“I think we pulled it together very well.”

I can’t say for certain if yesterday’s class is Mark Richt’s best recruiting class – nobody can, until a few years pass and we see who makes it on the field – but I’m pretty certain it was Mark Richt’s best recruiting job.  For Georgia to wind up with a consensus top ten class after what the program went through in the last month is nothing short of remarkable.

It was less than a month ago that Mark Richt found out he was losing his defensive coordinator. Eventually he would lose all his assistants on the defensive side of the ball. For a lot of programs, that would be the death knell for a good recruiting class.

But Richt, Georgia’s head coach, got a feeling it wouldn’t be when one of the first calls he made that Sunday, upon finding out Todd Grantham was leaving, was to Keyon Brown. The defensive standout from Wauchula, Fla., had been committed to Georgia for a while and told Richt it would stay that way.

That started a month in which Georgia not only largely held its class together but added to it with a signing day two-part punch…

As MaconDawg notes, there’s a little something for everybody in this year’s class – three five-star players (only Alabama and LSU signed more nationally), needed depth in the secondary, an intriguing shore-up for special teams, ridiculous quality at running back, solid offensive line signees, you name it.  It’s a well-balanced and talented group of 21.

Pruitt turned out to be crucial.  McClendon, named 247Sports’ top national recruiter, and Bobo did their usual stellar jobs.  But the head man deserves a lot of credit, too.

“Coach Richt had everything organized. He laid out a plan for what he wanted when I got here. So we just kind of stuck to the plan,” Pruitt said. “It’s not a whole lot different of where you would be wherever you were at. We just had to kind of start all over and only had a couple things to get some things done.”

Makes you wonder what these guys are capable of when they get a full year under their belts with a full staff.  Oh, yeah, and by the way, Richt spent a fair part of national signing day on the phone with 2015 recruits.

This could be fun to watch.

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22 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

22 responses to ““I think we pulled it together very well.”

  1. Jeff Sanchez

    Damn. Imagine how good it will be when CMR is no longer Satisfied With Mediocrity

  2. The 2015 class is going to be absurd provided Georgia does well (9-10 wins) on the field. I know a lot of people don’t pay attention to recruiting, but UGAs current staff will be the best recruiting staff Richt has ever had. Pruitt, Bobo, McClendon and Lilly are elite recruiters. Sherrer and Rocker I’m not as sure about, but we’ll see. If Rocker can be the defense’s equivalent to Tony Ball (great coach, decent-but-not-special recruiter) I’d be thrilled.

  3. DawgPhan

    Someone pointed out that the last 4 recruiter of the year award winners are now in Athens. Not a bad lineup.

    2011 Bobo
    2012 2013 Pruitt
    2014 McClendon

  4. Scorpio Jones, III

    Damn, it looks like Mark Richt has lost control of Mark Richt being complacent.

  5. This class is solid from top to bottom. Elite QB, 2 tailbacks that are similar to Gurley and Marshall, a kick returner who can do other things, best WR in Georgia and by some accounts, the best TE in the country, some solid o-line prospects, the best defensive prospect in Georgia, solid linebackers, and a couple of guys who could be big corners, and a preferred walk-on kicker that could be Morgan’s successor – we filled needs and that’s what recruiting is all about.

    The core of this coaching staff love to recruit and are good at it. Let’s just hope all of this effort and energy springboard us to a big season in 2014.

    • Macallanlover

      Good post, this class looks to be “sneaky” good because it has a nice blend of big name players and several “under the radar” picks that have great upside and aren’t desperately needed before another year, or two. I also like that two of these guys with potential to surprise chose UGA in the last 48 hours without even visiting the campus as a recruit. For different reasons they “want” to be a Dawg outside the need of being sold by a protracted recruiting pitch.

      My only concern is whether we got enough OL prospects to give us a chance to find that needed “elite” player or two that would allow us to finally have some great blockers to maximize that RB talent we have on board. Not saying the guys we got may not develop but it seems with OL prospects you need to put a lot them in the boat to find a few keepers. It is the one major reason we haven’t won more SEC titles, imo. Alabama may have had their best team in 2012, and the difference between that team and the others they have had was that OL….it opens a lot of doors to run through, and covers up other shortcomings. UGA is due to have things go well on the OL, maybe some of these guys develop and get the job done.

