Annual Talent Exodus at UGA

Georgia is first in the SEC in total NFL draft picks over the past ten years with fifty-seven players taken. Twenty-six UGA players have been drafted by the league since the Dawgs last won the SEC five years ago behind DJ Shockley. Matthew Stafford went number one overall in 2009, and we may again see a UGA product selected first. AJ Green is just that good. I’m of the opinion that he has been ready for the NFL since after his dominant freshman season, though he certainly improved in skill set over his two final partial seasons in Athens. Justin Houston was also ready for the NFL, because he proved over the course of the season to have developed into a Demarcus Ware or Charles Haley type speed rusher – virtually unstoppable off the end. Houston will be a great fit for any professional 3-4 defense. Both players may make immediate impacts in the league.

The attrition in Athens is certainly not limited to underclassmen declaring early for the draft. LB, Marcus Dowtin has transferred out of the program. And here is a list of contributing seniors with no remaining eligibility: WR, Kris Durham; FB, Shaun Chapas; FB, Fred Munzenmaier; G, Chris Davis; T, Josh Davis; T, Clint Boling; DE, Demarcus Dobbs; LB, Darryl Gamble; LB, Akeem Dent; CB, Vance Cuff.

The program did get a big boost when stud cornerback and kick returner Brandon Boykin decided to return for his senior season Between the Hedges. The talent cupboard is far from bare overall at UGA with quarterback Aaron Murray and a defensive system both expected to blossom in year two. The special teams looks on paper to be the strongest in the nation with Boykin, Walsh and Butler returning.

National Signing Day is February 2nd and UGA has signed a lot of incoming talent and is still in the hunt for several undeclared star players. The state of Georgia is loaded with high school talent this year and is being heavily recruited regionally and nationally. With obvious holes to plug coming off twelve losses in two years, Richt and recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner could really use a strong finish in recruiting.