Georgia is looking at a secondary which will feature a lot of inexperience and a ton of potential as we enter the 2010 football season.
Safety Reshad Jones has already declared for the NFL , stating he's done all he can as a Bulldog and feels the time is now. While Bryan Evans, our oft-complained about free safety, has graduated and moved on.
What that leaves is a couple of battle-tested underclassmen to fill in the ranks and take over these starting spots that are now up for grabs.
Bacarri Rambo has to be the favorite to replace Bryan Evans at free safety next season as he did a phenomenal job in limited play. The big question with him will be how well he has recovered from the injury he suffered in the Auburn game and whether or not he can handle the full-time load that being a starter will bring.
Also in the mix are Quintin Banks and Makiri Pugh—neither of whom had any significant time last season but both of whom could make a push in 2010 if depth becomes an issue.
That said, the Dawgs are on the recruiting trail and do figure to be in play for a few of the more prominent safety prospects in the nation:
Alec Ogletree (pictured), Newnan High School, Newnan, GA (verbal)
Ogletree is rated as a five-star prospect by scout.com and is one of the bigger names in Georgia's 2010 recruiting class. He is an impact player who figures to make a push for immediate starting time next season.
He's 6'3", 212 lbs and runs about a 4.59 forty. His instincts on the field are uncanny, and he's got a nice feel for the flow of the game.
As far as his technique goes, he's got some improving to do as far as pass coverage is concerned, but that will come in time. That said, he's excellent in run-support and is as sure a tackler as you will ever see on the field.
Even more, he is a beast on special teams and seems to always be around the ball to make a key play.
He could just as easily play linebacker but his overall skill-set make him more valuable as a defensive back, particularly a free safety.
Jakar Hamilton, Georgia Military College, Milledgeville, GA (verbal)
Hamilton is a 2009 junior college All-American who tallied 50 tackles and four picks this past season as a freshman at Georgia Military College. He stands 6'1" and weighs 205 lbs.
He's a big hitter with a nose for the ball. On the field, few choose to throw his way because his 4.4 speed gives him a great ability to lock in and close in fast.
He's got a good attitude and really buys into the team concept on the field; he's definitely not a "me first" kind of guy.
That said, he doesn't lack the confidence to feel that he can make big plays on the field—giving himself the moniker of "The Hitman" for his ability to lay the lumber to ball carriers.
Marc Deas, Osceola High School, Kissimmee, FL (verbal)
Deas is not as splashy a prospect as either Ogletree or Hamilton, but he's no less qualified to stake his claim as an elite player at Georgia.
At 6'0", 185, Deas is a bit small, but he plays his position well and can make the big play when needed because he's so good at finding the ball and making the proper break to it.
He's a diverse player, having started at both linebacker and safety in high school, but will likely remain at safety to maximize his speed and range on the field.
He's got good footwork and a gift for breaking up passes and disrupting plays. He plays smart and uses his instincts on the field to his advantage in coverage plays making him one of the more fundamentally sound prospects in this year's class.
As far as prospects go, he has a lot of untapped potential and could surprise early if given ample opportunities to get on the field.
Blake Sims, Gainesville High School, Gainesville, GA (prospect)
It is uncertain where Sims will end up as of now; he recently reopened his recruitment after being a longtime Alabama commitment. His desire is to be involved on a team's offense, and the Tide were plugging him in, primarily, as a defensive player.
That said, he has decided to take a look at other schools and see what they have to offer him in terms of play diversity and position flexibility.
He is likely best suited as either a wide receiver or a free safety but will be a force no matter where he is on the field because he has excellent hands and footwork—there are no wasted movements when this guy lines up between the hash marks.
Sims has phenomenal awareness on the field and makes good decisions with the ball in his hands.
He played quarterback while at Gainesville and it was thought that Georgia was out of the running when Sims made his commitment to the Tide . Obviously, he's had a change of heart and the Dawgs may have a second shot at this talented local boy who grew up a Dawg fan.
We shall see how it all shakes out.
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