2008 Georgia Summer Camp Preview

ATHENS – This Saturday is one of the most important weekends for the future of Georgia football.

That's not being overdramatic, either. Several players, some starters in fact, were run through the gauntlet at previous camps and given their scholarship as a result. Offensive linemen Ben Jones and Clint Boling as well as wide receiver Tavarres King and defensive end Cornelius Washington used impressive camp performances in recent summers to make their way onto campus.

"There have been times when we never would have offered a player had they not come to our camp," Richt said. "Camp was huge for Ben. I heard about him through the grapevine, and after his performance at our camp we offered him. His film was good, but his camp was great."

Georgia will host it's annual Mark Richt Camp this Saturday and the target will be to identify the top 2010 players in attendance. Georgia's head coach told Dawg Post just how important camps, particularly those focusing on younger players, are for his program.

"Right now we are looking at 2010 kids – hard. Right now," Richt said.

That's good for a slew of top-level players who are expected to be at the camp this weekend.

TOP 2010 PLAYERS EXPECTED AT THE MARK RICHT CAMP:
Corey Miller, Byrnes (SC)
Brandon Willis, Byrnes (SC)
Daniel Blitch, North Hall
Max Garcia, Norcross
Jeffery Whitaker, Warner Robbins
Julian Horton, GAC
Jonathan Watters, Pepperell

Several other 2010 players we are not yet aware of will be in attendance, too, and they will be the players in focus. Richt said camps are vital to the recruiting process. They give coaches a chance to see up close what they have been watching on film.

"Camps have always been crucial for us," Richt said. "You get to see a guy in person do things. You get to find out what kind of kid he is – is he coachable? Does he show up with a smile on his face? How does he handle pressure?"

TOP 2009 PLAYERS EXPECTED AT THE MARK RICHT CAMP:
Chase Vasser, Chestatee*
Zach Mettenberger, Oconee County*
Abry Jones, Northside*
Mike Gilliard, Valdosta*
Austin Long, Briarcrest (TN)*
Aaron Murray, Plant (FL)*
Dallas Lee, Buford*
Greg Reid, Lownes
Orson Charles, Plant (FL)

*Committed to Georgia

Branden Smith and Jordan Love, two of the players the Bulldogs are after most for a commitment, visited Athens for their camps experience earlier this month. Those two would be on "commitment watch" if they were there this weekend, but it seems the Bulldog Nation is going to have to wait a little while for that to happen. Love is very interested in Georgia – as is Smith. But it's Love who has said he may be interested in committing near the start of July. Smith, along with other heavily-watched prospect Jarvis Jones, has said he will wait until at least after the summer to pick his school.

WHO COULD COMMIT?

Aaron Murray's top-level teammate Orson Charles is the player I would keep an eye on. While there is no indication that Charles will commit this weekend, he's the one who seems most poised to do so. He's been to Athens before, and his teammate – the one he spends lots of time with – is already going to Georgia. Commitment or not this weekend, Georgia seems like the team to beat for Charles.

COVERAGE FROM DAWG POST

As usual Dawg Post will provide complete coverage of the Mark Richt Camp. Opinions, observations, photographs and more will be provided from the event. Don't miss a special SUNDAY NIGHT chat with Dean Legge and Quentin Grant. The chat starts at 8 PM.


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