Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Georgia instant impact recruits
By Radi Nabulsi
ATHENS, Ga. -- Coaches are always looking for recruits who can have a major impact on their programs. Here is a list of prospects -- both commits and realistic targets -- that could make an impact for Georgia in 2014:
1. TE Jeb Blazevich (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian) HT/WT: 6-5, 228 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: 94
Blazevich could easily see the field before any of the other commits or targets that Georgia is after in the Class of 2014. Arthur Lynch is a senior this year so Blazevich will join only two other tight ends -- Jay Rome and Jordan Davis -- on the roster when he arrives in Athens. Davis will bulk up and be the prototypical blocking tight end who replaces Lynch, while Blazevich will be an offensive threat downfield. He recently won the wide receiver MVP award at the Nike Football Training camp, a first for a tight end.
2. DE Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) HT/WT: 6-5, 228 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: 10
With Chase Vasser gone, Georgia could be relying on Josh Dawson, Leonard Floyd or James DeLoach to man the outside linebacker spot opposite Jordan Jenkins. Carter could give them all a run for their money. Jenkins made a strong impact as a freshman, and Carter’s speed and natural rushing ability would likely translate into a similar scenario where Carter is a starter by the end of the season. Of course Georgia would have to land him first.
Lamont Gaillard is the kind of top-flight defensive end that Georgia loves and he could make some noise early if he picks the Bulldogs.
Parrish plays quarterback at Brooks County and this year plans to work some at cornerback in preparation for his role with the Bulldogs. While he is not the tallest cornerback Georgia could field, Parrish is gifted athlete who proved during summer camps that he can go head-to-head with the nation’s top wide receivers. Parrish is strong and has the confidence a cornerback needs. With the Bulldogs likely losing Damian Swann to the NFL after 2013, there will be an open spot in the secondary.
Georgia brought in some defensive linemen in last year’s recruiting class with Deandre Johnson and John Atkins, as well as junior college transfers Toby Johnson and Chris Mayes. But the Bulldogs really wanted an impact defensive end like Montravious Adams, and they came up short. Gaillard is in the same caliber as Adams and has named Georgia as his leader. If the Bulldogs land him, Georgia fans could see him play as a freshman.
5. DE DaVonte Lambert (Milledgeville, Ga./Georgia Military College) HT/WT: 6-2, 275 pounds
Georgia likes to also have a defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid like the position that Cornelius Washington played and which is now likely to be manned by James DeLoach, Sterling Bailey or Ray Drew. Lambert’s size and voracious motor is a natural fit for that position. As a junior college transfer he would be expected to make an impact right away.
Georgia will lose Rantavious Wooten and Rhett McGowan to graduation after the 2013 season, and there is a strong possibility that Malcolm Mitchell could declare early for the NFL draft. While seniors Michael Bennett and Chris Conley will lead the receivers in 2014, Malone has the instant-impact skill set that could earn him early playing time.
If the Bulldogs were to land Shaw -- and they are in his top three -- he would arrive on campus and be the biggest defensive lineman on the roster. But Shaw is not just a big body, he is pound-for-pound one of the strongest prospects the Bulldogs have recruited in this class. He is often double- and sometimes even triple-teamed to keep him out of the backfield, and by the fourth quarter, those offensive linemen feel like they have been pushing a car stuck in park.
8. RB Sony Michel (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage) HT/WT: 5-11, 194 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: 17
With Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall returning for their junior seasons in 2014 and A.J. Turman and Brendan Douglas having a year head start on the race to back up that dynamic duo, saying that Michel will see the field normally would be a stretch. But Michel is a program changer, and Bryan McClendon will have a hard time keeping such a talented player off the field. Freshmen tailbacks have made huge impacts in the SEC before, so there is little reason to think Michel won’t do the same.
Georgia will need to replace its two starting guards in 2014 after Dallas Lee and Chris Burnette graduate. While Georgia has a lot of options, don’t discount Wynn from making a push to start if he were to choose the Bulldogs. He often jokes about blocking for Georgia’s two running back commits, and his strength and pass-blocking expertise will make him a favorite of offensive line coach Will Friend.
10. QB Jacob Park (Goose Creek, S.C./Stratford) HT/WT: 6-3, 197 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: 182
Georgia has five quarterbacks on the roster now, and when Aaron Murray heads to the NFL and Park arrives in Athens, there still will be five. Add in the fact that quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo tends to redshirt all of his quarterbacks, having Park on this list may seem odd. While the 2014 team will be Hutson Mason’s to lead, who will be his backup? Christian LeMay has yet to impress, and Faton Bauta is still a mystery. Brice Ramsey could easily be a star, but he comes from a run first offense. Park could come in and make some noise early.