National Signing Day 2015 is only barely in the rearview, and Georgia didn't add the final piece of its recruiting class until this morning. But the Bulldogs have already picked up their fifth commitment for the class of 2016. 6'4, 290 pound guard Aaron Dowdell of Creekside High had been wanting an offer from the Bulldogs, and once he got it saw no need in waiting. He becomes the second offensive lineman in the class, along with Stephens County tackle Ben Cleveland.
Dowdell is not a household name in recruiting circles by any means. In fact the Bulldogs provided his first major offer. You can see what he brings to the table in the highlights below.
Dowdell is a big bodied kid who looks like he could continue to grow and develop into a solid player. He is just stronger and bigger than a lot of the kids he's facing in this video, and he's got another year to develop before he signs. He's also a little, how shall I put this, "doughy", with the shoulders and lower body to hold a good 310 pounds. But he needs to take off about 15 bad ones first.
Dowdell's definitely a guard rather than a tackle. I'd rate his footwork only fair at this point, and his hip flexion is also not ideal. His pad level is often poor, but again, the young men on this video just don't have the physical ability to make him pay for that. Dowdell is a raw prospect who could be made into a good one. For reference, I'm currently working on a Dawg Sports ranking of 2016 Georgia prospects based on not only their overall ability, but their importance to the Bulldogs' class. Right now I have Dowdell fifth on that list . . . among offensive linemen. Again, this is not even looking beyond the borders of the Peach State.
All that being said, high school offensive linemen are an odd lot. They can look completely different between January and August just based on a solid workout routine, smart eating decisions, and good coaching. Dowdell may yet be a great pickup, it's just too early to tell. Until later . . .