Coast-to-Coast: Georgia

Originally Published: October 2, 2006
By Craig Haubert | Scouts Inc.

The state of Georgia is annually among the deepest in the country for talent, and the Class of 2007 is no different with eleven Georgia prospects in the ESPN 150. The state boasts the nation's No.1-ranked cornerback as well as eight other players that rank in the top 10 at their position. Georgia is a state that does not have to apologize to anyone for their football history and deep pool of talent.

Top Georgia Prospects
Eric Berry CB 87
Israel Troupe WR 83
D. J. Stafford DT 83
Allen Bailey DE 82
Caleb King RB 82
Jonathan Dwyer RB 81
Ted Laurent DT 80
Conrad Obi DE 79
Morgan Burnett WR 79
Chris Little OT 79

Top recruit

Eric Berry, Cornerback
Creekside (Fairburn, Ga.)
Considering: Georgia, Tennessee, USC, Ohio State, Texas, Auburn

There is no surprise that Berry, the No. 6 prospect in the nation, can step on the field and excel at several positions. He plays quarterback and can make so many things happen with the ball in hands. In 2006, he has thrown for 402 yards and three touchdowns, rushed for 685 yards and another eight touchdowns and has even found time to catch a pass this year for 15 yards and return a punt for a touchdown. Indicative of a player ranked among the top ten prospects in the country, Berry has been unstoppable at times. In a game against Starr's Mill on September 15, he rushed for 239 yards.

Berry shows two-way potential at the college level, but his skills have found him mainly recruited as a cornerback prospect. He is a smooth athlete with fantastic feet and excellent instincts. He has the acceleration to recover, and his athletic ability makes him an outstanding player when the ball is in the air. He is an excellent prospect now and once he has an opportunity to focus on a full-time basis as a corner, he could be one of the best in college football.

Interest in Berry has been tremendous. He has not taken any officials, and it looks like he will not until after his season. He appears to have a strong interest in several top programs, including in-state Georgia and Tennessee, where his father James was a running back from 1978 to 1981 and a team captain. It will be a bit of wait until we find out where Berry is heading, but some lucky school will land an explosive and versatile athlete.

Player under the radar

Sa'Coby Carter, Defensive end
Hawkinsville, Ga.
Considering: South Carolina, Wake Forest, Oklahoma, Troy

The 2006 class of defensive ends has some talent with explosive and draw dropping ability like Martez Wilson (Chicago/Simeon) and some big, physical prospects like Sidell Corley (Mobile, Ala./McGill Toolen Catholic), but not everyone has the ideal build or amazing athletic ability.

Carter is an example of a prospect that will not wow you with his athletic ability and size, but he is a good football player with ability. A key component of being a successful defensive football player is being physical and having a motor, and Carter fits that bill. He is a tough defender who plays the run well. You wish he was a little bigger, but he physical at the point of attack and can make plays. He is not a great pass rusher, but his style of play lets him be disruptive, and he flashes the ability to execute a quick move and get by a blocker.

There are more well-rounded and athletic prospects in this class, but Carter could be a great addition to a college defensive line. He plays the run well, has some upside and in time could surprise people. Interest for Carter seems to be picking up as the season goes on.

Caleb King
Maxpreps/Bill AkinRB Caleb King transferred to Greater Atlanta Christian for his senior season.
On the trail

Looking at the recruiting landscape in Georgia right now you could not declare an outright winner. It may surprise some people who assume the Georgia Bulldogs are the team to beat for talent, but Georgia Tech is putting up a mighty fight for 2007 prospects in the Peach State.

Both teams have eleven verbals from in-state prospects, and each has two ESPN 150 players. Georgia Tech has a little more of an offensive class, led by running back Jonathan Dwyer from Marietta while the Bulldogs have a bit more of a defensive class with four defensive ends on board, led by Conrad Obi out of Loganville. As we begin to head into the final stretch of recruiting, these two teams are pretty well matched for in state talent, and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top with prospects like Berry, D. J. Stafford, Allen Bailey, Caleb King and Morgan Burnett still undecided.

Craig Haubert is a recruiting coordinator for Scouts Inc.