Recruiting: Georgia's big board

semerson@macon.comJanuary 27, 2014 

Georgia Pruitts Challenge Football

Georgia's new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, left, is escorted into an NCAA college football news conference by head football coach Mark Richt on Wednesday. The former Florida State defensive coordinator, who helped lead the Seminoles to the 2013 BCS championship, said he would build relationships with Bulldog players to build their trust.

DAVE TULIS — AP

ATHENS - Georgia had 16 commitments the day that Jeremy Pruitt was hired as defensive coordinator. Twelve days later, Georgia has 17 commitments, with the only addition being Rico Johnson, who signed with Georgia last year and just re-committed.

But beneath the surface, a lot did change in the transition from Todd Grantham to Pruitt.

We won't know for sure just how much changed until Feb. 5, on national signing day. But recruiting analysts agree that the transition in the defensive coaching staff has been relatively stable, with the potential for a big dividend a week from Wednesday.

“More guys have come on, maybe, than gone off," Chad Simmons of Scout.com said. "There’s new names that Pruitt had already evaluated.”

Among the new names on Georgia's board: Outside linebacker Andrew Williams and a trio of defensive backs, Tavon Ross, T.J. Harrell and Dominick Sanders. Georgia has also put in a renewed effort to flip outside linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams, who is committed to South Carolina, and Kendarius Webster, an Ole Miss commitment.

"The previous staff hadn't really made a lot of contact with Andrew Williams in awhile. Pruitt went after him immediately," Rusty Mansell of Dawgs247.com said. "Kendarious Webster had chosen Ole Miss and eliminated Georgia. Pruitt's hiring opened the door a little bit. Bryson Allen-Williams kind of the same thing."

Simmons and Mansell also agreed that the coming week could see some surprises.

“I just think there’s another name, whether he’s offered, whether he commits, that catches people by surprise,” Simmons said.

Georgia is expected to sign around 20 players this year. After signing 33 players last year, the team is limited by the SEC signing rules, as well as the 85-scholarship limit. Mansell said he thinks Georgia could sign 22, but 24 would be pushing it.

So with all that in mind, here's an updated look at Georgia's big board. First, the list of current commitments, and the remaining (known) targets:

CURRENT COMMITMENTS

Vital statistics via Dawgs247.com, and comments from myself.

RB Sony Michel .... 5-11, 205 .... Fort Lauderdale, Fla. ... 5 stars
A potential immediate-impact type of player, even with Gurley and Marshall around.
RB Nick Chubb ... 5-11, 216 ... Cedartown ... 5 stars
Another tailback good enough to play right away, or at least once carries are available.
DT Lamont Gaillard ... 6-3, 310 ... Fayetteville, N.C. ... 4 stars
A big player who was a key recruit under the old defensive regime.
TE Jeb Blazevich ... 6-4, 230 .... Charlotte, N.C. ..... 4 stars
Georgia has succeeded lately with out-of-state tight ends, (Arom White, Orson Charles, Arthur Lynch), and hopes Blazevich is next.
CB Malkom Parish ... 5-9, 186 ... Quitman ........ 4 stars
Speedy and skilled, rated in the national top 100 and No. 6 overall in the state of Georgia.
QB Jacob Park ... 6-3, 202 .... Goose Creek, S.C. .... 4 stars
A pro-style quarterback with some mobility, Park has already enrolled, the only member of Georgia's signing class who will participate in spring practice.
OT Dyshon Sims .... 6-4, 278 ...... Valdosta ...... 4 stars
Considered one of the top in-state O-line prospects this year, Sims also had an offer from Alabama, among others.
OLB Keyon Brown .... 6-3, 230 .... Wauchula, Fla. ... 4 stars
Another edge-rushing prospect who can play either defensive end or outside linebacker.
Isaiah Wynn .... 6-2, 272 .... St. Petersburg, Fla. ... 4 stars
A good interior line prospect who will be given a chance to crack the rotation.
WR Shakenneth Williams ... 6-1, 195 ... Macon .... 4 stars
Williams plays at a high school (Rutland) that hasn't had much on-field success, but impressed enough at camps to earn an offer.
S Kendall Gant ......... 6-2, 185 .... Lakeland, Fla. ... 4 stars
The tall safety was another Dawg Night addition.
OT Kendall Baker .... 6-6, 275 .... Atlanta .... 4 stars
He's got the height for tackle, now he has to put on the weight, a la Xzavier Ward.
ILB Detric Dukes .... 6-0, 220 .... Tucker .... 3 stars
Flipped to Georgia after originally committing to Louisville, he may be small and "only" three stars, but so was Reggie Carter last year.
CB Shattle Fenteng ... 6-2, 200 ... Hutchinson C.C. ... 3 stars
A junior college prospect who will have two years of eligibility.
G Jake Edwards .......... 6-4, 270 ...... Franklin .... 3 stars
An interior lineman whom Georgia hopes will continue to grow in the weight room.
WR Gilbert Johnson ...... 6-2, 190 ..... Miami, Fla. ... 3 stars
Actually looked taller than 6-2 at Mark Richt camp.
WR Rico Johnson .... 5-10, 170 .... Swainsboro .... 3 stars
Speedy receiver signed with Georgia in 2013, didn't qualify academically and spent the fall at Georgia Prep Sports Academy in Atlanta.

TARGETS

DE-OLB Lorenzo Carter ... 6-5, 232 ... Norcross .... 5 stars.
One of the top-rated players in the country, and perhaps Georgia's top remaining target. Carter projects as an immediate-impact player on defense.
CB Wesley Green ... 5-11, 170 ... Lithonia ... 4 stars.
South Carolina appears to be the team to beat, according to the recruiting analysts.
S Tavon Ross ... 6-1, 198 ... Cochran ... 3 stars.
Ross committed to Missouri awhile ago, but Pruitt is putting the heat on the Bleckley County standout.
S T.J. Harrell ... 6-1, 210 ... Tampa, Fla. ... 3 stars
Another player who has jumped into the picture for Georgia after Pruitt's hiring.
S Dominick Sanders ... 5-11, 187 ... Tucker ... 3 stars
Sanders is the younger brother of Chris Sanders. Yes, that Chris Sanders, who was dismissed from Georgia along with Nick Marshall and is now headed for Baylor.
DE Andrew Williams ... 6-4, 247 ... McDonough ... 4 stars
Williams is a late addition to Georgia's target list. He's not a consolation prize for Carter; the Bulldogs would happily take both of them.
DB Kendarius Webster ... 5-10, 177 ... Stockbridge ... 4 stars
Webster committed to Ole Miss in November, but Pruitt is making a push.
DB Bryson Allen-Williams ... 6-1, 222 ... Ellenwood ... 4 stars
The Cedar Grove star has been committed to ZSouth Carolina since last April. That hasn't stopped others from pursuing him, including Georgia and Alabama.

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