'Dream Team' impacts UGA's 2013 class

ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia’s recruiting class for 2013 is ranked No. 10 in the new class rankings released Wednesday and with a few key commitments, the Bulldogs could climb the list even higher.

Georgia has had four classes ranked sixth or better in the last five years, the only exception being the 2010 class. That group of signees was small and only three members from that class are starters today. Granted, Alec Ogletree, Jarvis Jones and Kenarious Gates are three of the Bulldogs’ top players, but the 2010 class and the 2010 season left much to be desired. Georgia finished that year 6-7, Mark Richt’s only losing season at Georgia.

The following year Richt and his staff rededicated themselves to the recruiting trail and landed what he called the “Dream Team.” The Class of 2011 was ranked No. 6 in the nation and had an instant impact as Georgia won the SEC East and played in the SEC title game. The two year turnaround from the losing season to being the division champions removed the hot seat talk that had hounded Richt and in 2011 he signed the No. 5 recruiting class in the country.

Much of the staff’s success in 2011 was due to their work in landing the Dream Team. Many of the 2011 recruits were identified earlier and recruited more heavily than in years past. Many of the recruits in the Class of 2011 saw the Dream Team being put together and liked the idea for their class as well. Although they never adopted the “Dream Team II” moniker, the idea was the same.

Todd Gurley, Jordan Jenkins, John Theus, Marshall Morgan and Collin Barber are all staring for Georgia as freshmen. The win against Auburn gave Georgia its second SEC East title in a row. Just as meaningful to some Georgia fans is the fact that the Dream Team is 2-0 against Florida – something that no recruiting class has been able to say in over 20 years.

Richt was also given a new contract after the 2011 season and that vote of confidence has helped with the Class of 2013. The upward trend the Bulldogs have enjoyed inspired many members of the 2013 class to commit early. Tray Matthews (Newnan, Ga./Newnan) and Brice Ramsey (Kingsland, Ga./Camden County) committed in the summer before their junior years. Having two eventual ESPN 150 members pledge to the Bulldogs so early paid dividends. Most of the class was committed with six months to go before signing day.

Georgia is still in the running for two five-star talents in Montravius Adams (Vienna, Ga./Dooly County) and Laremy Tunsil (Lake City, Fla./Columbia). The Bulldogs are also a finalist for ESPN 150 running back Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga./Norcross). Landing any of these top targets could boost Georgia even higher in the class rankings.