March 20, 2012

Recruiting Q&A

Question from BSSAV88: As of today, do you think UGA signs any of the top 3 players in the country according to Rivals (RN, RF & LT)?

Jake Rowe: "As of right now, Georgia is in the best shape Troup linebacker and Alabama commit Reuben Foster. The UGA defensive staff has really created a bond with him, and on top of having a relationship with many of the staff, Foster has the well publicized relationship with Newnan safety and Georgia commit Tray Matthews. I would put this as a 50/50 battle between the Bulldogs and the Tide right now with Georgia still having the ability to play the "early playing time" card very soon.

As for Grayson defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, I would say he is the longest shot as of now. Georgia has been recruiting him very hard since he was a sophomore in high school, and he just never really took a strong interest in the Bulldogs. Anything could happen with Nkemdiche, but all signs point to it being a battle between LSU and Alabama now.

"Columbia offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil is a guy that I believe Georgia is in decent shape with. Sure, Florida has the lead right now, but the fact that he hasn't visited the Georgia campus yet and has the Bulldogs in second place is big. He has visited FSU, and still lists Georgia ahead of Seminoles. The fact that he lives in the heart of Gator Country will undoubtedly help Florida, but Georgia figures to be a player in this race until the end."

Question from Godawgs678: Do you think JJ (Green) is going to pull the trigger soon? If you had to guess, who will be the first OL target to jump on board?

Jake Rowe: "Yes, I believe Camden County defensive back/athlete JJ Green will decide soon, and I believe Georgia is the front-runner. Green and Brice Ramsey are very close, and want to play together. That, alone, gives Georgia a great chance with Green. If you add the fact that Georgia is his most impressive offer at this point, it just adds fuel to the fire.

"I believe the first commitment on the offensive line for Georgia could come from one of three places. North Gwinnett's DeVondre Seymour is very high on Georgia, and could commit soon. He has, however, been receiving some impressive offers of late so he could elect to wait, but Georgia is still clearly in the lead. Buford's Josh Cardiello is another that Georgia leads for at this time, and he was really impressed with Georgia's pitch to him at Very Important Dawg (VID) Day when they told them they wanted him on board as soon as possible. Another offensive line prospect that could commit soon is Tri Cities standout Dominique Threatt. Threatt told UGASports recently that Georgia made it quite clear to him at VID Day that he has an offer and that they want him. The Bulldogs are also Threatt's only offer right now, so he could decide to lock up a spot soon.

Question from Wellis2911: After Reuben Foster, how do you rank the ILB prospects that UGA has a legitimate shot at? Also, Brendan Langley seems to be very interested in Alabama. Do you feel UGA is in good shape, 50/50, or on outside looking in?

Jake Rowe: "As far as inside linebackers go, Foster is head and shoulders the best linebacker in the state and country. Johnny O'Neal of West Laurens in Dublin would be the second-ranked linebacker on Georgia's board at this point. After those first two it is tough to rank the remaining prospects.

"Vance (Charlotte, N.C.) linebacker Larenz Bryant is high on UGA's board right now; Georgia is in his top group with Clemson for the time being. TL Hanna's (Anderson, S.C.) Ben Boulware is another prospect that Georgia is working hard for as well. Those are the four I see as legitimate targets for UGA at this time.

"Kell defensive back Brendan Langley is a bit of a unique story right now. Langley grew up a Georgia fan and named UGA his team to beat a few times. Then he visited Alabama, and, by all accounts, had a good time but wasn't blown away. After his visit to UGA for VID, he told UGASports that Alabama and Georgia were his co-leaders.

"When Alabama is involved, they are always going to be a serious player, so Georgia will have to watch out, but from talking with Langley on a regular basis, it appears that Georgia has the edge at this point."

Question from Snype87: Can you give a breakdown of UGA's recruiting in the secondary for 2013? How many spots do you think go to the secondary, and who do you believe will fill those spots come signing day? Who do you like at TE for the 2013 class? Are there any in-state TE targets that you believe will receive an offer soon? If you were recruiting for UGA, who would be your top 3 OLB targets and why?

Jake Rowe: "Right now it appears that UGA wants at least three safeties and three cornerbacks in this class. There could be a situation where Georgia would take three corners, two safeties, and a guy that can cross train, but at least six defensive backs looks to be the goal.

"Looking ahead to Signing Day, which is a long way away, I can see UGA signing the two corners they have on board in Shaq Wiggins (Sandy Creek) and Steven Nelson (College of the Sequoias; Visalia, Calif.) along with Langley and a guy like Green or North Marion (Ocala, Fla.) cornerback Reggie Wilkerson. As for Safety, Georgia will likely hold on to Matthews and hope to sign Ridgeland's Vonn Bell and a JUCO player like Taj Letman (Holmes C.C.; Goodman, Miss.) or Stormy Butler (College of the Sequoias).

"It is a down year for tight ends in the state of Georgia, but the Bulldogs have their sites set on some out of state prospects in Standish Dobard (Edna Karr; New Orleans, La.), Hunter Henry (Pulaski Academy; Little Rock, Ark.), and Josh McNeil (Hillside; Durham, N.C.). Those three appear to be the UGA staff's top targets at a position where they would like to bring at least on prospect in the 2013 class. Dobard has stated that he has serious interest in UGA, but has yet to visit. Henry once lived in the Marietta area and is familiar with the Georgia program, but it could be tough to pull him from the home state Razorbacks. McNeil has only played one year of football and his recruitment could take off very soon as he is an excellent athlete with a ton of upside. He doesn't know much about Georgia at this point, but that would change if the UGA staff could convince him to visit.

"As far as instate tight ends go, Arshad Jackson (Lovejoy) is a candidate for an offer. He is a very long and lean athlete that had some impressive moments at Rising Seniors week in late Decemeber. Other tight ends are likely to emerge this summer as well.

"If I was recruiting for UGA, my top three inside linebacker targets would be Naim Mustafaa (Alpharetta), Matt Rolin (Briar Woods; Ashburn, Va.) and Tyquan Lewis (Tarboro; Tarboro, N.C.).

"None of those three are four-star guys at this point, but all three have exactly what UGA is looking for in an outside linebacker. Rolin is more of a Sam linebacker because of his lengthy and ability to play in space. He isn't as athletic as 2012 UGA signee Joshua Harvey-Clemson, but he is in the same mold. Lewis is a guy that is a tad under the radar right now, but has big time upside. He is a bit thin right now, but has a great motor and excellent quickness. Mustafaa is Georgia's top target and I agree with the UGA Staff on this one. He is a rising star in the Peach State that I believe will be a Rivals250 player in the next evaluation."

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