Although they have yet to sign on the dotted line, Georgia's verbal commitments have as good of an understanding of the enormity of the Georgia-Florida rivalry as much as any current Bulldog suiting up in Jacksonville Saturday.
Most UGA recruits have grown up in the area, the game an annual staple of their October schedule. But with a narrowed focus now as recruits, and the implications for their future team's season, many commits are watching the game with equal parts anticipation and examination.
"This is going to be a big game. If they win this game, I think that means Mark Richt's job is will be secure," Blackshear native Quayvon Hicks said. "Mistakes have to be at a minimum; they have to be the last thing on the list. Aaron Murray, he has to have a good game, so offensively, but defense, they've had two weeks to prepare for them so it should be a good game. Florida has some players that are hurt right now so I think we have a better chance of having a great game as Georgia Bulldogs."
Top Georgia defensive tackle Jonathan Taylor echoed his future teammate's statement, stressing how the game is essentially the tipping point of the Bulldogs' season.
"I think it means a lot because this is the biggest game that anybody is going to see. This game is determines how everything is going to turn out," Taylor said. "We are going to have to get a bunch of pass rushing and do everything we can to stop Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps. We've watched them play and they have some good runners. They run hard and they are real quick on their feet, so if we stop them two, then we got the game."
UGA's only sophomore commit, 2014 running back Stanley Williams, might be the youngest future Dawg, but the Appalachee standout knows about the record between the two teams, noting Georgia's recent struggles in Sunshine State.
"Last couple of years we haven't been able to pull it off down there in Jacksonville," Williams said. "We play well but what we have to do is execute the game plan better. This Saturday, playing against Florida, we have to take care of the ball, defense play good, offense play well, and they should be able to come out with a 'W'."
The ability to produce a win in a game that they, for whatever reason, often struggle will not only help the Dawgs favorably in the standings, but also, according to Hicks, announce their arrival as contenders on a national level.
"To me, I think it's the biggest game in all college football, regardless of what level, whatever, Georgia-Florida is the biggest game ever," Hicks said. "I think sometimes, it's like, too much hype, like you can't really enjoy it, but just let the fellas play. So, we are going to go into this game this weekend and just prepare for battle; show who really is the best."
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