Todd Gurley is all about the Dawgs
By Matthew Osborne
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Fortunately for the Bulldog Nation, the wait for that positive news came to an end last week, as Georgia picked up commitments from a pair of top prospects in the class of 2012.
Following a two-game skid to end the 2011 season, Georgia Bulldog fans have been hoping that some positive news in world of recruiting would help get the bad taste of the season’s disappointing conclusion out of their mouths.
Fortunately for the Bulldog Nation, the wait for that positive news came to an end last week, as Georgia picked up commitments from a pair of top prospects in the class of 2012: defensive end Jordan Jenkins and running back Todd Gurley.
Jenkins, who is ranked as a five-star prospect by Scout.com, started the positive momentum on Monday evening, when he announced his intentions to play for the Bulldogs live on FOX Sports South’s “The NEW College Football Show: Next Class 2012”.
Nicknamed “The Freak” due to his outstanding combine workouts, Jenkins was long considered to be a heavy Alabama lean. In the end, however, Jenkins said that it was his relationship with Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham that set the Bulldogs apart from the Crimson Tide.
“I picked Georgia because they’re a great program, and I’ve established a great relationship with Coach Grantham,” Jenkins said of his decision to play his college ball in Athens. “I’m confident in his ability to gets things done, and I love the way he uses his outside linebackers.”
Scout.com ranks Jenkins as the No. 5 defensive end in his class, and with his commitment, he now becomes the second five-star defensive end to commit to the Bulldogs in the last 12 months, joining Ray Drew from Georgia’s 2011 class.
While Jenkins is still raw from a technique standpoint, his supreme athleticism affords him the physical tools necessary to become a dominant force on the next level. He has been timed at a sub-4.7 in the 40-yard dash, and his quickness and explosiveness off the snap are amongst the best in the nation for the class of 2012. Look for Jenkins to get on the field early in his collegiate career as a pass rushing specialist, although he will need to add some bulk to his frame in order to become an every down player in the SEC.
Still riding an emotional high following Jenkins’ somewhat unexpected commitment on Monday evening, the Bulldogs received more good news yesterday afternoon, when Gurley, ranked as the No. 13 running back in the nation by Scout.com, chose Mark Richt’s Georgia program over offers from North Carolina, NC State and Clemson.
Gurley’s commitment gives the Bulldogs two of the top running back prospects in the class of 2012. Keith Marshall, the nation’s top-ranked running back, committed to the Bulldogs in early December and has already enrolled in classes at Georgia.
While it might seem strange for a highly-coveted running back prospect to sign with the same school that just recently received a commitment from the top running back prospect in the country, Gurley and Marshall developed an extremely close relationship during the recruiting process. Gurley, who rushed for over 2,500 yards and 36 touchdowns as a 16-year old high school senior, actually credits his relationship with Marshall as one of the main reasons that he ended up choosing Georgia.
“Keith and I have developed a good relationship,” Gurley said. “Not that many kids are getting heavily recruited around here. We are like brothers. I told him about my decision, and he supported me 100%. I told him to be ready to compete when I get there in the summertime.”
Gurley will provide the Bulldogs with an excellent compliment to Marshall’s tremendous speed. At 6-2, Gurley runs with a tremendous amount of power and is very good at picking up yards between the tackles.
As was the case in Jenkins’ recruitment, the Bulldogs were forced to make a late push in order to receive a verbal commitment from Gurley.
"I probably would have ended up at North Carolina if Butch Davis was still there, but God closed that door and opened up another door for me to enter," Gurley commented.
With Jenkins and Gurley both announcing in favor of the Dawgs within the last seven days, the Georgia staff has now picked up a considerable amount of recruiting momentum heading into Signing Day.
All things taken into consideration, don’t be surprised if the Dawgs pick up an additional 5-10 commitments from 2012 prospects before all is said and done.