Georgia Bulldogs: Rico Johnson

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.

Georgia lands commit No. 17

January, 20, 2014
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Georgia landed its 17th commitment on Monday afternoon as three-star wide receiver Rico Johnson (Swainsboro, Ga./Atlanta Sports Academy) gave his verbal pledge to the Bulldogs.

Johnson originally signed with Georgia for its 2013 class, but after failing to qualify, he chose to attend Atlanta Sports Academy -- a local prep school. He announced his decision to commit on Twitter.

"My decision is made this will be my coach for the nxt 4 years….,” his tweet read.

The tweet also included a photo of Johnson and Georgia head coach Mark Richt that was posted on Instagram with the caption: “My decision is made this will be my coach for the nxt 4 years and again I wanna thanks to all the college coaches who was willing to offer me but at the end of the day there's no place like home #GoDawgs !”

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound athlete, who also held offers from Maryland, West Virginia, Marshall and Middle Tennessee, is expected to help Georgia offensively and also on special teams.

"Johnson is a smooth, versatile athlete that is an ideal spread offense playmaker,” Johnson’s scouting report Insider read coming out of high school. "He could play on the outside, in the slot and also in the backfield as a scatback. In the backfield is where he is most dangerous at this time."

With the addition of Johnson, the Bulldogs now have 17 verbal commitments including nine ranked in the ESPN 300.

Signee Johnson fails to qualify

July, 22, 2013
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Rico Johnson finally learned his fate on Monday.

The three-star receiver from Swainsboro (Ga.) High School announced on his Twitter account that he failed to meet NCAA eligibility standards and will not enroll at Georgia with his fellow 2013 signing classmates.

Johnson completed two online courses this summer in an effort to become eligible, but it was apparently not enough.

“Unfortunately NCAA didn't take my two online classes but I'm still rockin [with] DawgNation to the death of me. See [y’all] at the top!” Johnson tweeted.

Now Johnson will wait to learn whether he can enroll at a prep school this fall and potentially enroll at Georgia or another program next year or whether he must attend junior college.

Johnson was the last member of Georgia's 33-man signing class who was waiting to learn his NCAA fate.

Mark Richt’s coaching staff knew on signing day that Devondre Seymour (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett) was not going to qualify with this class. The four-star offensive lineman has since announced that he will attend Hinds Community College and attempt to enroll at Georgia in 2015.

Receiver Uriah LeMay (Matthews, N.C./Butler) and defensive back Kennar Johnson (Clermont, Fla./Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College) arrived on campus late in the summer -- after the bulk of Georgia’s other signees -- leaving Rico Johnson as the only player with an undetermined status.

He was one of Georgia’s six 2013 receiver signees, led by No. 1 junior college wideout Jonathon Rumph (Cayce, S.C./Holmes Community College) and versatile ESPN 150 selection Tramel Terry (Goose Creek, S.C./Goose Creek) -- both of whom enrolled in January.
JEFFERSON, Ga. -- The Georgia state track meet is almost always populated with top football prospects competing in their second sport of the year. This year did not disappoint, as a number of Peach State recruits descended on the track and field events to try and win a state title.

Bulldogs’ signees compete in last prep events

Tight end Jordan Davis competed in the 110-meter high hurdles and 300-meter intermediate hurdles. He finished second in the 110-meter race, beating out several much smaller and quicker competitors.

“These little guys are faster than me,” Davis said. “I can’t catch them in a sprint. But I gain a foot on them on each hurdle.”

Davis will report in June with the Bulldogs' other signees, including Rico Johnson, who was at the meet trying to defend his 100-meter title.

Post-spring review: Special teams 

April, 27, 2013
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Editor’s note: DawgNation's post-spring positional analysis continues this week after focusing on the offense last week. Today we examine the special teams players:

Returning players/stats: K Marshall Morgan, So. (8-14 FG, 63-67 PAT, 87 points); P Collin Barber, So. (60 punts, 2,488 yards, 41.5 yards per punt), P Adam Erickson, Jr. (8-296, 37.0 ypp); KOR Malcolm Mitchell, Jr. (16 returns, 360 yards, 22.5 yards per return); KOR Todd Gurley, So. (7-243, 34.7 ypr, 1 TD); PR Mitchell (11-57, 5.2); PR Rhett McGowan, Sr. (9-75, 8.3); PR Damian Swann, Jr. (5-37, 7.4) S Nathan Theus, So.

