Georgia Recruiting Overview: Safeties

ATHENS – In a week-long series of articles, Dean Legge takes a look at Georgia's recruiting; today, the safeties.

Overview: Georgia has talent at safety. How much of the older talent will play immediately the NFL is still up in the air, but the program has NFL talent nonetheless. Kelin Johnson is the leader of the safeties, and it seems he's the leader of the defense, too. Johnson is not a huge safety in the mold of Thomas Davis and Greg Blue, but his heavy hitting is in the same ball park. 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, and will he line up at safety when he does?

Total safeties: 6 in 2007 (at this moment Knox is not yet in school); 6 in 2008

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: Darrell Simmons (Banneker), Robert Blanton (NC), Spencer Adams (NC), Karnell Hatcher (FL), Eddie Whitley (NC), Matt Daniels, Nick Williams, Sanders Commings

What it all means: Rambo is better than people think. He will get his due when the time comes. 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. Nick Williams will probably commit to Georgia, too. He made a name for himself at the Mark Richt camp in June. He told me not that long ago that it was hard for him not to commit to the Bulldogs. Still, Georgia will have to hold off former Bainbridge player Kirby Smart and Alabama if they want to sign him. Don't except Matt Daniels, who is Brandon Boykin's teammate, to commit to Georgia – at least not time soon. He really likes the Dawgs, but his parents really want him to sign with Duke, which is where he is currently committed. Commings likes Georgia, too, and he seems like a possibility at safety as well.


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