Richt Discusses Bulldogs’ 2014 Signing Class
By Rob Hamilton / 92-9 The Game / CBS Sports Atlanta
The University of Georgia had a Top 10 finish today as far as recruiting classes go according to most national pundits.
Coach Mark Richt addressed the day in a press release from the University.
Here is that release:
ATHENS, Ga. – University of Georgia football head coach Mark Richt met with the media on Wednesday afternoon to discuss Georgia’s 2014 signing day class. He offered the following comments:
“First off, I want to thank everybody for being here. I also want to thank everybody who helped us recruit this class. We have professors on campus. We have our academic advisors and all of our academic staff. I can’t tell you how many weekends recruits come in on unofficial visits and there are Saturdays, Sundays and evenings where people are just ready to be on call. Of course, it’s all of our recruiting staff, and then our custodians keeping the building looking beautiful. There are just so many people that get involved in making this thing work. We have a lot of students that help us. Obviously our full time coaches and graduate assistant coaches and quality control coaches – everybody is able to help us when we get on campus. We have some other people on our staff that have helped us. We have our Athletic Association members that are basically on call to help us, so it’s just so many people that it takes to put together a class like this.”
“We’re very excited, as always, to welcome these young men to our program. We try to build our program on a lot of things. Obviously when you recruit, the first thing we have to do is watch film, watch them in person and just give them a physical evaluation – can they do the job? Can they play the position that we’re going to ask them to play and play it in such a way that we can win in this league? That’s number one, and when we believe that’s the case, we start trying to find out what kind of a person he is. We’ll ask high school coaches, academic counselors and principals – anybody we know that could possibly give us some insight into what type of person this young man is. Obviously the academics are important, as well. He’s got to be in position, first of all to qualify but also to handle the academic rigors at Georgia. Georgia’s a tremendous university when it comes to the education, and there’s really no place to hide, so to speak. I think some places you might have a school in there where you just worry mostly about staying eligible, but at Georgia the education is phenomenal, and it’s a challenge. The recruits know that coming in. We feel like we did a great job of evaluating, and we’re just really thrilled about the guys that we brought in.”
On the defensive coaching changes…
“Well when you have coaching changes, you lose some relationships with some of the recruits, but you gain some relationships, too. I know that one of the first things Jeremy did was to come in and start looking at every commitment that we had, and then he started looking at every recruit that was on the board. Even if a guy was committed to another school, let’s look at him anyways. Let’s see if there may be some interest. I know Coach (Kevin) Sherrer had a relationship with Shaquille Jones…part of that process was the relationship that Kevin had with him, and then the ability for us to really evaluate that film and make a determination if he could be a guy that can get it done for us. We feel like he can, and so we’re very excited about Shaq. Those are some of the things that happened, but in the end, I think we pulled it together very well. A lot of things were very solid. A lot of the guys that were on the defensive side of the ball didn’t flinch. Some of them were wondering who was going to be the next coach and all of that, but some of them didn’t care who it was. They said, ‘I’m coming to Georgia.’ It’s nice to know that we’re at that type of university where guys believe that we’re going to bring in great coaches and they want to be at Georgia because that’s just where they want to be, period.”
On wide receiver signee Isaiah McKenzie…
“Isaiah McKenzie is a guy that went to Sony Michel’s school there at American Heritage, and obviously he’s good friends with Sony. Coach McClendon did a beautiful job of recruiting Sony, but he kept the good relationship with Isaiah and he kind of planted a seed that you never know what may happen here towards the end, and as it turns out, we felt like we had a position to offer him and he jumped on it. We’re very thankful for that. I’m sure his friendship with Sony had a lot to do with it, but also Coach McClendon’s job of being diligent and laying down the groundwork for the possibility of that to happen. I just watched more film of him a little bit ago, and he’s a very dynamic return man. That’ what jumps out at you the most – just his ability to make people miss one, two or even three times in the same play. He has a lot of speed, quickness and swag. He really believes in himself. He’s got great ball skills as a receiver, and he can play tailback receiver. He can probably play a lot of things. He’s a guy that you’re definitely going to want to get the ball into his hands. He’ll definitely be on the top of my list to see what he can do as a return man.”
