Brown has all of the tools to be an elite back on the next level – he is explosive, he makes guys miss, he can block, he catches the ball well out of the backfield well, he has good body lean, and he has good vision. I would like to see him run better behind his pads and pull away from arm tackles a little more. I expect him to have a monster year in 2009 – teams will be keying on him, but he will produce for M.L.K.
As far as recruiting goes, I agree with you – I personally give UF the edge even though he told me Monday night over the phone that Georgia and Florida are dead even still. They do have ties to the state of Florida and right there around UF, so that plays in the Gators favor, but Georgia is doing all they can to let him know he is a priority of theirs. He is really bonding with running backs coach Bryan McClendon as is Brown's father, so that has put the Bulldogs up there with the Gators at the top of his list. Georgia just has to keep recruiting him, get him on campus as often as possible, show him how they plan to use him, and show him that he could fit in right in there on and off the field. They have a shot, but I still give UF a slight advantage right now.
We both saw Alec Ogletree the other day in Atlanta at the Scout.com Combine. He seems to move very well for a big guy. It that something that makes him a top player? The Dawgs also seem to be in a fight for him. What, in your mind, to they need to do to get him to sign?
Yeah, he is the total package. I do not label guys as ‘can't miss' prospects very often, but he is one of those for me. He is a no brainer when it comes to extending an offer. Ogletree really does move well for a guy 6-3/212 and that is why I have him listed at safety on Scout. He covers a lot of ground in the secondary, he reads QBs well, he has great range, he has very good ball skills, and everyone knows he hits with a lot of force. Tree is just a special talent – he is humble, he is a hard worker, he is a leader, and he is a legit five-star recruit.
Like for Brown, I feel UGA does trail for Ogletree as well. The Dawgs are close to the top for Brown, but they trail Miami, Florida State, and Florida for this safety. This one is a little odd – he just grew up liking Miami, so they really have his attention, but Newnan is full of UGA fans, so it is odd the Dawgs are behind UF and FSU as well. He has been to Athens a number of times, they offered him very early (summer 2008), and they have sent coaches there many times over the past nine months, so it is odd he is not a little interested in UGA than he is at this point. To get him, they have stay steady, continue to recruit him hard, and try to build that trust. If it comes down to offering his brother Alexander, it may be tough for UGA to offer due to the number of offers that have in 2010.
The duo from Florida who just committed to Georgia, Marc Deas and B.J. Butler, where to they compare to some of the other talent in the Sunshine State? I know that getting players out of Florida always seems to be a big thing, but where do this duo compare to other Florida kids - and where would they be ranked in Georgia?
Based on the film I have seen on Deas and Butler, I like them both. I had not seen film on Deas when the rankings came out, but he is a guy I feel was a little under-recruited. He is a good athlete and a real leader at Osceola. They play a fast defense there and that is why he is at middle linebacker, so he is truly built to play safety which is where he will play in Athens. I have to project Deas as a safety, but him playing LB makes it hard to rank him in that group. He is a fierce competitor, he is a sure tackler, he pursues the ball well, and I like his lateral speed.
Butler has about as high of a ceiling as I have seen – he is just now starting to fill out physically (up to 255 pounds now according to his head coach) and he is so versatile as an athlete. I think he is one of the top jumbo-type athletes in the South and maybe the country. Him moving around hurts him a little in the rankings because he has not settled in at defensive end yet. He is explosive, he is very strong at the point of attack, and he is only going to get better. Once he learns the position, builds up his strength, and gets settled, I feel UGA got one of the best defensive guys in Florida.
Getting this pair is big for Georgia – these are two very good athletes, very good football players, and very good young men. Butler would be a top 10 player in GA right now, probably top 5 and Deas would be a top 20 guy. I will be seeing them both live during spring practice and I really look forward to that.
A quarterback might be hard for Georgia to pull in the 2010 class, but it feels like they need to grab one for the future. Who should be looking for in terms of legit in-state offer guys for this year? Who is a national junior we should keep an eye on?
Yes, Georgia needs to and they will sign a QB in the 2010 class. They are still in the game for Blake Sims in my opinion and I think if he signed with UGA, then they would give him a shot at quarterback. He is committed to Alabama now, but I would not count Georgia totally out yet. He is a versatile athlete that could play receiver or safety too.
The in-state QB that I see getting the longest and hardest look as of today is Hutson Mason out of Lassiter. He has the smarts, the size, the savvy, and the arm to attract UGA. I was very impressed with Mason at the Scout combine in Atlanta and I feel his recruiting is going to take off this spring. I know he has been in touch with UGA recently, so I think they give him a long look.
Nash Nance of Calhoun is another one – he has really improved since 2008, especially his arm strength. He has gained about 15-20 pounds of muscle, he still has good feet in the pocket, and his arm looks much stronger. He is one on the UGA radar as well. Jonathan Watters of Rome and Parker Welch of Wayne County are two others that will likely be camping in Athens this summer.
One to watch in 2010 is Everett Golson of Myrtle Beach, S.C. He already has a long list of offers and he is going to be a national recruit likely in both football and basketball. He is a top athlete out of the Palmetto State that Georgia and schools across the country are well aware of. The Dawgs have already offered a QB/ATH in their own backyard in the '11 class in C.J. Uzomah. It is still unknown if he will play QB or WR on the next level, but he is quickly becoming one of the best in Georgia in his class.
It seems like Florida is coming into Georgia a little this year, but how is Georgia Tech doing in in-state recruiting in the Peach State?
Georgia Tech is doing well – they have commitments from three players and all three are from Georgia. McCoy is their biggest get on paper, but running back Charles Perkins is one of the top five backs in Georgia. Perkins is strong, he has enough speed to get to the outside, and he does a good job of running through tacklers. McCoy will play defensive tackle for Paul Johnson and he is a very athletic guy that will be a big recruiter for them. Their third guy is Fred Holton – he is a good athlete out of Thomasville that will play safety at GT. He is a physical kid with average speed.
They are in on a lot of guys like DeAndre Smelter, Telvin Smith, Garrison Smith, Anthony Williams, Ryan Ayers, Tyrone Cornileus, Marcus Thornton, Michael Taylor, Isaiah Johnson, Jonathan Mincy, Kyle Woestmann, and B.J. Bostic to name a few.
I think they will get their share of those guys.
Finally, which of the 2009 class of recruits is best ready for the jump to college ball that is coming fast?
A couple of guys jump out to me that I feel are as ready as they can be and then I feel a few others have to be ready because they will be put on the field barring injury…
Orson Charles is ready – he is ready physically, he is ready athletically, and he is going to play. He is not ready to be a blocking TE, but he is ready to contribute as a WR/TE in the passing game.
Branden Smith is another one I feel is ready to compete in the SEC. He has the speed that many don't and he has great ball skills, great hips, and the confidence to play from day one. He needs to add weight, get stronger, and improve technique, but he will play early.
Two others that I think definitely play because of numbers are Marlon Brown and Rantavious Wooten. Both are talented and could play early regardless, but the numbers at receiver are thin, so look for these two to play early also.