The Georgia Bulldogs are sitting pretty in recruiting the Class of 2014, currently holding the eighth best class in the nation with several big-time recruits still in play. With the days winding down before National Signing Day on Wednesday, Feb. 5th, the Bulldogs have a total of 19 commitments, leaving room for several more players to join the class.
Among these players are running backs Sony Michel, a five-star running back according to Rivals from American Heritage High School (Plantation, FL) and Nick Chubb, a four-star running back according to Rivals from Cedartown High School (Cedartown, GA). Both running backs have wowed fans and the opposition alike in their time in high school, leaving many to feel like this duo has the potential to be the next Gurshall tandem that could tear up SEC opponents week in and week out.
I rarely have the opportunity to watch Georgia’s commits in person, but I was able to watch Nick Chubb play two times over the course of the last two seasons. While his competition was not quite at the level he will be facing for the Bulldogs, his speed and elusiveness gives him the potential to make some big plays for the Dawgs. Will Chubb be able to match Michel, and will the two even have a chance to sniff the field with Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall still on the roster? It remains to be seen, but their addition certainly has Coach Richt breathing easier.
A new name added to Georgia’s commit list is defensive back Shaquille Jones, a two-star defensive back from Merritt Island (Palm Bay, FL) who de-committed from Louisville and ultimately committed to UGA on Monday. Jones’ addition not only gives the Bulldogs more depth for the shaky defensive backs, but it also seemed like an inadvertent shot at the Cardinals and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, who left the Bulldogs to take the same position on Bobby Petrino’s staff. Georgia certainly is happy that Jones chose the Bulldogs, but also stealing him away from their former embattled defensive coordinator and one of the most hated men in the state of Georgia just serves as the cherry on top.
Head coach Mark Richt and his staff has done an excellent job so far in putting together this recruiting class, but do they still have some magic left to wow the young men that will announce their decisions on Wednesday? It remains to be seen at this point, but here are five of the most-coveted recruits that Georgia is still in play for and my predictions on where they will land.
Lorenzo Carter, DE, Norcross High School (Norcross, GA)
6’5”, 235 lbs
Considering: FSU, FLA, UGA, LSU, UGA, CLEM
Named the fourth best player in the Peach State and the third best defensive end in the nation by Rivals, Carter is coming off of two consecutive high school state championships and has coaching staffs across the Southeast scrambling to meet with him, even if it means sharing him with rival coaches. Mark Richt and assistants Jeremy Pruitt and Bryan McClendon have been after Carter hard these last few weeks; will it be enough to keep the Georgia talent in the states?
Prediction: Georgia. It seems like Coach Richt has established a good relationship with Carter, and although he may not have the chance to start opposite of Ray Drew in his freshman year, he has the potential to be the next David Pollack for the Bulldogs.
Andrew Williams, DE, Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy (McDonough, GA)
6’4”, 245 lbs
Considering: CLEM, AUB, UGA, SCAR, MISS
Another heralded defensive end in this year’s class, Williams looked to be out of reach for the Bulldogs until recently. Williams visit to UGA over the weekend has certainly raised some eyebrows for those who follow recruiting closely, and it will be interesting to see if the decision by Williams at 3:00 p.m. influences the aforementioned Carter, who is set to announce at 3:30.
Prediction: Auburn. Georgia’s run to get in the mix for Williams’ services was very impressive and shows how formidable this coaching staff is at recruiting, but veteran recruiting coordinator and former Georgia assistant Rodney Garner will have the folks at Eagle’s Landing yelling “War Eagle!”
Wesley Green, DB, Martin Luther King (Lithonia, GA)
5’10”, 168 lbs
Considering: SCAR, UGA
A dangerous defensive back who has been clocked running a 4.52 40 yard dash, Green has defensive coordinators across the country drooling, hoping they can add him to help slow down their opponents’ passing games. Green is rumored to be looking at South Carolina and Georgia, leaving the eighteen year old with a big decision to make.
Prediction: South Carolina. It has looked like Green has been destined to be a Gamecock for the past few weeks, and most, including the AJC’s Michael Carvell, believe that Green’s announcement on Wednesday is just a non-factor at this point. National Signing Day always has its share of upsets, but I don’t believe we will see one here.
Although adding more commitments to this year’s class is what all Georgia fans want to see, the focus on Wednesday may not be on adding names to the list, but instead protecting those who are already on it. Each National Signing Day we see players who seemed like hard commits flip at the last second, leaving the abandoned school and its fans dumbfounded. Predicting such actions is as tough as predicting that a safety would be the first points scored in a Super Bowl, but watching it play out on Wednesday will certainly be more entertaining.