Georgia Bulldogs Football

Georgia Bulldogs Recruiting: Updates on 2014 Commits and Targets

Andrew HallCorrespondent IIIDecember 27, 2013

Georgia Bulldogs Recruiting: Updates on 2014 Commits and Targets

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    Georgia head coach Mark Richt
    Georgia head coach Mark RichtKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The quickest way for Georgia to shake off a disappointing 2013 season is with a stellar recruiting class.  If recent history is any indicator, the Bulldogs should once again be flush with talent.  After all, Mark Richt and his coaching staff have pulled in six consecutive top-12 recruiting classes according to 247Sports.

    Although both the offense and defense return a host of talent (The Dawgs should return 18 starters in 2013.), the need for depth is pressing, as evidenced by Georgia's injury-hampered 2013 campaign.

    Consider this your one-stop shop for constant Georgia recruiting updates, news and analysis.  Check back often for updates.

     

    Note: All stats, ratings and rankings courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted. 

Latest News

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    Quarterback Jacob Park
    Quarterback Jacob ParkVia 247Sports.com

    Update (2/4): Georgia Adds Another Defensive Back

    Undoubtedly the commitment of 3-star cornerback Shaquille Jones was sweet for the Bulldogs as they pulled him out of the grasp of Todd Grantham and Louisville.  Jones has good size at 6-foot-2 and could be a factor early for the Dawgs.

     

    Update (2/3): Georgia Losing Long-standing Commitment?

    According to Michael Carvell of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Kendall Gant (a 4-star safety according to 247Sports) may be heading elsewhere due to academic issues.

    Gant is now considering Marshall, a school which accepts partial academic qualifiers (Georgia does not).

     

     

    Update (2/1): UGA Targets Late for Official Visits

    As Michael Carvell of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, defensive back Wesley Green had a family emergency and is now at risk of missing his visit to Georgia.  Green is considering Georgia and South Carolina; the Dawgs were hoping for a successful final visit.

    Meanwhile, Lorenzo Carter tweeted, "Knocked down the game winner and now I'm headed to Athens for my OV!" after helping his basketball team to a win late Friday night.

     

     

    Update (1/30): Snow Did Not Slow Dawgs Final Push

    According to Rusty Mansell of 247Sports (subscription), Mark Richt and Jeremy Pruitt were at Bryson Allen-Williams' home when the snow arrived on Tuesday.  Allen-Williams remains committed to South Carolina but will visit Georiga this weekend and told Mansell, "My mom loves Coach Pruitt."

    In general, snowy conditions have not halted Georgia's recruiting.  On-campus recruiting director Daryl Jones told Gentry Estes of 247Sports, "It's green lights and go, baby."

     

     

    Update (1/28): Bulldogs Continue to Rise in Recruiting Rankings

    The latest 247Sports Class Ranking has the Bulldogs up to the eighth spot.  Georgia picked up a commitment from 3-star safety Dominick Sanders and appears poised to close strong with several big names.

    Read more about Mark Richt's ongoing recruiting battles here.

     

    Update (1/25): Georgia Target Visiting Alabama This Weekend

    Elisha Shaw, a 3-star defensive tackle who missed his senior season with a neck injury, is considering Alabama, Ole Miss, Auburn and Georgia according to 247Sports.  According to Bama Online, Shaw is in Tuscaloosa for his first official visit to Alabama this weekend.

    Georgia has long been among his leaders, but a good visit this weekend could eliminate the Bulldogs.

     

    Update (1/24): Georgia Making Late Runs at Prospects

    According to Michael Carvell of The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Georgia is pursuing Andrew Williams (a 4-star defensive end currently committed to Auburn) as signing day approaches.  Williams likes Georgia because of a pre-existing relationship with Jeremy Pruitt and told Carvell, "Me and Coach Pruitt were really close when he was at FSU."  He will not make a decision until signing day.

    According to 247Sports, Pruitt is attempting to capitalize on a number of already established relationships.  He's now the lead recruiter of 4-star wide receiver J.C. Jackson (he was a secondary recruiter of Jackson while at Florida State).  He's also hot on the trail of Derrick Kelly, Jr. (a 3-star offensive tackle, currently committed to FSU).

