Georgia Bulldogs: DeShaun Watson

Georgia has another top-10 class lined up for national signing day, but its final ranking next week could rise or fall depending on how the Bulldogs finish within their own state -- particularly whether they land their top remaining target, Lorenzo Carter.

As it stands, the Bulldogs have commitments from two of the top six players from Georgia, but that's it among the Peach State's collection of elite prospects. Heavily recruited players such as linebacker Raekwon McMillan (Ohio State) and quarterback Deshaun Watson (Clemson) were among those who checked out Georgia before committing elsewhere.

Mark Richt's staff still has a chance to finish on a strong note, however.

[+] EnlargeLorenzo Carter
Miller Safrit/ESPNLorenzo Carter is the top remaining recruiting target for Georgia.
The Bulldogs seem to be in good shape to land five-star defensive end Carter (ESPN's No. 14 overall prospect and No. 3 player at his position). Other targets such as ESPN 300 prospect Wesley Green (No. 120 overall, No. 13 cornerback, uncommitted), Bryson Allen-Williams (No. 162 overall, No. 10 outside linebacker, committed to South Carolina) and Andrew Williams (No. 174 overall, No. 17 defensive end, uncommitted) are among those lurking as possible final members of the class.

Otherwise, this recruiting class -- one that could be slightly smaller than normal -- adequately addresses Georgia's immediate needs. Let's look at how Georgia addressed some of those positions:

Secondary: Georgia's weakest position segment last season could use some immediate help -- and it will get it in cornerbacks Shattle Fenteng (No. 3 overall prospect, top cornerback on ESPN's Junior College 50) and Malkom Parrish (No. 77 overall, No. 10 athlete). Georgia recently added three-star athlete Dominick Sanders at corner. Green -- who is scheduled to join Carter and others on a visit to Athens this weekend -- and three-star athletes T.J. Harrell and Tavon Ross remain as targets.

The possible shortcoming here is that safety was an inconsistent position for Georgia last season and the Bulldogs have only three-star prospect Kendall Gant lined up so far.

With Josh Harvey-Clemons suspended to open the season, senior Corey Moore, rising sophomore Quincy Mauger and oft-injured Tray Matthews might be the only early options, but keep an eye on Harrell and Ross between now and signing day.

Running back: With Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall entering their third seasons on campus, Georgia needed insurance policies at tailback.

The Bulldogs locked that up in a big way with the current headliners in this class, Sony Michel (No. 19 overall, No. 2 running back) and Nick Chubb (No. 63 overall, No. 7 running back). It will be interesting to see how Richt's staff juggles a glut of talented ball carriers just a year after injuries to Gurley and Marshall created depth problems.

Tight end: With Ty Flournoy-Smith getting kicked off the team last summer and Arthur Lynch exhausting his eligibility in the fall, Georgia had a need at tight end. Jeb Blazevich (No. 101 overall, No. 2 tight end/H) could become Georgia's next great pass-catching tight end thanks to an impressive combination of size (6-foot-5) and soft hands.

Offensive line: Replenishing the line of scrimmage is always a priority, and with Georgia losing starting guards Chris Burnette and Dallas Lee, signing a top prospect such as Isaiah Wynn (No. 106 overall, No. 6 guard) will be particularly valuable. The Bulldogs are also set to sign four-star tackle Dyshon Sims and three-star prospects Kendall Baker and Jake Edwards.

Receiver: Georgia has plenty of bodies here for 2014, but Chris Conley, Michael Bennett, Jonathon Rumph and Michael Erdman will each be seniors and Justin Scott-Wesley and Malcolm Mitchell will be fourth-year juniors.

The Bulldogs have secured commitments from ESPN 300 member Shakenneth Williams (No. 297 overall, No. 45 receiver) and three-star prospect Gilbert Johnson. They also are set to re-sign Rico Johnson, who failed to qualify after signing with the Bulldogs last February.

Defensive line/outside linebacker: Keep an eye on this group for the future. If Georgia lands Carter to go along with already-committed Lamont Gaillard (No. 55 overall, No. 4 defensive tackle), that could be the foundation for some outstanding defensive lines in the next couple of seasons.

The Bulldogs return almost everyone along the line from last season, so it is not a glaring immediate need. The 2014 line will be stocked with fourth-year players, though, so this is a good time to restock the depth charts for the future. They already have a commitment from the versatile Keyon Brown (No. 185 overall, No. 19 defensive end), with Carter and Williams potentially joining him. Like Brown, three-star outside linebacker Detric Dukes brings some versatility to the crop of commitments along the line.

