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Monday, January 7, 2013
Recruiting week in review: Georgia

By Radi Nabulsi

Georgia's Class of 2013 early enrollees were introduced to the rest of the team Sunday after meeting as a group earlier in the day. Eleven prospects and two signees will start classes Monday at Georgia and try to acclimate themselves to the rigors of college life. They will get a chance to learn and compete in spring camp starting in March, which should help the Bulldogs’ severely depleted roster.

Naim Mustafaa
Naim Mustafaa threw Georgia for a loop this week, decommitting to enroll early at Oklahoma State.
One recruit that was expected to join the other Georgia commits was conspicuously absent at the meeting. Defensive end Naim Mustafaa (Alpharetta, Ga./Alpharetta) called DawgNation from the airport in Oklahoma City on Saturday to say that he would be enrolling early, albeit not at Georgia. Mustafaa had decided a “few days ago” to flip to the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

“I had to keep re-evaluating my decision and do what was best for me and I thought that with my body type, I would fit better in a 4-3 defense as a defensive end,” Mustafaa said.

The 6-foot-4, 235-pound senior had been recruited by Georgia to be an outside linebacker and never appeared to be comfortable with that role. When asked in November if he was having second thoughts, Mustafaa said he was not but that Oklahoma State and Tennessee were still recruiting him.

The decommitment of Mustafaa came less than 24 hours after junior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones announced that he would forego his senior season and declare himself eligible for the NFL draft. That news was expected, the Mustafaa flip was somewhat of a surprise.

Georgia has only one other outside linebacker in the incoming class. Leonard Floyd (Eastman, Ga./Hargrave Military Academy) was hoping to enroll in January as well, but it appears he will not make it until May at the earliest.

The same team meeting that lacked Mustafaa had one important attendee: junior quarterback Aaron Murray. The nation’s top rated signal-caller announced his intentions to return for his senior year instead of declaring for the NFL draft. The Bulldogs are coming off of their most productive offensive season in history and return all but two receivers next season.

In other news of the weekend, Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham found a replacement defensive line coach to replace Rodney Garner, who had left to join the Auburn coaching staff. Mississippi State assistant Chris Wilson accepted Grantham’s job offer on Friday night. The hire is not final yet, as there are administrative procedures that must be finished. The formal announcement could come as early as Tuesday.

Wilson spent two years as the Bulldogs defensive coordinator and was the primary recruiter for juco defensive tackle Toby Johnson (College Park, Ga./Hutchinson Community College). Johnson is one of Georgia’s top remaining targets for the Class of 2014. The hire of Wilson removes one question mark the talented defender had about Georgia.

“It helps Georgia,” Johnson said. “It helps that I won’t have to start a new relationship with somebody that I didn’t know before. Me and Coach Wilson have a strong relationship so it will be just like not missing a beat.”