The Recruiting Roll

ATHENS - If this were the first week of February the Bulldog Nation would be going wild, and Mark Richt would be losing a little bit more hair.

But it's not, and he's not.

It's the day after the Sopranos Finale in June - recruiting is supposed to be at a lull. Tony may not have gotten whacked last night, but the end seems near for Georgia's recruiting class for 2008. Like Sunday night's show, the finale for 2008 Bulldog recruiting may end, well, with a whole lot of nothing.

Nine months from now critics will say that Georgia can't close - you don't have to if the game is over at the half.

Since May 18th, when Habersham Central wide receiver Tavarres King picked the Bulldogs over Clemson, Georgia has gotten commitments from six players. And while Georgia's six commitments since that date sets a dizzying pace, amazingly, its not the most since mid May. Oklahoma State, who will take the field against Georgia in the season opener, has seven commitments since May 18th. Not to be outdone, Texas had more than that on one day. Texas' nine-players-in-one-day catch on February 11th is the most of any day or time frame for any team in the country. The Horns ended that month with 15 players committed to them - stunning.

Still, Georgia is on a recruiting tear the likes of which rivals anything the program has done during the Mark Richt era.

In 2002, Georgia got commitments from four-star DeMario Minter, five-star Kedric Golston, four-star Mario Raley, four-star Marcus Jackson and four-star Max Jean-Gilles in a two week period to finish out the recruiting season. In 2003, Georgia ended recruiting by getting commitments from three players on the same day when Richard Cook, Dana Graydon and James Lee committed on February 5th. None of those players had an impact on the program. An 11-day period in 2004 scored three-star Chester Adams, one-star Kelin Johnson, three-star Kenneth Harris and three-star Ramarcus Brown. The biggest day in 2005 came when two five-star players, South Carolina's C.J. Byrd and New Jersey's Kade Weston picked Georgia on the same day. Four three-star players committed to Georgia in a nine-day period for the class of 2006 when Chris Davis, Shaun Chapas, Kevin Perez and Ricardo Crawford went with the Dawgs. Five players committed to the Dawgs in August of 2006, but two of them, Justin Anderson and Ben Harden were simply re-committing after starting school at Hargrave. Four-star players Aron White, Israel Troupe and Vance Cuff all picked Georgia that month.

While it's plain to see that Georgia has strung together big name recruits in a short time frame before, its never been at the rate they are going right now - at least not in the early summer - so far away from when the ink is supposed to hit the paper.

Still, what Georgia has done on the recruiting trail this spring has not gone unnoticed - particularly by it's bitter rivals. Georgia's three biggest rivals, Auburn (4), Florida (1) and Georgia Tech (3), only have two more players committed to their entire collective classes (8) for the year compared to the Dawgs' total in the last three weeks.

Georgia currently sits with 14 commitments, but that number could change at any moment. Several players seem close to committing, and they may pull the trigger this weekend at Georgia's summer camp. The Bulldogs will host scores of uncommitted prospects at this weekend's event, but they will also welcome commits like Brandon Boykin and Jonathan Owens as well.

So when you settle in that morning on February 6th don't expect the Dawgs to finish with a flurry - and don't expect Richt to lose any more hair.


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