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Why the addition of Jalen Carter is a big deal for Georgia football
Georgia football’s defensive line recruiting has not gotten off to a great start so far in the 2020 recruiting cycle. Arguably two of its top targets to this point — Brian Bresee and Myles Murphy — both ended up committing to Clemson. Both players are ranked in the top-10 of the nation and Murphy plays for Hillgrove High School in Powder Springs, Ga.
It had been a familiar story when discussing Georgia recruiting under Kirby Smart. For as well as the Bulldogs have recruited under Smart, the defensive line has been the one area where Georgia hasn’t reeled in a bushel of elite prospects.
Prior to Monday, Georgia had landed just defensive linemen who were rated among the top-100 players in the 247Sports Composite rankings. One was Travon Walker, a 5-star prospect from Georgia’s 2019 signing class. The other is Julian Rochester, who committed to Mark Richt during the 2016 cycle and ended up signing with the Bulldogs once Smart took over.
Of the position groups — quarterback, running back, pass catchers(WR/TE), offensive line, defensive line, linebacker and defensive back — the two top-100 players were the fewest of any. But that number moved to three with the addition of 4-star defensive tackle Jalen Carter.
|Position||*Top 100 prospects committed/signed|
*Includes 2020 prospects
Carter currently rates as the No. 10 defensive tackle prospect and the No. 95 overall prospect in the country. He hails from Apopka, Fla., and is the first of Georgia’s top-100 defensive line commit to come from outside the state of Georgia.
And based off what some well-respected talent evaluators had to say following the commitment, Carter’s rating could continue to climb.
Huge commit here. Poised to be a riser in our rankings. https://t.co/IzgW0K2TJK
— Barton Simmons (@bartonsimmons) May 20, 2019
Few prospects in Florida have had the spring he has. Stock 📈 https://t.co/Em3q1PIBpG
— John Garcia, Jr. (@JohnGarcia_Jr) May 20, 2019
DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell echoed these comments and stated that Carter has the potential to continue to improve as he fills out his body and becomes more comfortable with the position.
Carter’s two other finalists were Clemson and Alabama. The addition of Carter also moves Georgia back into the top-5 of the 2020 recruiting rankings, pushing the Bulldogs past Florida and Florida State.
Perhaps the biggest reason why Carter should be seen as a win, beyond just the boost in rankings, is that Georgia to this point hadn’t consistently been landing players of Carter’s talent. Part of the reason might be because of the Bulldogs haven’t had a defensive lineman drafted at all since 2013. Alabama and Clemson conversely each had interior defensive linemen get taken in the top half of the first round in this year’s NFL draft.
Georgia still has a ways to go in catching up to the likes of Alabama and Clemson when it comes to that department. That’s honestly a big reason why many perceive there is a gap between the schools — to go along with the fact that Georgia has yet to win a championship in recent memory.
Georgia needs interior linemen who can create those havoc plays Smart has talked so much about this spring. Adding Carter is a step in the right direction, and in some ways does make up for the recent recruiting loss of Murphy. If the Bulldogs can continue to stack-up elite interior linemen — like 5-star prospect Jordan Burch — they’re going to move even closer to that superpower status.
Getting a commitment from a 4-star defensive tackle during late May may not seem like all that big of a deal to some Georgia fans. It will be over a full-year from even seeing Carter in a Georgia uniform. But given Georgia’s recent history at the position, this should be considered a big win for Georgia and its recruiting staff.
Georgia baseball only lands five players on various All-SEC teams
The SEC announced its various All-SEC teams on Monday, and a total of five Bulldogs found themselves on the various teams.
Only one Bulldog made it on First Team All-SEC, as sophomore pitcher Emerson Hancock was one of two starting pitchers to make the team. Hancock led the SEC in ERA with a 1.31 mark and posted an 8-2 record. Hancock did not take home the SEC PItcher of the Year Award, as that went to Mississippi State’s Ethan Small.
Georgia got two position players on the Second Team, as second basemen LJ Talley and Aaron Schunk were both nominated. Schunk led Georgia in home runs with 11, while Talley has a team-best .346 batting average. Schunk also serves as Georgia’s closer and finished the season with 11 saves.
Cole Wilcox was named to the All-Freshman team. In SEC action, Wilcox went 3-1 with a 2.57 ERA with 41 strikeouts in 35 innings pitched. He worked his way into Georgia’s starting rotation over the final three series of the season.
Shortstop Cam Sheppard earned a spot on the team on the All-Defensive Team along with Talley. Sheppard did not have an error in 30 games for the Bulldogs this season.
Georgia baseball will take on the winner of Tuesday’s game between Texas A&M and Florida. The Bulldogs enter the SEC Tournament — taking place in Hoover, Ala — as the No. 3 overall seed. Georgia went 42-14 on the season and 21-9 in SEC play. Only the top-seeded Vanderbilt Commodores had a better record in SEC play.
Georgia will play at 10:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday.
Best Georgia football stories from around DawgNation
- Kirby Smart expects QB Jake Fromm to have more ‘offensive input’ in 2019
- Kirby Smart says all Georgia Bulldogs, incoming and otherwise, have made the grades to play
- Update on injury status of UGA running back Zamir White
- Nation’s No. 10 DT Jalen Carter has made his college decision
- Georgia fans flock to Macon landmark to hear from Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart
- UGA ranked very high in official Top 25 released by Athlon Sports
- Georgia football called ‘bogeyman,’ giving SEC East opponent case of the blues
Dawgs on Twitter
Keep the train rollin 💪 Congrats my man 💯 this class is shaping up to be real special https://t.co/IPQJNAizjW
— Carson Beck (@carsonbeck01) May 20, 2019
Just leaving Macon after two great events tonight. Thank you on behalf of @KirbySmartUGA and @admcgarity for the enthusiasm. A lot of good Q and A and interaction. It was fun. #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/3L1vsbZPMX
— Tom Crean (@TomCrean) May 21, 2019
Thank you, Dawg Nation, for a fun and memorable 2019 season!
As always, you stuck with us through the ups and down of a long season.
— Georgia Softball (@UGASoftball) May 20, 2019
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) May 21, 2019
Good Dawg of the Day
— (NOT ACTUALLY KIT!!) Kit Harington Online (@kitharingtoncom) May 21, 2019