Ask the Expert: May 27, 2009

Dawg Post's Dean Legge asks South Recruiting Analyst Chad Simmons about Georgia's recruiting. Get the latest on Mack Brown, Alec Ogletree, Ryan Ayer, 2011 prospects, and more here.

Spring evaluation time is here, and you are traveling to see some of the top players in the state. Where does Georgia stand in the recruiting pecking order for the following players...? Mack Brown, Alec Ogeltree, Garrison Smith, Ryan Ayers, Tai-ler Jones, Da' Rick Rogers, Jeffrey Whitaker and Neiron Ball

Brown: Georgia is currently second for Brown behind Florida. If they are going to make a run at the Gators, then they need to do it soon because he plans to commit in August. Yes, signing day is not until February 2010, but UF has a big lead on UGA at this time and it will be even tougher to beat them for his signature if they get his verbal commitment this summer.

Ogletree: Georgia is currently second for Tree behind Miami at this time. They are right there in his top group and I feel they have slowly crept up his list this spring. They spent a full day at Newnan a couple of weeks ago and he will visit Athens again this summer with his family.

Smith: Georgia is currently in the lead group for Smith. He says he is open to all right now, but I like Georgia's chances with Smith at this time. He is looking at schools like Florida, FSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, USC, and Alabama as well, but I feel he stays close to home in the end.

Ayers: Georgia is currently second or third on Ayers' list, but that could change after he visits Athens next week. He is going to spend time with the coaches, tour the campus, and take part in his first full visit to UGA as a recruit. Georgia Tech leads now with Florida right there with Georgia at number two.

Jones: Georgia is currently down the list for Jones. Stanford has his commitment, but Georgia has fallen off a bit. It seemed they were going to stay on him and recruit him hard, but he has not received the attention from the home state school that he thought he would after he committed. Notre Dame has really turned it up as has Tennessee and some others. UGA is still in line to get an official visit from Jones, so they are still in it if they choose to be.

Rogers: Georgia is currently on top for Rogers with Florida. I feel it comes down to those two even though schools like Alabama, Mississippi State, and now USC are involved. He has a lot of support here in the Peach State that would love to see him play for the in-state school, so that may help them in the end.

Whitaker: Georgia is currently in the lead group for Whitaker. He has always liked Georgia and he still does to this day. He and Coach Garner have a good relationship and the Dawgs are still the team to beat for his signature in my opinion. North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, FSU, and Clemson are others he has mentioned, but Georgia will be in this race until the end.

Ball: Georgia is currently at the top for Ball. Florida and Clemson are right there as well, but his older brother Neland is home from Athens for now and they have been talking about playing together at Georgia. UF and Clemson will not go down easy and he is going to take his time, but at this time, Georgia is good shape with Ball.

Are there any off-the-radar players folks should be aware of who have come to your attention of late?

Michael Thornton is not off the radar really, but he has quietly emerged as one of the top defensive tackles in the South. He is out of Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, Ga. and the Dawgs offered him recently. He says he is open to all schools right now, but Garner has a good in at Stephenson and Thornton plans to visit Athens this summer, so keep an eye on this one. I feel they have to catch up a few schools, but they are in it.

Also, watch Dominique Easley out of New York - UGA offered this DL and he is Abry Jones' cousin. He liks football in the South and he plans to visit Georgia later this summer or early in the fall. Also, keep an eye on Darius Millines out of Florida. He is an ath (WR/CB) that does not have an offer from Georgia yet, but he appears to be high on their board.

What school, besides Georgia, is recruiting best in Georgia?

I would say Alabama is recruiting very well in Georgia as is Florida and Tennessee. I am hearing those three schools out of most of the top prospects in the state this year. FSU has gotten back involved in the Peach State as well. Schools know Georgia is a very talented state and they are going head to head with the Dawgs for many of the best. Ogletree, Brown, Smith, and JaWuan James are four of the best in the country and all (James is already committed to Bama) are looking hard out of state.

Who is the top out-of-state prospect Georgia needs to target (at this moment)?

Hard to name just one that they need to target because many of them are worthy of being that one guy, but if I had to name one, I would say Marcus Lattimore. He is a back that can carry a team, he does all very well, and he is someone UGA has targeted for a couple of years now. As of now, it looks like Brown may be headed for the swamp, so that makes Lattimore even more important. Brent Benedict, Eduardo Clements, Shakim Phillips, Jeff Luc, Cody Riggs, John Fulton, Dominique Easley, and many others could be this guy as well.

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