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Monday, January 26, 2009
Georgia recruiting needs

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Nobody in the SEC was hurt more by early departures to the NFL than Georgia.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford, running back Knowshon Moreno and cornerback Asher Allen are all gone.

Two of those positions -- quarterback and cornerback -- were a priority this recruiting period. The Bulldogs already have two quarterbacks signed and on campus. Aaron Murray of Tampa, Fla., and Zach Mettenberger of Watkinsville, Ga., will both be eligible to go through spring practice. Murray is rated as the fourth best quarterback prospect in the country by ESPN's Scouts Inc.

Joe Cox is the front-runner to win the job, but there's no such thing as having too much depth at quarterback in the SEC.

Losing Allen to the NFL was a bit of a surprise. He was easily the Bulldogs' best cover cornerback. They have a chance to come out of National Signing Day with two of the top cornerback prospects in the country, though. Branden Smith of Atlanta has already committed, and they're in the hunt for Greg Reid of Valdosta, Ga.

Georgia has also played an emphasis on beefing up its offensive line depth this recruiting period even though the Bulldogs remained extremely young up front this past season.

They're looking for a few more pass-rushers at defensive end, too, especially with Jarius Wynn graduating. Getting to the quarterback wasn't their specialty last season. They finished with 24 sacks, which ranked eighth in the SEC. The return of tackle Jeff Owens, who was injured in 2008, will help bolster the middle of Georgia's defensive line, especially with Geno Atkins back after he considered turning pro.