September 26, 2012

Recruiting Q&A

From adhartman: Given what we currently have on campus, if you could take just one back out of this class (within reason), who would it be?JR: "I have made it no secret that I am a huge fan of American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.) running back Greg Bryant. I love his balance, burst, strength, and vision. With that said, Norcross running back Alvin Kamara would be at the top of my list considering what UGA already has on campus.

"Todd Gurley has a great combination of size, speed, and power, and Keith Marshall has been more of a complete back than most thought he would be at this point. Ken Malcome also gives you a power back that can get tough yardage.

"Kamara is the perfect compliment to those backs and an Army All American scout told me last week that Kamara is SEC ready from the waste down. He can split out and catch passes, he can carry it between the tackles, and he can provide help in the return game. Simply put, I believe he has the chance to be special as a playmaker."

From dawgjax: How would you rank Leonard Floyd and John Akins as prospects if they were in the 2013 class?

JR: "I think that both should be four-star players. I think Atkins is the better player at this point because of his size, strength, and ability to play with solid leverage, but I think Floyd has big time ability too.

"The thing that impresses me most about Floyd is his length and flexibility. I was also told last week by one of my contacts in Dodge County, where Floyd is from, that he is up to 235 pounds. That is good news for a prospect that was only 215 pounds last season."

From FlatswaterDawg: In your opinion, does UGA have to miss on (Toby) Johnson and/or (Montravius) Adams in order to allow Griffin to commit? Does it hinge on one of those guys? Both of those guys?

JR: "While I don't think the ship has sailed with Griffin, I do think that UGA would have to miss on one of those guys before they would accept a commitment. The problem there is that neither Johnson nor Adams plan to decide any time soon. I believe that if Georgia is going to get Griffin, they need to turn up the heat soon."

From FlatswaterDawg: Do you feel with the emergence of (Cordarrelle) Patterson at UT, that they now have (Jonathan) Rumph locked up? Is UGA still in the race here or on the outside looking in? Also, would UGA take both Rumph AND North at this point? Which of the two would you prefer?

JR: "I don't think that Patterson's fast start in 2012 would have a big affect on Rumph. I think the fact that Tennessee could lose both Patterson and Justin Hunter to the NFL draft could be appealing for Rumph, but I'm told he likes the same thing at Georgia with Tavarres King and Marlon Brown being seniors. Georgia is definitely in the thick of it with Rumph with Tennessee and Mississippi State in the mix.

"As for taking both Rumph and Marquez North, I think Georgia would take both if they could get them right now, but a lot can happen between now and the time either decide."

From FlatswaterDawg: What would you expect UGA to do if they missed on all three of (Laremy) Tusil, Adams, and (Toby) Johnson?

JR: "Cry?

"All kidding aside, I think it would be a huge disappointment for UGA to miss on all three, and I believe that Georgia is in great shape for Tunsil and Johnson at this point.

"If they missed on all three, you would probably see them go after guys like DeVondre Seymour (North Gwinnett) or Delando Crooks (Carver-Atlanta) at offensive tackle. They could also go after Griffin or try and flip Vanderbilt Jay Woods (Jackson County) at defensive tackle.

"Regardless of whom they go after, it would be a disaster to lose all of them. No other way to frame it.

From FlatswaterDawg: Provided UGA finished this years recruiting cycle how you expect them to, what will their biggest recruiting needs be next year?

JR: "I believe one of the top positions of need for Georgia in the 2014 class will be outside linebacker. They will be looking for a few edge rushers to provide depth, and they'll have the success of Jarvis Jones to help them recruit the position.

"Other than that position, I don't see another position where they need to take a high number of players. There are certain guys out there that they would love to lock down like Liberty County linebacker Raekwon McMillan, Martin Luther King defensive back Wesley Green, and Walton defensive back D.J. Smith.

"I'm sure offensive line will probably be an emphasis as well, but there aren't many 2014 prospects that stand out at the position."

From echm20x2: How much have you seen of the 2014 guys and when do you think you'll have a list of the top players in GA next year?

