ATHENS – In a week-long series of articles, Dean Legge takes a look at Georgia's recruiting; today, the safeties.
has talent at safety. How much of the older talent will play in the NFL is a good question. Kelin Johnson
is the leader of the safeties, and it seems he's the leader of the defense, too. C.J. Byrd
, specifically, needs to step up and start taking over leadership responsibilities along with Johnson, but he's just now figured out the Georgia defense. Those two are slotted to start in 2007, but there is tons of talent pushing from behind them on the depth chart. Johnson and Byrd, however, know the defense – and that matters when you are trying to execute in the SEC. Quentin Banks and Reshad Jones
could be a very difficult duo to deal with in a few years, but they need to totally understand the defense before they can become stars. Will Antavious Coates
ever take the field in Athens, or are his unfortunate injuries too much to overcome to be effective?
Total safeties: 6 in 2007; 7 in 2008 (at this moment)
Starters: Kelin Johnson and C.J. Byrd
Backups: Quentin Banks, Reshad Jones, Donavon Baldwin and Antavious Coates
Signed in 2007: John Knox
Won't be here in 2008: Kelin Johnson
Committed for 2008: Bacarri Rambo
2008 Offers: Jamoris Slaughter (Tucker), Darrell Simmons (Banneker), Robert Blanton (NC), Spencer Adams (NC), Dee Finley (AL), Karnell Hatcher (FL),
What it all means: Slaughter is likely Georgia's top target at this spot. It's hard to imagine, even after backing away from a full commitment to Georgia, that Rambo will not sign with the Bulldogs in the end. One question about 2008 deals a lot with 2007. Will John Knox qualify to play at Georgia? If he doesn't Georgia will simply re-sign him and send him to prep school. It does not seem that Simmons is very interested in Georgia – Alabama is his school of most interest. Finley is interested in the Dawgs, but pulling a kid out of Auburn, Alabama is going to be a difficult task. Georgia seems in good shape with Slaughter – he, with Rambo (and possibly Knox) would be a good signing class at safety for Georgia in 2008.