Will UGA sign a quarterback in this year’s football recruiting class?
If there’s a recruiting tradition for Mark Richt, it’s to sign a quarterback every February: Out of his 14 recruiting classes, Richt has secured a quarterback in every class but two. The last UGA class that didn’t include one was 2008.
Will UGA add one for 2015? They’ve tossed out offers to a few high-profile targets but 247sports.com’s Rusty Mansell doesn’t think the Bulldogs will sign one, at least at this point.
“I don’t think they will take a quarterback in this year’s class, based on where the numbers are right now and where they’re at,” Mansell said.
“But you never say never because they took Hutson Mason late in 2010 when they said they weren’t going to take one. They didn’t take him until January (before that year’s signing day).
“To me, it looks like the clear target is Jacob Eason, who is a 5-star in the next class.”
More on Eason in a second, but Mansell said UGA’s recruiting plans this year at quarterback will likely be confirmed at Dawg Night prospect camp in a couple of weeks. There will be several 2015 quarterbacks showing up to audition for scholarship offers.
“I think after Dawg Night, you will have a clear picture with how Georgia will try to move in this class and, more importantly, the next class,” he said. “There are some guys that Georgia will get to see throw for the first time at Dawg Night … But at this point, I would be surprised if they took a 2015 quarterback.
Jacob Eason is a 6-foot-5, 205-pound junior from Lake Stevens, Wash., and he’s rated as the nation’s No. 2 pro-style quarterback for 2015. While UGA may seem like a long shot for a quarterback from the West Coast, the Bulldogs are currently listed as his favorite in the 247sports Crystal Ball predictions, barely ahead of Notre Dame. Washington, Stanford and Alabama are also in the mix.
Eason is expected to attend UGA’s camp for a couple of days.
“The biggest thing about Eason, unlike most quarterbacks they’ve recruited, is that I think Eason wants to commit to early so he can recruit a lot of kids to go with him to the same college,” Mansell said. “He’s already made contact with offensive lineman Ben Cleveland (of Stephens County High School). He’s already talked with Greg Little (of Allen, Texas), the No. 1 offensive tackle in the country next year.
“Jacob reminds of Chris Leak – he committed early to Florida and started working hard to recruit other guys there up until he signed.
“When you’re on the West Coast, and you’re reaching out to kids in Toccoa, Georgia, you mean business.”
For 2016, UGA has made one other early offer, per 247sports – dual-threat QB Feleipe Franks of Crawfordville, Fla. He’s committed to LSU. UGA is also looking at Logan Byrd of Veterans High School, among others.
For 2015, UGA has offered one pro-style QB, Ricky Towns of Ventura, Calif. (committed to USC). They’ve offered three dual-threat QBs, including Kai Locksley of Baltimore (undecided), Lamar Jackson of Boynton Beach, Fla., (undecided) and De’Andre Johnson of Jacksonville (committed to FSU).
The Bulldogs currently have four quarterbacks on the roster: Senior starter Hutson Mason, followed by sophomore Faton Bauta and freshmen Brice Ramsey and Jacob Park. If one of the freshmen decides to transfer after next season (and there’s no indication at this point that anybody will), then UGA would likely make a late addition at QB.
Ed note: My guess, based on my gut instinct more than anything else, is that UGA will end up signing a QB in this class. Probably a dual-threat kid like Faton Bauta who is athletic enough to play another position if there’s too much of a logjam at QB. And it won’t be a big enough name to scare away Jacob Eason or other high-profile high school juniors. I’m basing my theory on the fact that there’s no proven QBs behind Hutson Mason, and that UGA will want to throw another body in the QB race, post-Mason. We’ll know a lot more after Dawg Night on July 18-19.
WHO WILL BE THIS YEAR’S UGA QB SIGNEE?
Mark Richt’s QB signees at UGA
- 2015: ?
- 2014: Jacob Park
- 2013: Bryce Ramsey
- 2012: Faton Bauta
- 2011: Christian LeMay
- 2010: Hutson Mason
- 2009: Aaron Murray, Zach Mettenberger
- 2008: None
- 2007: Logan Gray
- 2006: Matthew Stafford
- 2005: Joe Cox
- 2004: Blake Barnes
- 2003: None
- 2002: Joe Tereshinski
- 2001: DJ Shockley
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