Georgia Football: Best-, Worst-Case Scenarios for Bulldogs' National Signing Day

Andrew Hall@DudeYouCrazyCorrespondent IIIJanuary 30, 2015

Trent Thompson will be a Bulldog.
Trent Thompson will be a Bulldog.Photo courtesy of 247Sports.com.

With national signing day just a few short days away, it's time to begin taking stock of the Georgia Bulldogs' 2015 recruiting class.  Though there are still decisions to be made, it's not too early to begin analyzing what might happen for the Bulldogs between now and Feb. 4.

Here's a closer look at who's already enrolled in Athens and the best- and worst-case scenarios for the Georgia Bulldogs on national signing day.

Already Enrolled

Georgia Early Enrollees
Jonathan LedbetterDE4-Star
Natrez PatrickDE4-Star
Jackson HarrisTE4-Star
Michael BarnettDE4-Star
Chuks AmaechiILB3-Star
Jarvis WilsonS3-Star
Johnathan AbramS3-Star

Regardless of changes of heart and delays with that pesky fax machine, Georgia has a solid foundation already laid with seven early enrollees.

Ledbetter and Patrick, two Top 100 prospects according to the 247Sports composite, will bolster a defensive front that should be strong heading into the 2015 season, and Barnett could be the sleeper of the pack.  

Amaechi may be a relative unknown due to his time in junior college, but Georgia isn't adding a junior to its roster to sit him on the bench.  Lack of depth at inside linebacker should guarantee playing time for the 3-star prospect.

Damian Swann is one of several Bulldogs who will need to be replaced.
Damian Swann is one of several Bulldogs who will need to be replaced.Kyle Rivas/Getty Images

Further, Wilson and Abram, both listed as safeties, should be able to add depth—if nothing else—to a secondary that lost Damian Swann to graduation and a slew of players before and during the 2014 season.

Harris may not make an impact in 2015 with sophomore sensation Jeb Blazevich and fifth-year senior Jay Rome still available at the tight end position.  But not having an immediate need for the nation's fifth-best tight end prospect is a nice problem to have.

Best-Case Scenario

At this juncture, the best-case scenario for the Bulldogs will come to fruition if Georgia accomplishes the following on national signing day:

  1. Keep the Stars: Trent Thompson (the nation's top overall prospect), Terry Godwin (5-star athlete), D'Andre Walker (4-star defensive end), Rashad Roundtree (4-star safety), Darius Slayton (4-star wide receiver) and Chauncey Rivers (4-star Defensive end) are ranked within the Top 150 of the 247Sports composite.  Next Wednesday, they need to all be Bulldogs.
  2. Fill Offensive Voids: Slayton and Jayson Stanley (also a 4-star wide receiver) must join the ranks.  Ideally, Michael Chigbu (a 3-star receiver) stays firm with his commitment and Chris Carson (a 3-star JUCO running back) stays with the Dawgs as well.
  3. Finish the Drill: A handful of supremely talented defensive players remain on the board for Georgia.  The Bulldogs would welcome outside linebacker Roquan Smith (No. 47 in the 247Sports composite), defensive end Arden Key (No. 82 in the 247Sports composite) and defensive back Rico McGraw (No. 144 in the 247Sports composite).

The first priority on this list is the most likely.  Thompson and most of that crew have been committed firmly for some time.  In his latest projection of Georgia's signing class, recruiting analyst Jake Rowe of Dawgs247 projects all of those stars will stay loyal to Georgia.

Despite recent decommitments from Van Jefferson and Shaquery Wilson (who may have been a defensive back in the end), Georgia seems poised to finish strong in quality (though not quantity) on the offensive side of the ball.  These receivers have a tremendous opportunity to contribute right away, and don't be surprised to see Carson getting carries in an already crowded backfield.

Finishing the drill remains the biggest obstacle—and opportunity—for this recruiting class.  Smith to Georgia makes sense, and he's liked the Bulldogs for a long time.  Key is more of a long shot, and landing McGraw, who committed to Georgia before decommitting to Alabama and ultimately decommitting away from the Crimson Tide, would be a coup.

If this scenario comes to pass on national signing day, Athens will be home to 11 of the nation's Top 150 players on the 247Sports composite.

Worst-Case Scenario

It should be noted that the best-case scenario defined above is reasonable.  Of the conditions outlined, only the signing of Key, who seems to favor LSU, Auburn and South Carolina, is a true stretch.  

Unfortunately for the Dawgs, this worst-case scenario is also well within the realm of possibility.

For starters, it's completely possible that Georgia whiffs on every major uncommitted name.  

As the staff at BamaOnLine has reported, McGraw has decommitted from Alabama, but he has not committed back to Georgia.  Though he favored Georgia some time ago, he may not return to the Bulldogs.

The amount of attention Smith has received from Michigan and the momentum accompanying the Wolverines and new coach Jim Harbaugh could send him north, and he's visiting UCLA this weekend.  He is hardly a lock for Georgia.

Even more alarming is the flight risk of Godwin, one of Georgia's top commitments.  Though Godwin told Michael Carvell of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he's still firmly committed to Georgia, he seems to be leaving room for a change of heart.  "Right now, I'm still committed to UGA, so who knows?" he offered.

And Godwin heard high praise from Alabama head coach Nick Saban during an official visit last week. He told Carvell, "Coach Saban told me that if I came there, I would have an impact on offense and special teams."

If Georgia misses out on Godwin, Smith, Key and McGraw, the excitement surrounding this once-scorching-hot recruiting class could flame out on national signing day.

Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand and all recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.com.


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