Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Countdown to Signing Day...15

First, lemme come clean. When I started this blawg I was intrigued by Nat'l Signing Day, but didn't follow recruiting much. I just can't seem to work myself into a lather over a 17 year old's collegiate courtship like some are able to do. Then last February I attended my first Nat'l Signing Day event at Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall.

I was hooked. Although I still don't get bent outta shape like some do when a kid chooses someone else over us (pleeeze people...good riddance), I do enjoy hearing the coaches talk about the process. I do enjoy reading about which way a kid is leaning and why. And I really enjoy speculating where I think kids may go.

All that being said...this ain't gonna be a daily thing. But I hope to have several updates in the next two weeks.

Nose Tackle

As the Grantham Era begins, the role of the nose guard is going to be crucial to the kind of defense the new coach wants to run. The better the NG can control his gaps, the more the LBs behind him can roam free.

Before we look at prospects I think it's important to reflect on some things Grantham said in his teleconference. He looks for NT play that is technically sound, quick and relentless. Prettyy easy to read that he's looking for smart play over just lazy girth. Jay Ratliff, Grantham's star out in Dallas is listed at 6-4, 303.

So who are we looking at adding to the field from the '10 class? Let's look.
  • Garrison Smith (pictured) 6-3 255 Douglass HS, committed to UGA. Smith has the versatility to play end or DT in college. His eventual size and development will likely determine which now that the 3-4 is in Athens. Smith is listed as a prototypical three-technique DT, so his quickness and ability to rush the passer are definitely not in question.
  • Jeff Whitaker 6-4 295 Warner Robins HS. Down to Auburn, UGA, Miami, N. Carolina and California, likely in that order. Whitaker is a true space eater that has elite strength. He just finished his official to Auburn and plans to knock on Coach Richt's door this weekend.
  • Michael Thornton 6-1 275 Stephenson HS. Down to UGA, Auburn, Penn St., Miami and newcomer Florida. Thornton is very quick, agile. Would settle easier into a 4-3, but he definitely has the size and strength to produce early. Thornton certainly qualifies Grantham's quickness criteria. He tallied 18 tackles for loss and seven sacks this past season. UPDATE: Chad Simmons has some late breaking news on Thornton's recruitment ($$).
Grantham's defense is gonna need solid play all around, especially up the middle. So it all starts at NT.

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