In the past five days, Georgia has picked up three verbal commitments from Friday’s Dawg Night. With more than six months until signing day, the Bulldogs have 22 commitments -- after signing only 19 last year. With only 74 players on scholarship now, Georgia still hopes to add at least 10 prospects in February. UGA's Class of 2013 is ranked 10th in the country and has 11 players listed in the ESPN 300. While every recruiting class is important, this class will be critical to replenishing the Bulldogs’ roster. Many of the committed prospects will need to contribute as freshmen. With that in mind, this week’s DawgNation Roundtable discussion question for the staff, our national recruiting analysts and a DawgNation Insider is:
“Which of Georgia’s 2013 committed prospects are you looking forward to seeing play this fall?”
David Ching: A guy that intrigues me -- not that I think he's likely to start in 2013 -- is quarterback commit Brice Ramsey. Thanks to the run-heavy offense he directs at Camden County, Ramsey does not get to show off his significant passing skills as much as he might elsewhere. That might have factored into Georgia earning his commitment, as well, since he joined the Bulldogs' 2013 class a year ago at Dawg Night before his recruiting profile really exploded.
Ramsey is a nationally known name now, though, and will jump straight into a packed competition at quarterback in Athens. He's an obvious redshirt candidate if Aaron Murray returns for his senior season. And even if Murray leaves a year early, Ramsey will still have Hutson Mason, Christian LeMay and Faton Bauta to compete against. Ramsey looks like a future college starter, though, and I look forward to watching his progress this fall and into his college career.
Radi Nabulsi: I understand the opportunity that the upcoming football season offers us to learn a good deal about Georgia’s committed prospects. And I will take as many chances as possible on Friday nights to do so. But the player I have chosen as the one I most want to see is based strictly on entertainment value.
Brandon Kublanow (Marietta, Ga./Walton) is a nice guy in person but a bully on the field. He publicly states his favorite thing is to “hurt kids” when he puts on the pads. He is only half joking. And he is relentless. Even after knocking a poor, overmatched defensive end to the ground, if that player makes the mistake of trying to get up before the whistle blows, Kublanow will lay him out again.
Watching Kublanow demoralize defensive linemen should not be this entertaining. I should have more sympathy for the soon-to-be-bruised, unlucky opponents. But just like a car-wreck, I can’t look away. And this season he will be squaring off against Auburn commit Carl Lawson (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton), the nation’s No. 5 player, in a battle royale. Plus, he and his Walton teammates stand a good chance to meet Robert Nkemdiche and Grayson High School in a rematch of last year’s state championship game. Get me some popcorn.
Kipp Adams: For me it has to be Rico Johnson (Swainsboro, Ga./Swainsboro). The 5-foot-11, 172-pound wide receiver has made play after play at the Charlotte NFTC, Mark Richt Camp and most recently Dawg Night. His explosiveness is reminiscent of 2011 Under Armour All-American Malcolm Mitchell, but Johnson's recruitment was slowed by his not playing as a junior after transferring from Treutlen. That is what makes Johnson so intriguing, and why the Bulldogs might have been able to snag an in-state steal.
No doubt the coaches in Athens are excited about the potential of this diamond in the rough, and I am interested to see how the wide receiver does against a team like Thomson or Wilcox County in October. If Johnson can replicate on the football field what he did on the camp circuit, he could solidify his status as one of the top players in Georgia for the 2013 recruiting cycle.
ESPN senior national recruiting analyst Tom Luginbill: I am looking forward to seeing ILB Reggie Carter the most, as we have seen hints of real production from him but limited snaps due to injury and inexperience.
If he can stay healthy and put together a full season his stock could really rise. We also feel that he may be a candidate as a down guy in a pass-rush role. He plays with a rugged and physical demeanor you would expect from an inside guy, but he must bounce back from the injury that sidelined him as a junior as we have mostly had to go off sophomore tape to make early assessments.
ESPN national recruiting analyst Craig Haubert: QB Brice Ramsey. The ESPN 150 prospect has a wealth of talent and displays promising upside, but some questions still surround the four-star signal-caller due to the offense in which he plays in high school. Coming from a run-oriented, conservative scheme he is a bit more limited as a passer than some of the other top quarterback prospects. He has shown on film that there are some things he can do very well, demonstrating good footwork and a good delivery and is extremely accurate in the short and intermediate ranges of the field. We do want to see more from Ramsey though, to try and continue to gauge aspects of his game that you do not get to see much of. We particularly look forward to seeing him perform at Under Armour All-America Game week, where he will compete side by side with some of the other top QB prospects, and we will be able to see more aspects of his game. With Ramsey it’s not a question of ability, but more of how close is he to becoming a more complete quarterback as a passer and how far off he may be from being a guy the Bulldogs can count on to take the reigns of the offense.
And C Brandon Kublanow. The Bulldogs "hit it out of the park" when they landed center Ben Jones in the 2008 class. He was an excellent center prospect who quickly contributed and produced at a high level. But he's gone and the Bulldogs need to replace a valuable part of that offense.
They have some options on campus now, but looking down the road Kublanow is a guy who could be looked upon to man that center spot and try and match Jones’ success. The in-state O-line prospect recently moved up in the rankings and shows promise, but plays another position along the O-Line and will need to make the transition to the center spot in Athens. Now, Jones who had some center experience in high school, also needed to make the transition to some degree and did it well, but we will see if Kublanow can do so as well with a little less experience. Comparing the ESPN 300 prospect to Jones a member of UGA’s Team of the Decade is a tall order, but Kublanow shows promise and we look forward to evaluating him further and seeing if he could be a great center for the Bulldogs like Jones was.
clint_b11: Reggie Carter. I'm curious to see whether he can recover from his injury. His player profile says he has more snaps at DE, yet is projected as a ILB. His senior year should provide answers to some speculation of his position at the next level.
The reports and stories I've read on him seem to tell the same story, basically he was really good before being injured. Throw in that he is in a new school or football program and I see several situations where he could struggle. I'm honestly interested in all our ILB commits, though Carter has piqued my interest the most.
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