As we enter the summer months, Georgia's football recruiting efforts are beginning to come into sharp relief. We've finally got a handle on which players the coaches are really targeting. Coach Mark Richt and his staff are bringing them in at a blistering pace, but the prevailing wisdom is that they have about 9 scholarships yet to be filled. Now seems like a good time for us amateur recruiting enthusiasts to look at what our favorite team still needs, and what players might fill those needs. Thus I present the first installment of the Big Board, my look at what's still left on Rodney Garner's shopping list, and what players may fill the cart.
Is it pure conjecture? You bet your sweet Tuberville it is.*** But that's not going to stop me. It should be fun and moderately educational. Who goes on the Big Board? Players who: a) are, so far as we can tell, being actively recruited by the University of Georgia, b) fill a roster need that should be addressed in this recruiting class, and c) appear from totally unsubstantiated hearsay to have more than a passing interest in attending the University of Georgia.
Today's installment looks at the offensive line. Georgia signed a metric ton (literally) of linemen last year and only graduates two (Fernando Velasco and Chester Adams) this year. However, the past couple of years have left Coach Richt deservedly paranoid about running shorthanded on the offensive front. With 12 scholarship offensive linemen slated to return in 2008, Richt and company should be in the market for 3-5 offensive linemen in this signing class.
Two have already told Coach Richt they're headed to Georgia. And they might even carpool. Center Ben Jones and guard Jonathan Owens are two top prospects from the state of Alabama, in what might be the Yellowhammer State's most productive year for offensive linemen ever.
So who are the 1-3 other offensive linemen who may be Athens bound? It's hard to tell. Georgia is recruiting a slew of guys at every position along the line. But the prime targets appear to be:
A.J. Harmon- The guard from Louisville committed to Tommy Bowden recently, but it appears that Coach Searels and the rest of the Georgia coaches won't be giving up without a fight. It seems that the last few years Bowden has been only 1-2 games away from a pink slip. If this is the year he gets it, I think we may still have a shot. Otherwise Bowden and crew deserve credit for getting one of the best players in the state of Georgia to commit over an offer from the home state Bulldogs. That hasn't happened much in the past.
Cordy Glenn- Probably the best offensive tackle in the state, the 6'6, 315 lb. standout from Riverdale has spent time in Athens, but is also being courted by much of the SEC and ACC.
B.J. Brand- The guard from Coffee County backed off his verbal commitment to Georgia and has since visited Florida and South Carolina, while also showing some interest in Florida State. As time goes by, it looks less and less likely he'll wear the red and black. That's a shame because he's got the size and feet to be a 6'4 340 lb. roadgrader in the Max Jean-Giles mold.
Greg Shaw- Speaking of Max Jean-Giles, Shaw is a tackle prospect from Jean-Giles alma mater, Monsignor Pace in Miami. Shaw showed excellent footwork at the Athens Nike Camp and has the frame to eventually grow into a bookend offensive tackle. He might also move over and play defensive tackle. He's currently being recruited by all the Florida teams, plus most of the rest of the SEC. Not likely to end up in Athens just because of the competition involved, but stranger things have happened (like when 5-star rated Max signed with Georgia out of Pace in 2002).
Bobby Massie- The tackle from Liberty Christian in Lynchburg, Virginia is quite literally the biggest player left on the board at 6'8 and 335 lb. Despite his size Massie plays with a good, low pad level and moves his feet well. He may have some academic concerns, and is a little raw as a pass blocker, but has tremendous upside.
Omoregie Uzzi- Yet another guard prospect from the Peach State. The Chamblee High star is also a top priority for Chan Gailey, who signed his teammate, running back Roddy Jones, last year.
Tyler Love- Possibly the top offensive tackle prospect in the southeast, has visited Georgia and continues to list the Dawgs as an option. Love is the son of 'Bama alums, and if he tries to leave the state, Governor Bob Riley and Nick Saban will probably chase him across the line like Sheriff Buford T. Justice. If he ends up anywhere but Tuscaloosa, I'll be floored.
Who I'd like, and why: I still think Harmon is the top offensive line prospect in Georgia, and I'd like to think that like Chris Little last year he'll have a late change of heart and stay home. Love is going to be an excellent tackle, as will Shaw, after some filling out. I think Cordy Glenn is a guy who'll rise up the recruiting boards as the year goes on, as could Bobby Massie. If we can sign three offensive linemen at this point I'd like them to be Harmon, Massie and Love. Cordy Glenn is a close fourth, edging out B.J. Brand by a whisker.
Who we'll get, and why: None of these guys is a lock. I think however that Cordy Glenn may well end up in Athens, and I'd be pleased if he does. B.J Brand may still also don the red and black. I'm not fully convinced that A.J. Harmon will be cavorting with Frank Howard's pet rock, either. But I'm guessing we end up with Cordy Glenn, A.J. Harmon and either Uzzi or Brand. Putting those guys with Jones and Owens would make for a solid class on the offensive front.
Am I right? Wrong? Completely out of my Fulmering mind? Let me know.
***Note: I recently made clear on this site what "Tuberville" is a synonym for. This is one of a number of ways for me to insinuate profane things without robbing the site of its family-friendly credentials. This morning, for example, I was cut off on I-75 on the way into work. I told the other driver to "Go Fulmer himself". I also stopped at Dunkin Donuts for a breakfast sandwich, which I didn't finish because it tasted like Spurrier on a shingle.