Friday, July 29, 2011

Newcomer Impact: pretest

Camp's almost here. And I'm evidently in a ranking mood lately. So this will be the pretest for where the newcomers sit in my mind heading into camp as far as their impact on the upcoming season. In about a month we'll re-rank them just before the season, in October we'll give them a midterm and then the final will be in December.

Be sure to let me know who I've missed.

  1. John Jenkins - You can make an argument that he's already made the most impact given Kwame Geathers' spring. I think Jenkins was our biggest signee in both stature and importance. Crowell's gained some on him given the RB attrition, but this big guy is going to transform the defense and have a bigger impact in Athens than Mt. Cody did in Tuscaloosa.
  2. Malcolm Mitchell - "Tampa" is sounding more and more like the real deal. Not just an eventually finds a role on the field kind of deal. More like he might give Orson a run at grabbing the season's first TD kind of deal. There's a reason Bobo spent more time in the Valdosta HS parking lot last Winter than he did in his own house. He wanted this kid because he can score from anywhere on the field. And now he gets to play with what Santa delivered.
  3. Isaiah Crowell - Unlike Mitchell out wide, Crowell doesn't have big AJ shoes to fill but every tailback who comes to Athens is forever in #34's shadow. Crowell could easily be #2 on this list, maybe even #1. He's that good. I think the biggest hurdle for Crowell could be himself. On the one hand it was cool seeing the nation's top RB hold up a bulldog pup on national tv in February. On the other it was a glimpse at just how big the kid had become. The transition to just another scholarship player is a hard one.
  4. Ray Drew - The good Reverend will play. Despite OLB's depth of talent he'll be in Grantham's mix. However he has to learn a new skill, covering passing routes. He's a terror rushing the passer, but now that he's moved from a HS defensive end to an OLB he won't be rushing to get into the backfield every down. I'm anxious to hear how quickly this transition goes.
  5. Jarvis Jones - While Tavarres King and others try to fill AJ's cleats, Jones is charged with filling Houston's. And all indications are he's more than ready. In fact, it sounds like he's already steps ahead in the locker room and could be even better on the field. Not sure why Kiffin wasn't interested in Jones, but since when has anything that guy done made a damn bit of sense? Assuming the mess in Columbus gets resolved at a reasonable pace, Jones will be every bit the playmaker we need on the defensive side of the ball.
Of course assuming any NCAA process involving UGA goes smoothly and fairly is a stretch. Now, back to Crowell...the starting tailback position has gone from a challenge to obtain to getting dropped in his lap. How well he accepts that responsibility will determine whether he's this season's Lattimore or Carlton Thomas' backup.

Others looking to crack the future rankings - Damian Swann, Corey Moore, Nick Marshall, Chris Sanders and Jay Rome.


Palmer said...

It still amazes me how loaded this class can be. Especially after the top 4 (freshmen), when Jay Rome is 3rd or 4th on the 'will get to later' list.

Anonymous said...

I love it and am psyched as well, but don't forget that 5-6 teams had recruiting classes ranked higher.

Anonymous said...

Ranking recruiting classes doesn't take into account how the recruiting fills the teams needs.

Our Top-Five gets fill critical team needs. So, our five- and four-stars may well mean more to usm than, say, FSU's or Alabama's.

AthensHomerDawg said...

WATTS DANZLER:Ht: 6-7 Wt: 310 40: 5.39 . I think I posted earlier with respect to OL depth that Bean would fill a spot .... I think Watts will get to that 6th spot before we visit the Hillbillies in Knoxville.

TrboDawg said...

Here's an odd thought that jumped into my mind while reading this about Jarvis... WHAT IF Kiffy KNEW about the plane tickets and assorted other benefits and said, "We don't need this problem" ???

Anonymous said...

You might be onto something.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 2:03- I thought that was a part of all team ranking in recruiting. Filling needs.