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National Signing Day is now less than a month away, and the Georgia Bulldog coaches are sprinting toward the finish. They've already put together what looks like a top ten class which fills most of the program's major needs, which truthfully aren't that numerous (more on that in a bit). Now it's just a matter of identifying and securing those final few pieces to the puzzle, the guys who will be the proverbial icing on the cake for the class of 2013. Let's look at some of the prospects left on the board, as well as the status of their respective recruitments. There are other players who could stil end up a part of Georgia's 2013 class, but these are the major targets whose names you'll want to be familiar with down the stretch:
Reuben Foster: The linebacker with the Auburn tattoo (which may in fact be the title of an unfinished Stieg Larson novel) recently visited Washington of all places on an official visit, and is still nominally considering the WarPlainsTigerEagles, Alabama, and Georgia. No one really knows where Foster will end up, and fans could be forgiven if they've reached the point of simply changing the channel to another recruiting drama. But Foster's talent is undeniable, and the above collegiate powers will be fighting for him down to the wire.
One important factor in Foster's recruitment, an aspect which I for one applaud him for explicitly considering, is the effect of his decision on his young daughter A'Ziya. Because he doesn't want to move too far from his daughter or his mother (who now lives in Auburn) I think the Plainsmen have to be considered a favorite. That being said, Athens isn't that far away. My way too early guess is that Foster ends up sticking with Auburn, but given that Georgia has 2 2013 linebackers already on campus and 3 more coming in over the summer, that wouldn't be the end of the world.
Montravius Adams: Adams visited Clemson over the weekend and, as recruits are wont to do, named the gang from Lake Hartwell his leader. However the fact that he didn't commit should be viewed as significant. The longer this saga goes on, and the closer it gets to Signing Day, the more I like the home state school's chances. If new defensive line coach Chris Wilson can convince Adams that he has what it takes to develop the big guy from Dooly County's talent, the Bulldogs may be in for pleasant news on this one.
Toby Johnson: Wilson has also hit the ground running recruiting JUCO defensive tackle Toby Johnson, who recently said that Georgia is his leader and essentially indicated that there is no #2. If we can reel in Johnson and Adams, to go with current commits Deandre Johnson and Chris Mayes, Wilson will have a whole lot of fresh talent to work with in the future. For those who like their recruiting classes beefy and talented, this one may be one for the ages.
Davin Bellamy: Chamblee defensive end/linebacker Davin Bellamy had been committed to Florida State for months but has recently expressed strong interest in the Bulldogs. Bellamy didn't mince words in saying, in essence, that Rodney Garner was the reason he didn't consider Georgia after Garner dropped the ball on an unofficial visit Bellamy and his coach had set up, but for which no Bulldog coaches were actually present. Admittedly, if you're going to invite a high school player to campus you should probably make sure that there's someone there to greet him. I like the Bulldogs' chances with Bellamy, but I also wouldn't rule out the Seminole staff smoothing things over and keeping him. Bellamy has made some strong friendships among remaining FSU recruits and just completed an official visit to Tallahassee. This one should also come down to the wire.
Shaquille Wiggins: Wiggins is nominally committed to the Bulldogs and has been for months. But he's continued to entertain attention from Florida, South Carolina, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M among others. He took a visit to Columbia over the weekend and is still planning trips to Oxford and College Station, where he's being recruited in part by former Sandy Creek teammate, former Auburn recruit, and current Aggie commit Jaquay Williams. It looks like opposing recruiters have gotten in Wiggins' ear about the number of defensive backs Georgia has committed. Including Wiggins and JUCO CB/S Kennar Johnson, the number could be as high as 7. There's competition everywhere, however, a fact which Wiggins probably realizes. If he wants to play early however, there will definitely be more competition to get on the field in Athens than in a lot of other places.
Alvin Kamara: Kamara has decided to give the all-important final official visit to the Bulldogs, even though Alabama's Kirby Smart was pushing for it. Kamara denied rumors last week that he'd committed to the crimson Tide in the wake of their BCS triumph. In fact, there have been rumors circulating that Nick Saban and company have not taken off the table the idea of Kamara playing defensive back in Tuscaloosa. a prospect which he's been pretty clearly against. Kamara will almost certainly return kicks whether he matriculates in Athens or Tuscaloosa. But Georgia has committed to using him as a hybrid player, a slot receiver and tailback.
I couldn't blame Kamara, or any other young man, for wanting to play for the reigning national champions. But I think the Bulldogs may have convinced Kamara that Georgia is the place where he'll be used the way he wants to be.
We'll be back periodically leading up to Signing Day with more updates on these and other prospects, including breakdowns on some of the players already on campus as part of Georgia's haul of 13 early enrollees. Until later . . .