JR: "I have seen a large number of the 2014 recruits in Georgia and it looks to be a very strong class. I won't put out a list of the top prospects until well after Rising Seniors this December. I may do a list right after that, but I might decide to wait until after spring practice."

From dawgfan: Given the success of Gurley and Marshall, and Malcome being a sophomore, I'm frankly surprised we would be in the race for a top running back. And look at Alabama who is similarly stocked, but who is recruiting many of the same recruits. How aware, and how much do recruited backs care about what's on a team's roster? Do you think most kids are just looking for the school that wants them the most and that they just flat out like?"

JR: "I'm sure that the success of Gurley and Marshall doesn't help much, but I don't think it hurts much either. Running backs like the idea that Georgia only has three scholarship players at the position, and they also see how Georgia spreads the wealth back there.

"In the end, players do tend to go where they have built the strongest relationships. Look no further than Marshall and Gurley. Both signed with Georgia because they had built strong relationships with Bryan McClendon and each other.

"Also keep in mind that each school has an individual plan for how they are recruiting a player. Neither Georgia nor Alabama are going to recruit Kamara as a guy who is going to sit behind their other backs. They are going to recruit him to use his strengths to compliment their current backs.

From dawg416: Given what you see as needs for this class, how do you feel about it on a talent basis from Georgia's perspective? In other words, are needs being met with sufficient talent in your mind for Georgia to be successful in upcoming years given the competition level? Is/are there a particular position(s), that are a concern if the class ends up as you project today?

JR: "I think Georgia is doing a very good job of meeting needs with talented players in this class. There are a few guys who are going to take some time to develop like Valwood offensive lineman Aulden Bynum and possible Northgate defensive lineman DeAndre Johnson, but I also believe there are some guys who have flown under the radar and will be very good.

"Lincoln (Tallahassee, Fla.) wide receiver Reggie Davis is a four-star guy but doesn't get much attention. I really like his speed and play making ability. Swainsboro wide receiver Rico Johnson is another guy who I think can help Georgia a lot down the road.

"Overall, I see this class as a success thus far, but Georgia must close strong with targets along the defensive line, offensive line, and running back for it to be considered a great class. Tunsil, Adams, and Johnson are all huge targets that UGA needs to land in the end."

From kvishkhetidan: How would you describe the way Greg Bryant projects to fit with the current stable of backs the Dawgs have? Would he be the most all-around of them all? Would he be a back that you would want in for almost any game situation (not talking about pass protection here)? Do you think he'd be the shiftiest runner through traffic?

JR: "While I believe Gurley and Marshall both catch the ball well out of the backfield, I think Bryant is a better receiver than either of those two.

"I don't think he is more of an all-around back than Marshall or Gurley, but more of a shorter, stockier type back that can run with power and balance. Bryant can do every thing well, and he is a guy who has shown at the high school level that he can handle a ton of carries.

"Right now, he is around 200 pounds, so he might not be able to handle a large number carries in the SEC just yet, but that ability is something that appeals to a lot of teams.

"I do think he is more of a slashing style running back than either Marshall or Gurley. He does a good job of starting, stopping and hesitating to work through traffic."

From ugamoss: For 2014. Jake how are we looking for Dashawn Hand, Raekwon McMillan, Shaq Davidson? And also do you think we have a major focus on the defense in next year's class?

JR: "Georgia is a team that isn't mentioned much with Hand. I don't see Georgia as a real contender there.

"McMillan has Georgia in his top two with Ohio State, and while the Buckeyes have continued to impress him, Georgia is right there as well. At this point, I think that Ohio State has the upper hand, but I think that in the long run UGA is the team to beat.

"I haven't been able to get much information on Davidson, but from what I have been told by those who have spent time and interviewed him, Georgia and South Carolina are two of his favorites. He is a big time prospect at the wide receiver position, and Georgia looks to be in pretty good shape.

"I don't think there is going to be a huge focus on the defense next year because it has been such a big focus in the 2013 class. The 2014 class has a chance to be a very balanced class for Georgia where they can take a few prospects at almost every position rather than stockpile at a particular spot."

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