National Signing Day was to be a pinnacle moment for the 2011 Georgia recruiting class.
Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt hyped up his staff's efforts this season and hailed the class as his 'Dream Team.'
Richt and Co. hit the pavement hard and didn't let up until the final buzzer. The Bulldogs recruited hard in state and wound up doing extremely well within their borders.
Georgia is typically a recruiting hot bed and this year was no different. Isaiah Crowell, Ray Drew, Jay Rome and Malcolm Mitchell are just a few of the names that were high on nearly every team's list.
The Bulldogs landed these players and more. All told, Georgia acquired 25 recruits, including a host of 5 and 4-star players.
Here is how we see the Georgia Bulldogs' 2011 recruiting class.
Position: Running Back
Ht/Wt: 5-foot-11, 210 pounds
Where he fits in best: Crowell is one of the nation's top all-purpose backs and will fit in nicely with the Bulldogs' existing offense. With a superior passing attack led by Aaron Murray, Crowell will fit in nicely as the likely feature back. He possesses top-notch speed, durability and is as explosive as they come at the position in this class.
Does it fill a void?: For as solid as the Georgia passing attack was last year, it lacked a top-notch running back. Georgia rushed for 142 yards per game, and that total will surely go up with one of the top running back threats in the 2011 class in Athens.
Position: Defensive End
Ht/Wt: 6-foot-5, 253 pounds
Where he fits in best: Drew, considered the No. 2 defensive end in the nation behind Jadeveon Clowney, has no holes in his game. He possesses the size, speed, football knowledge and discipline to succeed early on in his career at Georgia. Drew is equally effective in the pass rush as he is at stopping the run. Expect this 5-star recruit to make an immediate impact.
Does it fill a void?: Georgia's pass rush ranked 56th in the nation last year and helped the Bulldogs to the No. 36 spot in points against. While the need for a superior defensive end wasn't the biggest concern for Coach Mark Richt, Drew's presence will surely be welcome.
Position: Tight End
Ht/Wt: 6-foot-5, 230 pounds
Where he fits in best: Rome will be a key addition to the Georgia passing game, utilizing his solid size, athleticism and pass-catching abilities. As a four-star high school recruit, Rome possesses a handful of high-quality characteristics of the position but also needs to continue developing others, including his blocking abilities.
Does it fill a void?: Not necessarily. The Bulldogs have a handful of other tight ends waiting for their breakout moment, including Orson Charles, Marlon Brown, Aron White, Derek Rich, Arthur Lynch and Bruce Figgins. While Rome certainly adds to the depth at the position, he wasn't a neccessity-at least not right away.
Position: Wide Receiver
Ht/Wt: 6-foot, 185 pounds
Where he fits in best: Mitchell, a four-star recruit, has the perfect blend of speed, ball skills, athleticism and explosiveness. He figures to make a lasting impact in the Bulldogs' passing game, although it remains to be seen just how soon.
Does it fill a void?: With the loss of top receiver A.J. Green to the draft, the Bulldogs were surely in need of a top wide receiver. Green's departure means that Georgia will need to make up for 848 yards and nine touchdowns worth of production. Mitchell's signing is a perfect acquisition when looking at this hole the Bulldogs needed to fill.
Ht/Wt: 6-foot, 175 pounds
Where he fits in best: Swann is bound for greatness as a defensive back with the Bulldogs. With great athleticism, speed and a frame that can likely fill out even more with added bulk, Swann remains the consumate upside recruit.
Does it fill a void?: The Georgia pass defense ranked No. 17 in the nation this past season. While the secondary wasn't the highest of priorities for the Bulldogs, a versatile, athletic defensive back is a key cog in any team's chances, especially in the SEC.
Ht/Wt: 6-foot-2, 200 pounds
Where he fits in best: Lemay is considered one of the top quarterbacks in the class of 2011 and brings the complete package to Georgia. He is a fluid passer with instincts to help him succeed at this level and beyond. He'll develop into the perfect pocket passer to take over after Aaron Murray's reign under center.
Does it fill a void?: No. With Aaron Murray returning to Athens after a year in which he threw for 3,000 yards, 24 touchdowns and a 154 passer rating, there isn't an immediate need at quarterback. That said, he will continue to develop and be a prime candidate to succeed Murray.
Position: Wide Receiver
Ht/Wt: 6-foot, 200 pounds
Where he fits in best: Scott-Wesley is a speedy wide receiver, much like Malcolm Mitchell, but is a bit more unrefined than his new colleague. Scott-Wesley can improve his route-running abilities, but the Bulldogs could certainly use his speed as a downfield option early on.
Does it fill a void?: Yes. Scott-Wesley is just one of the many players at the wide receiver position who will come together with the goal of replacing the talented A.J. Green.
Position: Defensive Back
Ht/Wt: 6-foot-1, 195 pounds
Where he fits in best: Moore has the speed and skill set to make an immediate impact at the safety position for Georgia. The four-star recruit put together a strong showing at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, sky-rocketing 40 spots in Rivals.com's final Rivals250.
Does it fill a void?: It remains to be seen just how immediate Moore's impact will be but he is the type of player who could jump right in on special teams and see reps at the safety position. Regardless, his presence adds depth to the Georgia secondary.
Position: Inside Linebacker
Ht/Wt: 6-foot-3, 218 pounds
Where he fits in best: Moore is an all-around playmaker at the inside linebacker position. His athleticism, speed and flexibility make for plenty of versatility against the run and the pass.
Does it fill a void?: Wilson's signing with Georgia fills a major void in the Bulldogs' recruiting class. WIth Kent Turene and Amarlo Herrera locked up at the outside position, Wilson provides Georgia with top-10 talent at both linebacker spots.
Position: Outside Linebacker
Ht/Wt: 6-foot-1, 225 pounds
Where he fits in best: With a solid body and football instincts to succeed, Herrera is likely to compete for immediate playing time. His physical style of play and verstaility in the defense, though, will surely warrant immediate time as a special teams bruiser.
Does it fill a void?: Herrera's presence at the outside linebacker position adds plenty of depth, talent and star power to the 2011 recruiting class at Georgia. Herrera, along with Kent Turene and Ramik Wilson, provide up-front support on an impressive defensive unit in this 2011 recruiting class for the Bulldogs.
At times, it didn't seem likely, but Georgia put together a recruiting class that lived up to the 'Dream Team' hype set by head coach Mark Richt and Co.
The Bulldogs did a fantastic job of keeping the top talent in Georgia in state and were able to provide plenty of balance and talent across the board.
Names like Isaiah Crowell, Ray Drew, Jay Rome, Malcolm Mitchell and Damian Swann are surely going to be at the tip of college football's collective tongue for years to come. Their presence on this 2011 recruiting class shows that Georgia has what it takes to compete with Alabama, LSU, Florida and the other SEC powers on the recruiting trail.
The amount of top-flight talent compiled in the class also proves that soon enough, the Bulldogs will be able to do it on the field, too.
Overall Class Grade: A