As each bowl season comes and goes, many high school recruits continue to choose between colleges and universities in the hopes of one day playing for a living in the NFL. For many, the choices they make in high school permeate into a reality that chooses their fate in the football world. Fans cross their fingers and throw salt over their shoulders in hopes of landing the next football legend. With all of this going on at the same time, the rumor mill seems to pick up in the month of January as speculation about committing, recommitting, decommitting, etc. escalates the year round soap opera into a climax in early February. I am one of those guys who spends wait too much time researching where each player is going to end up in the hopes that the approaching season will always be a better one. And it only takes a cheap Counting Crows lyric after the Capital Bowl victory to think "maybe this year will be better than the last."
Enough about the nostalgia and blind hope. Let's talk about the scholarship issue and potential targets Georgia is still in the running for. If I understand Georgia's scholarship situation enough, I believe they don't have another scholarship left to offer. With 81 scholarships on the team and 13 departing players, that leaves 17 scholarships available to get back to 85. With 17 verbals so far, I'm not sure what this leaves for our remaining targets but if there is a chance I'm wrong, which is usually the case, here are the list of remaining targets in order of importance that Georgia would benefit greatly by signing.
Orson Charles: Georgia needs another tight end so why not go after arguably the most athletically gifted in the country? Sure, Arthur Lynch has great size and will hopefully be more consistent than Tripp Chandler, but I think Lynch is going to be more of a blocking tight end in the grand scheme of things. Don't quote me on it. I haven't seen him play and I hear he has great hands as a receiver. However, the ability to separate from the speed of the SEC may hinder his ability to create space. This is where Orson comes in. I saw him in the Army All-American Game on Saturday and I was impressed by what I saw - even though I did not see much in the box score. What I did see was a nice out-pattern to the sideline with great route-making and even greater hands. His form looks solid and his 4.5 forty seems legit, as well. His physique showed me he's ready to play college ball now and Georgia needs a player with this type of caliber who has the versatility to gain 25-30 pounds and play tight end as an extra receiver while also having the strength to move defensive linemen off the ball on running balls. He seems like a do-it-all kind of prospect that will frustrate defenses and prevent them from making adjustments at the line. With the speed of the SEC increasing with each recruiting class, programs can only go two ways to equalize it: recruit matching speed or find ways to slow the opposition down. I think Orson Charles can solve both sides of the equation. For that, he's at the top of my list.
Marlon Brown: After his 71 yard TD catch/run/fly/disappear last night in the all-star game, I'm high on this kid more than ever. He has great size at 6'5" 205 lbs and is listed as the best Athlete in the country. Who wouldn't want a player of his ability? Normally, I shrug off recruits such as this one because quite frankly, Georgia usually loses them to the Floridas, USCs, and LSUs of the world. However, we've had a ton of luck with the top recruits in the last few years and I hear, in fact, we are very high on his list as it seems to be a two-man race between Kiffin and Richt for his services. The only reason why I rated Brown just a tad lower than Charles was due to needs. After Mikey Moore's 2008 season and solid game against Michigan State on the first day of 2009, I'm convinced he is going to pick up where MoMass left off. Plus, Tavarres King, Kris Durham, Israel Troupe, Rantavious Wooten, will add the extra depth the Dawgs needed to prevent defenders from focusing solely on AJ Green. No doubt though Marlon Brown would be an unbelievable addition to this program and could supplant himself as the no. 2 option by midseason if he chooses to play for the Dawgs.
Greg Reid: Is he the no. 1 player in the state or no. 12? Sometimes I don't get these recruiting services that evaluate players based on limited knowledge and an edited promo video that only shows the good things a player did rather than the boneheaded mistakes and the little things that really make a good football player. Because of the inconsistency in information I've received, I don't know where Greg Reid falls. Based on the information I read about from the all-star game is he is more impressive than Branden Smith. If that is the case, he's my no. 1 target and any compliment to Smith will immediately get my attention. But he's listed at 5'9" 170lbs and I'm not sure if Georgia needs another small defender for these increasingly tall receivers that are coming into the league. I've heard he runs a 4.3 forty which is very impressive though and I also heard he has the energy and swagger to dominate his opposition. Plus, he decommitted from Florida which scores a ton of points for me right there. I saw two interceptions in last nights Under Armour game that convinced me he will be a major contributor to the future of the program. Branden Smith and Greg Reid on the same side of the field sounds scary right now.
Montez Robinson: I'll admit, I don't know much about him because he's from Indiana, committed to Auburn if I'm not mistaken, and has only picked up serious interest since Tuberville resigned. Still, he's a defensive end, looks like he's big enough to contribute immediately, and everyone knows in Bulldawg Nation how badly we need one. So, with that being said, he's high on my list of targets because of the position, his talent, and his serious interest in UGA. If we land him, we'll have a very strong depth chart at the DE position.
Jarvis Jones: What's it going to take to get Jarvis Jones in Red & Black? A rap album? His own TV show? A ring from our win over Vanderbilt (okay, bad jab at Georgia Tech)? Seriously, he sounds like a prima donna with this "surprise" he has in store on signing day but he looked pretty good in the all-star game and seems like a future force at linebacker. As cocky as he seems, I can't ignore the talent he could bring to A-town. The in-state recruits always intrigue me because the state is so deep in talent that if the Dawgs can keep most, if not all, the top recruits in Georgia, they could compete for national championships every year. The state is that good and Jarvis Jones would be yet another piece of the in-state puzzle that would bring Athens closer to being a national title town.
A few more outside targets: Jacobbi McDaniel is a new name I'm hearing. A five-star commit for Florida State is rumored to be in the mix for Georgia. Don't put too much stock in it though because FSU is a tough school to take recruits. Still, another 5-star DT certainly wouldn't hurt as one can never have too many. Rueben Randle is still on the Dawgs list but the chances of reeling him in are less than 5 percent. It's still nice to see Georgia crack the top 10 for the top player in the country. Bobbie Massie has his list down to Alabama and Georgia but I don't see him making the cut at this point even if he tried to commit today. I think he's fallen into the Zebrie Zone by waiting too long to commit. I think he'll end up at Alabama by default and personally, I think the offensive line needs were addressed quickly in this class.