Georgia Football Recruiting: Meet the Bulldogs' 2014 Recruiting Class
Mark Richt may have a new staff of assistant coaches around him, but the story of his most recent recruiting class is a familiar one as the Georgia Bulldogs once again signed a host of impressive prospects.
And that was before the Dawgs inked the state's best player, Lorenzo Carter.
In total, Georgia signed 21 recruits on Wednesday with the following ratings, according to the 247Sports Composite:
- 5-star recruits: 3
- 4-star recruits: 10
- 3-star recruits: 8
Here is a more thorough introduction to each and every member of Georgia's 2014 recruiting class, sorted by overall national ranking within the 247Sports Composite.
Note: All stats, ratings and rankings courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted.
- Height and Weight: 6'5", 232 lbs
- Position and Ranking: 5-star defensive end, No. 18 overall
- High School: Norcross (Norcross, Ga.)
- Other Finalists: Florida State, LSU
- Commit Date: 02/05/2014
Lorenzo Carter was on the top of Georgia's recruiting board for months, and on signing day, the Dawgs' relentless pursuit paid off.
Carter, one of the most highly touted recruits in the nation, boasts tremendous size, speed, strength and athleticism. The complete physical package, he'll see the field early and often as a freshman—particularly on passing downs when his ability to pressure quarterbacks will shine.
He is very similar to current Bulldog Ray Drew, who played outside linebacker for a stint and then bulked up to fit the frame of a 3-4 defensive end. Carter may play both positions as well, but he boasts more outside speed and length than Drew.
Carter has the most potential of any member of this signing class, and by all accounts, he's willing to put in the work to capitalize on his skill set.
- Height and Weight: 5'11", 205 lbs
- Position and Ranking: 5-star running back, No. 19 overall
- High School: American Heritage (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
- Senior-Year Stats: 213 carries, 1,833 rushing yards, 26 total TDs
- Commit Date: 4/26/2013
Sony Michel's versatility sets him apart. As a running back, he's able to do spectacular things in space, but he doesn't have to be handed the ball. He is just as much of a threat receiving in the flats as he is as a runner.
The obvious comparison is to Keith Marshall, but Michel boasts more size and strength than his new teammate. He could fill Marshall's role early as the veteran continues rehabbing a knee injury.
- Height and Weight: 5'11", 216 lbs
- Position and Ranking: 5-star running back, No. 33 overall
- High School: Cedartown (Cedartown, Ga.)
- Senior-Year Stats: 284 carries, 2720 yards, 39 TDs
- Commit Date: 6/11/2013
Nick Chubb has favored the home-state Bulldogs all along, and he clearly isn't afraid of a little competition. He will join established stars (Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall), developing talents (J.J. Green and Brendan Douglas), a contributor in waiting (redshirt freshman A.J. Turman) and another 5-star signee (Sony Michel) in Georgia's crowded backfield.
How the depth chart shakes out remains to be seen, but Chubb's playing style (which is similar to that of Gurley) bodes well for him as he transitions to the physical college game.
- Height and Weight: 5'9", 186 lbs
- Position and Ranking: 4-star cornerback, No. 69 overall
- High School: Brooks County (Quitman, Ga.)
- Commit Date: 6/13/2013
Malkom Parrish should be one of the most celebrated recruits in this signing class. After all, he's an in-state athlete who plays a position of need (cornerback) extremely well. He's regarded as the eighth-best player at the position, per 247Sports.
But he isn't a 5-star recruit like Michel and Chubb, and he's not an unanticipated or late commitment like Isaiah McKenzie or Lorenzo Carter. So, fans have forgotten about him since he committed last June.
Georgia's coaching staff, however, is counting on Parrish to compete for playing time as a true freshman in the same way that Brendan Langley and Shaq Wiggins did in 2013.
- Height and Weight: 6'2", 272 lbs
- Position and Ranking: 4-star offensive guard, No. 109 overall
- High School: Lakewood (Saint Petersburg, Fla.)
- Other Finalists: Penn State
- Commit Date: 7/14/2013
Isaiah Wynn sent the Bulldogs spiraling into a panic when he took a surprise visit to Penn State late in January, but ultimately the longstanding commit was true to his word. He will push for playing time immediately, and his athleticism may allow him to challenge returning veterans Watts Dantzler and Mark Beard for a starting position.
He needs to add some strength, but his lateral quickness and footwork make him a tremendous prospect at the collegiate level.
- Height and Weight: 6'3", 202 lbs
- Position and Ranking: 4-star quarterback, No. 114 overall
- High School: Stratford (Goose Creek, S.C.)
- Senior-Year Stats: 3,680 passing yards, 34 TDs (per MaxPreps)
- Commit Date: Enrolled Early on 1/6/2014
Jacob Park, Georgia's lone early enrollee, dodged signing-day hoopla and got an early start on his college career. He will ride the pine in 2014 as redshirt senior Hutson Mason gets his chance to shine, but in 2015 he'll compete with Faton Bauta and Brice Ramsey for the starting gig.
