Garner: We are looking for a cover corner

ATHENS – Recruiting is the main focus of the football world now, and the Georgia Bulldogs are doing quite well at it.

Rodney Garner, Georgia's Recruiting Coordinator, said before Georgia's Outback Bowl win on Saturday that the next few weeks are critical for the future of the program.

"The next few commitments will be very critical in getting a class that we want. There are several big time players out there we are still waiting on," Garner said.

One of those players, Jeffrey Owens, committed to the Bulldogs on Sunday.

"We still need to close on some key defensive linemen," said Garner. "There are some interior kids as well as some defensive ends we are after."

Owens is rated a four-star defensive tackle by and joins Kade Weston, Brandon Sesay, Roderick Battle, and Brandon Lang as Bulldog commitments on the defensive line.

Garner said the most pressing position for Georgia is cornerback, however. The Bulldogs have eight scholarship corners right now, but three of them, Tim Jennings, Demario Minter, and Mike Gilliam, all leave after 2005. That leaves only four corners, one of which has any sort of significant playing time in the secondary.

Donovan Baldwin, from American Heritage School in Plantation, FL (where Brian VanGorder was once head coach), has committed to Georgia. He is the only cornerback committed to the Bulldogs right now.

"We are still looking for a cover corner," said Garner. "We just have to finish the drill (at cornerback) especially because it's such a high priority need. It's important we sign a true cover corner. We have some commitments from safties, which going into this recruiting class, was a top need, too. We needed depth at safety and we have that there now. We still have to get the cover corner."

Highly rated cover corners are hard to come by, and this season is no exception. Of the top five corners the Bulldogs have offered three are committed elsewhere, while one if from out of state. Banneker's Carlos Thomas is the only offered cornerback from the state of Georgia that has not committed. Thomas has recruiting visits set for Ohio State, South Carolina, LSU, and Clemson. Georgia and Florida are possible destinations for Thomas' final official visit this year.

Even though finding a cover corner can be hard to do, Garner said reaching the ten-win plateau helps more than any other factor when it comes to recruiting.

"Getting the ten wins plays a major role in recruiting. Everyone wants to play for a winner. Being a winner is probably our biggest asset in recruiting," he said.

Garner added that only a few players remain on Georgia's radar screen now.

"There are 10 to 15 additional guys we are looking at along with the players we already have committed. We are actively pursing them. We still have to play the actual amount of slots remaining by ear. A lot will be determined after we see what happens with our underclassmen," said Garner.

"We look to sign six or seven (more). We still have some needs we have to address, and, of course, if there is a great player it's hard to turn them away," he said.

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