Georgia signing day capsule

February 1, 2012 

Signees: 18

Starters Lost: 5 on Offense; 2 on Defense

Top needs: RB, OL, TE, K, P

Signings by state

Georgia – 10

Florida – 3

North Carolina - 2

Alabama – 1

Maryland – 1

Tennessee – 1

Rankings (Rivals.com)

1 (5-star)

6 (4-star)

10 (3-star)

1 (2-star)

0 (1-star)

Local impact

Linebacker Leonard Floyd (Dodge County High School) was Georgia’s only recruit from Middle Georgia. That follows a trend, as last year Nick Marshall (Wilcox County) was the lone Bulldogs signee from the area.

Gem of the Class

While tailbacks Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley get most of the press -- mostly due to the visibility of the position -- John Theus may prove to be the top player. Theus committed last summer and was the first player to fax in his national letter-of-intent Wednesday. The 6-foot-6, 292-pounder from Jacksonville, Fla., is likely to start right away, perhaps protecting Aaron Murray’s blind side at left tackle.

Surprise

The biggest stunner of Georgia’s class, at least as far as a positive one, came almost a month ago, when outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins committed after he seemed to be headed to Alabama. On a negative front, Georgia missed on most of its major targets on Wednesday -- receiver Cordarelle Patterson chose Tennessee and offensive lineman Avery Young picked Auburn -- and outside linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons went from committed in the morning to uncertain a few hours later.

The List

John Atkins DL 6-4/300 Thomson

Comment: Atkins, who committed last summer, was rated a three-star prospect by two sites but a four-star by two others. Georgia likes him as both a tackle and an end.

Collin Barber P 6-2/191 Cartersville

Comment: Whenever punters get scholarships, they’re likely to play. Barber will enter camp as the favorite to replace Drew Butler, who had a long and successful career for the Bulldogs.

Faton Bauta QB 6-3/225 West Palm Beach, Fla.

Comment: Bauta, originally from New Jersey, is vowing to play quarterback, even though many recruiting experts peg him as a fullback-linebacker type. He already has enrolled at Georgia.

Mark Beard OL 6-4/290 Adamsville, Ala.

Comment: Beard spent last year at Coffeyville, Kan., Community College. Since he only played one year there he will have three years of eligibility at Georgia and is likely to get a shot at guard.

Josh Dawson LB 6-4/225 Tucker

Comment: Dawson had been committed to Vanderbilt, but he changed his mind after being heavily pursued by his home-state team.

Sheldon Dawson ATH 5-11/180 Memphis, Tenn. Comment: Dawson was rated by some analysts as the top prospect in Tennessee. He is Georgia’s only defensive back commitment in this class, and seems ticketed for cornerback.

James DeLoach LB 6-3/260 Millen Comment: The Jenkins County High School player was rated a three-star prospect by most outlets. He intends to pursue a radiology degree.

Ty Flournoy-Smith TE 6-3/228 Moultrie Comment: The Colquitt County star has a chance to play next year for Georgia, which lost Orson Charles to the NFL and Aron White to graduation. Leonard Floyd LB 6-4/215 Eastman

Comment: The Dodge County star, a consensus four-star prospect, is a player who could end up at a number of spots in Georgia’s front seven.

Todd Gurley RB 6-1/195 Tarboro, N.C.

Comment: A few analysts had Gurley ranked just ahead of Keith Marshall, his fellow North Carolina tailback headed to Georgia.

Quayvon Hicks FB 6-2/245 Blackshear

Comment: Hicks should have a chance to play this fall, since Georgia loses starting fullback Bruce Figgins to graduation.

Jordan Jenkins LB 6-3/245 Hamilton

Comment: Jenkins was rated a five-star prospect by Scout.com, which ranked him as the top prospect from Georgia. He is likely to get time off the bench at outside linebacker in 2012.

Keith Marshall RB 5-11/190 Raleigh, N.C.

Comment: Marshall is already enrolled and will compete in spring practice for the starting job.

Marshall Morgan PK 6-3/195 Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Comment: Morgan, who was voted MVP of his team the past two seasons, will step in for the graduated Blair Walsh.

Greg Pyke OL 6-6/315 Baltimore, Md.

Comment: Pyke played at a small private school, so he didn’t get much attention. But the Bulldogs like his size and talent.

Jonathan Taylor DL 6-4/315 Millen

Comment: Taylor hasn’t received much attention because he committed awhile ago, but he could be Georgia’s nose tackle of the future if he puts on more weight.

John Theus OT 6-6/292 Jacksonville, Fla.

Comment: Theus, whose brother Nate was a freshman long snapper for Georgia in 2011, is one of the elite offensive line prospects in the class.

Blake Tibbs WR 6-2/185 Lithonia

Comment: The only receiver in Georgia’s signing class, Tibbs was rated a three-star prospect by all recruiting services.

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