Filling Needs in 2013

A look ahead to the needs that must be filled in Georgia's 2013 recruiting class.

Georgia's 2012 recruiting class featured plenty of talent at the top, filled certain needs and left other weaknesses unaddressed.

While the ranking of the class varied, one point is absolutely true: Intense recruiting for the next haul of future players is upon us.

Now a week away from the close of the 2012 class, Dawg Post takes a look at what the Bulldogs need most in the 2013 cycle.

Inside linebacker

Who will be gone: Mike Gilliard, Christian Robinson, Jeremy Sulek,

Who will return: Alec Ogletree, Amarlo Herrera, Ramik Wilson, Brandon Burrows

This position shouldn't see much drop-off from 2012 to 2013 if Ogletree doesn't turn pro – which is nowhere near a safe bet.

If Ogletree leaves, Herrera would be the only player with meaningful experience returning. Wilson is said to be an athletic-type – a player that can play both inside and outside linebacker. Burrows has been plagued by injuries dating back to high school.

Who Georgia has targeted: Reuben Foster, Johnny O'Neal, Larenz Bryant.

Georgia needs at least two inside guys in this class -- probably three. Foster is a cornerstone player – a four-year starter and future NFL player in the making. While he's currently committed to Alabama, Georgia has a solid chance to make a run at Foster due to Todd Grantham's background and current success.

O'Neal vastly improved in his junior year after a disappointing offseason. He's the clear-cut No. 2 inside player in the state of Georgia behind Foster.


Who will be gone: Bacarri Rambo, Shawn Williams, Sanders Commings, Branden Smith

Who will return: Damian Swann, Corey Moore, Devin Bowman, Connor Norman, Marc Deas, Blake Sailors, Quintavious Harrow, Sheldon Dawson

Georgia needed at least a couple secondary players in 2012 and came away with only one – Dawson. The dismissal of Nick Marshall and Chris Sanders severely cramps this group.

Swann and Moore project to be great players once their time comes. Bowman generated good reviews while redshirting in 2011. Perhaps Norman, Sailors, Deas and Harrow could provide spot service, but are mainly special teams players.

Who Georgia has targeted: Tray Matthews, Shaquille Wiggins, Vonn Bell, Nadir Barnwell.

Matthews, the best safety in the state of Georgia, is a good start. But the staff needs to get more offers out here. At least four players need to be taken at this position – possibly more. Wiggins, though undersized, is a true corner. Barnwell is an athlete from New Jersey. Bell is from Ridgeland High – the same school Bowman came from.

Offensive line:

Who will be gone: ----

Who will return: Kenarious Gates, David Andrews, Chris Burnette, Dallas Lee, Watts Dantzler, Austin Long, Hunter Long, Hugh Williams, Kolton Houston, Zach DeBell, Xzavier Ward, Nathan Theus, John Theus, Mark Beard, Greg Pyke

Georgia has the chance to sure up depth on the line in the 2013 class. The roster is full of talented, versatile underclassmen with good class separation.

Andrews should start the next three seasons. Gates can play any of four spots – all except center. Burnette and Lee are experienced guards. John Theus and Watts Dantzler should compete with Gates to start at tackle. Beard can play guard or tackle. Austin Long, if healthy, could compete at tackle. Ward, Hunter Long and DeBell provide solid, talented depth. Pyke will redshirt in 2012.

Who Georgia has targeted: Laremy Tunsil, Brandon Kublanow, DeAndre Johnson, Shamire DeVine, Delando Crooks, Devondre Seymour

A haul of four of five could erase the issues from seasons past – a lack of able bodies. The staff has done a good job of getting early offers out to this point. Tunsil is the next big thing at tackle out of Florida. Kublanow is guard/center prospect with a nasty streak. Devine and Seymour tower at 6-foot-6. Johnson is a guard prospect. Crooks is a bit undersized at this point, but is plenty talented with tremendous upside.

Expect even more offers to go out.

Wide receiver:

Who will be gone: Tavarres King, Marlon Brown,

Who will return: Malcolm Mitchell, Michael Bennett, Chris Conley, Rantavious Wooten, Justin Scott-Wesley, Blake Tibbs

The unit will be plenty talented and diversified in 2013 – but the numbers need to be replenished. Mitchell should be in full stride by 2013. Bennett and Conley have proven themselves as technical receivers with reliable hands. Wooten redshirted after a car accident in 2011, giving him an extra year. Scott-Wesley has world-class speed and a huge build. Tibbs will most likely redshirt in 2012.

Who Georgia has targeted: Demarcus Robinson, Marquez North, Tramel Terry, Uriah LeMay, Richard Benjamin, Reggie Davis, Jordan Cunningham, Ahmad Fulwood, Taj Williams

This offer sheet is busting at the seams. Robinson is the best receiver in Georgia. North is a talented skill player from North Carolina – a state the Bulldogs had success with in 2012. Terry was once committed to Georgia. LeMay is the brother of current Georgia quarterback Christian LeMay. Benjamin, Davis, Cunningham, Fulwood and Williams are all from Florida – a state known for producing wide receivers.

Georgia needs at least two – probably three – receivers in the 2013 class.

Defensive line:

Who will be gone: Abry Jones, John Jenkins

Who will return: Kwame Geathers, Garrison Smith, Derrick Lott, Michael Thornton, Jonathan Taylor, James Deloach, John Atkins

This group could get a boost if Geathers returns for his senior season in 2013 – but the family history shows Kwame most likely will bolt. Smith is primed for a breakout year in 2012 and will be a senior leader in 2013. Lott and Thornton don't have much experience. Taylor needs time to hone his technique, but could be a major contributor in 2013. DeLoach and Atkins will also need time to develop.

Who Georgia has targeted: Robert Nkemdiche, Montravious Adams, Naim Mustafaa Kelsey Griffin, Isaac Rochell, Jaynard Bostwick

Just like the offensive line, you can never have enough big bodies on defense. There is plenty of talent in the state on the d-line – but early indications project Nkemdiche and Adams to leave the state. Losing those two would be a big blow to this class.

Tight end:

Who will be gone: ----

Who will return: Arthur Lynch, Jay Rome, Ty Smith

Lynch has patiently waited his turn for three years. His size and strength make him useful in the run game. He's stated many times he wants to prove he's a complete tight end. Rome is a star in the making. Smith is an above-average pass-catcher that will need to add weight and improve his blocking.

Who Georgia has targeted: Adam Breneman

A Pennsylvania native, Breneman has an impressive list of offers at this stage of the game.

Expect more offers to go out, as Georgia needs to add at least one capable player at this position after missing out on many targets to complement Smith in the 2012 class.

Icing on the cake:

Quarterback is a position of need in this class – Brice Ramsey has already filled that slot. Georgia has offered a second signal caller: Cedar Grove's Jonathan McCrary, but that was before Ramsey committed, and it remains unclear if the Dawgs will take another quarterback in this class.

Also, running back isn't a glaring need, but Georgia already has Derrick Henry as a commitment. The Bulldogs are also pursuing Walton's Tyren Jones and Elbert County's Tyshon Dye.

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