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Post Signing Day – first impressions

Wednesday February 4, 2009

Signing Day has mostly come and gone, though there are still a few big undecideds out there. Georgia currently has eighteen signees which is second only to 2005 as the smallest class in the Richt era. The Bulldogs’ attrition from seniors and NFL-bound underclassmen was relatively small but still significant. Of course the real value of the class won’t be known for years, but there are still some initial impressions about the group as a whole after a long day.


  • Quality. Even though it’s a relatively small class, Georgia still has one of the top 10 recruiting classes in the nation. The late addition of someone like Orson Charles could boost that ranking even higher.
  • Zero defections. All of Georgia’s verbal commitments ended up signing with the Dawgs.
  • Needs met. It was hairy for a while, but the signing of Marlon Brown gave Georgia two receivers and filled one of Georgia’s bigger needs. The all-important quarterback position is solid, there were some nice additions to the defensive backfield, and the interior offensive line is stout.
  • Impact players. Though the Dawgs are no longer in the spot of needing immediate help along the lines, there will be opportunities for newcomers to make an immediate impact. Receiver and defensive back are two of those positions, and Marlon Brown and Branden Smith fit the bill perfectly.


  • Needs not met. Though overall Georgia got a lot of help where they needed it, there were a couple of holes. Montez Robinson was a big pickup at defensive end, but he was the only end signed after Toby Jackson failed to qualify out of prep school. Austin Long was the only offensive tackle signed, and if you doubt that’s a position of need, look at the juggling that occurred once Sturdivant went down last year.
  • Academics. Georgia already lost one high-profile commitment (Jackson) due to academic issues, and an already small class could be further reduced later in the summer as high school grades are finalized.
  • Closing the borders. Six of the top ten and 13 of the top 20 prospects in the state left Georgia. The good news is that the seven who did remain in state all chose Georgia. If it helps, the Dawgs did sign the top two prospects in Tennessee – a nice welcome for Lane Kiffin as he begins to target the state of Georgia.
  • Tilted to the offense. Branden Smith excepted, it seems as if more of the marquee players in the class were on the offensive side of the ball. Though there will almost surely be big contributors down the road among the defensive signees, a defense that needs to take a big step forward in 2009 will have to rely mainly upon returning players for that improvement. On the bright side, there is some impressive firepower being stockpiled by the Georgia offense.

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