Look ahead: UGA positions of need

2/5/2012 - College Football

The Georgia Bulldogs might not have signed as many prospects as they would have liked in the Class of 2012, but the group ranked at No. 5 in that nation nonetheless, because the players signed were valuable additions to positions of need. The 19 signees included six ESPNU 150 members, one five-star recruit and nine four-star targets, giving the Bulldogs a lot of highly rated prospects on both sides of the ball.

Georgia coach Mark Richt wanted to avoid a repeat of the backfield issues of 2011, so he targeted and signed two of the best from the Tarheel State in five-star Keith Marshall (Raleigh, N.C./Millbrook) and four-star Todd Gurley (Tarboro, N.C./Tarboro). The Bulldogs needed to replace starters at both offensive tackle spots, so Georgia signed John Theus (Jacksonville, Fla./Bolles), the top offensive lineman from Florida, and an athletic juco lineman, Mark Beard (Adamsville, Ala./Coffeyville, Kan., CC). They also addressed the graduation of former Ray Guy Award winner Drew Butler and Lou Groza finalist Blair Walsh early on, adding Marshall Morgan (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./American Heritage) and Collin Barber (Cartersville, Ga./Cartersville) before the season began.

While many areas were addressed on signing day, heading into next season there are several positions that will have to be heavily focused on for the 2013 class. Graduation and attrition could leave the Bulldogs razor thin at several positions, meaning Georgia will need to once again target prospects who are ready to come in and earn immediate playing time.