- Kipp Adams, Reporter, RecruitingNation
The next few days are very important for the University of Georgia’s recruiting, as the staff is set to host a 7-on-7 camp Thursday and Friday, followed by a one-day prospect camp on Saturday. Hundreds of prospects will be in attendance, including several top targets. Here are five storylines to watch this week.
Chance to impress Sims
ESPN 150 wide receiver Cameron Sims (Monroe, La./Ouachita Parish High School) might be the highest-rated prospect in the 2014 class visiting this weekend. Expect the Bulldogs’ coaching staff to make sure he feels wanted while he is there. Another ESPN 150 wide receiver target, Josh Malone (Gallatin, Tenn./Station Camp), was on campus last week, and with a smaller class this recruiting cycle, Georgia might only have room to take one more wideout. Sims has visited Auburn, Ole Miss and Mississippi State this week as well, but his coach said last weekend that Alabama was the team to beat. Georgia will do its best to change that Saturday, so expect the 6-foot-4, 190-pound receiver to get a lot of love during the Mark Richt Camp.
The Mark Richt 7-on-7 and lineman camp has been a June fixture for several years now, and it has grown to be a showcase for some of the top talent in Georgia and the Southeast. Fourteen schools will participate including five prospects already holding offers from Georgia in safety Cortez McDowell (Locust Grove, Ga./Locust Grove), cornerback Kendall Randolph (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln), defensive end Andrew Williams (McDonough, Ga./Eagles Landing Christian Academy), athlete Myles Autry (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) and 2015 defensive end D’Andre Walker (Fairburn, Ga./Langston Hughes). Friday will see 13 more schools come in for the second tournament and lineman camp, including Mays and Griffin, where 2015 defensive end target Natrez Patrick (Atlanta/Mays) and 2015 wide receiver commitment Chris Owens (Griffin, Ga./Griffin) are standouts.
Top DE target on campus
Another prospect set to be in town Friday is juco defensive end Davontae Lambert (Milledgeville, Ga./Georgia Military College), whom defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has made a priority for this class. The 6-foot-2, 275-pound prospect actually took an official to Georgia while in high school, and he will follow up this weekend’s trip with official visits to Florida and Tennessee the next two weekends.
Targets camping on Saturday
The camp has become one of the premier annual prospect camps of the summer, and this edition will likely be no different. Besides Sims, ESPN 150 athlete Malkom Parrish (Quitman, Ga./Brooks Co.) is also expected to participate and he is one of, if not the top in-state cornerback target for Georgia. Parrish could be closing in on a decision this summer, with Georgia and Georgia Tech at the top of his list. This weekend could be big for the Bulldogs’ chances with him. Two underclassmen targets expected are 2015 running back Taj Griffin (Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern) and defensive lineman Trenton Thompson (Albany, Ga./Westover), and both are considered to be among the top juniors in the Southeast.
One thing that Georgia has done very well during the Mark Richt era is recruit and develop productive quarterbacks, with the All-Time SEC leader in passing yards (David Greene), a No. 1 draft pick (Matthew Stafford) and the only quarterback in SEC history to pass for 3,000 or more yards three years in a row (Aaron Murray) all thriving under Richt and quarterbacks coach/offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. The staff has yet to take a quarterback in the 2014 class, but they will get a close look at a potential target Saturday in four-star Jacob Park (Goose Creek, S.C./Stratford) whom Bobo visited a few weeks ago. Two years ago Faton Bauta impressed Bobo enough during his June throwing session at Georgia to earn an offer, which he would later accept. This will be Park’s chance to do the same.
Park will not be the only talented passer coming to Georgia to showcase his talents, as several underclassmen are set to throw the next two weekends. Rising junior Tyler Queen (Acworth, Ga./North Cobb) might have the strongest arm in Georgia right now, and he has already received big news this week after getting an early offer from Alabama on Wednesday. Another junior planning to throw is Ty Storey (Charleston, Ark./Charleston), who should be one of the top quarterbacks in the Southeast for the 2015 class. Bobo traveled to California last month to check out several highly talented quarterbacks, and two of the best plan to return the favor. Next weekend Ricky Town (Ventura, Calif./Saint Bonaventur) and Kyle Kearns (Pleasonton, Calif./Foothill) will make the trek to Georgia to take part in an overnight camp in Athens.
2dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough