December 22, 2011

Who are targets on D?



With just under six weeks left until National Signing Day, the University of Georgia is still in the hunt for some of the top defensive prospects in the country.

One weakness of the 2012 class, at least to this point, is on the defensive side of the ball where Georgia only has four commitments.

Of those four commitments, Georgia only has one outside linebacker committed, no inside linebackers, and no defensive backs.

With time ticking away, Georgia is in the hunt for some big time talent, but it is left with little margin for error.

Outside Linebacker

This is a position where Georgia stands a great chance of landing at least two prospects in this class. Martin Luther King's Kenderius Whitehead is a long time-Georgia lean, and has a great relationship with the staff. He is a pass rushing specialist and had an excellent senior season with 19 sacks and 23 tackles for a loss.

Georgia is also in great shape with Lowndes County athlete Josh Harvey-Clemons. The Harvey-Clemons family loves Head Coach March Richt, and they also know that he would have a crucial role in defensive coordinator Todd Grantham's 3-4 defense. Harvey-Clemons is listed as an athlete and even made some All American teams as a safety, but he will almost certainly play linebacker at the next level.

The Bulldogs have also come on strong for one of the top pass rushers in the country in Harris County's Jordan Jenkins.

Georgia got off to a slow star with the Peach State star, but they have made a move as of late and while rumors continue to swirl around Jenkins, he has not made up his mind yet.

Alabama is thought to be the favorite but the Jenkins' family plans to sit down after Christmas and weigh the pros and cons of each school. Given Grantham's track record with defensive ends and outside linebackers, Georgia could be his choice on January 9 on live television.

A couple of other targets at this position are Jefferson High School (Tampa, Fla.) star Tyriq McCord, and Tucker's Josh Dawson. McCord visited Athens last week for an official visit, but left the Classic City with South Carolina and Florida on top. Dawson is committed to Vanderbilt at this time, but coaches have been in contact with him throughout the process and they could turn up the heat if they miss on Whitehead, Harvey-Clemons, or Jenkins.

Inside Linebacker

When the news came down that Kent Turene of Atlanta Sports Academy would be enrolling at Marshall in January, it put Georgia fans in a heightened state of concern.

Turene was UGA's only inside linebacker commitment, and Georgia only has one other offer out at this time.

Richie Brown of Long Beach, Mississippi is still on the board for the Bulldogs, but there is no guarantee that Georgia will get an official from the four star prospect.

Georgia could elect to sit tight and hope that the lack of depth will attract 2013 stud linebacker Reuben Foster from Troup County, or they could opt to throw out a couple of offers.

Jackson-Olin (Birmingham, Ala.) linebacker Beau Hankins has been hearing from Georgia lately, and expects an offer to come soon.

"If they offered, they would be top five," he said. "They would definitely get an official visit."

Hankins has the ideal frame to play inside linebacker in the 3-4, and his junior film is impressive. If Georgia coaches get a chance to see his senior film, he could be offered very soon.

Hankins' best friend and former teammate, Harding Harper of Carver High School in Montgomery, Ala. is another target to keep an eye on. Harper is classified as an outside linebacker by Rivals.com, but would likely play inside linebacker in the 3-4 defense. He and Hankins' want to play together, and, like Hankins, Harper knows that he would give Georgia a shot if offered.

"I would love an offer from Georgia," he said. "They are an SEC school that just played for a championship. That would be great."

Both Harper and Hankins are two sleeper prospects that have the ability to come in and provide depth at the inside linebacker position and develop into big time contributors down the road.

Secondary

Early in the recruiting process, it appeared that Georgia had very few options in the secondary, but with Signing Day approaching, the Bulldogs have several solid possibilities.

The Memphis duo of Sheldon Dawson (Ridgeway) and Will Redmond (Memphis East) visited Athens last week and gave their visits high marks. Both are still committed to Memphis and Mississippi State, respectively, but sources close to both players believe Georgia has an excellent chance to land both athletes.

Creekside cornerback Joshua Holsey committed to Auburn back in the spring, but has recently made it known that he would like to take some official visits. Georgia and Alabama have been contacting the speedy cornerback the most, and they are at the top of his list of schools to visit. The four star prospect may or may not decommit from the Tigers, but he appears to be looking around for the time being.

Dominguez High School (Compton, Calif.) cornerback Brandon Beaver is another player to keep an eye on as Georgia is currently deciding whether or not to turn up the heat. He already has an offer, but hasn't heard from UGA lately. If Georgia misses on Redmond or Dawson, they could make a serious run at the California native.

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