     

     

    Update (1/23): Georgia Rising In the Rankings

    247Sports has Georgia back in the Top 10 of its latest recruiting class rankings.  The Bulldogs, who got a commitment from 3-star wide receiver Rico Johnson last week, jumped Miami.

    Johnson initially signed with Georgia in 2013, but attended Georgia Prep Sports Academy last year after not qualifying academically.

     

    Update (1/22): Lorenzo Carter Has No Leader 

    Lorenzo Carter spoke with Michael Carvell of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about his recent tip to LSU and a visit with Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.  Carter mentioned that Pruitt was very impressive to his parents and that he likes his credential as a BCS National Champion.

    Pruitt concluded his interview by stressing that there is no leader in his recruitment, he remains "wide open."

     

     

    Update (1/21): 5-Stars Abound for Georgia

    247Sports.com released its final composite rankings on Monday.  With the final tally, Georgia has two 5-star commitments from running backs Sony Michel and Nick Chubb.  Landing 5-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter, would be an added bonus.  

    Last year, Georgia did not sign a single 5-star recruit according to the 247Sports Composite.

     

    Update (1/20): Wesley Green Still Uncommitted and That's Good News 

    Wesley Green (4-star cornerback) completed his official visit to South Carolina on Sunday and remains uncommitted, which is a good thing for Georgia, the only other team in the running for his talents.  Green told John Whittle of 247Sports, "South Carolina has an edge right now over UGA.  But we'll see how that UGA trip goes.  Then I'll go from there."

    That may not sound like much cause for optimism, but coming from a guy who's favored South Carolina for some time, it's clear he is undecided.  That gives Georgia a chance when he visits at the end of January.

     

     

    Update (1/18): Push for New and Old Commitments

    According to Michael Carvell of The Atlanta Journal-Constitutionnew defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt and head coach Mark Richt were scheduled to meet with Lamont Gaillard on Friday.  The goal was to keep Gaillard firm in his commitment to Georgia.  Read more here.

    Additionally, Carvell reports that Pruitt reached out to 4-star linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams and is planning to visit with the South Carolina commit next week.

     

    Update (1/16): Pruitt's Impact

    New Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt is posed to help the Dawgs close out recruiting season.  According to Kipp Adams of 247Sports, Georgia's top target, Lorenzo Carter, called the hire "a pretty good pick up."

     Earlier in the week, the father of Rashaan Evans (a 5-star linebacker out of Auburn, Ala.) told Matt Scalici of AL.com that Georgia was out of the running, citing uncertainty as a concern following Grantham's departure.  Perhaps Pruitt's emergence will put the Bulldogs back in contention. 

     

    Update (1/13): Grantham's Departure Impacting Recruits?

    According to Michael Carvell of the Atlanta Journal-Constitutionrecruits are still weighing the significance of Todd Grantham's departure.  Keyon Brown emphasized that he's still a Bulldog and Detric Dukes said, "It doesn't affect me at all.  I'm a Dawg."

    Another commit, Kendall Gant, said he's now sure how Grantham's departure will affect his decision.

    Meanwhile, Georgia's top uncommitted target, Lorenzo Carter was surprised, saying, "I just heard about that today so I'm surprised but I just gotta wait and see what happens."

    All quotes in this update via Michael Carvell's report.

     

     

    Update (1/11): New DB Target Offererd by Bulldogs

    According to 247Sports, safety Tavon Ross of Cochran, Ga. was offered by Georgia yesterday.  Ross has been committed to Missouri since August, but several insiders (including Rusty Mansell of 247Sports) predict he'll sign with the Dawgs.

     

    Update (1/9): Interesting Visit Lineup for UGA Target

    According to 247Sports linebacker Rashaan Evans will head to Alabama next weekend, either Auburn or Georgia on January 24th and (surprisingly) Ole Miss on January 31st.  Auburn is considered the leader for his services as he's from Auburn, Ala. but a busy calendar could leave the Tigers out of the rotation and help other schools like Georgia and Ole Miss.

     

    Update (1/8): Two-for-One Visit From Target for UGA

    According to Jake Rowe of Rivals.com, defensive back Wesley Green is not only taking an official visit to Georgia on either January 24th or January 31st, he's also heading over to Athens this weekend for an unofficial visit.  

