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Five-star defensive tackle Lamont Gaillard (Fayetteville, N.C./Pine Forest), the No. 12 prospect in the 2014 ESPN 300, committed to Georgia on Saturday during a visit to the school's campus, giving the Bulldogs their most heralded recruit since running back Keith Marshall in the 2012 recruiting class.
The 6-foot-4, 300-pound Gaillard picked Georgia over offers from Alabama, Clemson and Florida, among others. His commitment moves the Bulldogs up to No. 5 in the ESPN RecruitingNation 2014 class rankings.
The Bulldogs had only five commitments for the 2014 class heading into June, but even with a decommitment, Georgia entered this weekend with 11 verbal commitments in the past two months.
Then on Saturday, Mark Richt and his staff got their biggest recruiting news of the year.
Florida was considered the leader at one point for Gaillard, the No. 2 defensive tackle in the country, but after a visit to Gainesville, Fla., he surprisingly dropped the Gators.
Heading into this weekend's visit, Georgia was in great shape for Gaillard, who wanted to see if his mother felt the same about the program as he did.
"I am coming down with my mom and my family," Gaillard said earlier in the week. "I want her to see it and see if she likes it."
As a junior, Gaillard made 100 tackles, 72 solo tackles, seven tackles for loss and had four sacks.
The addition of Gaillard, the fourth five-star prospect in the 2014 class to make his decision, gives Georgia 16 commitments to date. This will be the second time in the past three years that Georgia has taken the top recruit out of North Carolina, with Marshall also being the last five-star prospect to sign with the Bulldogs.
Georgia's 2014 class is expected to end with 20-to-22 signees. ESPN 300 linebackers Keyon Brown (Wauchula, Fla./Hardee County) and Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Ala./Auburn) and three-star cornerback Kendarius Webster (Stockbridge, Ga./Stockbridge) have Georgia in the lead. ESPN 300 defensive lineman Elisha Shaw (Tucker, Ga./Tucker) and linebacker Christian Miller (Spring Valley, S.C./Spring Valley) have the Bulldogs in their top group as well, with Georgia trending as the possible leader for both.
In addition, Georgia is the only school that ESPN 300 wide receiver Josh Malone (Gallatin, Tenn./Station Camp) has placed in his final five, earning a coveted official visit from the elite wideout. Five-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross), five-star linebacker Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County), ESPN 300 offensive tackle David Sharpe (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence School), ESPN 300 running back Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) and juco defensive lineman Davonte Lambert (Miledgeville, Ga./Georgia Military College) are also considering Georgia.