As the dust settles following the high school hysteria surrounding this year’s edition of National Signing Day, it’s safe to say that the Georgia football team can expect to field a much improved defense in their 2014 campaign. The jewel of this year’s recruiting class, ranked 14th overall in ESPN’s top 300 and third at the defensive end position, is Georgia native Lorenzo Carter. Carter will bring a much needed mean streak to a defensive line that struggled to generate a pass rush this past season. He’ll be flanked by three more incoming defensive linemen that should help plug up the middle of what was often a simply porous defense last year.
On the other side of the ball, the Bulldogs have continued to assimilate outstanding talent at the running back position. Sony Michel and Nick Chubbs, the no. 2 and no. 7 ranked running backs, respectively, should assuage any worries about the impending losses of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall following this season. Under the tutelage of newly minted defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, these backs will seek to replace the vaunted two-headed monster that currently await their own shot at redemption.
The Bulldogs also generated a bit of a buzz by signing multi-purpose athlete Isaiah McKenzie. The Dawgs’ version of Dexter McCluster should provide a dangerous threat catching passes both out of the backfield and in the slot, causing serious matchup problems for defenses keying in on the Bulldogs’ powerful rushing attack.
Tight end Jeb Blazevich–ranked no. 2 at his position by ESPN–should serve a similar purpose as yet another threat at the disposal of up and coming quarterback Hutson Mason.
Put simply, the diversification of the Dawgs’ offense and their much needed improvement on the defensive side of the ball make this year’s class as a resounding success. While last year’s disappointments may have tempered expectations for Dawgs’ fans–and perhaps contributed to the unbelievable class assembled by the Crimson Tide–things are certainly looking up in Athens. As usual, Mark Richt and his outstanding coaching staff made sure of it.