While the University of Georgia was celebrating its Class of 2012 additions, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham wasted no time getting a jump on 2013.
Grantham made a call recently to a former in-state standout.
Taj Letman (Elberton, Ga./Holmes CC) was one of the top track athletes coming out of Elbert County High School, running a 14.20 in the 110 hurdles and high jumping 6-6. Georgia recruited the 6-foot-3, 195-pound safety, although the Bulldogs staff was aware he would likely need to go juco before being eligible to play in Athens. With his chance to play FBS football rapidly approaching, Letman got word that he had not been forgotten by the Bulldogs.
“Coach Grantham said he watched my film and he liked what he saw,” Letman said. “He said he wanted to make me a part of the 2013 class.”
Upon hearing about the possibility of being able to suit up "between the hedges," Letman, who has attended several games at Sanford Stadium through the years, was at a loss for words. Grantham let him know he would try and get out to Mississippi for his spring game, and the player is hoping it will result in him having a spot at Georgia next year.
“I was speechless getting the news,” Letman said. “I did not know what to say. I grew up being a Georgia fan my whole life, so it was a dream come true. If I have a chance to go to Georgia I am going, there is no questions about it.”
Whenever he had a chance, Letman would watch the Bulldogs play last year. He has actually tried to mold his game out of one of the standout performers for Georgia.
“They let their free safeties hang back and make plays, but also they man up on the slot receiver sometimes and come down on blitzes,” Letman said. “I try to pattern my game like Bacarri Rambo, so when Grantham said he needed someone to try and come in and replace him, that made me smile because he thought I played like him.”
Letman had 59 tackles and 10 passes broken up in nine games for the Holmes Bulldogs, and he said he expects to graduate in December with three years to play two. His mother knows his time in Mississippi is for good reason.
“When I told my mom Georgia called she was so happy, because she knew I came out here to show what I could do and have a chance to come back home and play,” Letman said.