Georgia Bulldogs: Naim Mustafaa

ESPN 300 DE Bellamy joins Dogs 

February, 6, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. -- Davin Bellamy (Chamblee, Ga./Chamblee) became the 14th ESPN 300 member to join Georgia’s 2013 recruiting class Wednesday, following through on recent interest in the Bulldogs after checking out Tennessee and Oregon.

The former Florida State commitment was defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s top target at outside linebacker, particularly after Naim Mustafaa switched his commitment to Oklahoma State after the season. The 6-foot-5 Bellamy is ESPN’s No. 299 overall prospect and No. 25 defensive end.

Georgia believes the athletic Bellamy can eventually fill a similar role to that of former Bulldogs All-America outside linebacker Jarvis Jones as his career progresses.

What is the impact of Bellamy's decision?

DawgNation on the radio

January, 8, 2013
The 2013 football season is over and now all eyes turn to signing day, the NFL Draft and possible transfers. DawgNation joined ESPN’s Athens affiliate 960 The Ref to talk about that and more. Some of the topics discussed were:
  • What will Georgia’s focus be over the next month leading up to signing day?
  • Will Hutson Mason transfer in light of Aaron Murray coming back?
  • Should Georgia have been ranked ahead of Notre Dame in the final polls?
  • Can Georgia get back to the SEC Championship game next season?
  • What happened with Naim Mustafaa?

Listen to the show here.

Dante Sawyer talks package deal 

January, 7, 2013
ATLANTA -- Georgia lost its only outside linebacker commit in Naim Mustafaa when he decided to enroll early at Oklahoma State a few days ago. The Bulldogs are also losing two starters at the position as well with Jarvis Jones heading to the NFL a year early and Cornelius Washington graduating. With no immediate help on the horizon, the Georgia coaches will turn to some of the Class of 2014 standouts.

[+] EnlargeDante Sawyer
Radi Nabulsi/ESPN.comSuwanee, Ga., junior defensive end Dante Sawyer is starting to see his recruiting pick up.
One player whose recruitment is on the verge of taking off is defensive end Dante Sawyer (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett). The 6-foot-3, 245-pound junior has already received verbal offers from Ohio State and North Carolina, with many more possible.

“I am hearing from Ohio State, Clemson, UCLA, Georgia -- every now and then -- and Alabama,” Sawyer said. “Florida is starting to talk to me a little bit, so I’m looking forward to hearing from some more schools sooner or later.”

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Recruiting week in review: Georgia 

January, 7, 2013
Georgia's Class of 2013 early enrollees were introduced to the rest of the team Sunday after meeting as a group earlier in the day. Eleven prospects and two signees will start classes Monday at Georgia and try to acclimate themselves to the rigors of college life. They will get a chance to learn and compete in spring camp starting in March, which should help the Bulldogs’ severely depleted roster.

[+] EnlargeNaim Mustafaa
Radi Nabulsi/ESPN.comNaim Mustafaa threw Georgia for a loop this week, decommitting to enroll early at Oklahoma State.
One recruit that was expected to join the other Georgia commits was conspicuously absent at the meeting. Defensive end Naim Mustafaa (Alpharetta, Ga./Alpharetta) called DawgNation from the airport in Oklahoma City on Saturday to say that he would be enrolling early, albeit not at Georgia. Mustafaa had decided a “few days ago” to flip to the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

“I had to keep re-evaluating my decision and do what was best for me and I thought that with my body type, I would fit better in a 4-3 defense as a defensive end,” Mustafaa said.

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DE Mustafaa flips to Oklahoma State 

January, 5, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. -- Naim Mustafaa will be an early enrollee after all, but it appears as if it will not be at Georgia.

A four-star defensive end, Mustafaa (Alpharetta, Ga./Alpharetta) plans to early enroll at Oklahoma State and intends to start classes on Monday.

“I had to keep re-evaluating my decision and do what was best for me and I thought that with my body type, I would fit better in a 4-3 defense as a defensive end,” said Mustafaa, who at 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds probably profiled as an outside linebacker in Georgia’s 3-4 scheme.

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Position scouting report: Outside LBs 

December, 27, 2012
Editor’s note: Over 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 outside linebackers.

Current two-deep depth chart:
Jarvis Jones (Jr.), Ramik Wilson (So.)
Jordan Jenkins (Fr.), Josh Dawson (Fr.)

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Position scouting report: Defensive end 

December, 18, 2012
Editor’s note: Over the next several weeks, we’ll take a look at each position on Georgia’s depth chart today and projecting how it might look in the future. Today we examine Georgia’s defensive ends:

Current two-deep depth chart:
Garrison Smith (Jr.), John Jenkins (Sr.)
Cornelius Washington (Sr.), Ray Drew (So.)

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Weekend rewind: Georgia 

December, 10, 2012
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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Georgia commits looking elsewhere? 

