Dawg Night: Opinions and Observations

ATHENS – Dean Legge recaps Georgia's Dawg Night recruiting camp.

Smith enjoys Georgia camp
Recruiting: What's Left for Georgia
Dawg Night: Photos

There were plenty of big names at the camp tonight: Zach Mettenberger, Branden Smith, Dallas Lee, Mike Gillard and Abry Jones… just to name a few. But it was Rontavious Wooten's night.

TOP OVERALL CAMPER
Rontavious Wooten could not be stopped. I think the one guy at that camp would could have stopped him was on the sideline. I would have loved to see just what Branden Smith and Wooten would have looked like on the field because there was just no one in Wooten's category when I came to covering him. A powerful form of quickness is what he has, and what I mean by that is a "snappieness" to movements. He's not a smooth guy necessarily – he's a snapper. He didn't drop any catchable balls when I watched him in the one-on-one drills. The defense would put big guys up there and then little guys – none could stick with him. Again, I would have loved to have seen the speed on speed that would have been a Smith-Wooten matchup, but it was not to be. It got to the point with me where I wanted someone to jam him on the line to see if he could take a pop on the line of scrimmage. Folks tried. He was just too quick off the line; after about five yards there was what was going to become obvious separation down the field.

GEORGIA'S COMMITS
It's like Zach Mettenberger cannot get enough. He does not have to do these camps, but he's here, and he does them. He talked with me tonight about how much he was looking forward to spending time with Matthew Stafford at the Elite 11 Camp Sunday. The pair is going to fly out that day, presumably together, and spend time in Southern California… not bad. Still, Mettenberger has a high level of expectation for himself. I wonder sometimes if it's too high, but that's a really a good thing. I just hope it never gets to the point where he doesn't realize that he can do things. A. I think Zach had a better overall camp tonight. He made one throw, a touch throw over the middle, where he showed that his arm is not just about throwing through a brick wall all of the time. He does not have much talent to work with at Oconee… I'm not trying to run the Warriors down – it's true. So the fact that they are winning with what they have got is a testament to what Mettenberger can do. He can't sling the ball down the field in high school. There is no one there to catch it. When Wooten is on the other end of a deep ball your ball looks even better. Zach had a pretty good night no matter what he says.

Aby Jones decided not to particpate in the camp, and I think it was a matter of, really, what does he or the staff gain from it? Nothing. There is no reason to risk an injury to a top kid in some summer camp. As someone said: "We already know what he's got."

Mike Gilliard is a well put together guy. Man he tries hard. I mean he tries hard. I think he's extremely athletic. I still think he's getting used to a thing or two, but by the end of September he may be a guy that has put it all together. He is very coachable, and I think he really had a good time coming up tonight.

Dallas Lee was not going to do the drills at Georgia's camp. The only thing he was going to do was run the 40-yard dash and that was it. But that was not enough for Lee. He traveled to the far end of the practice facility with the rest of the offensive line and went through the drills like everyone else. Oh well. I don't blame guys that want to get out there and have fun. I mean Lee avoided getting hurt, so job number one accomplished. I only spent a limited amount of time with the offensive line because I was watching a lot of other spots, but Lee looked good. He's not a fat guy. I wonder the reaction from some Georgia people when they see that one of the offensive linemen, Lee should play guard in Athens, ends up being the top tackler on his high school's defense (that could happen for Lee at Buford this fall – at least it's possible). I think right now the talk about Lee being a defensive tackle should slow down or stop. He's an offensive lineman – specifically a guard.

2010
These guys are pretty good. I mean next year is not some junk year – you've got some real beasts in that bunch.

THE OUT-OF-STATERS
The Byrnes duo is unfair. Really, it's not right to have that on the defensive line at a high school. Brandon Willis is not the dude you are wanting to line up on in high school ball. I have made my mind up that the interest is too strong from Willis, at a minimum, in Georgia for me to avoid watching Byrnes play next season. I've seen Willis at three camps and every time I see him he looks better. I would want to line up across from him less and less as time goes on. Now, he's a defensive tackle all the way. You've also got Corey Miller, the defensive end, who also already looks the part of a college freshman. Miller is a Jon Fabris favorite – think about that. This duo is dangerous. I am very, very interested to see if North Gwinnett can neutralize them at all, or if the Bulldogs are going to have to hold on for dear life.

TOP FIVER
I'm not sure what the class of 2010 looks like quite yet, but Newnan safety Alec Ogletree is in my top five… now. Some guys just have it, and there's not much more to explain beyond that. He's a safety, but he did just fine in one-on-one drills by picking off two balls while I was there. Most guys didn't pick anything off, and here is this guy – a safety, who some where saying was too big to be a safety – picking off two. Take out your pencil and write it down; Dude is a stud.

BROTHERLY LOVE
Neland Ball came out to watch his younger brother Neiron play. If Neiron is going to grow the same way Neland has then look out. I like Ball's raw ability. He's a lot like his brother in that he's not a polished kid from the suburbs of Atlanta. Ball is going to grow into a heck of a prospect… and probably soon.

NEWS AND NOTES
There were about 86 players at the camp tonight… The camp was broken into offense and defense with the two sides wearing Georgia's practice jerseys to distinguish one from the other… A slew of current and former players attended including Fernando Velasco, Mike Moore, Neland Ball, Vance Cuff, Donavon Baldwin and others. Many current players met some of the campers as they were ending their voluntary Friday workout… This camp, which has to be considered a success when taking into account the out-of-state components particularly from south Florida, had to take something from Florida's Friday Night Lights. The Dawgs are not the only one getting into the act of trying to slow that Gator event. Florida State, Tennessee, LSU and Alabama all have camps within the next few days. Note to Florida: everyone is ganging up on you (party in the end zone?)… Former Roswell wide receiver Tailer Jones is now at Gainesville… Jeffrey Whitaker, who Georgia just offered, could not make it to Dawg Night as Warner Robbins was at team camp tonight…


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