The best player from Georgia's recruiting class of 2011?; Photo: USA Today Sports
This week I am taking a look back at the recruiting class of 2011 over at Crystal Ball Run and in doing so it brought me to a couple of Georgia players who came into the program with a lot of hype but both transferred out without living up to expectations. Let's take a look back at the recruiting class of 2011 for Georgia and see what the Bulldogs have gotten out of these players.
Overall, this class was ranked 5th in the Nation by 247 Sports. Here's a position by position breakdown…
Damian Swann (Rating = 95, #3 ranked CB)
Nick Marshall (Rating = 92, #20 ranked CB)
Devin Bowman (Rating = 85)
The corner position was one of the big misses of this recruiting class. Unless you live under a rock, you know the Nick Marshall story. Swann had a horrible 2013 but did manage to finish the season third on the team with 43 solo tackles. Hopefully, the new defensive staff will be able to get him back on track in his senior season. Bowman didn't see much action in 2013 although he was sighted in the bowl game.
Ray Drew (Rating = 96, #3 ranked SDE)
Sterling Bailey (Rating = 87)
Ray Drew came on strong in 2013. He finished with 24 solo tackles and was second on the team with 6 sacks. He also had 8 tackles for loss and was credited with 11 QB hurries. Bailey had 14 solo tackles and 1 sack.
John Jenkins (Rating = 92, JUCO)
This was a one-year stop gap and it worked out well for what it was.
Amarlo Herrera (Rating = 90)
Ramik Wilson (Rating = 88, #12 ranked ILB)
We landed two solid LBs in this class but obviously the depth is a bit concerning. If you only land two LBs in a class then they need to be starting, which they did last year. Kent Turene was also signed but he ended up at Marshall due to academics. Herrera and Wilson are both good players but they also struggled in the pass game. The new defensive staff will get one year with them and it will be interesting to see how they play in 2014 as senior leaders on the defense.
OT Watts Dantzler (Rating = 89)
OT Zach DeBell (Rating = 88)
OT Xzavier Ward (Rating = 89)
C David Andrews (Rating = 86)
OG Hunter Long (Rating = 80)
LS Nathan Theus (Rating = 78)
Will Friend came on board on Feb 7, 2011 and National Signing Day was Feb 2, 2011 so the hay was in the barn by the time he got on campus (in terms of this recruiting class). David Andrews is obviously the stud of this group and he's been a very solid starter. But, overall you have to be very disappointed in this class of offensive lineman as thus far we have just one major contributor out of six signees.
Christian LeMay (Rating = 95, #1 ranked Pro Style QB)
Obviously, this was a miss but Georgia has recruited very well at the QB position. LeMay was stuck behind Aaron Murray and Huston Mason on the depth chart and then got passed by Faton Bauta this season. With Brice Ramsey and Jacob Park coming on board it was clear that LeMay was never going to be a starter (or even a second-stringer) at Georgia.
Isaiah Crowell (Rating = 247, #1 ranked RB)
Crowell was the crown jewel of Georgia's 2011 recruiting class and as a true freshman, Crowell showed signs of brilliance but also left fans scratching their heads at times. He didn't make it to his sophomore season.
Corey Moore (Rating = 95, #4 ranked Safety)
Chris Sanders (Rating = 89)
Quintavius Harrow (Rating = 77)
Along with the corners, this was another big miss of the class. Harrow was a package deal with Crowell and once Crowell hit the road, so did he. Sanders was part of the Nick Marshall exodus which leaves us with Corey Moore. Moore didn't get on the field much in his first two years. He played a lot last year but as a junior seemed to struggle with the schemes we ran. If I'm building a Safety depth chart for next season he would definitely be behind Tray Matthews and Quincy Mauger, who will both be sophomores.
Jay Rome (Rating = 96, #3 ranked TE)
Rome has been behind Arthur Lynch (and Orson Charles) on the depth chart since arriving. So far he has 20 rec and 2 TDs in the two years he's played. 2014 will be his chance to shine.
Malcolm Mitchell (Rating = 97, #3 ranked ATH)
Justin Scott-Wesley (Rating = 92, #28 ranked WR)
Chris Conley (Rating = 89)
Sanford Seay (Rating = 87)
Going, going, gone. This was the home run of the recruiting class. Despite being shuffled between offense and defense, Mitchell still managed to catch 85 passes in two years (along with 8 TDs). JSW got his shot last year and was making the most of it (16 rec and 2 TD in 5 games) when he got hurt. Conley has been solid with 16 rec as a frosh, 20 as a soph and 45 as a senior. If these were the only receivers on your team (provided they stayed healthy), I would be happy with this trio and that means Georgia nailed this group. What happened to Sanford Seay? Ask Seth Emersen.
Overall, this was a very up and down recruiting class with some good players but no real superstars (at least not yet). Georgia signed 24 players but five of those players (Crowell, Harrow, Marshall, Sanders, Seay) would make pretty quick exits from the program. Georgia signed a combined 12 players from the secondary and offensive line and out of those 12 players they got 2 starters (David Andrews and Damian Swann) and 1 part-time starter (Corey Moore) with two of those players struggling in 2013. If you look at the class overall, I think Georgia did finish with some good players but because three of their top ten (Crowell, LeMay and Marshall) are no longer with the team and another was a one-year rental, if this team was re-ranked I think it would have difficulty getting into the Top 20.
If I were to re-rank this recruiting class into a top 10 players based on their contributions so far (still on the roster), here is how I would do that….
1. Malcolm Mitchell
2. Ray Drew
3. David Andrews
4. Amarlo Herrera
5. Ramik Wilson
6. Chris Conley
7. Justin Scott-Wesley
8. Damian Swann
9. Jay Rome
10. Sterling Bailey