Dawg Night 2011: A Night to Remember

ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia held their final camp of 2011 on Friday and it was their fourth Dawg Night. At Dawg Night 2010, UGA picked up two commitments, they picked up five commitments this time.

Theus Leads Quintet of Commitments

A lot of fireworks went off in Athens late Friday night. Five-star offensive tackle John Theus entered Dawg Night with a final three of Florida, Georgia, and Texas. Before the camp got started, he decided that he was ready to be a Bulldog.

""I did not plan to commit to Georgia going into Dawg Night," John Theus told Scout. "It was a spur of the moment thing. Before the camp, I sat there and started to think about it and I realized I was ready to commit to Georgia. "I planned on waiting, I planned on taking some more visits before making a decision, but sitting there as prospects arrived for the camp, it hit me that I was ready to be a Georgia Bulldog. Georgia is the perfect place for me, I fit in perfectly there, I knew before the camp started that I was ready."

Theus got it started.

The first person who knew Theus was going to commit was Brice Ramsey, one of the top quarterbacks in the class of 2013. Georgia was first two offer Ramsey and they have been his top school for years.

Once Theus let Ramsey know he was in, Ramsey saw no reason to wait any longer.

That was two, but there was more.

Ramsey is good friends with two other Scout300 locks in the class of 2013, Derrick Henry and Tramel Terry. Henry is a 6-foor-2, 232 pound running back out of Yulee, Fla. and Terry is a 6-foot, 185 pound athlete out of Goose Creek, S.C.

Henry had Florida and Georgia at the top while Terry had South Carolina slightly ahead of Georgia entering Dawg Night.

"Like I said earlier in the week, this visit to Georgia was the deciding factor for me," said Terry. "I knew it was going to be Georgia or South Carolina and I loved it at Georgia. I am close with Brice Ramsey and I want to play with him. Georgia has everything I want."

One 2012 commitment, three 2013 commitments, and one 2014 commitment.

Stanley Williams, a running back out of Apalachee, Ga. was timed at 4.26 seconds in the 40 yard dash and he was offered minutes after the camp was over. As soon as Georgia offered him a scholarship, he told the UGA coaches he wanted to be a Georgia Bulldog.

"I have loved Georgia my whole life," Williams said. "I have dreamed about playing for the Georgia Bulldogs. I know I am young and I have a lot more high school football to play, but I told myself, if Georgia offers, I am committing. They did, so I did."

It will be hard for UGA of anyone else to repeat what happened in Athens at Dawg Night 2011.

Somoan OL Picks Up Offer

Chester Brown is a 6-foot-5, 330 pound offensive lineman out of Hinseville (GA) Bradwell Institute that Georgia likes. They like him so much that they offered him a scholarship Friday night. It is offer number four for the emerging prospect. Georgia State, Middle Tennessee, and South Alabama have also offered him.

The Dawgs may get a commitment from him soon too.

"I didn't know that they were going to offer me," Brown said. "I thought I would just take a look at it. After experiencing it – I really felt like I was at home. I am not so far away from committing. I had no idea that they were going to offer me. I thought they were going to let me go home, but they all wanted to talk with me after the camp. That's when Coach Friend told me that they were offering me a scholarship."

A decision could take place as early as this week. He really liked the coaches, the environment, and the way Mark Richt spiritual side.

Strong RB Showing

It was a strong group of running backs in Athens Friday night. Derrick Henry is a 2013 prospect that will be one considered for five stars next year on Scout. He showed very good quickness for a guy his size and he has great balance. Some think he may be too big to play running back on the next level, but he has not given Scout any reason to doubt his ability to play there years from now.

Henry led the way, but there were others that stood out as well.

In the 2012 class, Shadrach Thornton had a nice showing. He did well in the drills and looked a little quicker than he did a year ago. He still does not have an offer from Georgia, but they have their eye on him. He is out of Hinesville (GA) Liberty County.

Keyante Green is a 2013 running back out of McDonough (GA) Eagles Landing Christian Academy. He is only about 5-feet 9-inches tall, but he is strong, he has very good feet, he showed great balance throughout the drills, and he had nice hands out the backfield. He can still improve his speed, but he is a back that only gets better as the game goes on. He is not flashy, but durable and productive.

One of the top backs out there arrived a little late, but Greg Bryant showed UGA enough in the second session to earn a scholarship offer when all was said and done. The 5-foot-10, 190 pound back junior out of Delray Beach (GA) American Heritage showed good lateral movement and that burst that is hard to teach. He is a very impressive prospect to the eye and he'll be a top prospect in Florida for the next years.

