QB – A
Why: Georgia did not have to take a quarterback in this class with what they already have on campus and who they have committed already for the 2013 class, but the Bulldogs still got an athletic quarterback. Faton Bauta is a football player, an athlete and a versatile kid that could help UGA in numerous ways. Again, they did not have to sign one at this position in 2012, but the one they did sign brings a lot to the table.
QB – B
Why: This wasn't a position of need for the Bulldogs, but the staff signed Dwyer's Baton Bauta as an early enrollee. He's a competitor, an athletic, bruising type who is a legit college football player. The question: Is he a quarterback at the college level? I think he could be better suited at linebacker, but he's set on staying at QB.
QB – C
Why: Faton Bouta signed and enrolled early at Georgia, but many have doubted if his style of quarterback will fit into Mike Bobo's play-action-pass offense. This was not a need, but the Bulldogs did take a very talented athlete… will he play under center in the future – that remains to be seen and seems unlikely in the near future.
RB – A+
Why: They needed depth here first of all, but they needed good depth and got it. Keith Marshall is a game-changer at running back because of his speed, and he will be used in multiple ways in Athens. You cannot sleep on Todd Gurley. He is a big back that is very tough, and someone who fits the mold of a successful SEC back. They could not have done any better at this position.
RB - A+
Why: If everybody is healthy and involved, Isaiah Crowell will still be the starter in 2012. But he needed to be pushed in the offseason, and Mike Bobo needed depth here in case Crowell's knack for injuries persists. Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley were the perfect set of backs to bring in. Marshall is a different than any tailback currently on Georgia's roster -- explosive and speedy. Gurley is a tough, big-bodied runner that has the look of an SEC back.
RB – A+
Why: Georgia has running backs on the field in 2011, but they were not deep. The addition of speed back Keith Marshall and powerful Todd Gurley gives the Bulldogs all the options they need heading into the 2012 season. This was one of the few positions of immediate need for Georgia, and they filled it in a big way.
WR – B-
Why: They needed a couple of receivers in this class in my opinion, and they landed one. I like Blake Tibbs, but they needed more. They went after Cordarrelle Patterson, Ricardo Louis, and Jaquay Williams among others, but only landed Tibbs in the end. Tibbs is a good player and he will be a good fit in Athens, but adding one, possibly two more at this position would have given them a higher grade.
WR - C+
Why - This wasn't a glaring need in this class due to the current amount of young and talented depth at the position. Georgia got the second-best receiver in the state of Georgia in King High's Blake Tibbs, but missed on all other targets. Tibbs was an inconsistent performer in high school and with the current depth at receiver in Athens, he'll most certainly redshirt.
WR – C
Why: Signing only one player at a spot like receiver is never going to lead to a high grade. Still, MLK's Blake Tibbs is rated by Scout.com as the #2 WR in Georgia this year, so the Dawgs did get a good one. But it remains to be seen just how productive Tibbs will be right away. The Dawgs are stacked at receiver coming in 2012, and have three very talented rising sophomores for the future.
TE – B
Why: They were looking to sign two tight ends in this class originally, but they only signed one. They missed on Ricky Parks, the top tight end in-state, but they landed Ty Smith -- a very good receiving tight end. He will do well in the UGA offense.
TE - B- Why: Knowing Orson Charles would most certainly go pro (which he did), Georgia wanted two tight ends in this class. The staff had to settle for one in Ty Smith, who improved his senior year and has shown to be a pass-catching type. He needs to improve his blocking to see the field at Georgia. Missing on a second tight end hurts -- especially missing on Ricky Parks.
TE – C
Why: Ty Smith should be a pass-catching tight end in the future, but this was a position the Bulldogs should have gotten another prospect at. The departure of Orson Charles and Aron White means the Dawgs are down two TEs. Jay Rome didn't play last season and Artie Lych is inexperienced. TEs play special teams, so it would have been nice to grab more than one of them here.
OL – C+
Why: They needed two legit offensive tackles in this class in my eyes. They got one of their top targets, John Theus, and he will play early, but they did not get Avery Young or Brandon Greene. Adding one of those two would have pushed the grade at this position to at least a B+ for me. Chester Brown was lost, then not replaced, so in the end UGA signed three offensive linemen in this class. I felt they needed five or six. Tackle will be another big need for Georgia in 2013. Greg Pyke and Mark Beard could play tackle, but they may be best at guard.
OL - B-
Why: Georgia needed a tackle that could play right away or even be ready to start. It got that in five-star John Theus. He should compete at either right or left tackle from day one. The Bulldogs also needed a player in this class that could play either guard or tackle in 2012. Junior college transfer Mark Beard fits that description. Greg Pyke will redshirt, and should play down the road. The issue here, as it has been for years at Georgia, is that there is not enough bodies. Georgia needed at least five offensive linemen in this class. Losing Chester Brown was due to an unforeseen cause of attrition -- but Georgia still would have been short on numbers even with Brown in the fold.
OL – B-
Why: Two players will make an immediate impact at a position of need in 2012 – John Theus and Marc Beard. Losing Chester Adams late in the game to state legislation hurts – he would have been an interesting project on the line. Greg Pyke has a red flag with a shoulder injury. Still, this is a very solid trio, but a foursome would have been better.
DL – B
Why: This could be a little tricky because of who is considered a defensive lineman by me in this class. I am counting John Atkins, James Deloach, and Jonathan Taylor as the DLs for UGA's 2012 class. That is a good trio – I really like Taylor's upside in the middle, Atkins could play outside or inside in Georgia's scheme and Deloach has the motor you look for. I would have liked to see them ink one more big body here.