On the depth at running back next season…
“We’re asking these guys to come in and compete. We’re asking all of them to come in and compete. There’s nothing to say that a guy can’t come in and be productive for us. We have 29 practices before the first game and a few scrimmages. Things happen between now and then, things happen between now and camp, things happen throughout the season, so guys just have to be in a state of readiness. We will absolutely give those guys a chance to show what they can do, and if they can be productive, we’ll get them in the game.”
On defensive changes as a result of coaching changes…
“It was not a big deal. I don’t think it was really a big deal. Philosophically we’re going to change a little bit here and there. Where our D-line coach in the past was coaching the front three, we’re going to make it more of a front four situation with Coach (Tracy) Rocker. What we have been calling that Will linebacker position has really been an outside rusher. Sometimes that guy would drop, but for the most part he’s rushing. He’d be in a two-point stance, but a lot of people run the same defense and put the guy in a three-point stance. It was very natural for Coach Rocker to take on that fourth guy, and it made a lot of sense for us.”
On the balance between in-state and out-of-state recruiting…
“We love the state of Georgia. I came to Georgia because of the great talent base that we have, and we absolutely want to recruit this state hard. We’ve got to stay as far ahead of the game as possible. I’ve probably talked to more 2015 guys today than I did our signees today. We’re working hard on that and doing the very best we can to evaluate as quickly as we can. When we give offers, we like for them to mean something. We want to offer a guy and make it mean something here. Every once in awhile we get behind if we don’t do it as fast as another school, but we’re also not going to go back and pull it from a kid or say, ‘No, you can’t commit. We just offered you to get you interested.’ It’s a delicate balance, and a lot of kids won’t want to come to your camp unless they’re offered. I can understand where they’re coming from. If you come to our camp…just look at the receivers that we signed in this class – Gilbert Johnson, Rico Johnson and Shakenneth Williams. If those guys didn’t come to camp, I don’t know if we would have offered them. But the guys that have come to our camps and we have evaluated and offered, I don’t know if we’ve ever missed on a guy like that. It’s a lot of linemen, too, over the years. Clint Boling was there. He was a real athletic guy and undersized, but we thought he might turn into something. He was a guy we really believed in, and he’s playing in the NFL today. Ben Jones was the same thing. They’re guys that maybe you don’t offer if they’re not at your camp, or it might have taken you longer to figure it out. It’s a delicate balance, but we know that there are a lot of great players in the state of Georgia, and we want to get after those guys. We’re the type of school where there is interest from people outside of the state. It’s one thing to go to New Jersey to get Knowshon Moreno or Dallas to go get Matthew Stafford, but a lot of our out-of-state guys are truly in our area. They’re close to us – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama – just right around that area. We feel like that’s our recruiting base, but it always starts with the state of Georgia.”
On opposing schools having recruiting success in the state of Georgia…
“We’ve had a lot of success in their states too, so they might need to be worried about that.”
On his upcoming birthday…
“I’m young when it comes to head coaching. There are a lot of guys that have gone deep into their sixties and seventies, so I’ve got a long ways to go before that.”
On his energy level…
“I’m excited, I really am. I like our staff. I like keeping continuity within, but when change does happen and then you see the outpouring and the interest that people have to be at Georgia, it fires you up. It gets you excited. I can’t tell you how many people wanted to come coach for Georgia. Great people, great coaches at great places. If these defensive positions open up and nobody was really interested to jump on the boat and join the family, it’d be discouraging, but it was just a 180 from that. It was very encouraging, and I’m really thrilled with the guys that have joined our staff, and we’ll have another one coming soon. We’ll be fired up about that, as well.”
On the last remaining coaching vacancy…
“You want to have enough guys to recruit. We had a couple of graduate assistant coaches that went out and recruited for us and did a wonderful job. Mike Macdonald, Christian Robinson and Dan Inman. When the space had vacated, those guys jumped in and did a beautiful job for us. I’m glad they got the experience, and I’m real pleased with what they did. You just want to make sure you get the right people. With Jeremy it was kind of a no-brainer, and I think we probably had to move fast if it was going to happen. There needed to be no doubt in his mind of my desire for him to be at Georgia. But then once you get your coordinator and start really talking and deciding what’s most important to him, you want to make sure that you have the right fits.”
“Whenever we announce who the next coach will be, we’ll announce how the staff will stack up by position.”
