- Radi Nabulsi, Reporter, DawgNation
The Georgia coaching staff wanted to have at least 10 players enroll in January so the prospects could get a head start on their academics and go through spring camp. The Bulldogs have plenty of room thanks to graduation, transfers and dismissals.
But two players that defensive coordinator Todd Grantham expected to see in the Athens after the new year will not be enrolling until much later. Defensive end John Atkins and outside linebacker Leonard Floyd needed permission from the dean at Hargrave Military Academy to leave before classes ended to enroll at Georgia. They did not get it.
“The dean did not let us out in time so we will enroll in May,” Atkins told DawgNation in a text.
Both players, along with their coach, had met with the dean prior to leaving for Christmas break and Atkins thought they would be allowed to leave early. Hargrave holds its semester exams in mid-January while Georgia’s spring semester starts Jan. 7.
“He gave us good news and we both will enroll on time,” Atkins said on Dec. 18.
Eight days later the news is not so good. Atkins did not say what had changed but had indicated in early December that the dean was "not budging."
Georgia has already missed having two junior college safeties enroll early. Kennar Johnson (Clermont, Fla./Mississippi Gulf Coast) and Shaq Fluker (Meridian, Miss./East Mississippi) are both committed to the Bulldogs and originally planned to report in January. Fluker learned in October that he would not enroll early and Johnson has yet to receive a letter of intent from Georgia that would allow him to sign and report. The issue with Johnson appears to be that he must appeal to be a mid-year enrollee, but Johnson has not confirmed that news yet.
The Bulldog secondary is thin to start with, and the graduation of Bacarri Rambo and Shawn Williams will make the safety positions a priority in the spring. Having Johnson and Fluker report early would have been a huge step in addressing the depth issue.
With Atkins and Floyd now hoping to arrive in the summer, they will not be considered part of the 2012 class with which they originally signed, but rather part of the Class of 2013.
3dTom VanHaaren and Erik McKinney