Morgan Burnett’s decision not to consider Georgia as a place to play college ball has generated a post at the AOL Fanhouse blog for Georgia Tech which concludes “(i)n previous years a player like Burnett would never have gone anywhere but Athens, but the whole dynamic of high school recruiting in the state of Georgia has changed.”
While I don’t want to pick apart his post – that’s already been done with this “Jane, you ignorant slut” response at the Georgia AOL Fanhouse blog – I do want to comment on that last thought.
First, there’s no doubt that Giff Smith has done a terrific job as recruiting coordinator for Tech this year, particularly in terms of convincing Chan that it’s foolish for Tech to ignore in state talent to the degree that he had done in previous years. Tech is certainly going to finish with its best class of the Gailey regime and one of its best classes ever.
That being said, which schools are most likely to be impacted by Tech’s recruiting gains? It hasn’t been Georgia, which is looking to finish with yet another top 10 class and will most likely finish with a stronger class than Georgia Tech (again). I would think it’s affecting schools like Clemson, South Carolina, Tennessee and Auburn. Given that three of those schools are SEC rivals of Georgia, that’s most likely a net plus for the Dawgs.
I’m also not ready to conclude that Burnett’s decision indicates the beginning of some sort of a trend – you Tech fans should know that trends are long-term movements in time, such as when one school beats its in state rival in football six years in a row – or simply something that’s occurred due to some unique factors this year. Let’s face it, many of Tech’s verbals to date are no doubt as intimately familiar with the Georgia depth chart at their positions as Burnett is. I’ll be willing to concede more on this point when I see Tech winning half the battles for kids that Georgia clearly has an immediate need for. We’re not even close to that day yet.
This year’s developments on the recruiting front do make me curious about something, though: does Tech’s success in Georgia this year mean that all those years of excuses about academics and curriculum were complete and utter bullshit? Or have the high school players in this state suddenly gotten a lot smarter?