- Radi Nabulsi, Reporter, DawgNation
As DawgNation evaluates all of Georgia's position groups at midseason, we also will look ahead to who in the 2013 recruiting class might fill those positions.
Defensive line targets
If all goes well in the 2012 recruiting class, the Bulldogs will not have a lot of room on the defensive line in 2013. Georgia has four commitments for this year's class in Jonathan Taylor (Millen, Ga./Jenkins County), John Atkins (Thomson, Ga./Thomson County), James Deloach (Millen, Ga./Jenkins County) and Jalen Fields (Dalton, Ga./Georgia Military College). Taylor and Atkins are both Under Armour All-Americans and part of the ESPNU 150. Add these players to what the Bulldogs currently have on scholarship, and there will be eight players for three spots. Deloach may stay at outside linebacker, but even so the Bulldogs will have a deep group.
Additionally, Georgia already has a commit for 2013 in Chris Mayes of Griffin, Ga. The 6-foot-4, 320-pound defensive tackle committed to Georgia with the 2011 class but failed to qualify and is now enrolled at Mississipi Gulf Coast Community College. He is already playing the nose position that he should occupy at Georgia, following in the footsteps of current Bulldog run-stopper John Jenkins who was enrolled at Mississippi Gulf Coast last year. Mayes recently told DawgNation that other schools still call his coaches, but he is solid in his commitment to the Bulldogs. His plan is to enroll in January 2013.
The Bulldogs have offered only one other defensive tackle so far, Kelsey Griffin (Hoschton, Ga./Mill Creek). An ESPNU 150 Watch List member, Griffin is fast off the ball and down the field as he runs a 4.7 second 40-yard dash. Auburn has also offered the 6-1, 285-pound Griffin, and more schools are sure to follow. Griffin attended the Dawg Night camp this summer despite being injured and unable to participate.
As for defensive ends, Georgia has offered three players for 2013. The question as always for the Bulldogs will be where to play those recruits if they sign. There are no defensive ends in the 3-4 defense coach Todd Grantham employs. So high school defensive ends either play linebacker or defensive tackle. 2013 standout Robert Nkemdiche (Loganville, Ga./Grayson) could play either. Nkemdiche is even an accomplished short-yardage back and has a skill set that will see him as one of the top recruits in the country. As a sophomore he was named the MVP of the Nike Camp held in Athens, Ga., outperforming players much older than him. The 6-4, 257-pound Nkemdiche has not mentioned the Bulldogs in any of his recent updates.
Georgia seems to be in much better standing with Isaac Rochell (McDonough, Ga./Eagles Landing Christian Academy). Nine of the 12 SEC schools have offered Rochell, as have seven other colleges. The 6-4, 240-pound defensive end has a large frame, and there is no telling how big he might actually get. Rochell's Chargers are 6-1 on the season, holding opposing offenses to under 12 points on average. Rochelle has visited and camped at Georgia multiple times and has a good relationship with the Bulldogs coaches.
On the Radar: Keep an eye on DeAndre Johnson (Newnan, Ga./Northgate). Johnson is a 6-3, 310-pound defensive tackle and offensive lineman. His Vikings are undefeated, and interest in the big junior is on the rise as a result. Northgate coach Tommy Walburn told DawgNation last week that defensive line coach Rodney Garner was at the school on Friday to get some film on Johnson.
2dSam Khan Jr.