Recruiting: Running Backs

Georgia knows that Musa Smith can run the ball, however, they don't know if he can stay healthy enough to carry the load for the next two seasons. Even if Smith is able to do that, he will need a quality back up. Welcome to the recruiting season, this week its running backs.

Verron Haynes is just another in a long line of Georgia running backs that were not discovered early enough to prosper their final two season's in Athens. With Haynes leaving, the backfield is open to competition in the spring.

Musa Smith will likely be the number one running back in the spring along with JT Wall at the fullback position. However, Mike Gilliam, Ronnie Powell, Albert Hollis, and Kenny Bailey will figure into the Georgia running equation too. There are other running backs that can have an impact in the spring. None are currently on the Georgia roster.

Jason Allen is from Muscle Shoals, Alabama and is a highly sought after running back that is being recruited by several schools in the South. He has not yet committed to any school, but it appears to me that he will be committing to Georgia, probably after his visit this weekend.

He told me that he had a "great relationship with Coach Garner." He also indicated that while he has not yet committed to Georgia that, "Georgia is my favorite right now." Tennessee, Georgia, LSU, and Alabama have all offered, among others.

Allen will enroll early and is eager to get to the campus that he chooses in January. If he winds up at Georgia, as I expect, he will be able to start battling for playing time much earlier than others on Georgia's running back list.

Although Nic Turner's Washington Bulldogs lost last week to Oconee County, many in the stands were impressed with his speed and overall athletic ability. He did run out of bounds rather than taking it right up the field, however, there is no doubt that with his reported 4.4 speed, he is a speed back, not a bruiser. Still, the problem with running out of bounds need to, and probably will be, corrected at the college level.

Georgia does not have a break away back, at least not one that plays in most games. Turner would be a nice addition to the Georgia backfield. Georgia has offered him, as have Auburn, Tech, Florida, South Carolina, and Maryland. He is scheduled to visit Georgia this weekend.

Ibrahim Halsey, from New Jersey, wants to play football with a stable coaching staff.

"I'm going to be looking for a stable coaching staff. I would like the piece of mind knowing that the coaches that recruit me will still be at the school when I graduate. "

He is visiting Georgia this weekend and has been offered by the Dawgs, as well as by Illinois, Tech, Maryland, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin. He was enthused with his trip to Illinois, "It was so much more than I expected." But he did not name them his leader.

Lots of people are saying that he could play either corner or running back in college. I think that if he is anything near advertised, he will play running back.

He will visit Georgia this weekend and will visit Tech and Wisconsin in the future. It is not yet clear if he will visit Notre Dame.

Michael Cooper is the most written about player along the Georgia-South Carolina border. He has scheduled visits with Clemson, Florida, Tech, and tentatively with Maryland. He has already visited LSU.

"I like Georgia and I may visit them unofficially or visit UGA instead of Maryland. I have not decided yet."

His grandmother passed away last week so I have not been able to talk with him on the phone recently. However, I hope to tonight or later this week, please stay tuned for that one.

I don't think that Georgia fans should become nervous about the fact that Cooper might not make an official visit to Georgia. He lives close to Athens and has been in touch with the coaching staff.

Pierre Easley is another young man that is considering Georgia. He told Jamie Newberg that he "likes Georgia, they are my leader." He rearranged his visits and took the short trip to Athens this past weekend according to his father.

I plan on catching up with him tonight or later this week as well. Wake Forest, Georgia, and Boston College have all offered him and he is scheduling visits with all. I am not certain if Boston College will benefit from Easley's high school Marist and its ties with the Catholic Church. Both Marist and Boston College are Catholic schools.

Beyond that, there are other running backs that are being looked at by Georgia. They include but are not limited to:

Mahlon Carey
Ryan Andrews
Jamayes Dixon

Any questions? Please feel free to contact Dean via e-mail or ask him a question on the message board regarding recruiting.

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