    Green is also still considering South Carolina and is slated to visit the Gamecocks on January 17th.

     

    Update (1/7): Impact of Florida State's BCS Championship

    For Georgia, FSU's win may have an impact on Lorenzo Carter's decision.  Carter has a visit scheduled to Florida State on January 24 (the week before he heads to Athens).  The Seminoles' performance last night will undoubtedly weigh heavily as he decides where to pursue a championship.

    Athlete Myles Autry, who is considering Florida State, Georgia Tech, Georgia and Oregon, may also be swayed by the 'Noles' big win on Monday night.

     

    Update (1/6): Bulldogs Falling?

    Georgia dropped two spots to No. 11 247Sports.com's recruiting class rankings.  The two schools jumping the Bulldogs also hail from the SEC as LSU and Florida are on the rise.

    Defensive Tackle Elisha Shaw was scheduled to make an announcement at the U.S. Army All-american Bowl but did not make a commitment.

     

    Update (1/1): Defensive Tackle to Pick Georgia on Saturday?

    Elisha Shaw is one of eleven players scheduled to announce a commitment during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday.  His remaining schools are Georgia, Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss and Florida State.

     

    Update (12/31): Georgia Commits Impressing at U.S. Army All-American Bowl

    According to JC Shurburtt of 247Sports running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel have impressed during practice sessions.  He adds, "If Chubb is the next Todd Gurley at UGA, then Michel is the next Keith Marshall as the Dawgs figure to continue a 'thunder and lightning' combination."

    Schurburtt also says that cornerback Malkom Parrish's stock is rising thanks to his performance this week.

     

    Update (12/30): Georgia Commits and Targets Participating in All-Star Games

    A complete breakdown of Bulldogs prospects playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and the Under Armour All-America Game can be found here.

     

    Update (12/29): Lorenzo Carter Leaning Toward Georgia?

    According to ESPN Insider's Derek Tyson, Carter currently has Georgia, Florida, Florida State and LSU in his top four.  Carter told Tyson, "Georgia might have the slightest of the slight advantage just because I see them the most."

    Georgia will also get the last shot at wooing Carter according to 247Sports as he has a visit to Athens scheduled for the final weekend before National Signing Day.

     

     

    Last year, Georgia signed an inordinate amount of early enrollees, with 13 commitments showing up for classes in January and practice in the spring.  Not surprisingly, a number of those players (J.J. Green, Tray Matthews and Quincy Mauger, to name a few) made big impacts as true freshmen. This year, only one player, quarterback Jacob Park, is set to enroll early.

    In other news, two Georgia commits, defensive tackle Lamont Gaillard and tight end Jeb Blazevich, are slated to begin practice for the Under Armour All-American Game later this week.  The game is held on January 2.

    Meanwhile, the following Bulldog commits are preparing for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, which takes place on January 4:

    • QB Jacob Park
    • RB Sony Michel
    • RB Nick Chubb
    • CB Malkom Parrish
    • OG Isaiah Wynn
    • OT Dyshon Sims

     

    Note: All stats, ratings and rankings courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted. 

Quarterbacks

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    Targets

    None

     

    Committed

    Jacob Park (out of Goose Creek, S.C.) boasts prototypical size (6'3") for a pocket passer and respectable athleticism (4.7 seconds in the 40).  He's regarded as the nation's third-best pro-style quarterback, according to 247Sports.

    Park finished his high school career with over 8,600 passing yards and 80 passing touchdowns.

     

    Analysis

    Barring injury or something unforeseen, the quarterback job in Athens belongs to Hutson Mason next year.  But things could get interesting in 2015, when Faton Bauta (now a redshirt freshman), Brice Ramsey (currently redshirting in his first year at Georgia) and Park will all be expected to compete for the job.

    With the position already crowded, Georgia won't pursue any other passers in this class.  And although Bauta may offer more time in the system, the position battle will likely come down to the big arms of Ramsey and Park in 2015.

     

    Note: All stats, ratings and rankings courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted. 

Running Backs

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    Targets

    None

     

    Committed

    Sony Michel (5'11, 205 lbs.) is considered the nation's fourth-best running back prospect, according to the 247Sports composite.  Despite offers from home-state powers such as Florida and Florida State and the likes of Alabama, Auburn and LSU, the Fort Lauderdale product remains firm in his commitment to Georgia.

