John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor
Signing day was Wednesday, but that doesn't mean we still can't get excited and watch some future Dawgs in action. After all, we've got over 200 days between now and kickoff in Clemson (204 to be exact). What else are we gonna talk about?
Georgia graduated both starting safeties to the NFL in Bacarri Rambo and Shawn Williams, in addition to CBs Branden Smith and Sanders Commings exhausting their eligibility. The need to add DBs was strong in this class, and we addressed that need in quantity, as well as quality, with Brendan Langley, Tray Matthews, Quincy Mauger, Paris Bostick, JJ Green, Shaq Wiggins, and Reggie Wilkerson. In addition to that septet of high school products, DB coach Scott Lakatos will also have a pair of JUCO products joining the battle for playing time come summer in former Meridian, MS player Shaq Fluker and Kennar Johnson, originally from central Florida. You can check out Johnson from his days at East Ridge High School in Clermont, FL below.
The 6'2, 185 lb Johsnon went all the way to California, and Reedley College (which notes former Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox among it's alumni) for his freshman season, before coming back south to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, where we signed him from. You can catch full game videos of MGCCC (Johnson is #4 for those Bulldogs) on youtube. They have games against Holmes (and fellow WR commit Jonathon Rumph), against Copiah-Lincoln, against East Central CC, against Pearl River, against Northeast Mississippi CC, and Jones Junior College, and also against Hinds. Yeah, that's a lot of full games, but remember, you've got 204 days until Georgia dons those silver britches against another team.
The Florida prep product could end up at CB, or at FS for the Dawgs. He shows good athleticism, speed, and ball skills, and while Mississippi junior colleges are the most advanced and talented in the country, he'll have a lot of work to do in getting technique down at CB. Still, he has the size Grantham and Lakatos enjoy out wide, with the strength and athleticism to match up man to man. Not enrolling early is a bit of a set back as far as learning the system, but Johnson will play right away. In the least, he'll provide help on coverage units in special teams play while working his way into the rotation defensively, and be in the competition to replace similarly sized Sanders Commings.
Shaq Fluker, unlike Johnson, pretty much has his position set when he walks in the door. Listed at 6'1, 192 lbs, the East Mississippi player is a SS all the way, having helped lead EMCC to the JUCO national title as a freshman. And as you might guess from his bio picture on georgiadogs.com, this is a player that enjoys hitting the opposition, hard. Just watch the film and see for yourself.
What you see in the video is a player that certainly looks thicker than that 192 pounds he's listed at. You also see a player with the ability to step in and start at SS early. Like with Johnson, he's not enrolled already, and that may be a problem as far as getting the playbook down, but the skills are certainly there. A strong tackler, Fluker's hitting is something we've kept stocked in our secondary from Thomas Davis to Greg Blue to Shawn Williams, as well as guys like Jermaine Phillips and Sean Jones. He shows a tendency to throw his shoulder in, instead of wrapping up, which can lead to some missed tackles as well as potential personal fouls, and that is something the coaches will work with him on. You also see a decent nose for the ball, as he had multiple interceptions, and shows some ability to make something happen when he gets the ball in his hands. Lakatos and Grantham preach turnovers, and Fluker should be capable of getting the ball back with picks and potential forced fumbles.
Corey Moore returns after a freshman season as the understudy of Rambo and Williams, and Connor Norman filled in admirably when Rambo was suspended early last season. Freshmen Mauger and Matthews enrolled early with the hopes of getting a head start in the competition for a starting S spot. So I wouldn't Fluker to start in Death Valley on August 31st. But he should at least play, if only as a special teams ace, and get more action on defense as he learns the playbook. But while he may not start game 1, the skills are there that he could easily be starting, and a commanding presence in the defensive backfield by mid season.