Recruits: 19 (18 high school seniors and one junior college player, who’s already enrolled).
Top prospects: The Bulldogs signed six ESPNU 150 prospects. Alex Ogletree is the No. 4 safety prospect in the country and may grow into an outside linebacker. T.J. Stripling is the No. 5 outside linebacker prospect in the country, while Garrison Smith is one of the top 15 defensive tackle prospects in the country.
Sleepers: Michael Bennett is a candidate to play either receiver or safety and a very instinctive football player even if he’s not highly rated. Kenarious Gates is a huge offensive tackle prospect who may need a couple of years to develop.
Needs met: The strength of the Bulldogs’ class is on the defensive line, and that’s always a good place to start. Michael Thornton and Smith are a pair of promising defensive tackles, which is critical given the Bulldogs are losing three senior tackles. Junior college safety Jakar Hamilton will also get a chance to play early, while Kolton Houston and Brent Benedict were big gets in the offensive line.
Analysis: This signing day won’t be a memorable one for the Bulldogs. They lost several players to other schools late, including top receiver prospect Da’Rick Rogers to Tennessee. Also, the Bulldogs didn’t fare nearly as well in state as they usually do. Nine of the top 10 in-state prospects on the Scouts Inc. chart went elsewhere. Still, the Bulldogs were able to get several players on defense that should fit well into new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s 3-4 scheme.
Scouts Inc. grade: B+
What Mark Richt said:
"Recruiting is a lot about relationships and any time there is a change on the staff for whatever reason, the relationships that have been built throughout the recruiting process were broken. I think the timing of the hires, taking as long as it did, put a strain on some of these young men that we had committed. Some guys changed their mind, but it drives the point home that it is very much about relationships.
"Some kids are a little more mature than others. They know what they want, and they know that their word means something. But there are a lot of things going on. Let's face it, you've got a kid who is 17, 18 or 19 years old and coaches that are anywhere from 25 to 65 trying to convince them that one school is better than the other. It can be confusing and difficult at times."