On signee Kendall Baker…
“Kendall Baker is an offensive lineman for us. He’s obviously a highly-rated defensive lineman, but we feel like he can be an even better offensive lineman. We know he’s talented enough to play D-line, but there’s been a lot of D-linemen that have moved to the offensive side of the ball and have just jumped, as far as the comparison, to other linemen at his position. I think it’s really going to be a blessing for him…When we brought it up to him and his family, they actually agreed. They thought it was a good idea that he got excited about it. It’s not like we had to push it. You take a risk, but we wanted to tell him truthfully what we thought he was and what we thought he could become. When he heard what we had to say, he liked it. Sometimes people say things to get a guy at a place, and then you move him and the guy’s miserable because he thinks you lied to him, so we tried to be up front and honest. We took a risk of him saying that he didn’t want to do that, but he saw the benefit of it and we got him.”
On quarterback signee Jacob Park…
“He’s an interesting guy. He’s tall and has a really strong arm. We’ve got to have guys that can throw the ball. That’s first for us, and I always say does he have a strong enough arm and an accurate arm? Is he a good decision-maker and can he handle the pressure of the job? Those are the things that are most important for us. You can add athleticism, and that’s a bonus. I’m not sure you would design an entire offense around a lot of QB runs for him and making that the mainstay, but he can do it. He’s a pretty athletic guy, and he will definitely keep people honest with some of the QB runs. He can also create by making people miss. He’s got some strength about him, but he’ll get stronger obviously. He’s got a lot of great traits, and we think he’s going to be good.”
On any shortages from the signing class…
“I just think that you’re always going to have need across the board. We know that recruiting is very, very important to build for the future but also to hopefully have guys that will come in and compete and win jobs and win playing time and just energize the team. If you have guys that are talented, it gets everybody’s attention. It just makes guys work a little bit harder. It’s a very, very competitive business from a coaching standpoint and a playing standpoint, and you’ve got a bunch of hungry dogs coming into town that want to win some playing time, so they will keep everyone on their toes. I’m sure some of them will break through and make some big plays for us.”
On tight end signee Hunter Atkinson…
“We are very young at the tight end position, and we only had two guys on scholarship once Artie (Lynch) left. With Ty Smith leaving, we were really short at that position, and we were kind of recruiting for one. That was the plan all along. What happens sometimes in recruiting is that if you don’t necessarily hit all the targets at every single position across the board and you have some space available, then you start looking at who is the next best guy to help Georgia win. We felt like our tight end position was really a little bit scary with the depth there. If we only had three going in and just very young overall, well just one injury and then we’re all of the sudden having to change our offensive system. We didn’t want to have to do that, so we think Hunter will come in and give us a boost in that area.”
On Atkinson and fellow tight end signee Jeb Blazevich…
“Both are great young men and very talented. Both have good hands, and I think they’re both going to be very capable to learn what to do and earn some playing time. It’ll be fun to watch it.”
On the championship-caliber status of the team…
“We know we were very close to being a championship team a year ago. We know it’s not that far from winning and losing. It’s probably five or seven games where you could maybe look at one play where we could have won it or maybe lost it in some of those close games that we did win. I’d like to get to the point where there’s not quite as much drama where we can take care of business and not have to come down to the wire, but we are in a great league. Not that the rankings are totally accurate in recruiting – everybody has to make decisions and all that type of thing – but the bottom line is that a lot of the teams in our league are in the top 10 or top 15 every year. There are great coaches and great support across the board. Everybody’s venue that you go to has a home field advantage, so it’s a war. I think these guys will help us win.”
On the recruiting process in general…
“One of the guys – Keyon Brown – he was super solid. When Todd Grantham said he was leaving, within 30 minutes I was hearing from current players, recruits and media. I was at a coaches convention, so I got bombarded, but one of the things that I wanted to do was to get a hold of all of our commitments and let them know what was up. I think he (Brown) tweeted something to that effect – just a really strong statement about his commitment to Georgia and that he trusted me to hire a really great man, so I appreciated that.”
On any recruiting surprises…
“Not really. A lot of things happened behind-the-scenes obviously over the last few days. A lot of evaluations were being done a little bit later than usual because of the staff changes. I wanted to know what Jeremy (Pruitt) thought and Kevin (Sherrer) thought and what Rocker thought about guys so we could finalize who we were going to give those last offers to. I thought everybody did a heck of a job, and not just them but everybody working with recruiting. We have guys helping us with video that were staying up until midnight or later. When Coach Pruitt came in, he didn’t have a wife and kids to be going home to every night, so he was working almost 24 hours a day almost trying to get caught up. We really appreciate the job that all of those guys did.”