Newcomers: Tramel Terry, Fr. (ESPN's No. 89 overall prospect of 2013. No. 9 athlete. Enrolled in January); Reggie Davis, Fr. (No. 45 wide receiver. Expected to enroll this summer); J.J. Green, Fr. (No. 58 CB. Enrolled in January); Rico Johnson, Fr. (No. 122 WR. Expected to enroll this summer)

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Post-spring position review: WR

April, 17, 2013
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Editor’s note: Over the next two weeks, we’ll take a closer look at each of Georgia’s position groups at the end of spring practice. Today we examine the wide receivers:

Returning players/stats: Malcolm Mitchell, Jr. (nine starts, 40 catches, 572 yards, 4 TDs); Michael Bennett, Jr. (three starts, 24-345, 4 TDs); Chris Conley, Jr. (three starts, 20-342, 6 TDs); Rantavious Wooten, Sr. (15-187, 2 TDs); Rhett McGowan, Sr. (one start, 12-150, 1 TD); Justin Scott-Wesley, So. (6-135, 1 TD); Blake Tibbs, RFr. (redshirted in 2012)

Newcomers: Tramel Terry, Fr. (ESPN No. 89 overall prospect, No. 9 athlete, enrolled in January); Jonathon Rumph, Jr. (ESPN No. 7 junior college prospect, No. 1 juco wide receiver, enrolled in January); Reggie Davis, Fr. (ESPN No. 294 overall prospect, No. 45 wide receiver, expected to enroll this summer); Uriah LeMay, Fr. (No. 48 wide receiver, expected to enroll this summer); Rico Johnson, Fr. (No. 122 wide receiver, expected to enroll this summer)

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DawgNation signing day live blog

February, 6, 2013
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Welcome to DawgNation's live coverage of national signing day for the Georgia Bulldogs. We'll be with you throughout the day providing up-to-the minute updates on Georgia's Class of 2013.

Watch live coverage on ESPNU | Talk signing day in "The Pound"

Follow the live blog after the jump.

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Dawgs Snapshot 2013: Rico Johnson 

February, 1, 2013
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To gear up for 2013 national signing day, DawgNation's Radi Nabulsi is breaking down every commitment in the Bulldogs' 2013 recruiting class.

Vitals: Wide receiver Rico Johnson, Swainsboro, Ga./Swainsboro | 5-foot-11, 172 pounds

Committed: June 12, 2012

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Position scouting report: WRs 

January, 15, 2013
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Editor’s note: In the next several weeks, we’ll take a look at each position on Georgia’s depth chart and project how it might look in the future. Today we examine Georgia’s wide receivers:

" 2012 two-deep depth chart:
Tavarres King (Sr.), Chris Conley (So.)
Malcolm Mitchell (So.), Rhett McGowan (Jr.)

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Weekend rewind: Georgia 

December, 10, 2012
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ATHENS, Ga. -- The Georgia coaching staff was on the road Friday, as usual, checking in on commits and targets alike. In what had to the most fortuitous turn of events of the day, tight ends coach John Lilly and inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti just happened to be stopping by Auburn (Ala.) High School right after the nation’s No. 1 inside linebacker, Reuben Foster, decommitted from Auburn University. Both coaches met with Foster, who reopened his recruitment, citing reports that his mentor Trooper Taylor had been let go at Auburn.

Later that night, another coach would also prove lucky as defensive line coach Rodney Garner was on hand to congratulate Montravius Adams (Vienna, Ga./Dooly County) after the top-ranked defensive tackle won the chance to play for the Georgia Class A championship.

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and running backs coach Bryan McClendon were on hand to see the Bulldogs’ top tailback target, Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga./Norcross), win his semifinal game as well. Alabama’s Kirby Smart was also there, and the battle for Kamara is still neck and neck.