Park must improve his accuracy, but he has the size, arm strength and pocket presence to be successful in the SEC.
- Height and Weight: 6'4", 230 lbs
- Position and Ranking: 4-star tight end, No. 132 overall
- High School: Charlotte Christian (Charlotte, N.C.)
- Senior-Year Stats: 32 receptions, 441 yards, five TDs (per MaxPreps)
- Other Finalists: Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, Ohio State
- Commit Date: 4/23/2013
Jeb Blazevich took unofficial visits to some of the best programs in the country last spring (Alabama, Ohio State) but committed to what has become "Tight End University" in Athens.
He offers a little more athleticism than Arthur Lynch and better pass-blocking skills (at this point) than Jay Rome, but patience will need to be his best virtue. The tight end job is Rome's for the keeping in 2014, and Jordan Davis (a redshirt freshman next season) will likely be the top reserve. That being said, expect Blazevich to compete for the starting spot in 2015.
- Height and Weight: 6'3", 310 lbs
- Position and Ranking: 4-star defensive tackle, No. 140 overall
- High School: Pine Forest (Fayetteville, N.C.)
- Senior-Year Stats: 82 tackles, four sacks
- Other Finalists: Miami, Louisville
- Commit Date: 7/20/2013
Things got understandbly rocky for Lamont Gaillard when Georgia's defensive coaching staff went through a complete makeover. For a while he considered following Todd Grantham to Louisville. Later, he flirted with Miami; he even visited the Hurricanes last weekend.
Gaillard is a huge (both literally and figuratively) pickup for the Bulldogs. Since Kwame Geathers and John Jenkins departed for the NFL following the 2012 season, the defensive tackle position has been a revolving door. Mike Thornton and Chris Mayes have failed to lock down the position; perhaps Gaillard can push them for playing time in 2014.
- Height and Weight: 6'3", 230 lbs
- Position and Ranking: 4-star defensive end, No. 147 overall
- High School: Hardee (Wauchula, Fla.)
- Commit Date: 9/26/2013
Keyon Brown may be the most versatile defensive commit of this recruiting class. He has the speed and length to line up with his hand on the ground as a true defensive end, and he also has the lateral quickness to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.
As Jeremy Pruitt tweaks Georgia's defense, this adaptability will serve Brown well.
- Height and Weight: 6'4", 278 lbs
- Position and Ranking: 4-star offensive tackle, No. 227 overall
- High School: Lowndes (Valdosta, Ga.)
- Commit Date: 7/12/2013
Dyshon Sims is one of the most well-rounded offensive linemen in this class. He has good size and an even better frame as he looks to add muscle. He's athletic and capable of blocking in the passing game or creating holes for running backs.
Veterans Kolton Houston and John Theus return to occupy both tackle positions for Georgia in 2014, but Sims could be used as a reserve, as none of the other players at the position boasts significant experience either.
- Height and Weight: 6'6", 275 lbs
- Position and Ranking: 4-star offensive tackle, No. 259 overall
- High School: Marist (Atlanta, Ga.)
- Commit Date: 7/3/2013
Kendall Baker received interest as both an offensive and defensive lineman. At Georgia, he'll settle on the offensive side of the ball. He has the size to support more weight and could be a force even as a freshman if he bulks up and adjusts to the speed of the game. And, he could end up playing the guard position, which is less crowded than the tackle spot.
The Dawgs have less depth at the offensive guard position, with contributors Mark Beard and Watts Dantzler returning in 2014 but being backed up by young players like Aulden Bynum, Josh Cardiello and Brandon Kublanow (all members of last year's signing class). Baker's size gives him a unique opportunity to climb the ranks early at either position.
- Height and Weight: 6'1", 195 lbs
- Position and Ranking: 4-star wide receiver, No. 295 overall
- High School: Rutland (Macon, Ga.)
- Senior-Year Stats: 34 receptions, 816 yards, 12 TDs
- Commit Date: 7/12/2013
Shakenneth Williams brings a little bit of everything to the receiver position. He has good size, high-level speed, tremendous hands and an ability to make people miss.
If any receiver in this class will make an impact as a true freshman pass-catcher, it will be Williams. Assuming he masters the playbook and downfield blocking, look for him to see the field in the second half of 2014.
- Height and Weight: 5'8", 175 lbs
- Position and Ranking: 4-star wide receiver, No. 307 overall
- Junior College: American Heritage (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
- Senior-Year Stats: 823 receiving yards, 287 rushing yards, 14 total TDs
- Other Finalists: Virginia Tech, Ole Miss, Florida
- Commit Date: 2/5/2014
Georgia did not even offer a scholarship to Isaiah McKenzie until Monday of this week, but now he's a Bulldog. He was a teammate of Sony Michel in high school, and obviously their friendship was a factor in his decision.
He will see the field in 2014, but his capacity remains to be determined. The most likely spot for him as a freshman is as a return specialist, where his elusiveness could serve the Dawgs well. The backfield and receiving positions are crowded, but offensive coordinator Mike Bobo will find a way to get him involved early.
