Georgia football: 5 potential sleepers from this recruiting class
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Don’t sleep on ’em
A fact of life in the recruiting process is that some prospects will garner much more attention than others. You know the names of all the guys who picked Georgia on Signing Day, and you know about the seven 5-stars Kirby Smart signed, but what about the overlooked guys in the Class of 2018? All things considered, these guys are all highly regarded recruits who could have landed at any number of programs. But in a class with potential superstars such as Justin Fields, Zamir White, Tyson Cambell and Brenton Cox, they were overshadowed.
So we’re going to try to give some of those dudes their due with a look at five sleepers from Georgia’s Class of 2018. Let’s get into it.
Kearis Jackson, WR — Jackson is my prime example of a wonderful prospect being overshadowed by 5-stars. He’s the 130th best recruit in the 2018 class according to 247Sports, and there are plenty of coaches who are drooling over players like him. But Jackson committed in August and was forgotten in the wave of commitments that followed in the winter months. By all accounts, though, he’s one of the leaders of this freshman class and could become a key figure in Georgia’s improving receiving corps.
Jordan Davis, DT — If it wants to compete on a national title level, Georgia needs to get deeper, stronger and bigger on the defensive line. You can add depth and you get stronger, but you can’t teach size, and Davis has plenty of that. At 6-foot-6, 330 pounds, Davis is one of the most massive members of the Class of 2018. As Smart and Mel Tucker try to revamp the defensive line with bigger, more physical players, Davis will get a long look.
Warren Ericson, C — Georgia signed a full offensive line in 2018: two tackles, two guards and a center. Tackle is the spotlight position on the line, and both new tackles stand 6-6 or taller. Both new guards are rated as 5-star recruits. So the center, as often happens, goes forgotten. But the fact Ericson is a center and will likely focus solely on center could pay off in a big way. OL coach Sam Pittman has a penchant to play musical chairs with his linemen. If Ericson, who enrolled early, focuses just on center instead of pulling double-duty, he could be ready to back up Lamont Gaillard in 2018 and start in 2019.
Jake Camarda, P/K — People don’t talk about punters, but Camarda is a damn good one. Georgia fans grew accustomed to the effortless efficiency of Cameron Nizialek. Camarda may not be able to provide that right away, but he should be able to boot the ball a mile at the very least. That’s a good start.
Devonte Wyatt, DT — Wyatt is an interesting case. He’s one of the most overlooked players in this class, which, coincidentally, also makes him one of the most likely to succeed. Wyatt originally signed as part of the class of 2017 but went to prep school for a season out of high school before joining the program during bowl season. Between Wyatt’s stint in the prep school wilderness and the timing in which he joined the team, he became the forgotten man. But that year in prep school and those few weeks of bowl practice might make him better prepared to contribute than any other member of the freshman class.
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Good gets better
If somehow you weren’t already excited about the potential of this signing class, these facts, provided by Jeff Sentell of DawgNation, comparing the it to the previous best class in program history should do the trick.
The 2018 squad is going to make the 2017 group read like old news. Consider the following:
- The Bulldogs signed four more prospects (seven to three) in the 5-star category this year.
- Isaiah Wilson was rated No. 16 overall in 2017. He was the highest-rated signee in 2017. The Bulldogs signed four players who rated higher in 2018 than Wilson did in 2017. This class has four prospects (Justin Fields, Zamir White , Jamaree Salyer and Wyatt) in the top 10.
- D’Andre Swift was the lowest-rated 5-star for the Bulldogs in 2017. He ranked No. 33 overall and qualifies as underrated, given the excellence we saw in his game as a freshman. The 2018 Bulldogs have eight players who rate higher than Swift’s No. 33.
- Jake Fromm and Andrew Thomas were the team’s two freshman mainstays for 2017. Each played in all 15 games of the season. Fromm and Thomas were the fourth and fifth-highest rated players in Georgia’s 2017 class.
- The 2018 class has eight players with a higher prospect rating than those two instant impact first-year players.
- Four-star guard Netori Johnson was the team’s No.7-rated prospect in 2017, but he would check in at No. 12 if he signed among the 2018 class.
- This new class has 17 signees who rate among the nation’s top 10 prospects at their position. Only 12 future Bulldogs could say the same in 2017.
Let’s be clear here on this point: We’re comparing the 2018 class to the group that was seen as the best recruiting year in the program’s history. That last point drives it home. The 2018 class is roughly five elite players better than their peers were as part of the nation’s third-rated class in 2017.
Lady Dogs claim 21st win
Georgia women’s hoops run of form continued Thursday with yet another SEC win. The Lady Dogs welcomed Vanderbilt to Stegeman Coliseum and emerged with a 67-55 victory. They now are 21-3 for the season, 9-2 in the SEC.
Three Lady Dogs scored double-digits in the win. Redshirt sophomore guard Taja Cole and senior forward Mackenzie Engram each scored 11 points and freshman guard Que Morrison added 10. Engram was honored before the game for becoming the 38th 1,000-point scorer in program history, a milestone she reached last week against LSU.
“Mackenzie was able to work inside early which I thought was really good,” Georgia coach Joni Taylor said. “Que and Taja found her a couple of times early inside and was able to also get the three from that. We were glad that she was able to do that.”
Next up for the Lady Dogs is the big trip to Knoxville where they’ll face the No. 11 Tennessee Volunteers this Sunday at 3 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.
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