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New commit Rumph fills sizable WR need 

November, 21, 2012
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The commitment of juco wideout Jonathon Rumph (Cayce, S.C./Holmes Community College) to Georgia is a big addition to the Bulldogs’ receiving corps -- pun intended. Georgia does not have a returning receiver on the team now or committed in the Class of 2013 who resembles the 6-foot-5, 215-pound Rumph. He is a large target -- something this recruiting class was missing.

As it stands, Georgia has commitments from wide receivers Reggie Davis (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln), Uriah LeMay (Matthews, N.C./Butler), and Rico Johnson (Swainsboro, Ga./Swainsboro). Athletes Tramel Terry (Goose Creek, S.C./ Goose Creek) and J.J. Green (Kingsland, Ga./Camden County) will play multiple roles on the offense as well, including slot receiver. Aside from LeMay, who stands at 6-2, this group of receivers is not known for size, but rather speed and technique. Rumph will be the wideout who creates the most mismatches with opposing corners. He is not fast like Davis or Terry, but in a red-zone situation he will present a nice option.

Georgia signed only one wide receiver in the Class of 2012, and Blake Tibbs redshirted this season. The coaching staff knew it would have to bring in some playmakers with the next class.

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Juco WR Rumph is UGA commit No. 29

November, 21, 2012
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A day after adding a cornerback with the size coveted by secondary coach Scott Lakatos, the Georgia Bulldogs gained a commitment from a wide receiver with the size any college program would love to have. Juco wideout Jonathon Rumph, at 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, announced his commitment to Georgia tonight at Spires Recreation Center in Cayce, S.C., his childhood stomping grounds.

“I chose Georgia because I love the atmosphere there, the fans, and how the coaching staff is filled with real people,” Rumph said. “They have my best interests at heart for me in regards to my career and my path to becoming a quality young man.”

Rumph chose Georgia over offers from Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Texas Tech, among others. In nine games this season, Rumph caught 44 passes for 575 yards and 3 touchdowns.

With the upcoming graduation of Georgia’s Marlon Brown and Tavarres King, Rumph sees an opportunity to make an impact in Athens.

“The situation at receiver is such that I feel I can come in, work my way up the depth chart, and have a good chance at earning a starting position,” Rumph said. “With my size, the pro-style scheme at Georgia is a perfect fit because it puts me in 1-on-1 matchups where I can be a big help to the offense.”

He also likes the potential for success at Georgia.

(Read full post)

UGA targets, commitments talk UF-UGA 

October, 25, 2012
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Saturday's Georgia-Florida game will not only be about determining who could win the SEC East. The animosity and eventual result of the game is of particular interestto the Georgia commits ant targets that may one day play in the showdown. DawgNation caught up with a number of them to get their takes on the game.

ESPN 150 DT target Montravius Adams (Vienna, Ga. /Dooly County) -- "If UF play like they been playing, which is as a team, they will win. But if UGA comes to play and can effectively use their balanced run and passing attack, the Bulldogs will be successful."

ESPN 150 CB commitment Shaq Wiggins (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek) -- "Florida versus Georgia is the biggest game of the year for both teams. It is RIVALRY, BLOOD, BATTLES, A LOT OF DISLIKING EACH OTHER. Basically the SEC CHAMPS will come out of this game.

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Inside the DawgHouse: Sept. 28 

September, 28, 2012
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DawgNation is here to take you Inside the DawgHouse -- a confidential look inside Georgia football recruiting for DawgNation subscribers only. As it will be every week, everything reported Inside the DawgHouse stays on The Pound forum. We are providing this information for our subscribers and hope that you help keep this information protected by keeping it here.

In this week's update:

  • Prospects flock to Athens
  • Spots filling up

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Inside the DawgHouse (Sept. 14) 

September, 14, 2012
9/14/12
3:26
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DawgNation is here to take you Inside the DawgHouse -- a confidential look inside Georgia football recruiting for DawgNation subscribers only. As it will be every week, everything reported Inside the DawgHouse stays on The Pound forum. We are providing this information for our subscribers and hope that you help keep this information protected by keeping it here.

In this week's update:

  • Georgia coaches hit the road

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