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Sunday, August 17, 2014
Scout's Take: DT Ledbetter to UGA

By Craig Haubert

Georgia Bulldogs picked up more steam on the trail Saturday night by flipping Under Armour All-American defensive tackle Jonathan Ledbetter from his commitment to Alabama. Read on to see what this means for the Bulldogs:

What he brings: Ledbetter is a big, strong and physical defender. The ESPN 300 defensive lineman can be a tough presence against the run demonstrating the ability to fire out, uncoil at contact and hold ground. He needs to work on pad level and hand usage, but displays the upper body strength to press blockers and quickly shed in time to make a play. He also needs to continue to develop as a pass-rusher. Ledbetter can be an effective bull rusher. The four-star recruit has some room to grow physically and technically, but can be a good, tough productive player in the trenches and should only get better with development.

How he fits: This is another big pickup for Georgia on the recruiting trail. Soon after landing a commitment from the state’s top in-state prospect in DT Trenton Thompson they have gained another in-state commitment in the trenches and overall now have commitments from three of the state’s top-ten prospects.

On the field, Ledbetter gives them another good, versatile player upfront. The one-time Alabama commitment can be used similarly in Athens by DC Jeremy Pruitt to how he would have been utilized in Tuscaloosa. As he continues to develop, he could play end in their base 3-4 and also potentially play end or slide inside when they utilize a four-man front. However utilized, Ledbetter, Thompson and 2014 freshmen Lamont Gaillard and Kendall Baker give the Bulldogs some good pieces to develop and work with up front.

Reminds us of: While arguably not quite as athletic for his size, Ledbetter does remind us some of current Florida State DL DeMarcus Walker coming out of high school. Like the former ESPN 300 DL, Ledbetter is a physical player that brings good size, strength and some potential versatility to the defensive trenches.

How the class is shaping up: After hanging around the cusp of the top-ten for several weeks, Georgia landed a key in-state commitment earlier in the week from five-star DT Thompson and moved up to No. 7. On the heels of that big pickup, the Bulldogs are enjoying some more in-state success on the recruiting trail and working to firmly entrench themselves among the top-ten.

Earlier in the day they landed a commitment from ESPN 300 WR Jayson Stanley and now added another key piece to their D-Line class with Ledbetter. With this latest addition to the defense, the Bulldogs have again strengthened a good group of front-seven prospects that includes fellow in-state 300 defenders Thompson, Natrez Patrick and Chauncey Rivers. The Bulldogs class now includes ten ESPN 300 prospects and their top six commits are all from in-state, including top-five athlete Terry Godwin.