First, I want to second everything Kyle said below. Only South Carolina fans moisturize. Or so I've heard.
Now that I've gotten that off my chest, it's time to talk recruiting. As you may have heard, the University of Georgia is off to a great start in putting together the Signing Day Class of 2008. So far they have gotten a pledge from the consensus top running back in the state, and possibly the country, as well as another very good back who I'll be chronicling shortly as part of the TMI series. They've received a verbal commitment from the top player in the state of South Carolina (again), who plays a position of critical need (more on that later). The Dawgs also have a commitment from a player who many consider the top defensive lineman to come out of the state in the past six years, and a boy named Goo who looks like Thomas Davis's clone.
So far, so good. My question for you, DawgSports readers, is where you would like to see Coach Garner and crew go from here. My preferences, in no particular order, are:
1) 1-2 more receivers. I'm hoping we hold onto A.J. Green, and have no reason to believe we won't. Tavarres King out of Habersham Central has been interested in Georgia for a while, but his dad played at Clemson, so I'm not at all certain he's a lock. Josh Jarboe out of Cedar Grove High School in Ellenwood is a physically gifted, if somewhat raw, receiver. I've also heard good things about Norcross star Brice Butler, the son of longtime Atlanta Falcon Bobby Butler, but haven't seen any film on him yet. Looking out of state, A.J. Alexander from Altoona, Pennsylvania is being recruited by most of the top programs in the country, largely based on the 4.31 40 he ran at the Scout Combine in Pittsburgh. We'll lose 4 guys from our bloated receiving ranks (honestly, how can 10 players account for so little offensive production?), so we need reenforcements. I'm just hoping we end up with 2-3 quality players, not 4-5 warm bodies.
2) A.J. Harmon. Our offensive line may struggle this year, but with a little luck we're looking at quality depth for the next two-three years thanks to last year's 8 man haul. That being said, the big man from Louisville is the real deal. At 6'5 1/2, 328 pounds, Harmon is that rare offensive lineman who reports physically ready to play in the SEC. At the Kennedy/CES Combine in Atlanta back in February, he paired that with a 4.75 second effort in the short shuttle, which is designed to test footwork, change of direction and agility. To put that in perspective, anything under 5.0 is considered quick for an interior lineman, let alone one who weights 328 pounds. 4.75 would not be a bad time for a middle linebacker. Losing out on an in-state lineman this impressive would simply hurt.
3) Quality, quality, quality. As I've said before, one of the great things about filling all your needs the way we did in 2007 is that it creates an opportunity to cherrypick the best available players the next year, even if you don't really know where you'll put them. I've looked for a glaring need for this class, but I just can't find one, other than at tailback. That means if we want to go after the best tight end in the country (Brandon Moore out of Ohio?) we're free to do it. I'm just hoping that we don't catch our limit while the really big fish are still in the pond (as was apparently the case last year, when Miami CB Doug Wiggins apparently wanted to sign with Georgia as a midyear enroller, only to be told that we didn't have any more midyear slots).
4) A replenished tailback depth chart. With the departure of Kregg Lumpkin and probably Thomas Brown, we'll lose two very solid tailbacks. Honestly, either one could start for the vast majority of D-1 programs, and would be 1200 yard backs if they were the sole go-to guy. The same might arguablt be said for Jason Johnson. I'm very excited about Knowshown, and I've gone on record saying that I much prefer Caleb King's upside at the college level to internet phenom and West Virginia signee Noel Devine. But we really need to refill this pipeline. I still think there's at least a 33% chance Richard Samuel gets a look at tailback when he gets on campus. His size/speed combination is just impossible to ignore, and we will need tailbacks a lot more than outside linebackers in 2008. Martin Ward is not spectacular, but has better than average speed,excellent hands, good balance and the kind of footwork that's hard to teach.
But enough from me. What about you guys?