November, 29, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia has the nation’s second largest recruiting class with 30 prospects verbally committed to for the Class of 2013, despite having had four decommitments in the last year. The Bulldogs are hoping to add six more targets and to sign the largest class Mark Richt has ever had. But will the 30 recruits verbally committed to Georgia stick? Recent history says no.

So who could flip? That is tough to gauge but we thought we would examine a few players that have been rumored to be looking around.

CB Shaq Wiggins (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek) -- The No. 5 ranked cornerback is also Georgia’s highest rated commitment. Wiggins has been a tireless recruiter for the Bulldogs, trying to help Georgia sign as strong a class as possible. He would seem like the most solid recruit Georgia had but additions to the class have the Under Armour All-American worried.

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Naim Mustafaa takes official to Tennessee 

October, 22, 2012
On Saturday, defensive end Naim Mustafaa (Alpharetta, Ga./Alpharetta) took his first official visit -- not to the University of Georgia where he has been committed since June -- but to Tennessee. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound senior was excited to see the Volunteers' defensive coordinator in action for the first time.

[+] EnlargeNaim Mustafaa
Radi Nabulsi/ESPN.comNaim Mustafaa is committed to Georgia, but he visited Tennessee during the weekend.
"I have been there a few times, but I have not been able to see Coach Sal [Sunseri] in an actual game," Mustafaa said. "I love Coach Sal and how intense he is and I also love their stands and their stadium."

The day before his official to Tennessee began, Mustafaa was on the phone with his recruiter of record for Georgia. As the two talked, Mustafaa says there was no sense of worry on the other line.

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Inside the DawgHouse: Sept. 28 

September, 28, 2012
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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UGA commit Naim Mustafaa plans officials 

September, 3, 2012
After racking up 50 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, and eight sacks as a junior and earning more than 25 scholarship offers, Naim Mustafaa (Alpharetta, Ga./Alpharetta) knew he would have a target on his back in the season opener Friday versus Milton.

“We knew I would not have my biggest game because they were looking for me, so I got triple-teamed pretty much every play,” Mustafaa said. “I feel like I played all right. I got off the ball well and jacked the offensive tackle up. I just have to step up and be a leader for my defensive line because we are young.”

Although the Raiders were not able to pull out a win, the four-star prospect has high goals for the season.

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Notebook: Summer recruiting recap 

August, 7, 2012
While the summer months are considered downtime, the Georgia Bulldogs have continued their torrid recruiting pace this summer, picking up several commitments from prospects in several states. With the ability and, arguably, the dire need to bring in more than 30 signees for the 2013 class, the Bulldogs have been aggressive with offers. That has paid off with a group that already dwarfs that of the freshman class now on campus. As football season approaches, DawgNation takes a look back at the goings on and decisions made in the past few months, along with a look ahead at what to keep an eye on this fall.

[+] EnlargeParis Bostick
Radi Nabulsi/ESPN.comTampa, Fla., safety Paris Bostick was slated to announce his decision this summer, and still might. The Bulldogs are considered a favorite to earn his commitment.
Commitments piling up
As school let out across the country, prospects seemingly lined up to make their commitments known to the Bulldogs. ESPN 300 wide receiver Uriah LeMay (Matthews, N.C./Butler) committed to Georgia on June 1. The 6-foot-2, 197-pound wideout picked the Bulldogs over Clemson, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech and Ohio State, among others. Two days later, another ESPN 300 receiver secured a spot, as Reggie Davis (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln) verbally committed. The 6-foot, 162-pound four-star prospect is considered one of the top deep threats in the always-loaded Sunshine State. Less than a week later the Bulldogs picked up their top outside linebacker target, Naim Mustafaa (Alpharetta, Ga./Alpharetta). It was a rare in-state battle for the 6-foot-4, 235-pound four-star, although SEC rival Tennessee continues its pursuit.

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On the surface it would appear that Reuben Foster’s (Auburn, Ala./Auburn) decommitment from Alabama and subsequent commitment to Auburn would mean little to Georgia. He wasn’t committed to the Bulldogs and still is not.

[+] EnlargeShaq Wiggins
Radi Nabulsi/ESPN.comLongtime UGA commit and hard-core recruiter Shaq Wiggins (right) is among the top recruits who say they'll commit to the same school as Reuben Foster.
However, he was trying to convince his best friend, safety Tray Matthews (Newnan, Ga./Newnan), to join him at Alabama and he will continue to try to pull Matthews with him to Auburn. Taking into consideration the fact that Matthews and Foster have a pact to play together in college and are working to extend that pact to include others, the Georgia coaches cannot be comfortable right now.

In speaking to Matthews briefly this afternoon, DawgNation asked whether the Foster news would change his commitment to Georgia. Matthews hesitated, then said, “Yes.”

