Georgia Football Recruiting: 2015 Class in the books, what’s in store for 2016? (Video)


With signatures still drying on 2015 Football National Letters of Intent, Georgia fans turn their attention to the Georgia football recruiting class of 2016.

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The 2015 national signing day hype for college football has come and gone. The biggest winners and losers are now among the debates of sports analysts, reporting services, and fans alike. The University of Georgia hauled in 28 commits with a possible 29th if the drama-filled situation regarding LB Roquan Smith (Macon County, Ga.) comes to a close with a decision to “Commit to the G”.

Smith, a highly valuable target on defense, verbally announced on ESPNU that he would be attending UCLA (the first school to formally recruit him). However, during the ceremony, Smith and his coach’s phones were ringing off the hook with reports that UCLA’s defensive coordinator Jeff Ulrich was being hired by the Atlanta Falcons.

Such events led to Smith not faxing in his letter of intent (LOI) and he has since reopened his choices to the original four schools of UGA, UCLA, Texas A&M, and Michigan per Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Regardless of whether Smith chooses to suit up and play his football in Athens or not, the Dawgs clearly have another victory with its 2015 commitment class. With 5-Star recruits Terry Godwin and Trenton Thompson (consensus #1 overall rated prospect) signing this past Wednesday, Georgia has once again finished in the top 10 of the recruitment rankings as it has done for so many of the last few years.

With this class now officially in the books, what is up next for the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2016 class?

UGA has already locked in three hard commits for the 2016 class according to, two of which are highly-touted 5 Star recruits. Meanwhile, there have been dozens of other offers extended to players in the 2016 signing class throughout the country. Just how many will choose to “Commit To The G” remains to be seen. Here is a closer look into the three stern commits the Dawgs have landed thus far:

1. Jacob Eason – Pro-Style QB –Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, WA

Jacob Eason (6’5″, 205) is the type of quarterback that coaches could only dream of landing. After a compelling sophomore season at Lake Stevens, Eason compiled 2,829 yards with 32 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions in his junior campaign.

In light of such a strong season, the 6-foot-6, 215 pound gunslinger recently won the Junior of the Year honors. The 5 Star phenom was highly recruited by the recently departed Mike Bobo of Georgia who traveled across the country several times to see, meet, and land the potential star of the 2016 signing class. Eason made the trip to UGA for Dawg Night in 2014 and was impressive to say the least.

Newly hired University of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has made a recent push to try to sway Eason from his commitment to Georgia. Bulldogs fans do not have too much to worry about with the recent hire of new UGA Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer from the NFL’s St. Louis Rams.

For evidence, Eason was quoted (per West Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney) as saying: “He (Schottenheimer) came out and I finally met him in person, I’ve been on the phone a lot with him. He’s a great guy, Bobo was a great guy, but we’re not going to miss anything with Schottenheimer, either. He has that pro experience and he knows how to get guys to the next level so I’m excited.”

Eason’s father also chimed in with saying that the hiring of Schottenheimer was a “home run” and “icing on the cake.” And if that is not enough to settle the hearts and minds of UGA fans on how stout Eason’s commitment to the University of Georgia is, then onlookers can examine Eason’s Tweet from January 26, 2015, just prior to 2015’s national signing day for some added reassurance and comfort.

2. Ben Cleveland – Offensive Tackle – Stephens County High School in Toccoa, GA

Ben Cleveland (6’7″, 322) is nicknamed “Big Country”. This moniker is rightfully deserved as the offensive tackle comes in at 6-foot-7 and weighing in at 325 pounds and is an avid hunter and fisherman as anyone can see from his Instagram account at bencleveland74.

With such a mountain of stature and size, Cleveland in no doubt is a big commitment for the Dawgs given the need to fill the offensive line in a major way. He will no doubt help with those efforts and should help bolster the O-Line for Georgia alongside new 2015 addition Sam Madden (6-foot-7, 345).

Cleveland is currently the #3 overall player at his position in the 2016 class and is ranked the #19 player overall per the composite rankings on

It does not hurt that he and QB Jacob Eason are very close friends and that they both chose to commit to Georgia at the same time this past year. Cleveland  was named the Georgia High School Football 8-AAAA Lineman of the Year and was also recently awarded the AJC’s Rising Seniors Best Offensive Lineman.

Like Eason, there is little to doubt about his commitment to UGA as evidenced by his posting on his Instagram account this past week on national signing day. He posted a picture of himself and UGA Head Coach Mark Richt with the following message: “Verbally committed and in exactly 365 days I intend on signing my official letter to play for the Georgia bulldogs! Ha they ain’t changing my mind #CommittedToTheG”.

3. Chauncey Manac – Weak-Side Defensive End – Clinch County High School in Homerville, GA

Chauncey Manac (6’3″, 220) is the third and final of the 2016 UGA hard commits according to He is rated as the No. 56 overall player in the Class of 2016, the number 7 player in Georgia, and the number 5 defensive end according to the composite rankings on

The Dawgs look to bolster an already resolute defense that is trending upward with the addition of the 4 Star, 6-foot-3, 220 pound, defensive standout.

Manac is a proven high school pass-rusher and will benefit the UGA defense under Defensive Coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. He could see action early given that Lorenzo Carter moves on to the NFL by then. Manac has strength and agility but also possesses great speed as he runs the 40-yard dash in 4.72 per Hudl reporting.

He was selected to the Georgia Sportswriters Association All-State Football Team recently and his commitment to Georgia leaves the Dawgs with three top 50 2016 recruits set to play in Athens in 2016.

Next: UGA's Top Sleepers from 2015 Recruiting Class