Here’s a rundown of the recruits and some of their bio info:
TE, 6-5, 250
Oakwood, Ga., West Hall HS
HUNTER ATKINSON… Born: September 9, 1995… High School: West Hall… Atlanta Journal-Constitution Class AAA All-State Honorable Mention… Named to the Georgia Sports Writers Association Class AAA All-State First-Team Offense… Named the Region 7AAA Offensive Player of the Year… Rivals.com three-star prospect… Scout.com three-star prospect, #47 TE nationally… 247Sports.com three-star prospect, #15 TE nationally, #39 player in the state… played in the GACA North-South game… Caught 51 passes for 704 yards and 11 touchdowns during his senior season. High School Coach: Tony Lotti.
OL, 6-6, 275
Atlanta, Ga., Marist HS
KENDALL BAKER…Born: September 3, 1995…High School: Marist… Member of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution 2013 Super 11 and Class AAAA All-State Team…Named to the Georgia Sports Writers Association Class AAAA All-State First Team Offense…PrepStar Magazine three-star prospect and All-Southeast Region…Rivals.com four-star prospect, #177 player nationally, #10 DL nationally, #15 player in the state….Scout.com four-star prospect, #26 DL nationally, #24 player in the state…247Sports.com three-star prospect, #37 DL nationally, #44 player in the state…ESPN.com three-star player, #50 player nationally, #47 player in the state…DawgPost #24 overall player in Georgia….During his senior season, tallied 55 tackles in route to leading Marist to 11-3 season…High School Coach: Alan Chadwick.
LB, 6-0, 232
Atlanta, Ga., Tucker HS
DETRIC BING-DUKES…Born: March 26, 1996…High School: Tucker… PrepStar Magazine three-star prospect and All-Southeast Region….ESPN.com four-star prospect, #102 ranked OLB nationally, #102 overall prospect in the state of Georgia…Rivals.com four-star prospect, #19 ranked ILB nationally, #25 overall prospect in the state of Georgia… Scout.com three-star prospect, #14 ranked MLB nationally, #30 overall prospect in the state of Georgia, #145 overall player in the Southeast region.…247sports.com three-star prospect, #21 ranked ILB nationally, #42 overall prospect in the state of Georgia…DawgPost #30 overall player in Georgia…Atlanta Journal-Constitution 2013 Class AAAAA First Team All-State Defense…Georgia Sports Writers Association 2013 Class AAAAA First Team All-State Defense…Helped lead Tucker to a 14-1 record in 2013, finishing the regular season undefeated as Class AAAAA Region 6 Champs, ended the season as state runner-up, falling to State Champion Creekside 52-28 in the state Finals…Played a large roll in Tucker’s 2012 season recording 80 total tackles and five sacks, helping the Tigers to advance to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs before falling to Northside Warner Robins 23-20…High School Coach: Bryan Lamar.
TE, 6-5, 230
Charlotte, N.C., Charlotte Christian HS
JEB BLAZEVICH…Born: Aug. 18, 1995…High School: Charlotte Christian… PrepStar Magazine four-star prospect, Top 300 All-American, #7 ranked TE and #151 overall player in the country….ESPN.com four-star prospect, #2 TE nationally, #7 ranked player in North Carolina…Rivals.com four-star prospect, #6 TE nationally, #6 ranked player in North Carolina, #181 overall prospect nationally…247sports.com four-star prospect, #11 TE nationally, #15 ranked player in North Carolina…Scout.com four-star prospect and #4 TE in the country, #72 player in the southeast, #191 overall player in the country…DawgPost #8 player in North Carolina…Recorded 32 catches for 441 yards and five touchdowns during his senior season for Charlotte Christian…Finished his four-year varsity career with 104 receptions for 1,520 yards and 15 touchdowns…Also recorded 85 total tackles, including 20.5 TFL, and eight sacks as a senior…Helped lead Charlotte Christian to back-to-back NCISAA Division I State Championships as a junior and senior, including an undefeated record in 2013…Participated in the 2014 Under Armour All-America game…High School Coach: Jason Estep.
