What We Are Hearing

With spring football right around the corner Dean Legge gives you another edition of what we are hearing.

So just who will emerge as the starting quarterback? Where will certain defensive players lineup in Todd Grantham's 3-4? Those are probably the two biggest questions entering the spring, with the quarterback spot getting the most media and fan attention.

Logan Gray enters the spring as the number one signal caller. Now, that's the traditional spot for the eldest quarterback to be when there is no returning starter. Joe Cox was the number one last season, Joe Tereshinski was listed as the number one in 2006… and D.J. Shockley was listed as the one after David Greene left.

I would not read too much into who is listed where this spring – particularly at quarterback. It feels like this is a two-man competition between Zach Mettenberger and Aaron Murray, but Gray will get his chance to fight for the starting spot, too.

Zach Mettenberger has prototypical features
Murray, in my view (and probably everyone else's), has the inside track to be the number one coming out of the spring. But the thing that's so interesting is to hear the chatter surrounding the competition. One person pretty close to the situation said to me after the 2009 season that he'd heard that Mettenberger was the one to beat. Another person closer to the situation said that Mettenberger probably wasn't the one to beat, but that the thing was a little closer than the public realized. They indicated that Metteberger's physical skills are hard to dismiss. When asked point blank who it would be, that person said that you have two guys that were pretty close to one another, and that Murray had a winning tradition that would probably be difficult for Mettenberger to beat out.

I've got my money on Aaron… for now, but think that this will be a little more fluid than folks realize.

The defensive players that will emerge this spring? I got Cornelius Washington. Dude is a killer… I'd watch him.

Sanders Commings is coming along, too. He's versatile – can legitimately play both corner and safety… expect him to do well, too.

This spring is about turning the page for the Bulldogs, really more than any other spring besides the 2001 one many moons ago. 2010 was nothing the Dawgs want to remember. It was difficult all around – recruiting, the season… it was just difficult. This is a program coming off a bowl game where they decided not to take a team picture to commemorate the trip to Shreveport (for the record, I'd like to not remember Shreveport either… rough).

It seems Georgia is making recruiting either a top priority or one of the top priorities of the spring. I am not sure if Georgia is looking at it that way, but the action in recruiting, the buzz around recruiting and the way new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham keeps talking about it signals to me that the Dawgs got the message about recruiting.

Corey Moore and company want the top in-state players to come to Georgia and play
They are doing well so far in recruiting, but they had to. The state is full of players – many of them defensive players – that Georgia should be landing. On the offensive side of the ball I hear the Dawgs are doing a little better than people think when it comes to recruiting presumed Clemson lock jay Rome. That's encouraging to hear. Rome is going to be a very tough pull, but just fighting like made to get him is improvement in my eyes.

The four Georgia commitments are eager for some of the state's most talented to join them in Athens. Just like I suggested a few weeks ago, Corey Moore and his family took Xzavier Dickson and his family up to Athens to take in Georgia over the weekend. Moore will continue to work on Dickson, who is an important would-be get for the Dawgs considering the 3-4 defense they now run. Linebacker Amarlo Herrera is flat out asking guys to come to Georgia with him when he sees them. He told me this weekend that he asks who has offers, and then he asks them why they have not committed to play for Georgia yet… aggressive.

On the basketball recruiting front, the 2011 class is going to be a vital one for Mark Fox and company, but I would keep an eye on Rod Rucker from Elbert County for the class of 2010. Rucker is the best player on former Georgia football and basketball starter Larry Brown's team. Rucker is going YouTube legend for shattering a backboard in the middle a game, but the Dawgs are also interested in watching Rucker's development during the high school playoffs. If he plays well, and some other guys fall through, Rucker could be a guy that ends up in Red and Black. For the record, Rucker dumped in 27 points and had 24 rebounds in Elbert's 66-42 beat down of North Atlanta Friday night. Beware backboards... Rucker is looking to get right on you...

Kentavious Caldwell is listed as the top basketball recruit in Georgia by Scout.com, but Nick Marshall is as good if not better than Caldwell in my view. A straight up shooter, Caldwell is a weapon. But Marshall can slash and finish a little better than Caldwell. His long-range shot is not so far off from Caldwell's that it is obvious. That would mean, for me, that Marshall is the top player in the state… he's sick.

Still, it looks like Caldwell is the number one priority for Mark Fox and his Dawgs right now. I get it… Georgia needs a shooter. But I like Marshall, too. If I were Fox I would get on the phone with Richt to make sure that Georgia has a four-way deal that ensures that Kenarious Gates (football signee) brings Caldwell with him, and that Lonnie Outlaw brings Marshall with him. The important thing to note, and not to overlook is that both Marshall and Caldwell play for the Georgia Blazers. Now, I know football people are going to have no idea what that is, but that's an AAU team, which is very important in college basketball recruiting. I have been told that it is not uncommon for Caldwell to end up wearing Wilcox County basketball shorts during Greenville practices and Marshall to wear Greenville gear at Wilcox. The two, at times, can get their laundry mixed up on the AAU road… and they wind up in their hometowns, which are about three hours driving distance apart, with the wrong shorts. But watch out for Florida State with Marshall… you can't seem to go to a Wilcox game without the Noles making their presence felt. I saw them myself in Americus at the Region 2-A Basketball Championships, and I hear seeing the Noles is a common thing.

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