Friday, June 21, 2013
Spring recruiting recap
By Radi Nabulsi
ATHENS, Ga. -- When the spring evaluation period started on April 15, the Georgia Bulldogs trailed most of the other teams in the SEC with only three commitments. By the time the period ended on May 31, Georgia had picked up two more and was poised to have a big June. But no one knew that the first camp of the year would see the Bulldogs double their class.
Jeb Blazevich (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian)
Committed: April 23
ESPN 300 tight end Jeb Blazevich got Georgia's spring recruiting off to a big start.
After talking with another of Georgia’s tight end targets, Milan Richard, Blazevich announced he was committing to Georgia on ESPNU, giving the Bulldogs their second ESPN 300 player. He chose Georgia over Ole Miss -- his grandfather’s alma mater -- and Clemson, a program that was fighting hard for him. Blazevich is solid so long as Mark Richt and John Lilly are a part of the program.
Sony Michel (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage)
Committed: April 26
After losing two of the Peach State’s top running backs to Alabama last year, the addition of the No. 2 tailback in the nation soothed a lot of hurt feelings among the Georgia faithful. Michel was sold on Georgia months before he actually announced on ESPNU. In fact he said he knew where he wanted to go to school as soon as he concluded his visit last September.
OL Jake Edwards (Franklin, Ga./Heard County)
Committed: June 8
At the Mark Richt minicamp, Edwards took on some of the region’s best defensive linemen and pummeled them into submission. The Georgia coaches spent the first part of the day courting Class of 2015 defensive tackle Trenton Thompson, but after Edwards beat Thompson on multiple reps, Richt extended Edwards an offer. The 6-foot-4, 270 senior accepted on the spot.
Speaking of accepting on the spot, Johnson too wasted little time in picking the Bulldogs. He told DawgNation that on the long drive up to Athens he continuously thought about the idea of committing if did well enough at camp to pick up an offer. When Richt extended Johnson an offer after the 6-2, 190-pound wideout made catch after catch, Johnson pounced on it.
RB Nick Chubb (Cedartown, Ga./Cedartown)
Committed: June 11
The Bulldog Nation went absolutely giddy when the state’s most productive running back announced that he would be joining Michel in the backfield. Chubb racked up a mind-boggling 2,721 rushing yards in just 10 games last season. The two ESPN 300 backs could prove to be just as effective a duo as Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley have been for the Bulldogs.
Parrish has yet to play a down at cornerback in high school, instead lining at quarterback for his Brooks County squad. But Parrish wants to play cornerback in college and considering the clinic he put on in Athens at the minicamp, he should have little trouble earning a starting role. Archrival Georgia Tech wanted Parrish as an athlete, but he knows his future is on defense.
QB Jacob Park (Goose Creek, S.C./Stratford)
Committed June 14
On June 8, Park came to Athens to throw for offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. He headed back to South Carolina with a verbal offer from Richt. The Georgia coaches explained that they had only offered one quarterback so far in this class and that they were only going to take one. So if Park wanted the spot, it was his for the asking. After talking to Alabama, Park committed to Georgia.
The flurry of commitments is not over. The evaluation period and the camps -- plus some hard-nosed recruiting -- have Georgia poised to garner a number of new pledges. That is not a bold prediction -- just look at the prospects that have the Bulldogs in the lead, tied for first, or in their final group after their spring recruitments.
The No. 12 prospect in the country, Gaillard is the target most likely to commit to Georgia at the moment. The 6-4, 300-pound defensive lineman has the Bulldogs on top right now and plans to visit Athens next month.
On Wednesday Evans surprised just about everybody when he named Georgia his leader. Granted, he has always spoken highly of the Bulldogs and the staff in Athens, but the fact that almost all of his immediate family went to Auburn had most experts thinking he would do the same.
If you believe his tweets he plans to block for Michel and Chubb one day. Trolling the UGA fans aside, Wynn talks incessantly about Georgia and loves the coaching staff. He wants to take all his visits before deciding, but a Dawg Night commitment is not out of the question.
Carter is unsure of where he is headed but he has had Alabama and Georgia on top since last October. The nation’s No. 10 overall prospect and the state’s top player, Carter is the Bulldogs’ primary target in this recruiting class. Carter has visited Athens often and plans to decide on signing day.
Like Johnson, Williams had quite the showing on June 8 and was also offered at the conclusion of the camp. The Georgia offer was one of the ones he wanted, and a commitment might not be too far behind.
Baker has been high on Georgia for months and as the spots in the Class of 2014 start to fill up, a commitment in the coming weeks would not be surprising. Baker can play on the offensive line as well, and that versatility makes him a wanted man in Athens.
When the coaches dropped in on Webster during one of his spring practices, the fleet-footed rising senior impressed enough to get an offer. Georgia moved into his top group and could be his eventual destination.