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Savannah Christian coach Donald Chumley played on Georgia's 1982 SEC championship team, so he's eager to see Washaun Ealey and Dexter Moody of Emanuel County Institute suit up for the Bulldogs next season. The teammates committed to Georgia in January. But unlike most observers, Chumley believes Moody, a linebacker, has more potential on the college level than Ealey, the running back who has rushed for nearly 8,000 yards and set Georgia's record for career and single-season touchdowns. "Just because he's such an athlete,'' Chumley said of Moody. "I could see him playing a lot of different positions, especially when they put more muscle on him. He could play linebacker, tight end, defensive end. He's the best pure athlete we've seen this year. He makes an impact on both sides of the ball more than anybody I've seen.'' Savannah Christian finished second in Region 3-A to ECI and lost to ECI 21-14 in September. Chumley's praise of Moody doesn't mean he believes Ealey is overrated. "He's everything advertised,'' Chumley said. "I don't know if he's another (Knowshon) Moreno, but I think he's going to be in the mix at running back. He's strong, very hard to bring down. He has all the things you can't teach - the moves, the vision. He's a complete player.'' ECI plays Wilkinson County tonight in the Class A semifinals. ECI has another Division 1-A recruit on the team in lineman J.C. Lanier, who has pledge to Georgia Tech. But Chumley says keep an eye on the linebacker. "Moody might not get as much press, but I'm here to tell you he's the real deal,'' Chumley said.
Emanuel County Institute safety Dexter Moody took the spotlight from his more publicized teammate and fellow University of Georgia commitment Washaun Ealey during the Bulldogs’ opening 28-13 victory against Savannah Country Day. Moody blocked a punt, had two sacks, broke up two passes and had seven tackles. Ealey ran for 137 yards with touchdown runs of 39, 15 and 2 yards on 17 carries. ECI lineman J.C. Lanier, who has committed to Georgia Tech, did not play because of a minor injury.
Mike Gilliard, a linebacker from Valdosta, said he has decided to play at Georgia. The 6-3, 205-pound linebacker is the third linebacker commitment for the class. Emanuel County Institute's Dexter Moody and Chestatee's Chase Vasser committed in January. At the time of Moody and Vasser's commitments it was believed Georgia would only add another linebacker if Columbus' Jarvis Jones was interested. Jones is considered the top linebacker prospect in the state and one of the top 40 players nationally. But Gilliard was also in Georgia's sights. In addition, the trio of linebackers now committed gives Georgia some possible versatility. Moody also can play safety. The 6-4 Vasser may also grow into a defensive end. "[The depth] at linebacker was something that I looked at, " Gilliard said. "But I am not trying to be cocky or anything, but I think I can go in there an outwork them. I'm confident. I think I am the best." Gilliard averaged 9.3 tackles per game last season, had eight sacks and two interceptions. According to Scout.com, Gilliard is a three-star prospect. Rivals.com considers Gilliard a four-star prospect. Gilliard chose Georgia over Georgia Tech and Florida. Georgia is expected to secure no more than 20 commitments this recruiting season.
Linebacker Nico Johnson of Andalusia, Ala., one of the nation's top prospects, has said he will reconsider Georgia's scholarship offer if the Bulldogs coaches let him know he's still wanted. Earlier this summer, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Johnson said he got the understanding that Georgia had withdrawn its scholarship offer after three other linebackers committed to the Bulldogs. When pressed on where he got that information on Tuesday night, Johnson said, "One of my friends told me that. They either heard or read that Georgia was full at linebacker and not going to sign any more. So I guess I believed it." Georgia coaches are not allowed to comment on prospective student-athletes. Johnson again denied rumors he was close to committing to Alabama, saying he has no favorites. "I haven't talked to them in a while, but I would look hard at Georgia if they need more linebackers, " he said. "It's a great program, about the same as Alabama. A great defense, and just a great program." Johnson is ranked as the nation's No. 30 overall prospect by Rivals. Georgia has commitments from three players who are listed as linebackers, although they could change positions in college: Chase Vasser of Chestatee, Michael Gilliard of Valdosta and Dexter Moody of Emanuel County Institute. The Bulldogs are also in the running for linebacker Jarvis Jones of Carver-Columbus, arguably the state's No. 1 prospect.