Chip Towers has a post up speculating about which kids in the incoming class have the best chance to have an impact on the field in 2008. His top five are as follows:
- OL Ben Jones: By all accounts this guy’s is going to be the Dogs’ starting center next season. That’s pretty significant.
- WR A.J. Green: Reportedly Georgia’s biggest signee at wideout since Reggie Brown.
- PK Blair Walsh: Think about Georgia without Brandon Coutu or Billy Bennett the last several years.
- RBs Dontavius Jackson OR Richard Samuel: One of them is going to play and the other will redshirt.
- WR Tavarres King: Early reports from this early enrollee are that he has unbelievable hands. But he’s skinny.
Out of that bunch, I think Walsh is the closest thing to a lock. He’s the perfect storm of talent and need. (Although note that the coaching staff seems to have done a little bet hedging with this kid, which is prudent.) The question with him is whether he’s got the mental makeup to be a place kicker in the meat grind of the SEC. Just remember that nobody questioned Andy Bailey’s leg strength.
I also think the AJ-C guys are right about the two frosh RBs. One will get on the field, particularly if there’s an injury during the year to either Moreno or King. (Although it looks like Samuel might prefer to line up on defense.)
I’m not as sure about the wide receivers, though. There’s no question about the level of Green’s talent. It’s jawdropping. But he’s on the thin side, and with the increasing emphasis on the running game, it’s imperative that Georgia’s wide receivers be able to block well. King is a small kid with great hands and speed, but again, you wonder how much he’ll be able to contribute to the running game. He does have the plus of a January enrollment, so we’ll see if the extra time in the program is a benefit to getting him on the field early.
As for Jones, you’ve got to love the work ethic. I mean, here’s a kid that played in the Under Armour All-American game, finished and then drove straight to Athens to enroll in classes. But starting a freshman center in the SEC? That’s a tough call. Given what’s at stake this year, I don’t think the coaches would do that unless the kid gives them the confidence he can handle the job. Again, the early enrollment may make the difference.
Looking at the commitment list, there are a couple of other possibilities for action this season. One would be Akeem Hebron. Yeah, I know that’s kinda cheating, but he’s there. The other one is Carlton Thomas, who strikes me as someone that fills a niche that Bobo wanted filled.
I ‘m not sure any of the linemen see the field this year, but of the bunch, if I had to pick one, I’d look at Toby Jackson, who’s evidently up to around 260 pounds now. If that hasn’t cost him any speed, I could see him working into the rotation at DE as the year went on.
No doubt there’ll be a couple of surprises. In any event, it looks like this shapes up as a helluva class – lots of talent, lots of speed and (most importantly) lots of needs addressed.