The first item is that going into today, we knew it wouldn't be an "exciting" NSD per se. We had done a great deal of legwork to ink a bunch of names over the past year, and didn't have many guys that had a Georgia hat on the table today. People tend to get over analytical of guys on NSD because it gives them something to root for. Someone tweeted last night that we need to show the same level of excitement for guys who merely ink their names and fax / email them in that committed to Georgia long ago. All that being said the one big target that was a must have and UGA was really in the mix for did sign his name late in the day.
The number 20 is certainly of note, and assuming 21 when Simms comes on board. It's been noted over the past few classes that the overall number may not have been where we desired from a scholarship / numbers standpoint. I certainly would have loved to be in 23-25 number range to fill in the bench and 3-deep after some of those classes. We did however address some positions of need which is obviously very important.
I've said for a while now that I've felt D-Line was a huge position of need for the Dawgs. Over the past few years it seems we've let some of the big talents in this facet of the game escape our grasp (just look at Auburn's defensive line). Lorenzo Carter was our biggest target / need in my mind, and provided a nice end cap to the class when he inked his name. This year we somewhat lacked that prototypical fundamental defensive lineman. Ray Drew started to come on of late and sure there where some stars that rushed the passer from the 3-4 outside perspective, but this is guy we needed. He can be an immediate contributor and fits the mold of what I like to see there.
Tight End was also a huge need in my mind. Jay Rome assumes the reins next year, but we desperately needed to load the hopper with a big time talent. Getting the nation's number one tight end certainly filled that void. Watching Jeb Blazevich film and also his rise through the UA All American game proved that he is indeed an elite talent. He has the right frame to hang some meat on while possessing the route running and catching skills essential to the position.
Our star rankings were pulled up a bit in what some would consider not a need at this time with Running Backs Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. However, the CFB has started to mirror the NFL game where a running back by committee is seeming to be more of the norm. Loading the bench not only with bodies but elite talents was great for UGA. Hopefully this tandem will come to fruition over time. As we've seen in years past of course, this isn't always the case.
Our secondary certainly could have used some help particularly at corner. Malkom Parrish out of Brooks Co. will hopefully be the spark and a potential future lock down corner. I saw him play this year versus Lovett (at QB mind you), but athleticism is certainly no issue here. Furthermore he could provide a spark in the return game and without getting into a separate conversation that is obviously an area in need of serious improvement from 2013. Guys like Fenteng and Sanders also will serve to add depth to the DB rotation.
Throwing Jacob Park in the mix of QBs over the next 4-5 years certainly doesn't hurt. Sure Ramsey seems to be the heir apparent at the moment and the position may not be of immediate need, but putting another caliber arm in the rotation is always vital.
Overall I thought we addressed key defensive needs, which is where we needed the most depth added.
The one area of need I would have liked to see addressed more in this class is offensive linemen. Right now it appears we only landed two, though it appears Baker from Marist may switch to that side of the ball. No telling on him. Wynn was the keystone of this unit we picked up, but I think depth could be an issue going forward. I would hope this is a key area of focus over the 2015 recruiting period.
What the heck is going on in Florida and North Carolina. For what seems like the 3rd or 4th consecutive year the Dawgs plucked key talent out of both of those states. The state of Florida comprimised over 25% of this class, and we were able to pull two very good kids out of NC in Blazevich and Gaillard in key areas of need. While the state of Georgia may be getting procured a little more than we'd like to tolerate, it should be noted we've had good success in our border state. With the advent of Pruitt I expect to see continued momentum in the state to our south.
We can always say we focus too much on recruiting, but we know all too well it's the lifeblood of our program. While it wasn't the big class we may have hoped for, I think as previously stated it addressed key areas of concern. We also didn't have any big flips on signing day and got most of the guys we really keyed in on. In the end that amounts to a successful day. 2015 is already off to a good start and hopefully Pruitt and company can build on that momentum to lead to another solid class as the next year of recruiting starts.
Go Dawgs. Sent in my donation last night, and ready to get to work on Clemson as our boys hit the mats in the AM.