      • I like sneaky good because someone who is sneaky long on the golf course doesn’t look like he can beat you until he steps up on the 1st tee and blows it by your best drive by 20 yards without even trying. I also completely agree with your assessment about the OL. It almost seems that you have to sign 5-7 per year to find the eventual group that becomes the Alabama ’12 road-grading line.

        • Will (the other one)

          Seriously though, that ’12 Bama line should be a gold standard rarely achieved by anyone. If Cyrus goes 1st round, that’s 3 starters from that line that were 1st round NFL picks, and all 5 are drafted.

      • Dawgbro42

        That’s the thought, at least. And pushing Baker to the OL gives us another potential OT prospect, as he’s 6’6, 290 already. There is nice upside for all these guys, and the current depth and numbers at OL means that these guys will play when ready, not out of need.

        The best comment I’ve heard about the group, though, is how hard-working they are. The lowest-rated guy, Jake Edwards, busted his backside to get a Georgia offer, and then immediately committed.

        OL recruiting is always a bit of a crap shoot, so getting talent, potential, work ethic and the right number is crucial (we’ll have 16 OL on scholarship with these four). I think we did well here.

  6. Will Trane

    O line and D Line. Can not wait to watch these guys play! Wonder what is going thru those TB’s minds right now…”runs to day light on the edges”. Impressed with the TEs…concerned about depth and level of play…but not now. How many fans will show up in April for the spring game…let’s hope for over 50,000!

  7. Hackerdog

    I guess I’m happy with the overall class. We filled positions of need. I hope the kids all work out.

    One kid that concerns me, though, is Hunter Atkinson. He’s 6’5″ and 250. He’s probably too big for tight end and too small for tackle. He looks like another Kiante Tripp just waiting to happen. Let’s hope the coaches have learned better.

    • Ginny

      Arthur Lynch is also 6’5″ and 250.

      • Hackerdog

        Lynch is that size now. But he put on weight after he got to campus. Most kids can put on 10-20 pounds and I just don’t see a 270 lb tight end being much of an offensive threat. At that size, you have to start thinking of moving him to fullback in a jumbo package, or simply being an extra blocking tackle in a 2-tight formation, or something.

        Obviously, the coaches know how big the kid is. I’m guessing they have an ultimate plan for him. I just hope that his body cooperates and he doesn’t turn into a case like Tripp and Samuel.

        • Hackerdog

          Well, I should have checked the stats before I started posting. Rome is 254lbs. So this kid might just be in Lilly’s wheelhouse. However, most of our tight ends are shorter, but also around 220lbs.

          • In the short run, I think they signed this kid as insurance in case they don’t redshirt Blazevich.

            • Macallanlover

              Reading the assessment of him, he seems to athletic enough to add 20 pounds and still be weapon enough for a TE, or battering ram on short yardage plays. But the idea of him being a backup TE for a couple of years and then being used on the OL as a blocker is legit too. Either way, nice pickup with Rome down to one year of eligibility. Given the talent we have had at TE you definitely have to give the staff the benefit of the doubt on this call.

              • Doesn’t Rome have two years? He redshirted his first year on campus. He played basketball, but that doesn’t count against his football eligibility.

                • Macallanlover

                  I am sure you are right, I didn’t recall that. We have been rotating 2 tight ends for sometime now and this year proved you need some depth at the position. In particular we need a good blocking TE available given the problems we have had with handling DEs and blitzes.

        • Will (the other one)

          Honestly, if he hits 270 and we just use him in some super-physical Stanford-style jumbo sets, I’m fine with that. That gives Ds one more look to worry about.

  8. shane#1

    Figgins weighed about 270 and was a hell of a blocking TE. He also would sneak into the end zone now and then and catch a TD pass. How a man that big gets lost in the end zone is a mystery to me, but it happened.

  9. Carolinadawg

    Getting the Jimmies and Joes hasn’t been Richt’s problem. Keeping them on the team, and coaching them up…well, there’s been issues there.