Signing Day 2013 came and went without a big hurrah in Athens, but for Georgia, the Class of 2013 wasn't near as big as a disappointment as National Signing Day itself. The Bulldogs got off to an early start assembling this class and overall did a good job addressing immediate needs and taking a few guys that could really blossom in time. That's part of the luxury of a big signing class. What the Bulldogs didn't do was tie down the elite in-state talent like Alvin Kamara, Montravius Adams, Carl Lawson and Robert Nkemdiche. Georgia also whiffed on two of its biggest out-of-state targets Reuben Foster and Laremy Tunsil. But recruiting is best compared to marathon, not a sprint. If it were a sprint, the Bulldogs never really got out of the blocks. But it's a marathon--a marathon in which the Bulldogs finished near the front of the pack. Thus, when grading Georgia's 2013 signing class, one must evaluate the players who did sign, but keep in mind those that got away.
With that said, let's take a look at how Georgia did at each position now that inks met paper.
Quarterback - A
Mark Richt and Mike Bobo pinpointed their quarterback target in this class and got him. In a year that the state of Georgia saw six different signal-callers sign with SEC schools, Georgia got the cream of the crop in Brice Ramsey.
Running back - C
Georgia signed a formidable back in A.J. Turman, who should add quality depth and get a few carries this upcoming season. But the discussion for this class will surround the backs Georgia didn't sign. The Bulldogs missed on Alvin Kamara, who certainly would have played a role this season and in the future of Georgia's backfield. Instead, he and another in-state back Tyren Jones both headed west to Alabama. To add insult to injury, Derrick Henry was once committed to Georgia, but he too signed with the Tide. The Bulldogs did land a last-minute pledge in Brendan Douglas, who the Bulldogs hope is a hidden gem that can play either tailback or fullback in Athens.
Wide Receiver - A
There's often a saying tossed around in recruiting that it's sometimes better to hit a lot of singles than trying to hit home runs. If that's the case, Georgia hit for the cycle at receiver in this class. The Bulldogs got a diverse group of talented receivers. They landed a size-threat in Jonathon Rumph, a speed guy in Rico Johnson, and a mix of both in Tramel Terry. Those three should see the field early (for Terry, once he's healthy), and along with Reggie Davis, this group gives wide receivers coach Tony Ball plenty of depth to compliment guys like Michael Bennett and Malcolm Mitchell.
Tight End - B
Georgia did a good job in targeting and landing Jordan Davis, a three-star that could have a lot of upside, and luckily for Georgia and Davis, he has time to grow at the position. Davis is an athletic tight end that resembles Ty Flournoy-Smith, and with a couple of years to watch Jay Rome, Arthur Lynch and Flournoy-Smith and learn from position coach John Lilly, Davis could be in good shape to carry on the tight end tradition at Georgia.
Offensive Line - B-
Georgia had a realistic shot to add the center, guard and tackle of the future. The Bulldogs seemingly landed two of three. The verdict is still out on the third position--tackle. Center Josh Cardiello and guard Brandon Kublanow, one of the top interior linemen in the Southeast, appear to be future starters at their respective positions. The loss of five-star tackle Laremy Tunsil certainly hurts Georgia, who saw its lead for Tunsil diminish at the finish line. But a surprise signing of Devondre Seymour, former Georgia great Richard Seymour's adopted son, helps to soften the blow. Seymour has great size and draws comparisons to former Bulldog and current Buffalo Bill Cordy Glenn. The question mark here will be whether he arrives on campus since grades have been an issue. The Bulldogs also signed three-star tackle Aulden Bynum who, once he adds weight, could be a formidable option in the offensive line rotation.
Defensive Line - C-
The Bulldogs locked up Chris Mayes in the 2011 class, and the defensive tackle should contribute immediately with junior college experience under his belt. The same can be said for John Atkins. DeAndre "Moose" Johnson has the size Todd Grantham is looking for in a space-eating nose guard but may be headed for a redshirt year to prepare for the college game. The glaring problem here is that the Bulldogs didn't address the need for a defensive end on Signing Day. The state of Georgia produced three five-star defensive ends in this class, and the Bulldogs landed none of them. While Georgia never actively recruited Robert Nkemdiche or Carl Lawson, the Bulldogs suffered a major loss when Montravius Adams signed with Auburn Wednesday. After losing John Jenkins, Kwame Geathers and Abry Jones, the Bulldogs needed to add some defensive linemen. They added a couple, but not enough, and more importantly, they let the big fish (Adams) get away.
Outside Linebacker - B+
If there was any good news for Georgia on Signing Day (after Seymour's signature), it was Davin Bellamy inking with the Bulldogs. Todd Grantham turned up the heat on Bellamy after Naim Mustafaa enrolled at Oklahoma State instead of Georgia in January. The Bulldogs may have gotten the better end of the deal because Bellamy has tremendous upside and should do well on the edge in Garner's 3-4 defense. As long as he qualifies, Leonard Floyd is game-ready and could be a major playmaker next season.
Inside Linebacker - A-
Sure, Georgia missed on Reuben Foster, but the Bulldogs already had a haul of inside backers worthy of solid grade. Reggie Carter, an early enrollee, and Tim Kimbrough will almost certainly fight for playing time next to returning-starter Amarlo Herrera this Fall. Johnny O'Neal fills gaps well and shows good downhill burst to defend against the run. Ryne Rankin and Shaun McGee (who could line up at OLB, DE or ILB) add depth and skill to a loaded class at inside linebacker.
Cornerback - B+
Georgia landed the two top cornerbacks in the state, beating South Carolina head-to-head for both. Shaquille Wiggins is a smaller back that covers really well, while Brendan Langley is a long, athletic corner in the Sanders Commings-mold with more athleticism. Both should contribute immediately, along with Reggie Wilkerson who enrolled early to get a leg-up on the competition. J.J. Green could also contribute here, there and everywhere, as the Bulldogs could use him at cornerback, wideout and punt returner.
Safety - A
Tray Matthews was arguably the top safety in Georgia this year, along with Vonn Bell. The Bulldogs focused their attention on Matthews, and it paid off. Matthews enrolled early and should compete for the starting spot at free safety next season. Incoming JUCO standout Shaquille Fluker may be Matthews' biggest competition there, with Corey Moore holding down strong safety. Paris Bostick, Quincy Mauger (another early enrollee) and Kennar Johnson all add to a solid safety class that features guys who will contribute early, some who could contribute later and some who could possibly cross-train at cornerback.