Many juniors in Georgia are the UGA radar, but only three have official offers very early in 2009. Two are skill guys while the third is one of the best in the trenches in the south.
On the offensive side of the ball, the only offer is to wide receiver Antonio Goodwin. The 6-foot-2, 170 pound speedster is out of Booker T. Washington and he is their next big recruit.
He did not get too many opportunities to display his big play ability as a junior. The offense is run oriented and they did not have a consistent quarterback there to get him the football.
What Goodwin brings to the football field is speed. He is a vertical threat, he has great length, he has very good acceleration, and he is going to be a deep threat on the next level. His hands, route running, and consistency need some improvement, but he has the tools to be one of the best in the South next fall.
UGA offered first and Oregon and UAB have since offered, but once his limited film hits the college campuses, then new offers will arrive. Goodwin camped at Georgia last summer and he walked away with an offer. The Dawgs were his childhood favorite and the home state school is in good shape at this time.
He has visited Athens numerous times and he was the first junior to pick up an offer from the Bulldogs when Rodney Garner extended him one late in the spring.
The 6-foot-3, 295 pound interior DL is strong against the run and he is still working on rushing the pass. He is excellent at controlling the line, holding his space, and giving the linebackers a chance to attack the football. Whitaker really improved his play as a junior and he became a defender that collapsed the pocket on a regular basis and started moving better laterally. He still needs to work on his first step and his explosiveness.
Attention is coming in from schools all across the country and he will likely be one of the most highly recruited prospects at his position in the south and possibly the country.
The relationship Whitaker has with Coach Garner could pay dividends for UGA in the end. Look for Whitaker to make an early decision (before his senior year begins) and the Dawgs look like they will be tough to beat. His family likes the idea of him staying home, Whitaker likes what he knows about Coach Garner, and there are a lot of Bulldog fans in that Warner Robins area.
Hard hitting safety Alec Ogletree is the third prospect in Georgia to hold an offer from the Bulldogs. He, like Goodwin picked up his offer after his strong performance at UGA's camp in July.
Ogletree is a 6-foot-3, 210- pound safety out of Newnan. People look at his size and think potential linebacker, but that is not a given. He does an excellent job of reading the quarterback and playing centerfield for the defense. He has the size of a backer, but he can cover well enough at this time to make himself a legit safety prospect in the 2010 class.
Even though he is solid in coverage, he is known for delivering big hits. He really goes down hill and attacks the ball carrier. He needs to work on wrapping up, taking better angles, and not playing too aggressive, but he is one that could be fighting for the top prospect in Georgia all fall in 2009.
His childhood favorite was Miami, so he has high interest in the Canes, but the Dawgs are currently in his top four along with Florida and FSU.
Look for Georgia to recruit this trio heavily throughout the winter, spring, summer, and into the fall next year. The Dawgs have made stops at each school a couple of times already since they hit the road in December and they will likely be back once more before signing day.
Will one of these athletes be Georgia's first commitment in the class of 2010? It looks like Ogletree and Goodwin will be patient, so if it came out of this trio, then the likely one would be Whitaker. What a start that would be. It is good to build a team from the inside out and "Big Whit" could be a centerpiece for UGA's 2010 class if he chooses Athens as his future home.
If you have a question or comment about the prospects in this feature, please post it on The Porch and I will answer it as soon as possible.