2012: Top 20 in Georgia

The state of Georgia will produce well over 100 Division I signees in 2012, but who are the best of the best early on? Find out right here.

Scout stays on the road, watches a lot of film, and has been to numerous camps over the past 12 months, so a number of juniors have emerged in the Peach State.

After looking everything over, here is an early top 20 in order.

2012 Top 20
Jordan Jenkins – 6-3/235 – DE – Harris County
Scout's Take: Jenkins is explosive off the ball and his quickness and toughness allows him to pressure the quarterback often from his defensive end position. He has continued to get bigger and he could play rush end or stand up at outside linebacker on the next level. He is very athletic and he plays with a lot of energy. Jenkins rarely came off the field in 2010 and was always around the ball. He is such a freakish athlete with a great work ethic.
Recruiting: A number of schools have already offered Jenkins and he currently favors Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia Tech, and Tennessee. Al five have offered.

Geno Smith – 5-11/170 – CB – St. Pius
Scout's Take: It is hard to find better cover corners than Smith. He is long, he has a smooth back pedal, he breaks on the ball well, and he has shown the ability to make good tackles in space. He still can add some weight and work on his jams at the line of scrimmage, but he will be one of the best in the South in 2012. Overall, he is projected to be a guy on the next level that can really own one side of the field.
Recruiting: Auburn was first to offer Smith and they have been at or near the top since. Georgia is right there with Auburn early and it looks like it could come down to those two in the end. Florida, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and others have also offered.

Deion Bonner – 5-11/185 – S – Carver-Columbus
Scout's Take: Bonner is the next top recruit out of Carver and he follows guys like Isaiah Crowell and Gabe Wright. Bonner is a gifted athlete with the size and skills to play corner or safety on the next level. He is solid in both coverage and run support. He is a physical player with good closing speed and ball skills.
Recruiting: Offers started arriving for Bonner when he was a sophomore. Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee among others have offered and as of right now, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Miami are the schools he is interested in the most with Auburn and Clemson in it as well.

Greyson Lambert – 6-5/190 – QB – Wayne County
Scout's Take: Lambert is one of those quarterbacks that shows flashes of brilliance at times that makes you think about what he could be a few years down the road. He reminds me of a young Zach Mettenberger in terms of arm strength, mechanics, height, and just the way he throws the ball around. Lambert needs to get stronger, add weight, improve footwork, and work on his awareness, but he has the tools to be one of the best passers in America.

Recruiting: Alabama was first to offer and Clemson has since made the junior a target in 2012. He is drawing interest from schools all over the place and will pick up many more offers. He has been to both Tuscaloosa and Death Valley already and enjoyed both places.

Josh Clemons – 6-5/205 – LB – Lowndes
Scout's Take: Clemons is a versatile athlete that can do a lot of things well on the football field. Where I like him best is at outside linebacker. He can rush the quarterback off the edge, he plays in space well, and he does a good job of containing the edge against the run. He still needs to add a good bit of weight, but he has a long frame that can easily carry another 30-40 pounds.
Recruiting: Florida was first to offer Clemons and Georgia followed shortly thereafter. Miami was third and Florida State offered not too long ago. Georgia has taken an early lead with FSU likely second on his list.

Vadal Alexander – 6-5/325 – OL – Buford
Scout's Take: Alexander was one of the top offensive linemen in Georgia a year ago when he was only a sophomore on one of the best coached teams in America. He had a set-back this year when he came down with a viral infection that caused him to miss half of the 2010 season, but he is back on the field and working to get back to his 2009 form. When at his best, he is a road grader and although he has the size to cause most to think tackle, he may be best at guard on the next level.
Recruiting: Alexander was offered by a number of schools as a sophomore. Some of those were Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, and South Carolina. He is originally from Louisiana and he still has family in that state, so LSU is a school he likes a lot as well as the Georgia Bulldogs. He is really open to all at this time.

Ricky Parks – 6-4/225 – TE – Callaway
Scout's Take: What an athlete Parks is. He is playing quarterback this season for Coach Wiggins and he not only can get yards with his legs, but he can throw a nice spiral too. Quarterback will not be his primary position on the next level, but I would not be surprised to see a "Wildcat" package put in for him. He will play tight end in college where he will really excel. He catches the ball well, he has great size, he is physical, and he can run.
Recruiting: Parks has offers from Clemson, Florida, and South Carolina at this time, but I expect that list to grow rapidly in the coming months. He has a lot of interest in both Alabama and Auburn along with the schools that have offered him at this time.

