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February 9, 2007

Recruiting: Filling needs at Defensive Line

Replacing the bookend DEs won't be easy. (image: Jim Hipple)

Defensive Tackles:
The Bulldogs only lost Ray Gant and seldom used Dale Dixson and Mudcat Elmore. We return:
    -- Jeff Owens (Jr.)
    -- Kade Weston (So.)
    -- Geno Atkins (So.)
    -- Michael Lemon (RFr.)
    -- Ricardo Crawford (RFr)
Kiante Tripp (RFr) and Brandon Wood (RFr) may end up here or stay at defensive end. Depending on where Tripp and Wood end up decides whether or not we signed enough kids here. Corvey Irvin (6'4" and 275 lbs) was the only signee at this position. He's a physically mature guy that can help here immediately.

The Bulldogs let two elite defensive line prospects leave the state when Cam Heyward went to OSU and Allen Bailey inked with Miami. The Dawgs must sign some elite beef in '08. Statesboro High School's Deangelo Tyson is probably #1 on the list.
Grade based on Need: B-

Defensive End:
Georgia lost Quentin Moses and Charles Johnson to the draft. Guys battling to fill their shoes include:
    -- Marcus Howard (225 lbs) - Sr.
    -- Jermey Lomax (235 lbs) - Jr.
    -- Roderick Battle (248 lbs) - So.
    -- Brandon Wood (275 lbs) - RFr.
    -- Demarcus Dobbs (270 lbs) - RFr.
    -- Kiante Tripp (275 lbs) - RFr.
Howard and Lomax have shown very little ability to play every down (or in Lomax's case to stay healthy). The rest of the group is young and highly touted, but obviously inexperienced. Georgia hasn't lacked for defensive end talent under Richt/Fabris. So why start worrying now?

(Image: Jarius Wynn)

The signing of JUCO All-America Jarius Wynn is ideal. He looks like he's got the body and wheels to hold up in the SEC. Neland Ball and Justin Houston (who I need has some academic work to do) both have bodies that scream "redshirt," which is fine.

We've got some time for these guys to grow.
Grade based on need: B- (missing out on Allen Bailey makes it hard to go with an A)

We only signed four defensive linemen, and only two of them were high schoolers. It's not an overwhelming group on paper, but we got just enough for it not to cause immediate problems. The pressure is really on for next year up front. We probably need 4 or 5 DL high school next year.

See Also:
-- Filling Our Needs: Skill Positions on Offense
-- Filling Our Needs: Offensive Line
-- Filling Our Needs: Defensive Line



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