Welcome to Georgia.

I bet if you asked ten SEC fans to name the state which produces the most conference signees, at least eight of ’em would say Florida.

They would be wrong.  This year, Georgia produced 25 more kids who signed with SEC schools than did Florida.  In fact,

More SEC signees came from Georgia than South Carolina, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Ohio, California, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Kansas, Indiana, Arizona, New Jersey, Illinois, Michigan, Colorado and all of the other zero-signee states combined.

For all the grumbling about Georgia kids leaving the state, Richt’s program had the third-best in state retention rate in the conference, behind only LSU and Texas A&M.

Four SEC schools besides Georgia signed more players from our state than they did from their home states:  Tennessee, South Carolina (Spurrier signed more kids from Georgia than Richt did, believe it or not), Kentucky and Alabama.

Why is this happening?  I think much of  it’s the result of Georgia Tech’s in-state recruiting efforts becoming increasingly feeble under Johnson and the resurgence of Florida State and Miami, both of which pulled in outstanding 2012 classes.  As a numbers game, Georgia is a more inviting place now to chase highly rated high school players.

You can blame Richt and Garner for not making enough of an effort, if that makes you feel better.  But it seems pretty clear that they have an awful lot of ground to defend.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football

59 responses to “Welcome to Georgia.

  1. Zdawg

    I am more than thrilled to see FSU and Miami start to turn things around in Florida. Its about time those two schools stepped up and start taking recruits from the Gators.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Doesn’t look like they took enough. Gators averaged a number 3 rank.

      • Zdawg

        Gators needed a lot of players to fit the new system. Maybe it was a quantity thing? I don’t have the energy to check. I think ESPN is the only service that doesn’t simply add all the recruits and stars and make rankings from there.

        • AthensHomerDawg

          Good point…look at Texas with 28!
          Overall Team Commitments 247 ESPN Rivals Scout
          1 Alabama 26 1 1 1 2
          2 Texas 28 3 3 2 1
          3 Florida 23 4 4 3 5

      • D.N. Nation

        Is Ray Goff still the coach there?

  2. Will Trane

    That is a tribute and a honor to the young men in our state who have the discipline, commitment, and courage for the game of football. It says alot about their family and friends.

    It speaks volumes to the high schools and their coaches. 1AAAAAAA has some of the best football coaches in this great country. And no doubt in the other classification. Behind everyone of these programs are the boosters, season ticket holders, and fans who show-up to see these young men play. High school football in the state of Georgia is at a very high level today because of this. I, like many, are totally committed to support and to attendance at home and away games. Those young men deserve that. Plus they, along with their coaching staffs, are fun to watch…a premier game.

  3. Normaltown Mike

    The OBC got more kids from DeKalb Co. (5) than he did the entire Palmetto State.

    That’s crazy.

  4. AthensHomerDawg

    Great post.
    Unless we are counting Daniel McCullers (Ga Military College/HS =N.C) uT got equal footing with Georgia and Florida matching their 4 from Tennessee.

  5. William

    It probably helps that Ga is right in the middle of most of these SEC schools. It must seem daunting trying to keep as much in state talent as possible when the state has suddenly become a factory at the crossroads of the SEC. You might hit on another Pollack with 2 stars, but there is so much 4 and 5 star talent you really don’t have to take that gamble.

  6. JaxDawg

    And yet we continue to see other schools win National Championships with players from the state of Georgia.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Well Tennessee ain’t winning one anytime soon and Florida and uSC will have their hands full dealing with GEORGIA. For sure.

    • James Stephenson

      The MNC is as much about luck as it is with talent and coaching. In 2002, 2007 UGA could have beaten anyone at the end of the year. But, did not win our conference in 2007 and there were 2 undefeateds in 2002. Meanwhile, UF and LSU can both win MNCs with 2 losses (that is pure luck).

      People need to stop hanging on the luck aspect, win the SEC, which Richt has done twice in 10 years. Then let the chips fall as they may, sooner or later the MNC will come.

  7. Charles

    Perhaps if we just grayshirted everyone…

  8. charlottedawg

    Start winning and the borders will close, it’s that simple. No you can’t keep every D-1 kid in state but you can get first pick of most of the elite talent in GA every year iif you’re winning.

    • Skeptic Dawg

      “Start winning and the borders will close”. That was my first thought as well. Due to TE numbers, you simply can not sign every great kid in this state. However, if this staff could produce SEC championship teams they would have their pick of instate talent. And how about signing a full class every year. Leaving spots open makes zero sense to me.

      • Sanford222View

        2013 is one of the deepest years for talent in Georgia ever. Especially for OL’s. UGA definitely wanted 2-3 more in this class but having extra spots for next year’s class will actually be a good thing if we can get up to 6 early enrollees. The in state talent in the next class is sick.

  9. undersigning...catch the wave

    The people who complain about not getting every in-state kid are out of their minds. The people who complain about our standard practice of undersigning are not.

    • Cojones

      You need to wake up and smell the flowers of this class just signed.

