Georgia football fans can be a very fickle bunch. Of course we are not alone in the college football world. The "what have you done for me lately" crowds are quick to line up to protest when their team falters just slightly.
So it was no surprise to me on National Signing Day, that many Dawg fans lined up to hear coach Mark Richt explain how we simply "blew it" with certain players, and ultimately this class.
The "wailing and gnashing of teeth" could be heard from Savannah to Blue Ridge.
Yes, Georgia did lose several players that had the Dawgs on their radar. Yes, the Dawgs lost four-star recruit DaRick Rogers to the Tennessee Volunteers. But if you are one of the nay-sayers who trashed this class you need to take a second look at the group of young men who are coming to Athens in 2010.
Georgia signed 19 players on signing day. Twelve of those players will line up on the defensive side of the ball, and it is on the defensive side of the ball that you will find a wealth of talent.
New defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is most likely sitting in his office with a big smile on his face. His defensive staff now in place with the additions of Scott Lakatos and Warren Belin, Coach Grantham can now begin the process of putting together his 3-4 defense.
I will not be the least bit surprised if many from this defensive class do not step in and contribute in their freshman seasons.
Listed below you will find these 12 players and their impressive credentials.
Demetre Baker (6', 200lb) - Plays Linebacker. Super Prep All American. Scout four-star, Rivals three-star. Played at Orange Park HS in Florida.
Brandon Burrows (6'3", 240lb) - Plays Defensive End. From Walton HS in Marietta,Georgia. Missed senior season with knee injury. Three-star recruit. As a junior recorded 10 sacks.
Marc Deas (6'1", 185lb) - Plays Safety. From Kissimmee, FL. Three-star recruit. Super Prep All Dixie team.
Jalen Fields (6'5", 250lb) - Plays Defensive End. Dalton HS, Dalton Ga. Four-star recruit. AJC top 50 (#37). Listed as the #8 recruit in Georgia. Jalen is pictured above in action.
Jakar Hamilton (6'2", 196lb) - Plays Safety. Super Prep JUCO 100 at Ga Military. Scout.com #2 JUCO player in the country.
Dexter Morant (6'7". 240lb) - Plays Defensive End. Manning HS in South Carolina. Rivals four-star, Scout three-star recruit. Top 50 SC seniors (#10). As a senior had 25 tackles for a loss, with nine sacks. Had 10 sacks in his junior season.
Alec Ogletree (6'3", 215lb) - Plays defensive back. Newnan HS, Newnan GA. Listed as 2009 USA Today All USA First team. Parade magazine All American. AJC Super 11 and AJC 5A Defensive player of the year. Scout five-star, Rivals four-star recruit.
Alexander Ogletree (5'10", 205lb) - Plays linebacker. Newnan HS, Newnan Ga. All region 4A First team. As a senior had 90 tackles, 11 for a loss. Scout two-star recruit. Twin brother is Alec.
Derek Owens (5'9", 180lb) - Plays defensive back. Andrew Jackson HS, Jacksonville Fl. Three-star recruit. Sunstate Football #52 in the state. Had 20 career interceptions.
Garrison Smith (6'3", 250lb) - Plays defensive tackle. Douglas HS, Atlanta. AJC Top 50, and Super 11. Four-star recruit. Rivals #3 DT in the nation. Recorded 24 sacks combined in junior and senior seasons.
TJ Stripling (6'6", 215lb) - Plays defensive end. SW Dekalb HS, Decatur Ga. AJC Top 50 and Super 11. Georgia HS 4A player of the year. Four-star recruit. Listed by Rivals as the #4 DE in the nation. Recorded 29 sacks combined in junior and senior season.
Mike Thornton (6'1", 280lb) - Plays defensive tackle. Stephenson HS, Stone Mountain, Ga. AJC Top 50. Georgia High School 5A All State 1st team. Listed by Rivals as the #15 DT in the nation.
When all is said and done, there is a very good chance that this defensive class will go down as one of Coach Mark Richt's best classes. This class is very talented, and you can expect to see many of these recruits contributing early and often.
Georgia also added several players on the offensive side of the ball that will contribute in the coming seasons as well.
So there you go Dawg fans. No reason to discount this class. This class will go a long way in restoring the type of defense that Georgia fans expect to see.
The future is bright... hand me my shades.