Monday, January 24, 2011

Late Recruiting Rundown: ***BIG WEEKEND*** in Athens

With the recruiting season rolling to a close, the Dawgs are looking to make a late surge for some of the top prospects in the country. This weekend's slate of scheduled visitors was no less than an all-star cast of must-gets for Mark Richt. Those of you recruitniks reading this article know what I'm talking about, but with all the rumors and innuendo circling it becomes a little hard to make sense of everything. Your neighborhood friendly Marty has set out to help you do just that this fine Monday morning.

So sit right back and hear a tale, a tale of a of a fateful trip....

To Athens, GA. 

From the best I can tell, there were five recruits on campus this weekend. We all know who the most obvious were- RB Isaiah Crowell of Carver, Georgia commit Quintavious Harrow (also of Carver), NT John Jenkins of Gulf Coast Community College, and LB Kent Turene of Ft. Lauderdale. A surprise visitor also made the trip down from Nashville, TN. That just so happened to be OT Antonio Richardson, who is a four-star recruit and is a top-100 guy according to Rivals. 

First off I'll start with the recruit I heard the least about over the weekend.

Much to my disappointment, I haven't heard a peep out of Isaiah Crowell's corner. There was, however a huge, "I-sa-iah, I-sa-iah, I-sa-iah" chant coming from the student section at least twice on Saturday. Add to that a few young ladies with posters reading "We (heart) U Isaiah!" strategically positioned themselves in the aisle above all of the recruits that attended the basketball game for about 5 minutes. This promptly got his attention. While I haven't heard anything to confirm this, I think it's pretty obvious that the Dawgs lead for Crowell. There's no doubting that there's a lot of love for him in Athens and I think he's gonna end up staying in the state. 

John Jenkins also got a cheer and poster of his own Saturday at the Stegasaurus. He's definitely feeling the love in Athens as well. He maintains that all teams are still on even footing, but I think he's also going to end up being a Dawg. Jenkins has one more visit planned to UF and will decide on his college destination the weekend after NSD, so our class may not end up being complete next Wednesday. He has said a few times that he and Ray Drew have become friends and would like to play together in college, which is another reason I feel good about him. More on this in a few minutes. 

Current (perhaps) USC commit Kent Turene has been the topic of much recruiting speculation lately. Check the tweet from Scout's Chad Simmons late last week:

From all indications Turene loved his visit. Several current UGA commitments and a few other people have posited that Turene loved his visit so much that he committed on Saturday. Those who believe these heavy rumors think that UGA coaches have told him to remain silent with his commitment until Signing Day because of the situation the Dawgs currently have with numbers (21 commits, 26-27 spots). Despite these reports, Turene maintained that he is still committed to USC in an interview with Simmons yesterday ($$$). While I generally don't believe message board speak, I'm fairly confident that this rumor is true and Turene committed Saturday. If so, this is a huge pickup for the Dawgs. He's only rated as a 3-star by Rivals, but just check his highlights below and offer list above. You don't get offers from Florida, Florida State, Miami, LSU, and USC without being pretty good.

The most interesting visit came this weekend from Tennessee's No. 1 player, OT Antonio Richardson. From what I understand, Georgia has not been heavily recruiting Richardson as it was believed he was a pretty solid lean to stay in state and play for the Vols. The story is (per Radi of UGASports) that Richardson's coach called Richt and asked if we still had room for his player and his offer was still committable. After checking and determining that it was, Richardson said he wanted to visit and headed to Athens on Friday. Reports claim he was wowed by the visit. But why did this visit happen in the first place?


Richardson, Ray Drew, and another player (who I'll mention later) met each other down in San Antonio for the Army All-American game. Apparently they formed a very close bond and talked to one another at length about the schools they were interested in . In a video done by UGASports ($$$), Richardson talks about who is his biggest recruiter to UGA. That just so happened to be Mr. Drew and a current commit of Yabo Dabo Doo's at Clemson. The unnamed person I referenced above was 4-star former UF DE commitment Jeoffery Pagan of Asheville, North Carolina. The video is a must see if you're a Dawg fan and have a Rivals account, by the way.

While I don't know if I believe all of this, it would certainly be exciting for Dawgs out there if it is more than just rumor. 

If all of this is true, this would indicate that the Dawgs could ***potentially*** close with:

1. Isaiah Crowell, 5-star, #4 RB, #23 Overall
2. Ray Drew, 5-star, #2 DE, #9 Overall
3. Kent Turene, 3-star, #18 ILB
4. Jeoffrey Pagan, 4-star, #4 DE, #42 Overall
5. Antonio Richardson, 4-star, #7 OT, #74 Overall
6. Johnathan Jenkins, 4-star, #3 DT, #6 JUCO Overall

While I don't think that the Dawgs will reel in all of these guys, I think there is at least a chance. I haven't felt like we'd get many guys that were NSD decisions, but for some reason I feel really good this year. If Mark Richt did somehow convince these guys to come and play in Athens, I'd be completely amazed. That class would consist of EIGHT of the top-100 recruits in the country according to I don't think many people could argue that it wouldn't be the greatest recruiting class in UGA history and maybe the best in the nation this year.

***Please do not assume that I have said that UGA will definitely get any of these guys. It's silly to assume that at this point.***

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