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UGA, Tech football recruiting classes shaping up nicely

Mark Richt

Mark Richt

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Paul Johnson

Georgia and Georgia Tech appear to be in pretty good position with their recruiting efforts less than six weeks away from signing day.

Both in-state rivals have at least 75 percent of their 2014 classes finished, due to aggressive recruiting and early commitments.

Georgia may be headed to another top 10 finish in the team recruiting rankings. The Bulldogs have 16 commitments, may sign between 20-22 prospects, and are rated as the No. 10 team in the 247sports.com composite rankings.

“I feel good about this year’s class; I can say I feel very good,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “I really believe in how we evaluate and how we trust what we think is right for us. And we evaluate more than talent. We evaluate a lot of things, and that helps us bring in the right guys.”

Georgia Tech could have its largest class since 2011. The Yellow Jackets currently have 19 commitments, may sign between 20-23 prospects, and are rated No. 74 by 247sports.

I think it’s going to be a good class,” Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said. “We’ll see as we finish up. We’re excited about them. I think we have some really good players. Hopefully we can get them to the signing date (Feb. 5), and add a couple. Hopefully, it will be a really good class.”

Here’s a closer look at both schools for the stretch run.

GEORGIA’S TOP COMMITS: On offense, it would be one of the running backs, 5-star Nick Chubb of Cedartown or 4-star Sony Michel of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “You saw this year how important it was to have depth at running back,” said Rusty Mansell of 247sports. “Both of those guys can play.” The top defender is 5-star defensive tackle Lamont Gaillard of Fayetteville, N.C.

GEORGIA’S TOP TARGETS: 5-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter is the state’s No. 1-ranked overall prospect and No. 1 on Georgia’s board. The Bulldogs are set up nicely, as they get the chance to make the last impression. Carter has scheduled his final official visit before signing day to Georgia for Jan. 31. Carter is also considering LSU, Alabama and Florida State, but has said “It’s a Georgia-Florida race, right now.” Another top priority is 4-star cornerback Wesley Green, the former South Carolina commit from M.L. King. Also on the wish list are Carrollton defensive tackle Dontavius Russell (de-committed from Georgia last month) and North Gwinnett wide receiver Nate Brown (committed to Missouri).

GEORGIA’S BEST-CASE SCENARIO TO FINISH: “Getting Lorenzo Carter, Wesley Green, Nate Brown and maybe another guy they get in on late,” UGAsports.com’s Jake Rowe said. “But I don’t see them grabbing any out-of-state guys like Rashaan Evans (defensive end from Auburn, Ala.), and I don’t see them getting Dontavius Russell back. I think Carter and Green, along with Brown if they want him, that would be a great finish for them.”

GEORGIA TECH’S TOP COMMITS: The team’s marquee prospect is 3-star quarterback Matthew Jordan of Jackson, Ala. Jordan committed to Georgia Tech over Nebraska, among others. “He is pretty much the perfect fit for what they are trying to do,” JacketsOnline.com’s Kelly Quinlan said. “He can run the ball with toughness, and can manage the game. He has great leadership skills.” The top defenders are twin 3-star cornerbacks Lance and Lawrence Austin of Lamar County.

GEORGIA TECH’S TOP TARGETS: 4-star Safety Erick Smith of Glenville, Ohio, is considering Ohio State and Georgia Tech, while the Yellow Jackets are also interested in Campbell 3-star safety Mike Rogers, who is committed to UCF. “The other high-profile guy is (Norcross running back) Myles Autry,” Quinlan said. “Myles came back too quickly from his knee injury, and he finally started showing signs of the ‘old Myles’ during the playoffs. He’s a really dynamic player. He’s got some things he needs to work on… But he’s a guy that could come in and contribute.” Autry, whose older brother plays at Georgia Tech, has narrowed down to FSU, Ohio State, Oregon and Georgia Tech.

GEORGIA TECH’S BEST-CASE SCENARIO TO FINISH: “They have four A-back targets, and if they pick up two of those … (but) I think the biggest thing for them now is to keep the class together, and make sure they don’t get poached,” Quinlan said.