WDE, 6-3, 240
Wauchula, Fla., Hardee County HS
KEYON BROWN…Born: September 28, 1995…High School: Hardee County…2014 Semper Fidelis All-American… PrepStar Magazine four-star prospect, Top 150 Dream Team, #9 ranked DE and #106 ranked player in the country….ESPN.com four-star prospect, #19 ranked DE nationally, #33 overall prospect in the state of Florida, #97 overall player in the Southeast region, ESPN Top 300 prospect, #185 overall prospect nationally…Rivals.com four-star prospect, #91 overall prospect nationally, #14 overall prospect in the state of Florida…247sports.com four-star prospect, #7 ranked WDE nationally, #23 overall prospect in the state of Florida, #147 overall prospect nationally…Scout.com four-star prospect, #19 ranked DE nationally, #22 overall prospect in Florida, #62 overall prospect in the southeast…Helped lead the Wildcats to an 11-2 record and a district championship in 2013 where they advanced to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs…Recorded 79 total tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and 6 sacks and also forced two fumbles and recovered one which he returned 56 yards for a touchdown in 2013…Named to the MaxPreps 2013 Florida Preseason All-State Team…Two sport athlete at Hardee County, three year contributor at PF for the varsity basketball team…High School Coach: Buddy Martin.
DE, 6-6, 230
Norcross, Ga., Norcross HS
LORENZO CARTER…Born: December 10, 1995…High School: Norcross… American Family Insurance USA Today All-USA First Team… Parade Magazine All-America first team….Member of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution 2013 Super 11 and Class AAAAAA All State Team…Named to the Georgia Sports Writers Association All-State Class AAAAAA First Team Offense… PrepStar five-star prospect, Top 150 Dream Team, #1 ranked DE and #2 ranked overall player in the country….
Rivals.com four-star prospect, #36 player nationally, #3 DL nationally, #4 player in the state…Scout.com five star prospect, #23 player nationally, #5 DE nationally, #1 player in the state…247Sports.com five-star prospect, #20 player nationally, #2 DE nationally, #2 player in the state…ESPN.com five-star prospect, #14 player nationally, #3 DE nationally, #2 player in the state… Played in the Under Armour All-American Game…Finished his senior season with 132 tackles, including 40 tackles for losses and six sacks…Led his team to a 13-2 record and a state championship. High School Coach: Keith Maloof.
RB, 5-10, 215
Cedartown, Ga., Cedartown HS
NICK CHUBB…Born: December 27, 1995…High School: Cedartown… American Family Insurance Pre-Season USA Today All-USA Team and All-USA Georgia Team…Parade Magazine All-America honorable mention….Member of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution 2013 Super 11 and Class AAAA All-State Team…Named to the Georgia Sports Writers Association All-State Class AAAA First Team Offense… PrepStar Magazine four-star prospect, Top 150 Dream Team, #11 ranked RB and #89 ranked player in the country….Rivals.com four-star prospect, #43 player nationally, #6 RB nationally, #3 player in the state…Scout.com four-star prospect, #53 player nationally, #9 RB nationally, #2 player in the state…247Sports.com five-star prospect, #17 player nationally, #4 RB nationally, #1 player in the state….ESPN.com four-star prospect, #63 player nationally, #7 RB nationally, #4 player in the state….DawgPost #2 overall player in Georgia….Played in the U.S. Army All-American Game…Led team to 9-2 record during senior year while rushing for 2,690 yards and 41 touchdowns…as a junior led the state in rushing with 2,721 yards and 38 TD’s…High school coach: Scott Hendrix.
OL, 6-4, 271
Franklin, Ga., Heard County HS
JAKE EDWARDS…Born: November 8, 1995…High School: Heard County… PrepStar Magazine three-star prospect and All-Southeast Region…ESPN.com three-star prospect, #46 ranked OT nationally, #54 overall prospect in the state of Georgia, #291 overall player in the Southeast region…Rivals.com three-star prospect, #46 overall prospect in the state of Georgia…Scout.com three-star prospect, #41 ranked OG nationally, #52 overall prospect in the state of Georgia…247sports.com three-star prospect, #28 ranked OG nationally, #46 overall prospect in the state of Georgia…DawgPost #52 overall player in Georgia… Atlanta Journal- Constitution 2013 Class AA First Team All-State Offense…Georgia Sports Writers Association 2013 Class AA First Team All-State Offense…Helped lead Heard County to a 10-2 record and a second consecutive Class AA Region 5 Championship his senior season, advanced to the second round of the State Playoffs before falling to Jefferson High School 61-57…Played a large role in the 2012 season that saw the Braves win the first 11 games of the season, including a Region Championship, before falling in the second round of the state playoffs… High School Coach: Tim Barron.
