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Saturday, February 23, 2013
UGA week in review: Johnson makes 33

By David Ching

ATHENS, Ga. -- With the first day of spring practice just a week away, it was a reasonably quiet week for Georgia’s football program.

The biggest news of the week came Tuesday when defensive lineman Toby Johnson -- ESPN’s No. 4 prospect on its Junior College 100 -- signed with the Bulldogs to round out a 33-man signing class.

Otherwise, we spent time this week reviewing the importance of in-state recruiting with story packages that ran on Monday and Thursday.

Georgia signed just one of ESPN’s top 10 prospects in Georgia this year, so we used Monday’s stories to review what became of previous top-10 prospects and the previous No. 1 players in the state. Among those 70 players who made the list between 2006 and 2012, only Tennessee’s Eric Berry became an All-American at the school where he originally signed. Many more went on to become starters, all-conference recipients and eventual NFL draft picks at their chosen schools, however.

On Thursday, we put together a list of top performers from Georgia who picked colleges other than UGA and compared it to a roster of the top-instate Bulldogs from 2012. That comparison clearly proves the regular assertion from recruiting analysts and coaches that there is an incredible amount of talent available in the Peach State. Georgia can sign only a fraction of the eventual FBS standouts from the state each year, so that puts a premium on the coaching staff’s ability to evaluate talent and convince the right players to become Bulldogs.

In other news from around DawgNation this week:

• We teamed up with some of our other SEC RecruitingNation sites to take a look at the players from our various schools who will participate in the NFL combine over the next few days in Indianapolis. The big day for Georgia is Monday, when the Bulldogs had six linebackers and defensive linemen invited to participate (although All-American Jarvis Jones has opted to wait until next month’s on-campus pro day to work out for scouts). Another Bulldog who will be under the spotlight is linebacker Alec Ogletree, a probable first-round pick who will have to answer for being arrested for DUI in Arizona.

Among the other combine position previews: quarterbacks, running backs and receivers; offensive linemen; and defensive backs and special teams.

From the recruiting trail …

• Georgia held a junior day last weekend for prominent prospects and earlier this week we reviewed what went down, including a number of scholarship offers.

• Included in that bunch, offers went out to Elijah Hood and Jerald Foster.

• We looked at five in-state prospects who could be priorities for Georgia in the 2014 signing class.

In non-football news …

• Georgia’s conference losing streak reached three games in men’s basketball on Thursday night when Vincent Williams’ runner in the lane was no good and the Bulldogs fell 62-60 at Arkansas.

The Bulldogs (12-14, 6-7 SEC) have a quick turnaround to host South Carolina (13-13, 3-10) today at 2 p.m. at Stegeman Coliseum.

• Georgia’s baseball team got off to a slow start, dropping two of three games in its season-opening series at Georgia Southern last weekend and then falling to Kennesaw State earlier this week. The Bulldogs host Belmont in a three-game series this weekend.