    Nick Chubb (5'11, 216 lbs.), a Peach State product, is also Athens bound.  The nation's third-best running back, Chubb also committed early to the Bulldogs and remains firm.

     

    Analysis

    Georgia tends to attract running backs in twos.  In 2012, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall highlighted the recruiting class and made an immediate impact.  In 2013, unheralded recruits J.J. Green and Brendan Douglas proved to be undervalued quantities.  Now, two more elite runners will look to make an impact.

    Undoubtedly, these two players have the talent to crack a very talented backfield rotation in 2014, but they'll have to beat out experienced players such as Green and Douglas to see the field.  

    Most expect Todd Gurley to declare for the NFL draft following another stellar campaign next year.  If that proves to be the case, Chubb and Michel will likely share the workload in 2015 with Keith Marshall.

     

    Note: All stats, ratings and rankings courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted. 

Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

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    Tight end Jeb Blazevich
    Tight end Jeb BlazevichVia 247Sports.com

    Targets

    Update (1/25): Myles Autry will decide between Georgia Tech and Florida State according to Chris Nee of 247Sports.  Meanwhile, Georgia is now interested in J.C. Jackson, a 4-star wide receiver who favors Florida.

     

     

    Myles Autry, a 4-star athlete out of Norcross, Ga., will most likely settle as a slot receiver at the collegiate level, and Georgia would love to add him to the fold as an undersized (5'9") speedster.  To do so, the Bulldogs will have to fend off BCS National Championship contender Florida State and Georgia Tech, where Autry's older brother plays.

    Additionally, Georgia continues to pursue Nate Brown, a 6'3" 4-star receiver out of Suwanee, Ga. Brown remains committed to Missouri but still has interest in a recently received offer from Georgia. (The Dawgs offered him on November 16.)

     

    Committed

    Four-star prospect Jeb Blazevich is expected to join a long line of impressive Georgia tight ends. At 6'4", he certainly has the frame to contribute early.  

    At the receiver position, two commits, Shakenneth Williams and Gilbert Johnson, are poised to join the ranks.  Williams is a 4-star prospect who committed to the Bulldogs over the likes of Missouri and Ole Miss.  At 6'4", the Miami-based Johnson looks to contribute immediately in red-zone situations.

    Additionally, 3-star wide receiver Rico Johnson has re-committed to the Bulldogs after spending a year in prep school.

     

    Analysis

    Again, the impact of these players may be delayed for a year.  With Malcolm Mitchell, Michael Bennett, Justin Scott-Wesley, Chris Conley, Reggie Davis and Jay Rome returning and bringing back over 4,500 combined career receiving yards, opportunities may be slim in 2014.

    But Bennett and Conley will graduate next year, and big seasons from Mitchell, Scott-Wesley and Rome could result in early NFL departures.  

     

    Note: All stats, ratings and rankings courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted. 

Offensive Line

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    Offensive tackle Kendall Baker
    Offensive tackle Kendall BakerVia 247Sports.com

    Targets

    Georgia is continuing to recruit a few offensive linemen, but the Dawgs are aren't likely to steal any of them away.  Fortunately, a stable of talent is already committed.

     

    Committed

    The Georgia offensive line commitments make the unit arguably the deepest position group:

    • Isaiah Wynn: A 272-pound guard out of Lakewood, Fla., Wynn is a 4-star prospect.
    • Dyshon Sims: Sims, a 278-pound tackle, is considered the nation's 18th-best player at his position.
    • Kendall Baker: This 6'6", 275-pound 4-star tackle still has room to grow into his frame.
    • Jake Edwards: Edwards is a 286-pound guard and is considered a 3-star recruit.

     

    Analysis

    With three starters departing due to graduation, there will be opportunities for young linemen in Mike Bobo's offense, which often plays eight or nine linemen during a game.

    Wynn and Sims are the jewels of this group and could both compete for playing time early, but Baker's size makes him a compelling player to watch over the coming years.

     

    Note: All stats, ratings and rankings courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted. 

Defensive Line

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    Update (1/26): Georgia is now in hot pursuit of defensive end Andrew Williams, a 4-star recruit who committed to Auburn in August.

