The Georgia Bulldogs are usually near the top of the recruiting rankings with some of the top rated talent in the country. 2006 was no different with the additions of Matt Stafford and Knowshon Moreno, both first round draft picks last year.
2007 was a little bit of a drop off for UGA, but the Bulldogs still reeled in a nice class led by Rennie Curran who is off to the NFL next season.
To get some more insight into those classes and Georgia's recruiting in general, I contacted Senator Blutarsky at Get The Picture.
Q: UGA had two 5 star guys in the 2006 class in Reshad Jones and Matt Stafford. Where would you rate these guys now four years later?
A: From the standpoint of pure physical talent, Matt was the most gifted quarterback I've seen suit up for Georgia and Reshad would be in the top ten of defensive backs. I think both lived up to their recruiting rankings - but it would have been nice to see what each could have done in their senior seasons.
Q: UGA had only 3 star recruits in above in '06, but who do you think really surprised with their performance?
A: Geno Atkins was the three-star recruit who really stepped it up on the college level.
Q: Who was the biggest disappointment of the 2006 class?
A: [Akeem] Hebron and [Darius] Dewberry never lived up to their five-star billing.
Q: How will you remember that 2006 class?
A: As Knowshon's and Matt's class. The class you wish everyone had come back for their senior seasons.
Q: Caleb King was the headliner of the 2007 class. Does he still have a chance to live up to his high billing?
A: The key for Caleb will be staying healthy for an entire season. It wouldn't hurt if the offensive line stayed in place for the season, too.
Q: Who are some guys from the '07 class that could have a breakout year this coming season?
A: If after two lost seasons, staying healthy and starting all year can count as "breakout", Triton Sturdivant qualifies. In the more traditional sense, I look for Justin Houston to build on last year and really explode in the new 3-4 defense. And if Justin Anderson would play more consistently, he could be a monster on the offensive line.
Q: Alot of teams like to recruit the state of Georgia. Who do you think is UGA's biggest rival for in state talent?
A: Auburn, traditionally. But Alabama under Saban has been stepping it up noticeably.
Q: When the Bulldogs do go out of state, where do they like to recruit the most?
A: Relatively speaking, the Dawgs don't do that much out of state recruiting, but I would say that Florida and South Carolina are the states that get most of the attention when they do.
Q: And with this most recent class of 2010, who are you most excited about?
A: Jakar Hamilton. He comes in as a player with a big JUCO rep at a position of need.
My Thoughts on UGA Recruiting:
Georgia has one of the best recruiting positions in the country being the dominate team in a state that puts out the fourth most prospects. The top three states all have way more than two FBS schools to contend with.
That being said, UGA has allowed many neighboring schools to come into the recruiting territory and steal some of the better prospects. Even Georgia Tech with its recent success has been able to nab a prospect or two. This was most evident in 2007 when Georgia fell down a little in the rankings.
The 2006 class led Georgia to a preseason number one ranking and if the two big stars had stayed one more year who knows what could have happened this year.
Some will blame the 2007 class for the disappointing seasons the last two years, but most of it still has one more year to build a legacy. I think some guys on defense could benefit from the switch to a 3-4 and the offensive line has a chance to build on a great end of 2009.
Thanks again to Sen. Blutarsky at Get The Picture for his insight.
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