Today we are going to take a look at our 4th signee in the Bulldogs signing class. Ryne Rankin enrolled at UGA in December and has been attending class and working out with the Dawgs for the last two months. Rankin is a country boy from Orlando, FL who spents most of his time in the woods hunting when he is not on the football field (or in classroom). Rankin committed to the University of Georgia on April 6th, 2012 and stuck true to that commitment throughout his process.
After the 2012 football season, UGA lost 3 of their top 4 Inside Linebackers. Starter and leading tackler Alec Ogletree announced after the Bulldogs Bowl victory over Nebraska that he would be heading to the NFL. That leaves UGA with 1 inside linebacker returning with any playing time, Amarlo Herrera. Herrera is figured to start on the inside, but who will be next to him in Grantham’s 3-4 scheme defense? That could be where Ryne Rankin steps in and contributes immediately.
Rankin, 6’1 230lbs, was a 3-star prospect according to Scout and Rivals and a 4-star prospect according to ESPN and 247sports. Ryne is a different type ILB than we have in this class or any other that we were recruiting. He is not the most flashy, he is not the fastest, but this kid puts himself in a position to make the tackle on every play. His high school stats attest to that. In 2011 as a Junior, Rankin led the state of Florida in tackles with 189 at East River. This is not the state of North Carolina, South Carolina, or Tennessee…….this is the state of Florida, one of the top states for producing division 1 prospects.
While evaluating Rankin, we found numerous strengths he has already. For an ILB, you have to read the play and react and I haven’t seen a prospect thus far do this as good as Rankin. After reading the play, Rankin attacks gaps (the correct gaps) and very rarely misses tackles. Watching his film, he makes numerous tackles behind the line of scrimmage because he is aggressive to the ball (Remember, this is his junior film also). When he reads pass, he gets to the flats very quickly to take a hit on the running back out of the backfield. He sheds blocks very well and does not get caught in the wrong place often. Rankin’s main advantage, his football IQ is out the roof. He understands what he is supposed to do every play, goes 100% every play, and makes tackles. That is what we need in Athens.
Not many negatives popped out when watching Rankin play the game. Maybe the only flaw I see right now is his lateral speed. I am not comparing that to Herrera, Robinson, Gilliard, etc. I am comparing that to Alec Ogletree. He does not have the speed Ogletree has, but he makes up for it with his instincts and reaction skills.
Out of the 32 commits we signed last Wednesday on NSD, Ryne Rankin is the prospect that sticks out to me the most. There is a reason Grantham got on this kid early, and that is he fits perfectly in the 3-4 scheme Grantham is teaching. When the Bulldogs take the field for their opening game at Clemson, it would not surprise me to hear Ryne Rankin announced as a starter.
Here are the other prospects we have covered thus far:
02-13-2013: JJ Green http://www.hobnailbootblog.com/in-depth-look-at-bulldogs-signing-class-jj-green/
02-12-2013: Brendan Langley http://www.hobnailbootblog.com/in-depth-look-at-bulldogs-signing-class-brendan-langley/
02-11-2013: Rico Johnson http://www.hobnailbootblog.com/previewing-uga/