February 6, 2008

All signed up

Tight end Dwayne Allen did an about face on the Bulldogs Wednesday, signing instead with Clemson after saying Monday he would play for the Bulldogs.

Still, Georgia's 2008 signing class appears to be one of the Bulldogs' deepest in a number of years.

Case in point:

Of Georgia's 24 signees with Georgia, two - wide receiver A.J. Green and running back Richard Samuel - are rated 5-star prospects by Rivals.com, with 14 4-star and eight 3-star performers rounding out the talented group.

In other words, the new talent that is being injected into the Georgia football program should help keep the Bulldogs among the SEC's elite for the foreseeable future.
Green should help the Bulldogs as soon as next year.

The nation's second-ranked receiver according to Rivals.com, Green (6-4, 184) hauled in 72 passes for 1,437 yards and 15 touchdowns for Summerville (S.C.) High after a junior season with 65 grabs for 1,203 yards and 14 scores.

With the losses of Sean Bailey and Mikey Henderson to Georgia's receiving corps, Green will have the opportunity to step right in and compete for playing time.

Running backs Samuel (165 carries, 1,429 yards, 24 touchdowns at Cass HS) and Dontavius Jackson (247 carries, 2,462 yards as a junior at Heard County HS) will also get their shots.
The graduation of Thomas Brown and Kregg Lumpkin opens up a couple of spots behind starter Knowshon Moreno and Caleb King. Both Samuel (a 5-star performer from Cartersville) and Jackson, a 4-star performer, will both have the opportunity to make an early impression.

Both players enrolled in school early and will go through spring practice with the rest of their teammates, including fellow early enrollees and signees Akeem Hebron, offensive lineman Ben Jones and wide receiver Tavarres King.

Jones is another player who will have a chance at early playing time.

Georgia needs a starting center following the graduation of Fernando Velasco, and Jones is one of the players who has been mentioned as a possible replacement, along with starting left guard Chris Davis, redshirt freshman Ben Harden, and Kevin Perez.

Kicker Blair Walsh will get a chance to win the starting job after the graduation of Brandon Coutu.

Other players to watch include defensive lineman DeAngelo Tyson (Statesboro) defensive lineman A.J. Harmon (Louisville), defensive end Toby Jackson (Griffin), linebacker Marcus Dowtin (Fork Union, Va.), running back Carlton Thomas (Frostproof, Fla.), defensive back Sanders Commings (Augusta) and defensive end Cornelius Washington (Waynesboro) are other players who could compete for early playing time.

Counting Jones and Harmon (who also played offensive line in high school but is expected to get a shot on defense at UGA), Georgia signed four for the offensive line, including Riverdale's Cordy Glenn (6-6, 315) and Jonathan Owens (6-5, 295) from Blountsville, Ala.

The secondary was also a priority, and along with Commings, Georgia signed Brandon Boykin (Fayetteville, Ga.), Makiri Pugh (Charlotte), along with Xavier Avery (Ellenwood) and Bacarri Rambo (Donalsonville).

A highly-touted baseball prospect, Avery is expected to be an early selection in next June's Major League Baseball Draft.

Along with Hebron and Dowtin, the Bulldogs also inked two other linebackers, Norcross High's Christian Robinson and Nick Williams from Bainbridge.

Williams, incidentally, was told recently by offensive coordinator Mike Bobo that he would get to learn about 20 plays as Georgia's fourth-team quarterback.

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