- Height and Weight: 6'0", 220 lbs
- Position and Ranking: 3-star linebacker, No. 473 overall
- High School: Tucker (Tucker, Ga.)
- Other Finalists: Louisville
- Commit Date: 6/23/2013
Detric Bing-Dukes, who briefly committed to Louisville last year before flipping to the Dawgs, possesses every quality one could want in a middle linebacker. He's a sure tackler (registering 80 takedowns as a junior in high school) and equally capable of dropping back into coverage (he also played tight end in high school). He stands to benefit from added size, but he plays similarly to former Bulldog Rennie Curran.
Georgia returns two of the SEC's best inside linebackers in Amarlo Herrera and Ramik Wilson in 2014, but reserve spots are still up for grabs. Watch for Bing-Dukes to compete with 2013 signees Reggie Carter and Ryne Rankin for playing time as a backup.
- Height and Weight: 6'4", 286 lbs
- Position and Ranking: 3-star offensive guard, No. 524 overall
- High School: Heard County (Franklin, Ga.)
- Commit Date: 6/8/2013
Put simply, Jake Edwards is a project for the Bulldogs. He received an offer from Auburn but no other SEC scholarships. He has adequate size and above-average strength, but he must improve technique and lateral quickness.
He will likely redshirt in 2014.
- Height and Weight: 6'3", 192 lbs
- Position and Ranking: 3-star wide receiver, No. 769 overall
- High School: Homestead (Homestead, Fla.)
- Commit Date: 6/8/2013
Gilbert Johnson lacks elite speed but has tremendous size and leaping ability. This makes him a natural fit for red-zone situations and the back-shoulder fade routes that offensive coordinator Mike Bobo loves to draw up. In many regards, he's similar to former Bulldog wideout Marlon Brown.
Don't be surprised to see Johnson redshirt in 2014 as he watches Malcolm Mitchell, Chris Conley, Michael Bennett and Justin Scott-Wesley get their reps.
- Height and Weight: 5'11", 187 lbs
- Position and Ranking: 3-star safety, No. 810 overall
- High School: Tucker (Tucker, Ga.)
- Other Finalists: UCF
- Commit Date: 1/27/2014
Dominick Sanders, the younger brother of former Bulldog Chris Sanders, is one of the more compelling prospects in this signing class. He played safety in high school but is likely a cornerback at the next level based on his size. Accordingly, his skill set may not have been properly evaluated by other schools.
He is athletic and could be used on special teams or even offense. In that regard, he's similar to former Dawgs cornerback Branden Smith.
- Height and Weight: 6'5", 250 lbs
- Position and Ranking: 3-star tight end, No. 897 overall
- High School: West Hall (Oakwood, Ga.)
- Other Finalists: Cincinnati
- Commit Date: 2/5/2014
One of several surprise signees for Georgia, Hunter Atkinson flipped from Cincinnati on signing day, per 247Sports. He received a scholarship offer from Georgia late on Tuesday night and signed a letter of intent the following morning.
While he may not be the most highly touted recruit of this class, Atkinson is poised for drastic improvement. His high school coach told Rusty Mansell of 247Sports, "I am telling you for certain he is the best kept secret in the state if not the country."
- Height and Weight: 6'2", 175 lbs
- Position and Ranking: 3-star cornerback, unranked
- High School: Merritt Island (Merritt Island, Fla.)
- Other Finalists: Louisville
- Commit Date: 2/3/2014
Prior to this week, Shaquille Jones was heading to Louisville. He took an official visit to Athens last weekend, and on Monday he committed to the Bulldogs.
He boasts tremendous size and speed, and with proper coaching he could develop into an elite cornerback. Don't be surprised to see him redshirt in 2014, but expect him to be a big-time contributor in the years to come.
- Height and Weight: 5'10", 170 lbs
- Position and Ranking: 3-star wide receiver, No. 7 prep school player
- Prep School: Georgia Prep Sports Academy (Atlanta, Ga.)
- Commit Date: 1/20/2014
Rico Johnson was initially a member of Georgia's 2013 class but he failed to qualify academically. His top-end speed sets him apart (much like Justin Scott-Wesley), and he could be a factor in special teams as a return man.
Unfortunately, all receivers in this class will be stuck behind a host of productive veterans, so Johnson won't likely make an impact until 2015.
- Height and Weight: 6'2", 200 lbs
- Position and Ranking: 3-star cornerback, No. 23 junior college player
- Junior College: Hutchinson C.C. (Hutchinson, Kan.)
- Junior College Stats: Eight interceptions, 20 pass breakups over two years
- Other Finalists: Ole Miss
- Commit Date: 8/9/2013
Shattle Fenteng may not be a household name in recruiting circles, but he could have a big impact for the Georgia defense in 2014. As new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt wipes the slate clean, cornerback spots will be wide open.
Fenteng has an edge over most athletes at the position thanks to his age and maturity (he played well for two years at the JUCO level) and his size.
College Football Recruiting 2014 Heat Map
The Heat Map above details where the nation's best players are coming from and where they're going to play college football.