Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia Bulldogs Recruiting: Franklin Departure from Vandy Opens Up New Targets

When a head coach leaves a major college program, the incoming recruits are always in a state of flux. Do they honor their verbal commitments, follow the coach to his new school, or start the recruiting process all over again?

With the announcement that head coach James Franklin was leaving his post at Vanderbilt to accept the same position at Penn State, several Vandy commits are now faced with that question, and Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt could capitalize on some of the Commodores’ misfortune.

Three recruits have already decommitted from Vanderbilt; ESPN 300 and Elite 11 quarterback Kyle Carta-Samuels (San Jose, Calif./Bellarmine College Prep), three-star running back Mikale Wilbon (Chicago/De La Salle Institute) and three-star offensive lineman Bailey Granier (Galliano, La./South Laforche) have all announced that they are stepping back from their verbal commitments.

While Georgia is already stockpiled with running backs for the foreseeable future, adding an elite quarterback prospect wouldn’t be the worst move in the world, and certainly more help on the offensive line would be a welcome sight as well.

So what are the plans for both Carta-Samuels and Granier?

The only other offer Carta-Samuels had besides Vanderbilt was from Arizona, so he will apparently begin his recruitment from scratch.

“As of now with coach leaving for Penn State I am opening up my recruiting again,” Carta-Samuels told ESPN.com reporter Derek Tyson, “I love Vandy and Coach Franklin but right now that’s the best thing for me. What is tough is I have been committed so long I do not really have a clear school in mind right now.

“At this time I would like to just get to know some coaches and see what schools are interested in me so I can begin scheduling official visits.”

Carta-Samuels has already been compared to departing Georgia All-American QB Aaron Murray, in both his physical traits, his release and mechanics, and his ability to use his athleticism to avoid trouble in the pocket.

Granier, who is ranked as the No. 31 offensive tackle in the country, has said that he is still considering Vanderbilt, but that he wants to explore his options now that Franklin is gone.

“I’m considering Tulane, LSU and Lousiana Lafayette and anyone who will consider me as well,” Granier said.

Why would Georgia not consider this kid? Scouts are impressed with his size and the ability to use his feet well, finishing blocks, and maneuvering defenders easily on pass protection. Like most incoming offensive linemen, he’ll need some polishing and could possibly even be redshirted, but Georgia will need some size on the line, and his 6’6, 350 lb frame would do nicely.

Right now, neither of these players has really been recruited by Georgia heavily, if at all, but with National Signing Day right around the corner and both of them needing to make a decision quickly, it would be in Richt’s best interest to at least make the calls and gauge the interest level.

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Tags: Football Georgia Bulldogs Georgia Recruiting Mark Richt

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