Pugh Picks Georgia

CHARLOTTE – Add another commitment to Georgia's early crop for 2008.

Makiri Pugh, who is one of the top players in North Carolina, picked Georgia over Clemson and Georgia Tech in a press conference this afternoon.

"I don't think there is a place better for me than Georgia," he said of his decision.

Pugh's decision keeps the Dawgs' late-spring momentum in recruiting going. Over the last few weeks the Caleb King has received word of a qualifying test score. The running back will be enrolled at Georgia on Monday. Tavarres King, arguably the best wide receiver in Georgia, picked the Dawgs over Clemson and Florida. Earlier this week, Georgia received a commitment from GAC linebacker Christian Robinson.

For Pugh picking the Dawgs had a lot to do with his comfort level with the program, the players there and playing time in the secondary.

"Georgia always plays lots of corners. Their second guy gets into the game no matter what. They played six corners last year, and I don't think you can beat that," he said.

Pugh's commitment keeps an important pipeline for the Bulldogs to the most talented high school in North Carolina – Independence. Starting wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi and backup quarterback Joe Cox are on the Bulldogs' roster right now, and Mario Raley just graduated this past year.

But it may have been what Cox said to Pugh that cinched the deal for the corner picking the Dawgs.

"The fact that Joe is there and is not starting and said he would never Georgia – that means something," Pugh said. "Joe said he would never leave no matter what happened football-wise."

Cox, a sophomore just like starting quarterback Matthew Stafford, would likely never get a chance to start as signal caller in Athens unless Stafford went down with an injury or left early for the NFL. Still, Cox made clear to Pugh that Georgia was a great place for him.

As for Pugh himself, the Bulldogs found out about him after the rising senior send them film late last year. That got Georgia's coaching staff interested in him fast.

"We sent in a tape at the end of the season," Pugh said. "Coach Martinez texted me and said he would be by the school in the spring. I knew if they came around I knew I would take them seriously – I wanted them to come around."

When the Bulldogs say Pugh in person they knew they could get a commitment from a physically imposing cornerback similar to former Georgia cornerbacks Paul Oliver and DeMario Minter.

"They like my physically at boundary corner," he said. "They said I reminded them a little of Minter and Oliver because of my size. They like my size and speed."

Pugh's commitment means Georgia now has 11 players committed – three of them projecting to play in the secondary for Willie Martinez (playmaking Baccari Rambo and explosive Brandon Boykin)

"I want to focus on my senior year," Pugh said of ending his recruitment so early. "I have seen guys get wrapped up in recruiting, and it can get messy. I want to have a great high school season. I am excited about the decision."

As for the rest of the summer, Pugh said he will visit Athens this weekend and will be back in July for Georgia's summer camp.

"We are going to do a lot of seven-on-seven," Pugh said. "I am going to Athens Saturday and try to get back to Athens for their July camp."

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