Leonard Floyd – 6-5/223 – DE/OLB – Dodge County
Scout's Take: Floyd is one of those athletes that does everything for his high school team. He scored touchdowns on offense, defense, and special teams as a junior and while UGA has mentioned offense to him, I feel he will end up as an outside linebacker or weakside defensive end. He reminds me a lot of a Cornelius Washington type, but more athletic. Floyd has the frame to carry 250-260 pounds and he can really run. He has very good range, he needs to work on his strength and his play at the point of attack, but he is great in space and very athletic.
Recruiting: Alabama and Georgia are the only two schools to offer Floyd at this time, but that will change. He says both schools are tied at the top of his list right now. He has been on both campuses, he has met both staffs, and he likes each school. In the end though, Georgia could be tough to beat.

Jordan Watkins – 6-5/265 – DE/DT – Woodward Academy
Scout's Take: Watkins has really taken his game to another level in 2010. After working hard in the off season and adding around 20 pounds to his frame, he has moved into the top 10 for 2012. He is a very versatile defensive lineman too that stays very active with his hands. He can move well laterally, he has a number of moves off the ball, and he could play inside or outside on the next level. That will depend on the scheme he plays in. He can still play a little high and he needs to continue to develop strength, but I like his upside.
Recruiting: Over 10 schools have offered Watkins including Notre Dame and Penn State here recently. Georgia Tech was the school he followed early on and they have offered as well. He said he is wide open right now.

Dakota Ball – 6-3/285 – DT – Pepperell
Scout's Take: Ball was one that burst onto the scene early and made a big splash as a freshman, so expectations have been high for him. He had an injury during his sophomore season and he bounced back to have a solid season as a junior. He could end up as a nose guard or offensive guard on the next level. That will depend on him more than anything. He is a big body that has good feet, and he could end up on either side of the ball on the next level.
Recruiting: Committed to Alabama.

Jonathan Taylor – 6-5/308 – DT – Jenkins County
Scout's Take: Taylor is a lot like Ball, but Ball is better in the technique department. Taylor is a raw defensive lineman with a lot of potential. He looks about 270 pounds and he is weighing close to 310 pounds right now. He bench presses over 430 pounds at 16 years old and he moves very well for his size. Right now, he relies on his size and strength to make plays, so he is not as dominant or as consistent as he could be, but he has a lot of room to develop.
Recruiting: Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, and Tennessee have offered at this time and Taylor is wide open.

Dillon Lee – 6-4/222 – LB – Buford
Scout's Take: Lee is another star out of Buford that will be at minimum a top regional recruit. He is a versatile athlete that plays inside linebacker, outside linebacker, and tight end right now. He spent time at fullback as well in 2009 and he is a very tough football player. His body really taken off and he is long, fluid, and he plays good in space. He really plays within himself and under control and he makes it look like slow motion at times. His film is about as impressive as you will see and I look for him to be a highly recruited outside linebacker in 2012.
Recruiting: Clemson, Miami, North Carolina, and South Carolina have offered with many other schools showing interest including Alabama and Georgia. His older brother Dallas Lee is currently a redshirt freshman at UGA, but Dallas is open to everyone at this time.

Kenyan Drake – 6-1/185 – RB – Hillgrove
Scout's Take: Drake is another one of these prospects that caught our attention during his freshman season and he has only gotten better since. He has moved from a triple-option offense into a spread system this season and the spread really lets Drake showcase his skills. He has a great burst out of the backfield, he has great top end speed, and he has wide receiver like hands as well. He could be used as a receiver or running back on the next level with the combination of his size and skills. At running back, he can run a little better behind his pads and lower to the ground, but he is still the best in the state of Georgia at this time.
Recruiting: Georgia Tech is the only school to offer Drake surprisingly, but that will change. He has a lot of tools that will attract a lot of schools his way.

Quinteze Williams – 6-5/259 – OT – Sandy Creek
Scout's Take: Williams is one of those kids that I have seen grow physically and mentally as a football player over the past couple of years. He has that body that will attract a lot of coaches because he is tall, he has long arms, and he has the frame to add a lot of good weight. He has spent time at defensive tackle, defensive end, offensive tackle, and tight end. I feel he has the ability to be an elite offensive tackle on the next level. He has shown me in camps his great feet, great balance, how he can use those long arms to his advantage, and how he can pick up that position well.
Recruiting: Tennessee offered Williams this week and he also has offers from Auburn, Florida State, Louisville, Kentucky, and Ole Miss. I expect his list to grow as we get into 2011. Auburn has taken the early lead for Williams.

