Georgia becoming elite recruiting area

The state of Georgia is loaded with big-time prospects, and you could even make the argument that the Peach State is the third-best state to find prospects after Texas and Florida and right in front of California. Obviously, the population of Georgia does not compare to that of California, and the enrollments of the schools statewide would lean toward California, as well, but not across-the-board. And when it comes to upper-echelon talent between the two states, Georgia would appear to have the slight edge over California in the past six classes.

Since the 2006 class, California has had 91 prospects in the ESPNU 150, while Georgia has had 92. In the 2011 and 2010 classes, Georgia has had 19 prospects represented in the ESPNU 150, while California currently has 12 prospects in 2011 and had 22 in 2010. California is always going to have more players, but in recent years we believe there have been better top-end prospects to come out of the Peach State.

Top prospect

DE Ray Drew (Thomasville, Ga./Thomas County Central)
Drew is not only the top prospect in the state of Georgia, but also the No. 3-ranked player overall in the ESPNU 150. He is capable of being a dominant, disruptive force off the edge, or he could slide down and play tackle. He is tall and explosive as a pass-rusher, yet can anchor the point against the run. If Drew were in last year's class, he would be in consideration for the top overall spot.

Remember this name

CB Devin Bowman (Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland)
Bowman is a raw and at times undisciplined prospect in terms of fundamentals, but he has the terrific physical tools necessary to become a productive player at the next level. The Georgia commit has the feet, ball skills, hips and top-end speed to develop into a fine cover corner in time. He is lean and must continue to grow and add bulk to his frame, but he is very gifted athletically. Georgia has a tradition of quality corner play and Bowman is just another addition.

Taking up residence

Here are the colleges that are doing the best with prospects from Georgia.


Georgia Five ESPNU 150 prospects and many four-stars comprise this deep Georgia class. It continues to upgrade at wide receiver and quarterback, two positions of need. Four-star WR Justin Scott-Wesley (Camilla, Ga./Mitchell-Baker) is a speedster, and although he's a little green in his route-running, he has the skill set and wheels to become a serious playmaker at the next level. He also has the potential to be a threat in the return game. Scott-Wesley is joined by four-star wideout Chris Conley (Dallas, Ga./North Paulding), who really grows on you the more you watch him, not only as a receiving threat but also as a runner after the catch.

Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech The Yellow Jackets quietly go about their business, luring quality players to Atlanta despite a tough academic environment. While their classes are not always flashy, they are certainly high quality. Surprisingly, only eight of their 14 prospects are in-state kids. Georgia Tech seems to be spending a lot of time in North Carolina, but its top rated in-state prospect is DE Darrius Caldwell (Atlanta, Ga./Benjamin E. Mays), a four-star player and top 30 overall player nationally at his position.

Tom Luginbill is ESPN's national director of football recruiting.