DB, 6-2, 200
Loganville, Ga., Grayson HS
Hutchinson (Kan.) CC
SHATTLE FENTENG…Born: July 2, 1993…Junior College: Hutchinson (Kan.) CC… PrepStar Magazine three-star prospect and JUCO All-American…ESPN.com four-star prospect, No. 1 ranked CB prospect…Rivals.com four-star prospect…247sports.com three-star prospect, #43 JUCO prospect nationally, #3 ranked CB prospect, #9 overall prospect in Kansas…Scout.com three-star prospect…Recorded 27 tackles, eight passes defended, four interceptions and two fumble recoveries in 2013…Amassed 57 total tackles, 16 pass breakups, four interceptions and two tackles for loss in his first season at Hutchinson in 2012…Head Coach: Rion Rhoades….High School: Grayson HS…Helped lead the Rams to the Georgia 5A State Championship and an undefeated 15-0 season in 2011…High School Coach: Mickey Conn.
DT, 6-2, 328
Fayetteville, NC, Pine Forest HS
LAMONT GAILLARD…Born: February 8, 1996…High School: Pine Forest…2014 Under Armour All-American… PrepStar Magazine four-star prospect, Top 150 Dream Team, #5 ranked DT and #53 overall player in the country….ESPN.com four-star prospect, #4 ranked DT nationally, #3 overall prospect in the state of North Carolina, #32 overall prospect in the Southeast region, ESPN Top 300 prospect, #55 overall prospect nationally… Scout.com four-star prospect, #13 ranked DT nationally, #4 overall player in North Carolina, #46 overall prospect in the Southeast region, #147 overall prospect nationally …247sports.com four-star prospect, #10 ranked OT nationally, #8 overall prospect in the state of North Carolina, #140 ranked overall prospect nationally…Rivals.com three-star prospect, #14 ranked overall player in the state of North Carolina…Named to the 2013 Mid South All Conference First Team, recording 82 tackles in his senior season helping Pine Forest to a 10-2 record, finishing second in its division and earning a second consecutive playoff appearance…Was voted onto the 2013 NCPreps.com 4A Pre-Season All-State Team…Named to the 2012 Mid South All Conference First Team after recording 108 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, and four sacks in his junior campaign, helping to lead the Trojans to a 7-5 record and a playoff berth after a 1-10 2011 season… High School Coach: Bill Sochovka.
WR, 6-3, 192
Homestead, Fla., Homestead HS
GILBERT JOHNSON…Born: Sept. 2, 1995…High School: Homestead… PrepStar Magazine three-star prospect and All-Southeast Region…Scout.com three-star prospect, #109 ranked WR prospect…247sports.com three-star recruit, #62 ranked WR prospect, #61 ranked overall prospect in Florida…ESPN.com three-star prospect, #135 ranked WR nationally…Rivals.com three-star recruit and #395 overall prospect in Florida…Finished his junior season with 35 receptions for 572 yards and five touchdowns…Also played basketball during his junior season at Homestead, averaging 9.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game….High School Coach: Larry Coffey.
WR, 5-11, 172
Swainsboro, Ga., Swainsboro HS
Georgia Prep Sports Academy
RICO JOHNSON…Born: February 23, 1994…Prep School: Georgia Prep Sports Academy….played WR during 2013 season….High School: Swainsboro…PrepStar All-Southeast Region… Fox Sports NEXT three-star prospect, #57 WR in the country…Dawg Post #3 WR and #61 overall prospect in Georgia …Rivals.com three-star prospect, #53 overall prospect in Georgia…ESPN.com three-star prospect, #122 WR nationally, #93 overall prospect in Georgia…247Sports four-star prospect, #42 WR nationally, #24 overall prospect in Georgia…2012 Georgia Athletic Coaches Association North-South All-Star Game selection…Also competed as sprinter on track and field team, taking first in the 100-meter dash at the 2012 GHSA State Track Championships…High School Coach: David Johnson.