    • Bevo

      Well said. Our staff produces excellent results in recruiting, but we could really help our depth if we would end the self-imposed scholarship reduction program.

      Cojones — our 2012 class looks great. High quality players at positions of need, but at 19 this class also looks thin. I think you can smell the flowers and also admit that we didn’t hit the number we were hoping for. (We did miss on some late targets and lost Chester afterall.)

      Given the tough sell our staff faced at the beginning of this recruiting cycle, I’d say it was a success, even if it’s a thin class. At the same time, I look forward to a Signing Day when we don’t look at other SEC schools that are constantly gaining scholarship players vis-a-vis our numbers.

    • Rebar

      I don’t know about the undersigning; I’ll have to study the new rule a little better, but I think the kids who fail or don’t make the team still count against the 25 class cap. We all know Coach Richt is conservative, so maybe he didn’t want to take a chance on any kids that wouldn’t ride on the bus. Say, can anyone one explain to me where the 4 grayshirted Bama players from last year’s class went? and how they count against the new cap?

  10. Athens own

    We can’t have other teams especially Bama, come in and take our top talent, like they do year in and year out, if we want to have a top 3 recruiting class. Arguably Georgia has the best two players in the nation with Foster and Nkemdiche, both are projected to end up at Bama.

    • Sanford222View

      Signing Day is a LONG way off. This time last year the same thing could be said regarding Jordan Jenkins. Insiders still feel UGA still has a very good shot with Foster. Flip him and then Nkemdiche probably becomes more likely as well.

  11. I don’t think it’s a change as much as a continuation. Florida, in part because they get hit hard nationally as well as by the ACC and multiple non-SEC instate schools (Central Florida, South Florida, Miami, FSU, and of course the Fla International and Fla Atlantics), but Georgia has always been a strong producer across the board for the SEC. Kentucky has had a lot of success around LaGrange. Auburn and South Carolina and Tennessee among others, always hit this state hard. Saban has seemingly made Georgia his favorite spot to target kids. If you go back over the last decade, if not further, I’d wager Georgia produces more SEC players, and more All SEC talents, than any other state, not only long term but in the majority of individual seasons as well.

  12. Just Chuck

    The notion that we still have kids leaving the state is a result of Tech’s feeble recruiting and not lack of effort on Mark Richt’s part is, I think, dead on. Any estimates of how much longer Johnson can hang on at Tech? Or does anyone care?

  13. We can’t sign everyone in Georgia. Facts are facts.

    The thing that drives many people crazy is when a Georgia kid we didn’t offer plays like his hair is on fire against us. Then we start to hear the complaints that we just need to sign kids who only dreamed of playing at UGA instead of 4 and 5-star guys.

    • I think there’s some validity to that complaint, if in fact, the coaches were strictly looking for the four-five star athlete. I know some of my favorite players on Dooley’s teams weren’t highly recruited but were what you would call true “football players”. ie Jake Scott and Terry Hoage. I think someone mentioned already that Pollack was a two star recruit, so it will be interesting to see how all these open spots are worked out with next year class. Some great quality in this class though.

  14. W Cobb Dawg

    There’s a disconnect between this story and UGA recruiting. If the state of Georgia is producing a disproportionate number of sec signees, why is UGA undersigning by 6+ recruits? Are other sec schools out-recruiting us in-state? If we were equally successfull out-of-state, we’d be filling those positions with out-of-state players, not leaving them vacant for walk-ons or for next year’s class.

    You can argue about the reasons why, but the fact is we are replacing recruit roster spots with walk-ons for the 2012 season (and we had multiple walk-ons with schollys in 2011). These in-state players we may consider 2 star or low 3 star ARE going to sec schools. The argument is whether we should have a fallback plan to sign the 2 star recruits instead of using walk-ons when higher rated players like Greene, Williams, Tomlinson, Lee, etc. don’t go our way.

  15. C

    I think y’all are forgetting the total scholly cap of 85, my understanding is that played into the decision to “undersign”

  16. MR COJONES–I like your posts -you have brains and I can tell you are a real DOG

  17. Scott

    A little off-topic. Wanted to share this. Spent a couple hours compiling it.

    Instead of looking at All-Americans, I went back and looked at all of UGA recruiting classes from 2002-2008. Below I list every UGA player from each signing class that at some point in their UGA career was either 1st or 2nd team All-SEC on either the Coaches or AP teams. For example, eight players from 2002 eventually became a 1st or 2nd team All-SEC player even a single instance during their careers. Outside each player’s name, I list that players Rivals rating. Most all of the classes finished in the top 10 team rankings by Rivals. But the future success of each class varied wildly.