C.J. Curry – 6-2/190 – WR/S – North Hall
Scout's Take: Curry is a very good looking athlete and he could end up at safety or wide receiver on the next level. He has the body and ability to play either well. As a wide receiver, he catches the ball with his hands well and he knows he can overpower corners. As a safety, he is a big hitter and he has good ball skills. The biggest area of concern is his speed and explosiveness. He has to work on that top end speed at receiver to get better separation and he needs to play with more explosiveness. Overall, he is a very good football player that makes plays.
Recruiting: Committed to Georgia.

Dalvin Tomlinson – 6-3/279 – DT/DE – Henry County
Scout's Take: Tomlinson is one of those guys that really grows on you as an analyst. The more you see him, the more you like him. He just gets the job done and he continues to get bigger and improve his all around game. He went from 240 pounds to 270 pounds between his sophomore and junior season and he has become one of the top DLs in Georgia. He is very strong at the point of attack, he moves well, and he plays hard until the whistle blows. He is also versatile and he could play defensive end in a 3-4 front or defensive tackle in a 4-3 front.
Recruiting: Auburn and South Carolina have offered Tomlinson and he is hearing a lot from Alabama, Georgia, Georgia Tech, and LSU.

Jaquay Williams – 6-4/197 – WR – Heard County
Scout's Take: Heard County has put out top recruits every three years or so over the last seven or eight years and it is Williams' turn. He was being talked about in middle school as the next possible star at Heard County and he has started to come into his own. He had a big junior season and he improved his route running, the consistency with his hands, and his speed. He has always been very fluid, he has shown great body control, and he is developing into that big play receiver.
Recruiting: Clemson is the only school as of today that has offered but many schools have talked about it once they see his junior film. South Carolina and Georgia could be very close, but schools from all over have called about him and requested film.

Pat Gamble – 6-5/270 – DT/OT – Central Carrollton
Scout's Take: Gamble is the only prospect in the top 20 without an offer yet, but don't let that fool you, he has a lot of talent, and more than that, a lot of potential. He loves to play defensive line like most linemen in high school, but a lot like Quinteze Williams, Gamble could become an elite offensive tackle down the road. He could still get some looks strictly as a DL, but with his frame, long arms, and potential, I like his more as an offensive lineman. He plays with high pads on the defense, he does not fire off the ball consistently, and he needs to really improve his hands. On the offensive side of the ball, he is much more in control and dominant. He is still raw there too, but I see a lot of good things he has to work with.
Recruiting: He is getting letters from over 40 different schools but no offers are in yet. Alabama, Auburn, FSU, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee are a few he hears from on a regular basis.

Jarontay Jones – 6-3/234 – DE – Stephenson
Scout's Take: Jones was strictly a pass rusher as a sophomore and he dominated camps that he attended over the spring and summer, but he was weighing in around 205 pounds at that time and he is now up to 234 pounds. That 30 pounds has allowed him to be much more effective against the run this season and become more of a balanced defensive end. He is still at his best when turned loose off the edge to attack the quarterback, but gaining those 30 pounds has put him on the right track to becoming a bigger recruit. He still can work on his hands, disengaging with the offensive lineman, and containment, but he will be one of the top defensive linemen recruited in Georgia.
Recruiting: Jones' coach reports that he has offers from Auburn, Florida State, Miami, Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Jones said he is wide open right now and will wait to see who all offers before narrowing down his list.

Quayvon Hicks – 6-2/255 – DE – Pierce County
Scout's Take: Hicks is an intriguing prospect because it is hard to know just where he will play in college. I have seen him in camps and on film and defensive end, defensive tackle, and even middle linebacker comes to mind when watching him. Playing fullback or being used as an H-Back is not out of the question either. He plays with such energy and that is something that stands out to me a lot. He also is a very powerful football player and he knows how to use his strength on the football field. There is no doubt that he is a Division I recruit that can do many things, but the biggest question is, where will he play? I lean more towards defensive end right now if he stays on defense, but only time will tell.
Recruiting: Tennessee offered Hicks immediately after seeing him at their camp and then Miami came through with an offer earlier this fall. He is hearing a lot from schools like Florida and Georgia among many others. Florida and Georgia have always been high on his list, but those that have offered him are up there too.

This list will change many times and we will and at least another 55 names to the list by next summer after watching new film, finding new prospects, and seeing kids perform in camps, combines, and spring practices.
Chad Simmons started out with Scout in 2003 covering top talent in Georgia and other areas in the South. He then moved on to another Recruiting Service from 2004-2008 before returning to Scout the first of 2009 to become Southeast Recruiting Manager.
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