Tyshon Dye picked up an offer from the Bulldogs after his performance at the Mark Richt Camp. Dye is what many call, a football player. He is not flashy, but tough, someone who competes until the end, and someone with a lot of athleticism. Dye does not play around when he gets the football, he gets up the field.

Do not sleep on Maricio Aksew, a 2012 running back that missed most of last season after breaking his leg. He is a 5-foot-10, 170 pound speedster (ran the 40 at Dawg Night in 4.3 seconds) out of Bowdon, Ga. and he is on the UGA radar. The kid has wheels and he makes very quick cuts. Not only do schools want to see him perform in pads again this year, but he has some academic work to do as well. Keep an eye on him.

UGA's Still In It for ‘The Freak'

It was do or die for Georgia with Jordan Jenkins at Dawg Night and the Dawgs are in it. Jenkins told Scout early on Saturday after he returned home from Athens that Georgia "will" make the next cut.

Entering the visit, Jenkins had Georgia in the middle of the pack behind Alabama, Auburn, and Florida. The 6-foot-3, 241 pound athlete out of Hamilton (GA) Harris County did not say UGA jumped ahead of any schools, but he made it clear that Georgia helped themselves.

He worked out at both outside linebacker and defensive end in Athens and he did well at both positions. The part of the visit that stood out the most to Jenkins was his time with Defensive Coordinator Todd Grantham. Those two are really developing a strong relation and Grantham showed Jenkins some film and pointed out areas that he could improve on.

It appears the Dawgs are now in this one.

Leonard Williams Watches

One of the top prospects in Athens was Leonard Williams, a defensive lineman out of Daytona (FL) Mainland. The Dawgs signed Tony Wilson out of Mainland years ago, but it looks like signing Williams will be tough.

When asked about a top five over the weekend, he did not name UGA on his list.

"Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, and USC are my top five," Williams said. "It was my first time at Georgia and I liked their facilities. Their coaches are pretty cool too. I may give them another look because it was a little nicer there than I expected."

Williams is a 6-foot-5, 255 pound well put-together athlete that could play a number of positions on the next level. He spent some time around UGA commitments and watched the defensive line workout while at Dawg Night.

Elder Down to Two?

Chaz Elder is a 6-foot-2, 172 pound defensive back out of College Park (GA) Banneker and he spent Friday night in Athens. Georgia has been on his list since they offered and they are in the final picture.

"I am probably down to Georgia and South Carolina now," Elder said. "Vanderbilt could still be a factor too. I think it is Georgia and South Carolina though."

He planned to spend Dawg Night hanging out on the sidelines and watching, but once the camp got rolling, he had to get on the field.

"I just wanted to get out there and learn as much as I could. Georgia is talking about using me at corner now instead of safety, so I wanted to get some reps, go through some drills, and see what I could pick up."

Could a decision come soon?

"I will probably commit sometime in August. I do not have a date or anything, but I think I will be ready to commit before the season. It will not be an easy decision. I like a couple of schools a lot right now. At Georgia, the coaches really stand out to me and they are close to home too."

UGA Commit Leads the Way

Nobody has ever questioned Quayvon Hicks energy and he showed it again at Dawg Night.

Hicks is a 6-foot-1, 252 pound athlete that has a motor and he is turning into a leader. As the Dawgs got warmed up inside Sanford Stadium, Hicks led the team as they ran laps and as they went through drills.

He hooked up with John Theus before the camp to talk UGA, he made sure he spoke to other commitments and other targets while in Athens, and Hicks is becoming a big name in Athens.

The Blackshear (GA) Pierce County native worked with the running backs Friday night and he could be the next fullback to get drafted out of UGA. Hicks has such soft hands, he has such drive to go to work, and he will be one of the stronger guys on the team.

Most may not know or think much about this athlete from the small town in South Georgia, but he is wearing that "G" on his sleeve and representing the Dawgs well.

More Offers Coming?

The only confirmed prospects that picked up offers at Dawg Night are Chester Brown, Greg Bryant, and Stanley Williams. There could be more.

Prospects like 2013 lineman Isaac Rochell had a strong showing at defensive end. He could play offensive or defensive line on the next level. His teammate, 2012 defensive Justin Thomason was one of the best during the 1on1 session and he is one Georgia will look at hard. He is 6-feet 3-inches tall, 240 pounds and would play outside linebacker in Athens.

Others to keep an eye on that had a solid performance are tight end Sean Culkin, wide receivers, Quinshad Davis, Reggie Love, Blake Tibbs, and Charlie Hegedus, running backs Shadrach Thornton, Maricio Aksew, and Marteze Waller, defensive lineman James Ellison (2013), cornerback Tyreece Jiles, and offensive linemen Josh Cardiello (2013) and Brandon Kublanow (2013 OL).

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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