DB, 6-2, 175
Palm Bay, Fla., Merritt Island HS
SHAQUILLE JONES…Born: March 1, 1996…High School: Merritt Island…ESPN.com three-star prospect, #113 ranked CB nationally, #115 overall prospect in the state of Florida…Rivals.com two-star prospect…Scout.com three-star prospect, #100 ranked CB nationally…247sports.com two-star prospect, #189 ranked CB nationally…Helped lead the Mustangs to an 11-1 overall record and a Class AAAAA District 12 Championship in 2013…Merritt Island advanced to the third round of the 2013 Florida State Playoffs before falling to Lake Wales 34-23…Head Coach: Jeff McLean.
WR, 5-8, 175
Fort Lauderdale, FL, American Heritage HS
ISAIAH MCKENZIE…Born: April 9, 1995…High School: American Heritage… PrepStar All-Southeast Region….Named to the Orlando Sentinel Florida Top 100…Played in Under Armour All-America Game…Rivals.com four-star prospect, #35 WR nationally, #42 player in the state…Scout.com three-star prospect, #37 RB in the country, #132 player in the Southeast, #42 overall player in Florida…247Sports.com four-star prospect, #151 player nationally, #23 WR nationally, #23 player in the state…ESPN.com four-star prospect, #286 player nationally, #36 ATH nationally, #49 player in the state…Finished his senior season with 41 receptions for 892 yards and seven touchdowns, and carried the ball 22 times for 251 yards and seven touchdowns…Led his team to a 15-1 record his senior season… High School Coach: Mike Rumph.
RB, 5-11, 205
Plantation, Fla., American Heritage HS
SONY MICHEL…Born: February 17, 1995…High School: American Heritage…2013 American Family Insurance USA Today All-USA first team and All-USA Florida Team…USA Today Florida Football Player of the Year…Member of Florida’s Class 5A All-State First Team….Member of the 2013 FHSF Class 5A Preseason All-State Elite Team… PrepStar Magazine five-star prospect, Top 150 Dream Team, #3 ranked RB and #10 ranked player in the country…Rivals.com five star prospect, #14 player nationally, #14 RB nationally, #2 player in the state…Scout.com five-star prospect, #13 player nationally, #2 RB nationally, #2 player in the state…247Sports.com four-star prospect, #57 player nationally, #6 RB nationally, #8 player in the state…ESPN.com four-star prospect, #19 player nationally, #2 RB nationally, #2 player in the state…Played in the U.S. Army All-American Game…Rushed for 1,833 yards and 24 touchdowns during his senior season…High School Coach: Mike Rumph.
QB, 6-3, 202
Goose Creek, S.C., Stratford HS
JACOB PARK…Born: October 12, 1995…High School: Stratford…Named 2013 South Carolina Mr. Football…Named to ESPN Elite 11… PrepStar Magazine four-star prospect,Top 300 All-American, #13 ranked QB and #191 ranked overall player in the country…Rivals.com four-star prospect, #78 player nationally, #4 QB nationally, #2 player in the state….Scout.com four-star prospect, #154 player nationally, #8 QB nationally, #4 player in the state…247Sports.com four-star prospect, #78 player nationally, #4 QB nationally, #2 player in the state…Played in the U.S. Army All-American Game…During his senior season, threw for 3,665 yards and 33 touchdowns, including four in Stratford’s Class AAAA Division II state championship…High School Coach: Ray Stackley.
DB, 5-10, 185
Quitman, Ga., Brooks County HS
MALKOM PARRISH…Born: January 12, 1995…High School: Brooks County…Selected to represent the East in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl… PrepStar Magazine four-star prospect, Top 150 Dream Team, #19 ranked DB and #129 ranked player in the country…Rivals.com four-star prospect, #81 overall prospect nationally, #6 CB nationally, #6 overall prospect in the state of Georgia…ESPN.com four-star prospect, #10 athlete nationally, #6 overall prospect in the state of Georgia, #45 overall prospect in the region…247sports.com four-star prospect, #78 overall prospect nationally, #9 CB nationally, #5 overall prospect in the state of Georgia…Scout.com four-star prospect, #119 overall prospect nationally, #11 DB nationally, #43 overall prospect in the Southeast…DawgPost #3 overall prospect in Georgia…Atlanta Journal Constitution All-State Class AA offense…Named to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Super 11…Georgia Sports Writers Association All-State Class AA First Team offense, 2013 Offensive Player of the Year…Played quarterback on offense…Rushed for 1,300 yards and 24 TD’s and passed for 2,600 yards and 18 TD’s….Led Brooks County to Region I-AA titles in 2012 and 2013, and a Final Four appearance in the 2013 GHSA AA State Football Playoffs…High School Coach: Maurice Freeman.
