UGA recruiting notebook: Bulldogs lose out on WR Malone, but have inside track on DE Carter

Fingernails are a little short this time of year for college coaches out recruiting — and they will be even shorter over the next two months.

Georgia will focus on closing out its top-10 ranked recruiting class, but will have to reverse the trend of a difficult last few days on the recruiting front in order to do so.

The Bulldogs lost out on Gallatin (Tenn.) receiver Josh Malone to Tennessee on Thursday. Meanwhile, Carrollton defensive tackle Dontavious Russell decommitted from the Bulldogs to open up his recruiting.

Georgia will now have to win Russell back over Auburn and Florida State. He had been committed to the Bulldogs since April.

All is not lost for the Bulldogs, however, as it appears Georgia has the inside track to sign the top prospect in the state — Norcross defensive end Lorenzo Carter. Carter is considered the No. 9 overall prospect in the country. He has said in the past that he will announce his decision on Signing Day in February.

Another defensive end, Auburn’s (Ala.) Rashaan Evans, is also seriously considering the Bulldogs. But pulling a top prospect out of state is challenging enough — getting a player out from under a rival school when that prospect is from the town the school is in seems a task too difficult for Georgia to pull off.

The Bulldogs have also spotlighted MLK defensive back Wesley Green. Three Georgia coaches visited Green during an in-home visit on Wednesday. Green had committed to South Carolina earlier in the recruiting cycle, but decommitted in September. He has been a priority for the Bulldogs for a few months. Georgia will have to beat out the Gamecocks to sign him, but the Bulldogs seem like a slight favorite to do so at this time.

Georgia might also try to pick off North Gwinnett receiver Nate Brown, who is committed to Missouri. Brown didn’t get his scholarship offer from the Bulldogs until November, but said he “did have some interest in Georgia.”

Still, the Bulldogs have one of the top recruiting classes in the country, and the bulk of the recruiting going on until Signing Day will be to make certain the 16 players committed to Georgia stay that way.

Look for Mark Richt and his coaching staff to add three, or maybe four, prospects to their recruiting class by the time recruiting ends the first Wednesday of February. The Bulldogs’ 2014 class will be substantially smaller than Georgia’s record 33 signings of last year.

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