Greetings from the Butts-Mehre building for national signing day.
Made it in on a foggy morning. So let the signings and hand-wringing about prospects that got away begin!.
The best place to get the latest updated information today will be on my Twitter feed at Twitter.com/marcweiszer
I’ll post quotes and more detailed (more than 140 character stuff) here on the blog.
The news last night from reports in New Orleans that defensive coordinator Todd Grantham will interview Thursday with the Saints didn’t have impact with one Georgia recruit.
I checked with Chamblee defensive end/outside linebacker Davin Bellamy this morning on if Georgia was still his leader (he hasn’t said he committed to them). And his answer is yes, the Bulldogs still are leading.
Georgia’s 13 early enrollees are already listed on the official site.
–The first new letter of intent of the day is Rico Johnson, a wide receiver from Swainsboro. Linebacker Shaun McGee from Brookwood is also in.
–North Gwinnett offensive lineman DeVondre Seymour from North Gwinnett is signing today with Georgia, his high school coach told DawgPost.com’s Dean Legge. Seymour is the son of former Georgia defensive lineman Richard Seymour.
–West Laurens linebacker Johnny O’Neal is officially on board.
–More guys now sending their letters of intent is: wide receivers Reggie Davis and Uriah LeMay.
–Add offensive guard Brandon Kublanow from Walton and safety Paris Bostick from Tampa Plant to the list.
–Georgia didn’t get Alpharetta offensive lineman George Adeosun after all. The Bulldogs made a late run at the 6-foot-6, 309-pound late bloomer, but he faxed his letter of intent to Virginia, according to Chad Simmons of Fox Sports Next.
–Major technical difficulties. Here’s all the Georgia guys that signed when I couldn’t post on here: cornerback Braden Langley, linebacker Leonard Floyd, tailback A.J. Turman, safety Kennar Johnson, defensive tackle DeAndre Johnson, tight end Jordan Davis and Seymour.
–And yes, as expected, Dooly County defensive lineman Montravius Adams (Auburn) and Lake City, Fla., offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss) went elsewhere.
–Todd Grantham was on the Georgia official athletics site. He made reference that having players already lined up in this signing class was “better than the initial splash that you get off a late signee.”
He wasn’t asked about his name linked to NFL defensive coordiantor openings.
“I’m really excited about our future with what we have coming in,” he said.
He later added: “We’ve got a great product here. We’re excited about our future.”
He said of one new defensive line signee: “Chris Mayes was a guy who was really impressive the other days in the mat drills.”
Georgia expects 30-plus signees today.
“We needed to get a large number of guys to get our depth up,” he said. “I think we’ve done that.”
–Outside linebacker/defesnive end Davin Bellamy did indeed stick with his new leader Georgia and signed with Georgia. That’s the big get so far of the day for Georgia. He was a former Florida State commitment.
—Grantham and Bobo updates
Todd Grantham and Mike Bobo addressed fans this afternoon for about 12 minutes on the third floor of the Butts-Mehre building .
Coach Mark Richt didn’t speak to the crowd of about 150 like he usually does. He’s a few days removed from hip replacement surgery.
–About midway through, a fan asked Grantham if he would “be here for a couple of more years.”
That brought laughter from the crowd and Grantham and at least one `Go Dawgs!”
Here is Grantham’s answer: “You know what, I can tell you this: My family loves it here, I like it here a lot and this is a very special place. I think today needs to be focused on the players that we’ve got right here right now and trying to get back to Atlanta.”
–Another fans asked Grantham about missing out on some recruiting targets on the defensive line.
“I really don’t agree with that as far as missing out,” he said. “We’ve got at least three defensive linemen right now. Two of those guys are actually here right now working in Chris Mayes and John Atkins and that really puts us at the number we can take at the defensive line. So I think that’s an inaccurate statement. I think the guys we’ve got here right now have some ability to them. Look forward to working with them and continuing to win ballgames.”
–Grantham on defensive recruits: I’ll tell you what, I’m really excited about the guys on defense. We’re going to roughly get at least 17 guys, possibly one or two more. This whole recruiting class goes back to last year. The things you’ve got to realize is right now in class here right now working out are six (defensive) players. Rather than have a splash of a signing day today and those guys committing to us. They’re actually working with us this afternoon, alright, for us to go ahead and work towards getting back to Atlanta and playing for the SEC championship. Those guys are here right now working and what we get out of them in spring practice is much more important than the initial shock of getting a guy on signing day.”
–Georgia missed out on top offensive tackle prospect Laremy Tunsil, but Bobo was upbeat about the players signed.
“I feel good about our offensive line,” Bobo said. “We’ve got four guys committed. Three of them have been committed for a very long time. In right now and already working through mat drills is Josh Cardiello and Audlen Bynum, which is going to be a big benefit to them that they’re here. They’re going to go through workouts this afternoon. It’s almost like a redshirt year for them being in this early. Get strong, get acclimated to school. Just great to start off early with those guys. And then Brandon Kublanow, who we think is one of the best offensive linemen in the entire South and maybe the country. We love the way he plays the game. He plays it like a football player and an offensive lineman should be. He’s very physical, he’s very aggressive. And DeVondre Seymour is a guy when we first started evaluating guys a year and a half ago, we had him ranked at the top of our board. We’re very excited that he signed with the university today. We are projecting him as an offensive tackle.”
– Aquinas’ Brendan Douglas is a running back, Bobo said.
“He got kind of stereotyped at the fullback position, but we recruited him as a running back the whole time.”
–Safety Tray Matthews would have got a lot of hype if he had announced today.
Instead he was an early enrollee who already is in classes.
“I think he’s a good example of a guy who wanted to be a Dawg,” Grantham said. “He’s been committed to us for a long time. We got very encouraged about his development so far. He’s done an excellent job in our strength and conditioning program and I think he’s a guy that will really benefit from being here for spring practice and getting those reps that can help us be successful next year.”
–Bobo on quarterback Brice Ramsey: “He’s a young guy who’s 17 years old who I think has an extremely high ceiling. He’s very raw at the quarterback position in terms of what he’s done. I like the progress he’s made each year in playing high school football. He’s only started two years. I like what he’s done so far being on campus. He’s 205 pounds right now. I think he’s put on almost nine pounds already. He’s going to continue to grow. He’s going to be a big kid and he’s got a bright future. Lord willing he stays healthy and works hard.”
–Davin Bellamy’s letter of intent is in. He gives Georgia 32 on the day.
–Todd Grantham answered reporters’ questions after the signing day news conference today.
Here is what he had to say:
Q: Will he be using these defensive players next season?
A: “Right now I’m the defensive coordinator at the University of Georgia and I’m certainly looking forward to coaching those guys.”
Q: Will you interview with the Saints Thursday or any NFL team in the coming days and weeks?
“You know what? I know a lot of people. I get a lot of inquiries all the time. There’s no way that I’m going to comment on any particular one because if I did, I couldn’t do my job. …I’m just going to leave at it that.”
Q: You issued a statement last year saying you were staying at Georgia when you were connected to the Falcons job?
“You know what, after thinking about it, I thought that was a mistake. It seems that things keep popping up from time to time so I think the best thing to do is let things be as they are and just move on.”
Q: Did you tell Davin Bellamy or any other recruits that you would be coaching them?
“You know what? I told guys that I love Georgia and I think this is a great place and my family loves it, I love it and I fully expect to be here. But I told those guys as coaches if things come up you’re always going to say `Hey, what’s best for your family and see what happens. Nothing’s come up for me from the standpoint of I feel I got to contractually say something. This is a good place. I’ve got a good job and I look forward to coaching those guys.”
Q: Did you tell them that you would be here next year?
A: “I told guys that I fully expect to be here and I like to be here. You can take that for whatever you would want to.”
Q: Your contract allows you to be an NFL defensive coordinator without penalty. Is that something you would aspire to in your career path.
A: “Not necessarily. I have a good job. I think as jobs go in general, even in your all’s profession, I think is what happens if there’s inquiries about jobs you can say is it something your interested in yes or no off a phone call. Sometimes it may take a little bit more than that. Really it’s nothing more than that. I have a good job now. I enjoy my job. I understand my contractual obligations if I felt that I needed to do something, but right now I fully expect to be here and we’ll just have to play it from there.”
Q: You are still interested in interviewing with the Saints?
“I wouldn’t say that. I think it’s something that you have to evaluate and see what happens. If that changes, I know that I need to contact certain people and I’ll definitely do that because it’s the right thing to do. It’s really something that I’m not going to respond to all the rumors and innuendos because its’ very difficult to do that all the time. I just say you leave it as it is.”
–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marcweiszer