Small, but talented group of visitors

Ben Watson's decision this week to return for his senior season made Georgia coaches feel much better about the tight end position for 2003, but linebacker remains a big concern that is a focus in recruiting this weekend.

Three high school linebackers are among six recruits on campus this weekend. Marcus Howard of Hanahan, S.C., and Jarvis Jackson of Washington High in Atlanta each are about 6-foot-1 and 205 and are potential candidates to make an immediate impact. Georgia must replace its three 2002 starting linebackers.  

Danny Verdun of Thomson, Ga., a linebacker who has given his verbal commitment to Georgia, also is visiting this weekend.  

Howard is believed to be leaning toward Clemson. Howard has eliminated South Carolina and North Carolina State and has narrowed his choices to Clemson and Georgia. Jackson also is considering West Virginia.  

Georgia also had two linebackers visit last weekend. One of the two, Dana Gradon of Albany's Dougherty High, is visiting Florida State this weekend. The other, Jon Beason of Hollywood, Fla., has listed Georgia, Tennessee, Florida State and Miami as his finalists.  

After his visit last weekend, Beason told the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel "It's going to be pretty hard to beat Georgia.'' Beason, who played safety in high school but is projected to play linebacker in college,  will visit Florida State next week.  

Another highly ranked recruit, running back/linebacker Ernie Sims of Tallahassee, is considering Georgia, Auburn, Florida, Florida State and Miami. Sims, ranked by TheInsiders.com as the nation's top recruit at any position, has said he hopes to cut his list to three schools next week.  

Georgia has commitments from three linebackers: Verdun, Danny Ware of Rockmart and Des Williams of Dacula. It must replace 2002 starters Boss Bailey, Tony Gilbert and Chris Clemons.  

Also visiting Georgia this weekend are quarterback C.J. Gaddis of Raeford, N.C., cornerback Patrick Lee of Miami, Fla., and offensive lineman Fernando Velasco of Louisville, Ga. Velasco already is on Georgia's list of 21 verbal commitments.  

Gaddis has given a verbal commitment to sign with Clemson but he continues to be recruited by Georgia, where he likely would be a defensive back.  

Lee reportedly cancelled a visit to Florida in order to be in Athens. Lee is thought to be leaning toward Auburn, but he has said he plans to visit Michigan State and North Carolina State.  

During last weekend's visits, defensive end Richard Cook of Washington-Wilkes High School said he would sign with Georgia.

For a complete list of visitors for this weekend, please click here:

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