I’m not big on doing recruiting posts here, for a variety of reasons, but there’s something striking about the 2010 classes being assembled at Georgia and elsewhere that’s worth a comment.
With T. J. Stripling’s commitment today, Georgia has eighteen verbals in the upcoming class, which is currently ranked second nationally by Scout. Seven of those eighteen are from the state of Florida. That’s a significant portion in my book.
Interestingly, if you look at those Scout national recruiting rankings, Florida currently stands seventh, but more importantly, Miami ranks a mediocre (by Da U’s standards, anyway) twenty first (with an average recruit ranking of less than three stars, for what that’s worth) and FSU brings up the rear of that group at number twenty six (one step ahead of Georgia Tech, for some context). Now I know it’s a long way to February, and I know about FSU’s reputation for bringing home the recruiting bacon in the last few days, but still, that’s a pretty flaccid showing.
As I’ve noted before, what Miami and FSU do in recruiting matters to us in a very selfish way – the more they grab, the more Urban Meyer has to work to make up for that. And Florida having to work harder for its recruits can’t be anything other than a positive for Georgia. As has been said in a far better way than I ever could,
Miami: From a Bulldog perspective, if you looked at the state of Florida as though it were Afghanistan (and I do), the Gators, obviously, are the Taliban, while Miami is whatever warlord is running things in the Northeast. The Hurricanes don’t occupy anything remotely resembling moral high ground, but they are useful. As with Alabama, a healthy Miami helps Georgia; in Da U’s case, it’s because the ‘Canes recruit against the Gators in the Sunshine State’s hottest hotbeads for high school talent, although they don’t play the Gators that often…
So what can you do if you’re Mark Richt and you’re aware that your alma mater and your coaching home for better than a decade aren’t holding up their end of the deal? Well, maybe, just maybe, you decide to step things up and take matters into your own hands.
Now I have no idea if any of that’s really the case here. However, note that Georgia got two five star kids and one four star kid out of the Sunshine State in the last class. So if there’s a trend, it’s accelerating. Maybe it won’t last, or maybe the talent in state for the 2011 class is great enough to cut back on how many kids they sign from Florida at that point. Who knows? All I can say is that from where I sit right now, I’m damned happy about the results, both for who’s coming to Athens and also for diluting the remaining talent pool in Florida, no matter how the coaches have gotten there.