Blue Chip Prospects Line Up for Georgia Visit

ATHENS – Georgia's Blackout will serve as its biggest recruiting weekend of the year.

The Bulldogs, who face SEC foe Alabama on Saturday, will welcome a slew of big-name recruits on Saturday night – many of whom are not committed at this time. Memphis wide receiver Marlon Brown, Tampa tight end Orson Charles, Tallahasse safety Jawanza Starling, Columbus linebacker Jarvis Jones and Atlanta cornerback Branden Smith – all considered four-star prospects or better by – will take in the game.

Georgia will have to fight national powers to grab a commitment from Brown. The talented playmaker has show interest in the Bulldogs for some time, but it's been hard to gauge just how interested he is in Georgia. Still, Brown's visit to Athens on Saturday will give the Bulldogs a chance to pay Brown close attention. The trip may be enough to make Brown think hard about joining what is becoming a young, but explosive receiver unit at Georgia.

Charles, who's teammate Aaron Murray is committed to the Bulldogs, has taken in the recruiting process most of the year. Most still think Charles is Miami's to lose – after all he once called the south Florida program his "dream school". Still, Murray has been persuasive for the Dawgs in the Class of 2009. Numerous commits point to Murray as an effective recruiter for the Bulldogs – might the case be the same with his talented teammate? The duo will ride together to Athens for the contest.

Starling is another out-of-state recruit the Bulldogs are hoping to pull in this year's class. However, the Bulldogs are going to have to fight off a slew of schools including in-state Florida and Florida State as well as Auburn and Notre Dame. Starling has indicated that he will wait until after the New Year to make his decision.

Jones has been one of the most-talked-about recruits in the Class of 2009. He is a talented linebacker, but is also a recruiting enigma. At first it seemed Clemson was the team to beat for him. He said he was uninterested in Auburn, but took a quick trip there recently. It's hard to know how Jones' recruitment will shake out, but getting the senior on campus is a good boost to the Bulldogs' chances. Jones has maintained that he will not commit until after his high school season.

Smith, who lives in downtown Atlanta, has been the prospect the Bulldogs seem most interested in signing. A slender playmaker who must carry his high school team, Smith has dodged questions about who he likes best. Still, Alabama and Georgia – the two programs on display Saturday night – seem to be his top two schools. It's ok if the Bulldogs don't sign the above players, but Smith seems like the one player the program really needs to sign – at least it feels that way.

Several of the in-state commitments will also be in town for Georgia's affair, and many of them were in town last year when the Bulldogs did the Blackout against Auburn. The recruiting ramifications of the alternate jerseys is significant and the way that Georgia racked up commitments early on this season lends credence to that line of thinking. Obviously Georgia sells itself, but recruits admit that they were very impressed with the notion of a Blackout as well as the black jerseys that go along with it.

There are 2010 recruits who are planning to be there, but that number is more difficult to get a hold of considering the newness of the recruiting game to that group. Jeff Whitaker will be at the game. Georgia fans should start warming up to him as he seems very interested in playing at Georgia. North Gwinnett offensive tackle Jawuan James may also be at the game, but I have been unable to confirm that yet. The Bulldogs are very interested in the rangy tackle.

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