Georgia was only able to bring in three offensive linemen in the 2012 class, even though the need was there to bring in several more. The Bulldogs took a big step in its hopes of establishing some depth Saturday with the commitment of Josh Cardiello (Buford, Ga./Buford).
Cardiello has the ability to play guard or center at the next level, giving Georgia a versatile blocker that offers flexibility in regard to recruiting other interior offensive linemen.
Buford coach Jess Simpson said Cardiello has played in 45 games already, including the extra 15 weeks of practice during the playoffs as a freshman, sophomore and junior.
“He is used to the work and the grind having been in our program for over three years now,” Simpson said. “Josh is also explosive in his upper and lower body because of the time he has put in the weight room. He has played in a lot of big games for us, so when you add all of that, I think he is up to the task at the next level.”
The Wolves have had seven offensive linemen sign with FBS programs over the last eight years, including five with SEC programs. Cardiello is No. 8 and the third for Georgia. Simpson said Cardiello will bring a lot of positive attributes to the table for the Bulldogs.
“Josh has been a great kid with a great head on his shoulders and he is a hard worker,” Simpson said. “As an athlete, he is talented in that I think his hips are as powerful as any lineman I have had come through our program. Whether it is straight ahead, knocking blockback on defense, or being an offensive tackle and base blocking or down blocking, he has good explosion and good feet. I think he will be an outstanding pass blocker, and he has a chance to be a good center or guard at the next level.”
One thing Simpson does not allow his elite players to do is get too wrapped up in the recruiting process. His advice to them is to focus on trying to become the best player they can be for Buford, and that the developmental process, which includes weight training, fundamentals, and speed development, is more important to their future success than getting caught up in rankings. That is why he feels Cardiello will adapt quickly to the college game once he arrives on campus.
“Josh understands that he is not a finished product and that he is not as near as good as the college coaches recruiting him tell him he is, so he knows there is still plenty of work to be done,” Simpson said.