Georgia’s football recruiting class that will be finalized during today’s national signing day will certainly be supersized.
Thirty-plus players will become part of the program.
Barring late surprises, the group is lacking in elite national prospects and top-rated in-state
“It’s a good class. Obviously, there’s going to be some disappointment at the in-state kids who got away,” Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell said. “When you look at it, there’s still a lot of impact kids from Georgia in this class. It’s currently top 10 and it fills a lot of needs. … It just doesn’t have the flair that fans want.”
Georgia’s class already includes 16 players from Georgia — 19 if you include three players from the state who came from junior colleges or prep school. The Bulldogs, though, have commitments from only one player among Rivals top 12 prospects in the state — Newnan safety Tray Matthews, one of 13 early enrollees. Georgia has three of the top 12 in-state prospects from Fox Sports Next — Camden County quarterback Brice Ramsey, Matthews and Sandy Creek cornerback Shaq Wiggins.
One of the nation’s top uncommitted prospects — and Fox Sports Next’s No. 2 in-state prospect — would provide a boost today if he picked Georgia.
Dooly County defensive lineman Montravius Adams is scheduled to announce his decision today at 9:45 a.m. on ESPNU from the school gym, but Auburn is now considered the favorite over Georgia, Clemson and Alabama.
“He’s very gifted for the things he can do for a physical man that size,” Dooly County coach Jimmy Hughes said of the 6-foot-3, 300-pound Adams.
Georgia’s class on Tuesday was ranked ninth or 10th by all the major recruiting services, but could drop since it isn’t expected to have multiple five-star additions.
Chamblee outside linebacker/defensive end Davin Bellamy — Rivals’ No. 39 player in state and a four-star Fox Sports Next prospect — appears most likely to join the Bulldogs’ class. He has an 11 a.m. announcement scheduled at his school.
Bellamy said he informed coaches at Georgia, Tennessee and Oregon of his decision on Tuesday afternoon.
“Georgia’s still the leader,” he said.
That would seem to be good news for Bulldogs fans.
“I guess, but anything can happen on signing day, right?” he said.
Alpharetta offensive tackle George Adeosun, who attracted BCS conference programs in recent weeks, also could pick Georgia.
So could North Gwinnett offensive tackle Devondre Seymour, according to Fox Sports Next.
The state and nation’s top-rated prospect is defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, from Grayson. He is down to Ole Miss, Florida and LSU. Among the other top-rated in-state prospects by Rivals, Milton defensive end Carl Lawson (who Simmons said Georgia questioned about whether he could play in space in the 3-4) is committed to Auburn, Ridgeland safety Vonn Bell will pick either Alabama, Ohio State or Tennessee and Peach County receiver Demarcus Robinson is committed to Florida. Walton running back Tyren Jones is committed to Alabama, Central Gwinnett linebacker Trey Johnson to Ohio State and Mill Creek defensive tackle Kelsey Griffin to South Carolina.
Norcross tailback Alvin Kamara is expected to sign with Alabama over Georgia.
“It’s a tough year in-state without question,” Fox Sports Next recruiting analyst Chad Simmons said. “You’re talking about Nkemdiche, No. 1 in the country in your own state and, really, Georgia was never a player in his recruitment for his signature. … Numerous of the best in the state are leaving the state. It’s hard to explain why. Georgia definitely offered the kids pretty early in the process. I think it’s definitely something they have to look at as a staff just, ‘Why we are not getting the best?’ Especially this year, one of the best years ever in Georgia at the top. Reuben Foster (the Auburn (Ala.) High linebacker who committed to Alabama Monday) could have very easily been here as well transferring from Troup County.”
Georgia signed the top three in-state prospects last year — Josh Harvey-Clemons, Jordan Jenkins and Jonathan Taylor. Jenkins had five sacks and 31 tackles last season, but Harvey-Clemons saw little action and Taylor redshirted.
The Bulldogs landed seven of the top 10 players from Georgia in its “Dream Team” class of 2011. That included end Ray Drew, a backup thus far, and tailback Isaiah Crowell, who was booted off the team, but also included top receiver Malcolm Mitchell and cornerback Damian Swann.
“If you’re UGA, you want to keep the top kids home,” Farrell said. “I think this year there were some circumstances where that just wasn’t going to happen. They never went after Carl Lawson for some inexplicable reason. A lot of these guys they didn’t pursue as hard as you thought they would. They turned away Kelsey Griffin. I think it’s a little bit concerning if you’re a Georgia fan that you’re not in the final race for Nkemdiche.”
Georgia dipped into South Carolina for its Mr. Football, receiver/athlete Tramel Terry, and got one Indiana’s top prospects in linebacker Tim Kimbrough.
“We’re going to see if they lost out by losing a lot of these in-state kids,” Farrell said. “Or is it going to be, ‘You know what? We got the right ones.’”
Added Simmons: “Is it a great, elite class? It could have been if you get the Kamaras, if you get the Reuben Fosters, if you get even guys like Von Bell and people like that. It’s a good class.”