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What Crowell's dismissal means for UGA 

June, 29, 2012
Back to square one for the Bulldogs. Last year, University of Georgia head coach Mark Richt needed to make a splash in recruiting. Coming off a six-win season in 2010 -- by far the worst of his tenure in Athens -- Richt needed an impact player at running back in the class. The Bulldogs were 73rd in the country in rushing, 10th in the SEC, but Richt was able to put the finishing touches on a top-five class -- one he dubbed the “Dream Team" -- by signing five-star running back and the top prospect in Georgia, Isaiah Crowell.

Friday, following an arrest on felony weapons charges, Crowell was dismissed from the team by Richt, ending Crowell’s career at Georgia after only one season and putting more pressure on his teammates to replace the SEC Freshman of the Year. The latest departure further depletes the overall talent on Georgia’s team, making the 2013 class even more important for the future of the program.

Big class coming in

Richt told DawgNation earlier this month that Georgia could sign up to 34 players in the 2013 class, reiterating a February story that stated the Bulldogs could sign more than 30, one of its biggest classes ever. While the ability to sign that many is dependent upon how much room Georgia has within the 85 scholarship limit come December, as it stands, it looks like that might not be much of an issue.

[+] EnlargeIsaiah Crowell
Dale Zanine/US PresswireIsaiah Crowell rushed for 850 yards and five touchdowns as a freshman.
Twelve seniors are on scholarship, 13 if long-snapper Ty Frix has his scholarship renewed. Several juniors could also leave early for the NFL, including quarterback Aaron Murray, offensive lineman Kenarious Gates, defensive lineman Kwame Geathers and linebackers Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree. That could leave Georgia with as few as 52 players on scholarship come February, meaning any additional attrition over the next eight months could provide the room to easily bring in 34 signees in 2013.

Roster casualties adding up

Attrition among the last three signing classes has put Georgia at a disadvantage in terms of roster depth, as Crowell’s departure leaves Georgia with only 70 players that arrived on campus as scholarship athletes. The Bulldogs signed 19 in 2012, 26 in 2011 and 19 in 2010, but only 50 of the 64 are on the team.

2012 linebacker signee Leonard Floyd (Eastman, Ga./Dodge County) still has a chance to qualify if he is able to pass a course this summer. Another signee, Under Armour All-American defensive lineman John Atkins (Thomson, Ga./Thomson), was deemed a non-qualifier earlier this week after failing to make the necessary score on his ACT. He is unlikely to enroll this fall.

Crowell’s departure is the sixth for the heralded 2011 class. Nick Marshall, Sanford Seay and Chris Sanders were dismissed in February after allegations of theft from teammates arose. Linebacker Kent Turene was unable to qualify via the NCAA Clearinghouse and enrolled at Marshall as a partial qualifier. Defensive lineman Chris Mayes did not qualify either and enrolled at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, but hopes to return in January.

Linebacker Demetre Baker, offensive lineman Brent Benedict, defensive lineman Jalen Fields, juco safety Jakar Hamilton, wide receiver Lonnie Outlaw and cornerback Derek Owens are no longer on the team from the 2010 class.

In 2002, Alabama, accused of double-digit major and minor violations surrounding the recruitment of prospect Albert Means, self-imposed a 15 scholarship reduction over three years. Georgia has now lost 14 signees during the last three years.

Early returns in recruiting

With only 16 of the 19 signees counting toward the 2012 class, Georgia is able to bring in up to nine early enrollees and count them backward. Luckily recruiting has been going very well for the Bulldogs so far in the 2013 cycle. With 19 commitments to date, the class of 2013 -- rated No. 5 in the country right now -- has double-digit prospects saying they plan to enroll in January. Quarterback Brice Ramsey (Kingsland, Ga./Camden Co.), offensive lineman Aulden Bynum (Valdosta, Ga./Valwood), offensive lineman Josh Cardiello (Buford, Ga./Buford), defensive lineman Chris Mayes (Griffin, Ga./East Mississippi Community College), linebacker Ryne Rankin (Orlando, Fla./East River), cornerback Steven Nelson (Warner Robins, Ga./College of the Sequoias), athlete Tramel Terry (Goose Creek S.C./Goose Creek) and athlete J.J. Green (Kingsland, Ga./Camden Co.) have all said they plan to enroll early at Georgia. Cornerback Reggie Wilkerson (Citra, Fla./North Marion), safety Tray Matthews (Newnan, Ga./Newnan) linebacker Reggie Carter (Snellville, Ga./South Gwinnett) and linebacker Naim Mustafaa (Alpharetta, Ga./Alpharetta) have said they are trying to enroll early in Athens as well. Cornerback Shaq Wiggins (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek) says he will find out in August if he will be able to enroll early.

Bad timing for Henry decommitment

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Peach State: Top Tier Recruiting Ground?
California, Florida and Texas are largely considered the "Big Three" in college football recruiting. But national recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton joins ESPN's Phil Murphy to explain why Georgia deserves to be in the top tier and has numbers to prove it.