By Corey Long - @CoreyLong
Although Georgia was sitting at No. 5 in our first 2020 class rankings, it seemed like it would only be a matter of time before Kirby Smart and his staff would begin making a push toward the "top tier" of classes that include Clemson, Alabama and LSU.
In the past four days, that push began.
On Thursday, the Bulldogs received a commitment from Washington, D.C.-area prospect Mekhail Sherman, an athletic marvel who could easily become the best edge rusher in this class.
Monday came another warning shot with the commitment of offensive tackle Tate Ratledge, one of the top in-state prospects.
The commitment of Ratledge came at the expense of one of Georgia's SEC East opponents. Ratledge, from Rome, Georgia, was a big Tennessee fan and considered a heavy lean to the Volunteers early in the process. But eventually, Ratledge came around to the Bulldogs, like many of the state's top prospects have since Kirby Smart took over the job in 2016.
With those two big commitments in house, the Bulldogs targets for the 2020 class are becoming clearer. Georgia is unlikely to sign a full 25-man class this year, the numbers will be somewhere between 20 and 23 players. That's probably a blessing in disguise because the staff will devote greater time and resources toward their top targets, many of whom will be expected to contribute as true freshmen.
The top remaining in-state target is tight end Arik Gilbert, the top prospect in Georgia, and arguably the top tight end prospect in the nation. Ironically, the player Gilbert is competing with at top tight end, Las Vegas prospect Darnell Washington, is also considering the Bulldogs, along with Alabama, Oregon, USC and a couple of other programs.
Georgia is always going to be in play for a top running back, and the Bulldogs will have a few to choose from in this class. Texas prospect Zachary Evans might be the biggest prize in the 2020 class, and he's interested in Georgia, but it's going to be hard to get Evans out of the Lone Star state. Remember, Texas is paying Tom Herman a lot of money to keep players like Evans home.
But if Evans stays in state, Georgia's next biggest target at the position would be MarShawn Lloyd, another prospect out of the beltway. Lloyd, who plays at DeMatha Catholic in Maryland, is a prospect who would likely push Georgia into the top three.
The Bulldogs' defensive line class is already impressive, with Sherman joining in-state space eaters Nazir Stackhouse and Jamil Burroughs. Adding another big-time prospect on the end, like in-state target Zykeivous Walker, would really round that group out well.
Georgia finished with the top recruiting class in 2018, breaking a long-time stranglehold from Alabama. Last year, a late charge on national signing day put the Bulldogs at No. 2 behind Alabama. It's hard to say if anyone will be able to catch Clemson in the 2020 cycle, as the Tigers have run up the score pretty early with some major commitments. But Georgia will not be denied easily, and at worst, the Bulldogs will battle with Alabama and LSU for the top class in the SEC.
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