgia Bulldogs are no strangers to witnessing the collegiate success of former high school stars.  Stars during the Mark Richt era like Matthew Stafford, Knowshon Moreno, A.J. Green, Alec Ogletree and Aaron Murray were all highly coveted recruits when they signed with the Dawgs.

    But on a roster regularly inundated with talent, some stars take longer to break out in Athens, Georgia.

    Here are five former blue-chippers (listed by recruiting class, oldest to newest) who will finally shine for the Bulldogs in 2014.

Kolton Houston

1 of 5

    Georgia's Kolton Houston
    Georgia's Kolton HoustonDaniel Shirey/Associated Press

    As a Recruit

    Kolton Houston was a 4-star recruit according to the 247Sports Composite and was regarded as the nation's sixth-best offensive guard coming out of Buford, Georgia, in 2012.

     

    Since Arriving at Georgia

    Houston spent his first three years in Athens battling his own body and the NCAA.  Trace elements of a substance deemed illegal by the NCAA remained in Houston's body for years after undergoing a medical procedure in high school.  As a result, he was ineligible for the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons despite a consistently diminishing presence of the drug.

    As Mark Richt summarized to ESPN's David Ching in August 2012, Houston underwent rigorous testing while trying to get back on the field:

    The bottom line is he's been tested probably more times than anybody in the history of college football and we're 100 percent certain that he's not continued to take this thing. But it's just never gotten far enough out of his system for him to be declared eligible to play. 

    Houston was finally cleared to play last summer and contributed immediately on the field for the Dawgs, earning starts in each of Georgia's first six games.

     

    What to Expect in 2014

    While the offensive line is still shuffling, Houston figures to be a cornerstone of the unit this season.  He played well at times last year, but he also looked the part of a player three years removed from game competition.

    If Houston can continue to progress during the offseason and focus on footwork and strength development rather than bureaucratic NCAA policies, he could be a force for the Dawgs.  Right now, he's slated to open the season as a starter at tackle—either on the left or right side.

Jay Rome

2 of 5

    Georgia tight end Jay Rome
    Georgia tight end Jay RomeDavid Goldman/Associated Press

    As a Recruit

    According to the 247Sports Composite, Jay Rome was a 4-star prospect and the nation's fifth-best tight end in the class of 2011.

     

    Since Arriving at Georgia

    Rome spent his first three seasons in Athens behind Aron White and Arthur Lynch but has seen playing time.  His 2013 season was hampered by injuries, but he's racked up 251 receiving yards and two touchdowns in 22 games as a Bulldog.

     

    What to Expect in 2014

    Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo likes to utilize tight ends, and that bodes well for Rome this season, especially since he is the only player on the Bulldogs roster with in-game experience at the position.  Georgia has had a tight end account for over 400 receiving yards in each of the past four seasons, and given Rome's size (6'6") and athleticism, that figure is likely on the low end of what he's capable of.

    Look for Rome to account for at least 500 yards receiving and five touchdowns in 2014.

Corey Moore

3 of 5

    Georgia's Corey Moore
    Georgia's Corey MooreSam Greenwood/Getty Images

    As a Recruit

    Coming out of high school in 2011, Corey Moore was considered a 4-star prospect (per the 247Sports Composite) and the nation's fifth-best safety.

     

    Since Arriving at Georgia 

    Moore has appeared in 38 games as a Dawg and earned seven starts last season, but he's never established himself as dominant force from his safety position.  

    Statistically, he's performed well while backing up current NFL players Bacarri Rambo and Shawn Williams (in 2011 and 2012), but he struggled to hold off a host of younger safeties (Josh Harvey-Clemons, Tray Matthews, Quincy Mauger) in the lineup last season.

     

    What to Expect in 2014

    New defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt arrived in Athens with the intention of simplifying schemes and stressing fundamentals.  That should benefit everyone in the secondary, but Moore should further gain from the departure of Harvey-Clemons (who was dismissed during the offseason).  And with punishment (including possible suspension) still pending for Matthews, who was arrested just prior to spring practice, Moore should have the inside track to a starting job to open the season.

    How well he performs in a crucial opening stretch that includes Clemson and South Carolina will set the tone for his season.

James DeLoach

4 of 5

    DeLoach was an All-American in high school
    DeLoach was an All-American in high schoolChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    As a Recruit

    A bit undersized coming out of high school, DeLoach was considered a 3-star recruit according to the 247Sports Composite in 2012.

     

    Since Arriving at Georgia

    DeLoach played sparingly as an outside linebacker in 2012 and 2013.  He's accounted for eight career tackles and two quarterback pressures in two seasons.

     

    What to Expect in 2014

    Upon Pruitt's arrival, DeLoach moved from the crowded outside linebacker position to defensive end.  The move worked, as he impressed all spring.  According to Seth Emerson, who covers the Bulldogs beat for Macon's Telegraph, DeLoach could supplant last year's starter (Ray Drew) at defensive end.  As Emerson observed:

    Drew’s breakout junior season was followed by a spring stumble, as Rocker demoted him all the way to third team for a couple practices. Deloach, another player awaiting discipline after the March arrests, had a great spring on the field.


    Obviously, DeLoach's pre-spring practice arrest looms large, but new defensive line coach Tracy Rocker has placed an emphasis on playing fast and playing lean.  So, regardless of punishment, DeLoach should see the field often in 2014.

Tramel Terry

5 of 5

    Terry (1) spent most of 2013 learning while getting healthy.
    Terry (1) spent most of 2013 learning while getting healthy.Photo credit: 247Sports

    As a Recruit

    A 4-star prospect in 2013 (according to the 247Sports Composite), Tramel Terry was considered the nation's 12th-best wide receiver.

     

    Since Arriving at Georgia

    Terry underwent ACL surgery in January 2013 and redshirted last season.  During that time, he moved from wide receiver to defensive back.

     

    What to Expect in 2014

    It's hard to know what to expect from Terry in 2014, but there's certainly a need for him to emerge as a legitimate safety.  Obviously, Moore, Matthews and Mauger are back, but that trio struggled mightily in 2013, and it's hard to expect a complete reversal this season.

    The sooner Terry gets up to speed, the better.  Given his athleticism, that could be sooner than some might expect.

     

    Note: All recruiting stats, rankings and ratings courtesy of 247Sports.com.