     

    Targets

    Defensive end Lorenzo Carter tops Georgia's "most wanted" list as national signing day approaches.  The 6'5", 232-pound athlete is considered the state's best player and could immediately contribute in Todd Grantham's 3-4 defense.  He could get a look at Georgia's outside linebacker position, but he'll likely settle with a hand on the ground as an end once his frame fills out.

    Carter has offers from just about everyone, but Florida, Alabama and Georgia appear to be his leaders.

    In addition to Carter, the Bulldogs are still pursuing defensive tackles Dontavious Russell and Elisha Shaw.

     

    Committed

    Tackle Lamont Gaillard has the size (6'3", 310 lbs.) to contribute immediately at the collegiate level, and the 4-star prospect may do just that.

     

    Analysis

    A commitment from Carter could make this class.  Georgia has a host of solid commitments, but adding him to the fold would certainly grab headlines.

    Even so, Gaillard could prove to be the most valuable recruit of this class during the 2014 season.  Several players contributed at the nose tackle position in 2013, but none asserted dominance and took ownership.  Gaillard could see the field early and often at that position.

     

    Note: All stats, ratings and rankings courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted. 

Linebackers

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    Defensive end/linebacker Keyon Brown
    Defensive end/linebacker Keyon BrownVia 247Sports.com

    Update (1/28): Georgia continues to pursue Bryson Allen-Williams and will host the South Carolina commit for an official visit this weekend.

    Update (1/13): Rashaan now has Alabama, Auburn and UCLA as his final three per Matt Calici of AL.com.

     

    Targets

    Outside linebacker Rashaan Evans, an Auburn, Ala., native, seems destined to play for the hometown Tigers, but he has not yet committed.  UCLA, Alabama, Ole Miss and Georgia remain high on the list for this 4-star recruit.

     

    Committed

    At 6'3", 230 pounds, Keyon Brown played defensive end in high school, but he seems more likely to settle at outside linebacker in Georgia's 3-4 scheme.  The 4-star recruit out of Florida boasts tremendous athleticism and closing speed.

    Detric Dukes, a 4-star recruit, is a viable middle linebacker in Georgia's defense but is slightly undersized.  That being said, a host of smaller players (Christian Robinson and Mike Gilliard come to mind) have found success in the middle of Grantham's defense recently.

     

    Analysis

    Last year's class was linebacker-heavy, so this won't be a large haul.  Nonetheless, stealing Evans could be a huge coup for a Georgia defense still seeking playmakers.

     

    Note: All stats, ratings and rankings courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted. 

Defensive Backs

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    Cornerback Malkom Parrish
    Cornerback Malkom ParrishVia 247Sports

    Update (1/27): Dominick Sanders, a 3-star safety out of Tucker, Ga., has committed to Georgia.

     

    Targets

    Besides Lorenzo Carter, cornerback Wesley Green may be Georgia's highest priority.  The 4-star cornerback has offers from the likes of Florida, Clemson and Auburn but seems to be down two schools from the SEC East: Georgia and South Carolina.

     

    Committed

    Cornerback Malkom Parrish is considered one of the 10 best players in the country at his position and fits the mold of current Georgia freshman Shaq Wiggins as an undersized but aggressive corner.

    Meanwhile, safety Kendall Gant, another 4-star prospect, could be a punishing hitter if he grows into his 6'2" frame.

     

    Analysis

    Put bluntly, Georgia needs help at the cornerback position.  While several young players showed promise in 2013, none was able to lock the position down.  Parrish (and Green, if he pick Georgia) could push not only for playing time but also for starting spots.  

    For Georgia's defense to take a step forward, that needs to happen.

     

    Note: All stats, ratings and rankings courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted.  

Special Teams

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    Kicker Marshall Morgan
    Kicker Marshall MorganScott Cunningham/Getty Images

    Targets

    None

     

    Committed

    None

     

    Analysis

    With five kicking specialists returning, including two punters (Collin Barber and Adam Erickson) and two kickers (Marshall Morgan and Patrick Beless) who saw significant playing time in 2013, Georgia isn't likely to offer scholarships to any special teams-only players in 2014.

     

    Note: All stats, ratings and rankings courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted. 

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