May 10, 2012

Top defensive targets

Spring Top Targets


• DE Robert Nkemdiche (Grayson) - As the consensus No. 1 player in the entire country, any and every school that is mentioned by the Nkemdiche is going to recruit him until the ink dries on his letter of intent. There has been some talk about Nkemdiche fitting a 4-3 scheme better than a 3-4, but there is little doubt that any defensive coordinator in the country would love to have the five star's talents at his disposal.

Where UGA stands: The good news for Georgia fans is that the Bulldogs are firmly Nkemdiche's top five. The bad news is that they are in the lower half of that top five. Members of the Georgia coaching staff were at Grayson on Wednesday to visit with the star defender, and a solid bond has been created. Alabama, LSU, and Ole Miss have to be considered the favorites at this time, but Nkemdiche's decision to push back his announcement date, which was originally scheduled for May 18, is very good news for the Georgia staff. It is an uphill battle at this point, but it is one the Georgia staff appears willing to fight.

• LB Reuben Foster (Auburn; Auburn, Ala.) - First and foremost, it is important to note that Foster has been committed to Alabama for almost a year now. There have been reports of the star linebacker recruiting for the Tide, and he has stated multiple times that his heart is with Alabama. Despite those facts, Foster has remained in contact with multiple staffs, and has given those staffs the indication that he is still willing to listen. Foster's move to Auburn High School has definitely boosted Auburn's chances, and Alabama remains the leader. Georgia, as is the case with Nkemdiche, will not give up on such an immense talent at the linebacker position.

Where UGA stands: Just two months ago, more than one person close to the star linebacker would have told you that UGA's chances with Foster were very solid. He had taken multiple visits to the Classic City, and was really feeling the love from the Georgia staff. Alabama has since extended their lead for the five star prospect, and Auburn has entered the race. Right now, the Tigers and Bulldogs are on the outside looking in with the Tide commitment, but Georgia will definitely do its best to get Foster on campus during the fall to show them their wide open depth chart at inside linebacker for 2013.

• DL Montravious Adams (Dooly County): Nkemdiche and Foster get a ton of attention as two of the best players in the South, but Adams is not far behind. The Rivals100 defender recently measured in at 6-foot-4, 300 pounds, and is looking to take the next step in his senior season after having a dominating junior campaign with 45 tackles for a loss. There are multiple schools in this fight with Clemson, Alabama, Auburn, Southern California, Florida, and Georgia being the main competitors, and Adams maintains that he is wide open.

Where UGA stands: The situation with Adams and UGA is exactly the opposite of Georgia's situation with Foster. When the Bulldogs offered early in 2012, it appeared that they had no chance. Now, it could be argued that Georgia is in the driver's seat. What caused the change? The Georgia defensive staff has done an excellent job of building a strong relationship with the four star prospect. So much so that Adams has backed off his original statements of wanting to play out of state. This battle will likely last until signing day, but the Bulldogs are in excellent shape for a number of reasons including his love for Georgia's defensive scheme and the fact that he lives a county that is pro UGA.

• DB Brendan Langley (Kell) - Langley is one of the most dynamic athletes in the state of Georgia, and multiple schools are in hot pursuit. Alabama and Georgia have been Langley's top two for quite some time, and the Marietta native is considering making trips to UCLA and maybe even USC, who he expects to offer soon, this summer. As it stands right now, it will be tough for any school to break into his top two, but anything can happen on an official visit.

Where UGA stands: Langley has stated on numerous occasions that the Bulldogs are his leader with the Tide coming in a close second. Both staffs have built a great relationship with the versatile defensive back, but Langley's ties to Georgia and relationship with current commits gives the Bulldogs a slight edge at this time and an excellent chance to land his commitment. The Georgia defensive staff has Langley as a top priority at defensive back at this time due to his versatility and immense talent.

• DB Vonn Bell (Ridgeland) - Bell is one of the most well-traveled recruits in the 2013 cycle as he has taken visits to almost every school that has expressed interest. It wasn't until UGA's annual G-Day Spring Scrimmage on April 14, however, that the four star prospect visited the Classic City. Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Vanderbilt, Ohio State and Clemson are among the schools vying for Bell's signature, and he has given no indication of a leader at this time.

Where UGA stands: It is tough to tell where the Bulldogs stand with the Ridgeland star at this point, but based on his actions, the Georgia staff can't be too optimistic at this time. It isn't that Bell has mentioned anything about the Bulldogs in a negative light. It is quite the opposite actually as he has said on multiple occasions that he has a great deal of love and respect for the Georgia program for being the first to offer. The pessimism surrounding UGA's chances with Bell stem from his lack of time spent in Athens during the spring, but all of that could change this summer should he decide on a couple of trips to the Classic City. This one is a long way from over, and a leader has yet to be named.

• DE Naim Mustafaa (Alpharetta) - It has been a roller coaster ride all ready for Mustafaa. Early in the year, it looked as if Georgia had the lead. Then, Mustafaa cooled on the Bulldogs and had Georgia Tech on top before visiting Tennessee and moving the Volunteers into his top group. Auburn entered the mix shortly thereafter, making it a three-team race between the Tigers, Yellow Jackets, and Volunteers. Recently, the star pass rusher told UGASports that things have changed again, and the two in state schools are tied atop his list. One thing that has remained constant is that almost every school in the South covets the Peach State defender.

Where UGA stands: As previously stated, Georgia is tied with Georgia Tech at the top of Mustafaa's list. The Bulldogs have told Mustafaa on multiple occasions that he is their top target at outside linebacker and one of their top priorities on defense in general. Mustafaa's has strong ties to Georgia Tech as his father, Najee Mustafaa, played for the Yellow Jackets from 1983-1986 under the name Reggie Rutland, and the Yellow Jackets are also working hard for a top pass rusher for their 3-4 scheme. It is tough to tell who has the edge in this two-team race, and it is doubtful anyone will know who is really on top until Mustafaa makes a decision.

• DL Kelsey Griffin (Mill Creek) - Griffin is one of the most talented defensive line prospects the state of Georgia has had in the last five years. The only problem is that his peers in the 2013 class are Nkemdiche, Adams, Auburn commit Carl Lawson, and Mustafaa. Those players, however, have had zero effect on the schools that are coming after the Rivals100 lineman. South Carolina, Florida State, and Georgia are the three schools that appear to be recruiting Griffin the hardest at this time, but more schools will be working hard to enter the mix this summer for the most technically sound defensive lineman in the Peach State for 2013.

Where UGA stands: Georgia has hosted Griffin on multiple occasions for game day visits, junior days, and even midweek trips to tour the campus. Griffin has stated on numerous times that he is impressed with Georgia as a school and program, and that they really stand out to him. South Carolina also did a great job of impressing the four star prospect when he visited the Gamecocks for their spring scrimmage, and they are another school that he talks about frequently. It is tough to get a read on the Mill Creek standout's feelings toward particular schools at this time, but UGA definitely in the thick of things for Griffin.

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