Interesting suggestion buried in this story about the record number of early enrollees Georgia expects to have in this next recruiting class:
Richt, who had only two early enrollees in 2011 and three last year, really pressed the issue with this year’s class to make up for roster deficiencies. ”If there was any year we pushed it, it was this year,” Richt said. “We’re trying to get to 10. So that was an important thing for this year’s class. But most of the time we might bring it up, ‘If you’re the kind of guy that would be excited about getting a head star, great. If not, it’s not that big a deal.’”
It was a big deal for UGA this year after whiffing on numerous targets on last year’s signing day. To make up for it, the Bulldogs targeted a lot of recruits that had strong enough academics to be able to enroll early. “They would’ve been behind if they didn’t,” Scout.com’s Chad Simmons said. “After (the small class) last year, they were really behind in numbers. It was really a good job by Georgia to go out and identify guys that had the option to graduate early … to help them catch up with (the 85-man roster limit).”
It’s reasonable to expect that early enrollees have drive and focus in spades. After all, they’ve prepared to leave high school ahead of schedule. What does that mean for a program when you add better academics to the mix? I’d be curious to know if early enrollees have fewer discipline problems as a group and get on the field faster than do their mates who enroll at the usual point (as to the latter, the difference between the two is only one spring practice). I’m sure we’d all like to think that’s the case, but these are still 17- and 18-year old kids we’re talking about here.
One thing seems certain – with about half of Richt’s largest signing class electing to enroll early, we’ll have an interesting sample size by which to judge this.