WR/DB/ATH, 6-0, 190
Tucker, Ga., Tucker HS
DOMINICK SANDERS…Born: November 17, 1995…High School: Tucker…PrepStar three-star prospect, All-Southeast Region….ESPN.com three-star prospect, #126 ranked ATH nationally, #115 overall prospect in the state of Georgia…Rivals.com three-star prospect #83 overall prospect in the state of Georgia…Scout.com three-star prospect, #185 ranked WR nationally…247sports.com three-star prospect, #69 ranked CB nationally, #73 overall prospect in the state of Georgia…Atlanta Journal Constitution 2013 Class AAAAA All-Metro Honorable Mention…Georgia Sports Writers Association 2013 Class AAAAA First Team All-State Defense…Helped lead Tucker to a 14-1 record in 2013, finishing the regular season undefeated as Class AAAAA Region 6 Champs, ended the season as State Runner-Up, falling to State Champion Creekside 52-28 in the State Finals…Played a large roll in Tucker’s 2012 season in which the Tigers advanced to the Quarterfinals of the State Playoffs before falling to Northside Warner Robins 23-20…Head Coach: Bryan Lamar.
OL, 6-4, 278
Valdosta, Ga., Lowndes HS
DYSHON SIMS…Born: January 25, 1996…High School: Lowndes …Selected to represent the East in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl… PrepStar Magazine three-star prospect and All-Southeast Region…Rivals.com four-star prospect, #209 overall prospect nationally, #20 OT nationally, #19 overall prospect in the state of Georgia…ESPN.com four-star prospect, #20 OT nationally, #29 overall prospect in the state of Georgia, #155 overall prospect in the region…247sports.com four-star prospect, #185 overall prospect nationally, #17 OT nationally, #14 overall prospect in the state of Georgia…Scout.com four-star prospect, #270 overall prospect nationally, #21 OT nationally, #104 overall prospect in the Southeast…DawgPost #18 overall prospect in Georgia…Atlanta Journal Constitution All-State Class AAAAAA Honorable Mention…Georgia Sports Writers Association All-State Class AAAAAA Second Team offense…MaxPreps 2013 Georgia Preseason All-State Team…High School Coach: Randy McPherson.
WR, 6-1, 195
Macon, Ga., Rutland HS
SHAKENNETH WILLIAMS…Born: March 18, 1995…High School: Rutland… Georgia Sports Writers Association All-State Honorable Mention AAAA … PrepStar Magazine three-star prospect and All-Southeast Region…ESPN four-star prospect, #27 ranked player in the state of Georgia, #45 ranked WR nationally, #144 ranked prospect in the region…247sports.com four-star prospect, #18 ranked prospect in Georgia, #44 WR…Scout.com four-star prospect, #51 ranked WR nationally, #113 player in the Southeast…Rivals.com three-star prospect, #36 ranked player in Georgia, #57 ranked WR nationally…DawgPost #21 overall player in Georgia…During his senior season recorded 998 all purpose yards, including 898 yards receiving on 36 catches, 64 rushing yards on nine carries and 36 kickoff return yards…High School Coach: George Collins.
OL, 6-2, 269
St. Petersburg, Fla., Lakewood HS
ISAIAH WYNN…Born: December 9, 1995…High School: Lakewood…U.S. Army All-American…Class AAAAA All-State Team…Named one of Tampa Bay Times’ Top High School Athletes, Tampa Bay Times All-Sun Coast First Team… PrepStar Magazine four-star prospect, Top 300 All-American, #22 ranked OG and #160 overall player in the country…ESPN four-star prospect, #6 rated offensive guard nationally, #18 ranked played in the state of Florida, No. 106 on the ESPN 300…247sports.com four-star prospect, 9 rated offensive guard nationally, #20 ranked player in Florida, #138 rated player nationally…Scout.com four-star prospect, #11 ranked offensive guard nationally, #22 overall player in Florida, #75 player in the Southeast, #199 overall player in the country…Rivals.com four-star prospect, #6 ranked offensive guard, #22 ranked player in Florida, #145 ranked player nationally…Helped pave the way for Lakewood to rush for 2,371 yards on the season…High School Coach: Cory Moore.
(Recruits information courtesy of Karen Huff, Media Operations Coordinator, UGA Sports Communications)