Georgia's coaches never gave up on Allen-Williams even after his commitment to South Carolina in April. He insists he will still sign with the Gamecocks, but plans to visit Georgia with Carter and the others this weekend. Stay tuned.

#AskLoogs: Crafting the perfect QB

August, 8, 2013
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Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation senior analyst Tom Luginbill a question about your team? Tweet it to @TomLuginbill using the hashtag #AskLoogs.



Sure, we’ll give this a try with QB’s in the current 2014 class with the categories below…

Arm strength: Georgia commit Jacob Park (Stratford/Goose Creek, S.C.). This was close, could have put Alabama commit David Cornwell (Norman North/Norman, Okla.) here as well. The ball jumps out of Park's arm with velocity, power and RPMs to drive the ball vertically and into tight spots.

Accuracy: Stanford commit Keller Chryst (Palo Alto/Palo Alto, Calif.). Chryst shows terrific ball placement and timing with the ability to change ball speeds and drop the ball in over coverage to small windows. His ability to anticipate allows him to throw to a spot before the receiver breaks.

Delivery: Purdue commit David Blough. Is is an uncoachable trait, in my opinion, and one that is highly coveted. Blough pops the ball out of his hand with a lightning quick stroke. It is tight, compact and smooth.

Running ability: Florida commit Will Grier. He is a true dual-threat only when needed. If asked to be an integral part of the running game, Grier can really hurt you with his legs and is not a guy you want to let out of the pocket.

Mental toughness: Chryst. This is where his aptitude and upbringing (his uncle is Pitt coach Paul Chryst) come into play. Chryst is mature and capable of handling the ups and downs of the position having grown up around the game in ways few prospects have.

Competitiveness: LSU commit Brandon Harris. This was close; Texas A&M pledge Kyle Allen also fits the bill. Harris wants to be great and is willing to do what it takes to make it happen. He had received limited exposure and offers in the spring, but proved himself on the camp and combine circuit.

Poise: Clemson commit Deshaun Watson. Calm, cool and collected. Watson has a quiet swagger and calming pocket presence that exudes confidence and control. He weathers the peaks and valleys of the game with an even keel.

Instincts: Oklahoma commit Justice Hansen. Hansen and Grier could swap categories here. Hansen is just one of those guys that knows when to pull the trigger and is at his best when improvising and on the move. He has a sixth sense about where pressure is coming from, can evade defenders and keep plays alive instinctively.
ATHENS, Ga. -- The annual Dawg Night recruiting camp at the University of Georgia always draws some of the region’s most coveted prospects. This year was no different, and four of them decided to become Bulldogs. But what of the other recruits that have offers or earned new ones? Here are a load of updates and scoop from this year’s Dawg Night camp.

QBs impress as Elite 11 begins 

June, 30, 2013
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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Through two days of competition at the Elite 11 finals, Trent Dilfer identified Deshaun Watson (Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville) as among the most impressive of the 18 quarterbacks in attendance at Nike headquarters.

No surprise there, as the Clemson commit is the nation's top-ranked quarterback, No. 15 overall in the ESPN 300.

Texas A&M pledge Kyle Allen (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain), the third-ranked pocket-passer QB and 99th overall prospect, also caught Dilfer’s eye.


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Tales From the Road: Georgia 

June, 5, 2013
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Each week, Tales From The Road will provide news and updates about Georgia prospects.


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Change of plans for ESPN 150's Watson 

April, 25, 2013
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After being committed to Clemson since signing day 2012, ESPN 150 quarterback Deshaun Watson (Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville) has made a change in his recruitment.


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ESPN 150 targets: Georgia 

April, 18, 2013
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With today’s release of the ESPN 150, we thought to take a look at where the Georgia Bulldogs stand with their targets on the list.

1. QB Deshaun Watson (Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville) 6-foot-3, 196 pounds
ESPN 150 Rank: 13

[+] EnlargeDeshaun Watson
Radi Nabulsi/ESPNQuarterback Deshaun Watson is a Clemson commit with a lot of teams hot on his trail.
Why they want him: Watson is the only quarterback with an offer from the Bulldogs, and deservedly so. He can beat teams with his arm or his legs, and is fundamentally sound in all aspects of the game. The most prolific high school passer ever in Georgia with one season left to play, Watson has already etched his name as one of the best prep quarterbacks in Peach State history. The University of Georgia would like him to do the same down the road in Athens.

Who else wants him: Clemson got a commitment from Watson on signing day 2011, but programs like Auburn, Georgia, Ohio State and Oregon are hoping he reconsiders the early pledge. He intends to take all five official visits, possibly to the aforementioned schools. An early enrollee, the battle for Watson could get very intense over the next few months.

