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Post ’09 class gains steam before ’08 class even signs

Tuesday January 29, 2008

If you watched any of the Georgia high school playoffs in December, you no doubt noticed a trio of standout players for tiny Emanuel County Institute (ECI).  This school of just 500 was a 6-5 team just two years ago, but they’ve only lost one game in the past two seasons.  They brought home the school’s first state title in 2007, and the trio of rising seniors RB Washaun Ealey, LB Dexter Moody, and DT J.C. Lanier has had a lot to do with ECI’s recent success.

Two of those three became Georgia’s first commitments of the 2009 recruiting class on Monday.  Ealey, the first junior to be named the AJC’s player of the year in Georgia, and Moody made their commitments after Coach Richt and Coach Fabris extended offers during a visit last week.  Georgia hasn’t offered Lanier yet, but he’s definitely on the radar.

A third commitment broke on Monday evening:  Chestatee linebacker Chase Vasser gives the Dawgs two outside linebacker commitments in one day. 

Here’s the thing:  UGA doesn’t have a lot of room in next year’s recruiting class.  A full class of 25 in 2008 will bring the Dawgs right up against the 85 scholarship limit, and space is tight enough that Georgia is having to turn away four-star offensive tackles in the 11th hour.  If you look at the roster by class, there are only 14 seniors on next year’s team.  Even if you figure some attrition, maybe an early NFL entrant or two, and carry the one, it’s going to be tough to sign more than 20 in 2009.

So with today’s news of three commitments – well over a year before the 2009 signing period – Georgia looks to have at least 15% of its class on board.  It’s possible that one spot is already there for offensive tackle Bobby Massie, a 2008 prospect who is going the prep school route.  This quote from Vasser is telling:

“I saw (ECI linebacker) Dexter Moody committed and that is good and I was ready to join him. Coach Jancek told me if my scholarship was ever in jeopardy, then he would call me, so I thought I would call him first.”

Smart guy.  Georgia isn’t going to jeopardize scholarship offers twelve months before Signing Day, but the word seems to be out:  if you get a scholarship offer from Georgia and want to be a part of this program, you’d better jump on the opportunity.

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