ATHENS, Ga. — For most of the past two weeks, Georgia coach Mark Richt and his assistant coaches have been on the road, recruiting for 2002.
The word from Richt: "We're getting extremely positive feedback.''
Georgia has commitments from 11 recruits, including four who are eligible to enroll early for spring semester and join the team for bowl practice.
On Monday, quarterback Joe Tereshinski III of Athens Academy and two defensive linemen from Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy, Darrius Swain and Preston Pannell, were taking physicals with the expectation of joining practice today.
|Josh Brock||OL||6-4, 280||Cartersville High|
|Michael Cooper||RB||6-0, 215||Screven County|
|Dale Dixson||DE||6-3, 265||Garland, Texas|
|Marquis Elmore||LB/DE||6-3, 220||Charlton County|
|Ibriham Halsey||RB||5-11, 190||Elizabeth, N.J.|
|Bartley Miller||OL||6-5, 275||Marist High|
|Quentin Moses||DE||6-5, 230||Cedar Shoals|
|Preston Pannell||DE||6-7, 240||Hargrave Military|
|Darrius Swain||DL||6-4, 295||Hargrave Military|
|Tony Taylor||LB||6-2, 215||Oconee County|
|Joe Tereshinski III||QB||6-3, 205||Athens Academy|
A fourth player to commit to Georgia, offensive lineman Josh Brock of Cartersville, Ga., is expected to join the team later this week.
Georgia also is recruiting running back/cornerback Jason Allen of Muscle Shoals, Ala. Allen, also looking at Tennessee and Louisiana State, is another player eligible to enroll early. He is being recruited by Georgia as a running back.
Aside from the obvious advantage of extra practice time, Georgia benefits by having the players who can enroll early count toward its 2001 allotment of recruits. The early enrollees are not eligible to play in the bowl game.
Assuming it has room under its overall cap of 85 scholarships, Georgia then can sign 25 players — not including those enrolling early — in February.
Georgia has pressing needs at running back, offensive line and defensive line. It has commitments from two running backs — Michael Cooper of Screven County High School and Ibrahim Halsey of Elizabeth, N.J.
Quentin Moses, a defensive end from Cedar Shoals High School in Athens, and Dale Dixson, a defensive end from Garland, Texas, gives Georgia four defensive linemen among its commitments
Marquis Elmore, of Charlton County High School and Hargrave Military, can play linebacker or defensive end.
"We still have great players on the board at all the positions we need,'' Richt said. "The one position that I'm still most concerned about right now would be offensive tackle. That's a position we just flat-out need to get at least two to three really good ones. We don't have any solid commitments at that position right at the moment.''
Added Georgia recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner: "We need to pick up some names at every position. We think we've identified kids who can help us. We think things are going pretty good. It's going to be interesting to see how it finishes up. We're headed in the right direction.''
Georgia is not expected to rely heavily on junior college transfers but may look to junior college players to help fortify the offensive tackle position.
Otherwise, this recruiting season will come down to late decisions made by top prospects still considering Georgia.
"The kids we are targeting as number one, our top prospects, seem to be very excited about Georgia,'' Richt said. "We're getting our visits. A lot seem to be coming down to us and (another school) ... a lot of two-team races.
"We're right in the thick of (recruiting races for) a lot of great players.
I think they see that good things are about to happen and a lot of them are excited about being a part of it.''
Charles Odum can be reached at CEOdum@aol.com.