In a contest that featured a great deal of talent and drama, Georgia had three commitments that quietly had impressive games down in St. Petersburg, Fla. at the Under Armour game. A few of their targets also made waves with impressive performances, and gave Bulldog fans a plenty to watch for between now and signing day.
RB Keith Marshall, Millbrook H.S. Raleigh, N.C. - Marshall did some things in the Under Armour game that few knew that he could. The North Carolina speedster had previously wowed analysts and fans with his elusiveness and game breaking speed, but he showed a more physical style of running in the Under Armour game. While the blue chip running back still struggles a bit to create plays when space isn't there, he has now let people know that he can finish runs with power and authority. Marshall normally gives opposing coach headaches with his big play ability, but he gave opposing players headaches by closing some runs with a nasty attitude. Marshall finished the game with 9 carries for 37 yards and a score. He also had two catches for 6 yards.
OL/DL John Atkins, Thomson High - Atkins will almost certainly be a defensive lineman at Georgia, but played guard for the White team in St. Petersburg. Atkins showed why many believe he is one of the top talents in the Peach State for 2012, no matter what side of the ball he plays on. Atkins was dominant at times and did an excellent job of exploding off the ball and getting a powerful initial punch. He also stuck with his blocks really well, and showed the quickness that led likely led Georgia coaches to believe he can be a big contributor on the defensive line. Atkins needs to show more consistency with his pad level, but he has definitely displayed the type of quickness, strength, and ability to use his hands that defensive coaches love.
DL Jonathan Taylor, Jenkins Co. - Reports from the Under Armour practices was that Taylor was one of the most impressive players at the camp. Sources present at the white team practice told UGASports that the white team coaches, including former NFL coach Herm Edwards, were "in love" with the Jenkins County star. Taylor drew multiple double teams in the game, but was able to get consistent penetration anyway. When he was blocked one-on-one, he often beat the block and pressured the quarterback. He needs to get more consistent with his pad level and playing until the whistle. Taylor finished the game with one tackle, but was a force on most running plays and displayed a impressive ability to rush the passer.
DE/OLB Jordan Jenkins, Harris Co. - Jenkins was one of the most impressive players in the Under Armour game, and he did most of his work from a position he has never played before. Jenkins played defensive tackle for the first time in his career because he was bigger than most defensive ends and the black team had some injuries at defensive tackle. He gave everyone a glimpse of his excellent strength and elite quickness. Jenkins did more than just hold his ground on the inside as he finished the game with eight total tackles and two sacks.
OL Avery Young, Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) - Young, by all accounts, had a fairly inconsistent week of practice, but he made strides as the week went along. Young was beaten a few times during the game by speed rushers, and is still a bit raw with his technique, but his athleticism and potential are undeniable. Young often relies on pure ability, and won more battles with that ability than he lost.
OL Brandon Greene, Cedar Grove H.S. - Greene came out this week and said that he was 100% committed to Alabama, but Georgia will keep pursuing the Peach State lineman until he signs on Feb. 1. Greene, like Young, was a bit inconsistent, but showed flashes of brilliance during the game. He is an incredible athlete for his size and needs to get better at winning at the point of contact. Greene has great feet, and with some tweaks to his technique, could be ready to contribute right away.
DB Joshua Holsey. Creekside High - Holsey flew under the radar for the white team, but still had an impressive game. Holsey was one of the smallest defensive backs in the game, but he was also one of the smartest and most aggressive as well. Holsey showed an excellent burst and good make up speed. He also showed that he is comfortable mixing it up with ball carriers as he tallied four solo tackles in the contest.
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