Odds they get him: 20 percent


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Tales From the Road: Georgia QBs 

April, 17, 2013
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Tales From the Road spotlights players who stand out to RecruitingNation writers at camps, combines and various events. Here is a look at a few Georgia quarterbacks who recently performed at a high level:

DeShaun Watson
Tom Hauck for Student SportsDeshaun Watson earned an Elite 11 Finals invite on the spot at the Atlanta regional.
QB Deshaun Watson
Vital stats: 2014 / Gainesville (Ga.) High School / 6-foot-3, 186 pounds

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QB Deshaun Watson names five officials 

April, 13, 2013
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BUFORD, Ga. – ESPN Watch List quarterback Deshaun Watson (Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville) has been committed to Clemson for more than 14 months, but that has not kept other programs from pursuing the record-setting passer, who earned an invite to the Elite 11 and The Opening following his performance at the Atlanta Elite 11 regional qualifier Friday.

For a few lucky schools, the interest seems to be mutual.


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ATHENS, Ga. -- Week two of Spring camp had the Georgia Bulldogs hitting the practice field in full pads while preparing for a scrimmage on Saturday. Position battles and projected performances dominated the questions we received for this edition of the DawgNation Mailbag.

Adam (Charlotte): What is your view on the post-Aaron Murray quarterback position battle? Brice Ramsey comes out very highly recruited but played in a pure running team and didn't really showcase his talents. Could the big bad SEC be too much for him?


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DawgNation mailbag 

March, 1, 2013
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Welcome to the pre-spring practice edition of DawgNation Mailbag. Georgia starts spring practice on Saturday, so we will begin to see a clearer picture of what the 2013 Bulldogs are going to look like. In the meantime I answered the questions sent in from our premium message board -- The Pound, as well as from Twitter and Facebook.

Perry.James: Who are your top 5 "MVRs" (Most Valuable Recruits) from this past class?


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Georgia Bulldogs' top in-state targets 

February, 20, 2013
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With the 2013 recruiting cycle in the rear view mirror, the University of Georgia can focus on reeling in the top talent in the 2014 class. Offers are starting to pour out and with over 180 prospects signing with FBS programs out of Georgia each year, it is impossible for Georgia to keep all of the talent from leaving the state. Here is a look at five early in-state recruits that Georgia has targeted that could be priorities for the next recruiting cycle.


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Clemson QB commit targeted by UGA 

February, 8, 2013
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With the 2013 recruiting class wrapped up it would appear that the Georgia coaches can finally start focusing on the Class of 2014. Except that is not how it works. The Bulldogs’ coaching staff has already spent many hours analyzing and evaluating this year’s high school juniors. In fact over 40 offers have been extended to 13 different positions. But Mark Richt has only extended one offer to a quarterback, and there is no question that the Bulldogs’ head coach wants his man.

But does Deshaun Watson (Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville), a Clemson commit, want anything to do with the Bulldogs?


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Georgia: 2014 prospects to watch 

February, 7, 2013
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With signing day 2013 behind us, it’s time to turn our attention to 2014 recruits. Here are five players Georgia will be targeting for next year’s class:

RB Sony Michel (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage)

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Position breakdown: Wrapup 

January, 29, 2013
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Editor’s note: Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve taken a look at Georgia’s depth chart and its recruiting efforts by position. We’ll wrap up today by discussing who we’ll be watching this season and the areas Georgia must address between now and signing day, plus over the next couple of years:

2012 depth chart: Georgia returns 15 players who started the Capital One Bowl against Nebraska -- 10 on offense, three on defense and both kickers -- led by quarterback Aaron Murray, tailback Todd Gurley and the entire offensive line. The Bulldogs lost three defensive underclassmen -- All-America outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, inside linebacker Alec Ogletree and nose guard Kwame Geathers -- to the NFL draft and a total of 12 key defensive contributors.

Who’s ready to move up for more playing time?: The defense obviously must reload this season, but defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is quick to point out that the group might lack experience, but it has plenty of talent. Nose guard will be one of the key positions to watch this spring, with Jonathan Taylor, John Atkins (Thomson, Ga./Hargrave Military) and Chris Mayes (Griffin, Ga./Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College) all competing for playing time. Inside linebacker -- where early enrollees Ryne Rankin (Orlando, Fla./East River) and Reggie Carter (Snellville, Ga./South Gwinnett) are already in the fold -- and defensive back are also positions of interest. We’ll be interested to see whether rising sophomores Sheldon Dawson and Josh Harvey-Clemons can step into leading roles during the spring.

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