DL - B
Why: Again, the complaint here is numbers. Georgia is going to see an enormous amount of turnover on the defensive side of the ball in 2013 and must be prepared. Jonathan Taylor is exactly what Todd Grantham needs at nose tackle. He needs a year to get ready, but will have that luxury due to the depth at nose in John Jenkins and Kwame Geathers. John Atkins and James Deloach are two players that play hard and may need some time to be groomed. While that group is fine, that's all Georgia got here.
DL – B+
Why: Needs were addressed for the 2013 season and beyond including top nose Jonathan Taylor, but the numbers were low. It can be hard to know just what the future holds in terms of big OLBs becoming DEs in the 3-4, however, so penilizing this group on numbers alone is not totally fair. The big thing was getting a nose… and they got one who should be pretty good in two years.
LB – A
Why: Could Georgia have done better here? Sure, they could have added Kenderius Whitehead on the outside, but the only real miss here was adding an inside linebacker to the fabulous crew they signed on the outside. Jordan Jenkins and Josh Harvey-Clemons are the top two prospects in the state of Georgia and UGA landed them both. They flipped Josh Dawson on Signing Day and Leonard Floyd is a special athlete. Could we see a guy like Dawson move inside down the road? That is something to watch for, but the only thing holding this position back from the perfect grade was not signing an inside linebacker.
LB - B+
Why: I didn't set the parameters for these grades. If OLB was a section, I'd give a A+++. Jordan Jenkins, Josh Harvey-Clemons, Josh Dawson and Leonard Floyd are all playmakers and all will be contributors at some point at Georgia. Credit Grantham for gathering pass rushers in this class. But the grade on ILB would have to be either a F or Incomplete. Georgia will lose Mike Gilliard and Christian Robinson for sure after this season. Alec Ogletree could potentially turn pro. That would leave essentially only Amarlo Herrera at the position. The Bulldogs needed a marquee middle guy in this class, especially since Reuben Foster, the 2013 superstar, is already committed to Alabama.
LB – A++
Why: I am going to ignore not getting a big-name middle linebacker and focus on what's more important – the amount of skill at this spot. Todd Grantham's talent pull in this one is the best group signed for the Dawgs. Five-star LBs Jordan Jenkins and Josh Harvey-Clemons highlight the bunch. Josh Dawson is a solid prospect for rushing the QB. It looks like James DeLoach might play MLB in the future. You can see Grantham's fingerprints all over this group. It was a very impressive pull – perhaps the best in the country.
DB – B-
Why: I really like Sheldon Dawson, there is no doubt about that. Even though Scout has him ranked as the top prospect in Tennessee, I still think he does not get the recognition he deserves. He will be a very good one for UGA, but the Dawgs needed another corner and a safety in this class as well. They went after guys like Will Redmond, Geno Smith, Josh Holsey, Travis Blanks, and Chaz Elder, but came up empty. This will be a real position of need in 2013.
DB - B
Why: Again, where are the numbers? Georgia didn't sign a safety and grabbed only one cornerback. Now, I really like Sheldon Dawson as an athlete and its a positive anytime Georgia can grab a state's No. 1 player. But there were some talented recruits in the secondary that the Bulldogs whiffed on.
DB – C
Why: Signing only one player, Sheldon Dawson, and missing on so many others during the 2012 class makes it hard to grade this position high. Dawson is near the six-foot mark the Bulldogs like for their members of the secondary, but only one at this spot it not enough.
ST – A
Why: UGA got two of the best in the country when talking punters and kickers. I expect both to play major roles as true freshmen in 2012. Marshall Morgan is the kicker and Collin Barber is the punter. Both have received great reviews by kicking/punting specialists after numerous camps.
ST - A+
Why: With Blair Walsh and Drew Butler moving on, the kicker and punter spots are wide open for 2012. Kicker Marshall Morgan has a big leg and should take over as starter the moment he gets to campus. Collin Barber has a good chance to start at punter, too.
ST – A+
Why: Special teams were the top position of need, and Georgia filled them nicely. It will be hard to replace the four-year run of Blash Walsh and Drew Butler, but Collin Barber and Marshall Morgan will get their chance staring this fall. Morgan is supposed to have a tremendous leg.
Overall – B
Why: Georgia signed a strong class of 19, but if they could have added another offensive tackle, another corner, one safety, and an inside linebacker, I would have liked this class a little more. It is a good class without question and they met some immediate needs, so a solid B is what I give the 2012 UGA class.
Overall - B+
Why: Here are the positives: The most immediate needs for 2012 were filled. Georgia needed a tackle that could play right away and another lineman that could fill both a guard and tackle spot. Check. Two high-caliber running backs were needed to provide depth and competition. Check. A kicker and punter that could start right away were also mandatory. Check. Check.
But glaring needs for 2013 weren't addressed. A marque middle linebacker. Enough secondary members to cover losing at least three starters, there. Neither of those needs were addressed.
And since the class didn't sign at least 23 members, Georgia will be short on scholarship numbers this season.
Make no mistake, the talent in this class is impressive, especially at RB and OLB. Four five-stars and five four-stars is a great haul. But by comparison, there were 14 players rated four-stars or higher in the 2011 'Dream Team' class. This class is good, but it isn't great.
Overall – B
Why: It's hard to give much higher considering six scholarships were left on the table. Attrition on a college football team is as certain as death and taxes. But what Georgia got at the top is as good as any class in the Mark Richt era save last year's bunch. The middle of the class left more to be desired simply because of numbers.