    (31 commits) 1- five star player; 18- four star players; as per Rivals;
    All SEC-1st or 2nd Team:
    Max jean gilles 4 star
    Dan inman 4
    Demario minter 4
    Leonard pope 4
    Tony Taylor 4
    Martrez milner 3
    Quentin moses 3
    Tim Jennings 2

    (25 commits) 2-five star; 8-four star,
    All SEC-1st or 2nd Team
    Nick Jones 3 star
    Fernando Velasco 3
    Odell Thurman 3
    Mikey Henderson 2
    Tra Battle (walk-on)
    Gordon Ely-Kelso (walk-on)

    (20 commits); 1-five star; 10- four star
    All SEC-1st or 2nd Team
    Dannell Ellerbe 4 star
    Charles Johnson 4 star
    Brandon Coutu (walk-on)

    (17 commits);10-four star
    All SEC-1st or 2nd Team
    Mohamed Massaquoi – 4 star
    Brian Mimbs (walk-on punter)

    (28 commits); 2- five star; 13-four star;
    All SEC-1st or 2nd Team
    Geno Atkins 4
    Akeem Dent 4
    Matt Stafford 5
    Knowshon Moreno 4
    Reshad Jones 5

    (23 commits) 12-four star
    All SEC-1st or 2nd Team
    Clint Boling 3
    Drew Butler 2
    Rennie Curran 4
    Justin Houston 4

    (24 commits) 2 five star;13-four star;
    All SEC-1st or 2nd Team
    Brandon Boykin 4
    Cordy Glenn 4
    A.J. Green 5
    Ben Jones 3
    Bacarri Rambo 3
    Blair Walsh 3

    (20 commits) 1-five star; 14-four star
    All SEC-1st or 2nd Team
    Orson Charles 4
    Aaron Murray 4

    Some of the 08-09 classes are still playing and can still make All-SEC.

    The 2004 and 2005 classes did not fare too well. Might explain our decline late in the last decade.

    • Scott

      Of the 9 five star players, 3 became 1st or 2nd team All-SEC.

      Of the 98 four star players, 17 made 1st or 2nd Team All-SEC. That could increase as the 08-09 classes complete their careers.

      3 two star players and 4 walk-ons made All-SEC. Tra Battle was only non-kicker who made All-SEC as a walk-on.

    • Scott

      The 2003-2005 classes had 31 commits rated 4 or 5 stars. Only 3 of the 31 made 1st or 2nd team All-SEC. Less than 10% is not good. UGA felt that in wins and losses from 2006-2009.

  18. Scott

    The tally from 2002 to 2008 for UGA:

    3 of 9 (33%) five star players made 1st or 2nd Team All-SEC.
    17 of 98 (17%) four star players made 1st or 2nd Team All-SEC.
    9 of 70 (13%) three star players made 1st or 2nd Team All-SEC.
    3 of 7 (43%) two star players made 1st or 2nd Team All-SEC.

    • W Cobb Dawg

      Interesting. Looks like we haven’t signed a 2 star player in a long time. And we’ve also given up the practice of using walk-ons for kickers/punters. But we were probably one of the last schools to do that anyway – albeit with a lot of success. Surprised a player like Paul Oliver from nearby Harrison HS didn’t make the sec 1st or 2nd team.

    • AusDawg85

      Great stuff, but would love to see the comparison for other SEC schools. If our UGA 5 star is not all-SEC, then was it the “other guys’ 5-star or maybe someone else’s 2-star? If the other 5-star, then there is some consistency to ratings and future performance expectations. If someone’s 2-star, then are they coaching-’em up better?

      Funny…Richt has been accused of both failings (not enough top recruits, not coaching-up the others).

      • Junkyard Dawg '00

        Interesting work Scott. Thanks.
        I can’t believe O Thurman was only ranked as a 3 star. I know he was a shorter ILB but still. He was fast!

        • Scott

          One thing I can glean for sure: There is a big advantage to over-signing. We averaged 23 commits for the period of 2002-2008. Bama averaged a little over 28. So Bama signed an extra 40 players during the same period as UGA. It is a bit of a crap shoot as to who will pan out, so the extra numbers help. UGA’s best year in retrospect was when it signed 31 in 2002.

  19. Scott

    Of the 7 offensive lineman to make All SEC, 3 were four star recruits, and 4 were three star recruits.

    Only 2 wide receivers made All SEC; Massaquoi was 4 star and AJ Green was five star. I did not include Mikey H. because he did not make team as a receiver.

    Of the 3 TE’s, 2 were four star and 1 was a 3 star.

    Of the 7 DB’s; 1 five star, 2 four star, 1 three star, 2 two star, 1 walk-on

    Of the 4 DL, 3 were four star; 1 was a three star

    Of the 5 linebackers, 4 were four star; 1 was a three star.

    Conclusion (albeit small sample size): Success with 4 star and 5 star players is more predictable at Linebacker, Defensive Line, and Wide Receiver. DB’s and Offensive Lineman are a crapshoot.

  20. Scott

    From the four span of 2007-2010, UGA signed 86 players (right at the roster limit). Auburn signed 119 players during the same period. Auburn averaged 30 per year, while we averaged 21. Auburn was able to sign more than 30% more players than UGA. Assuming 17% of signees eventually make All-SEC, Auburn had an extra 6 All-SEC players added to its roster during the 4 year period by the practice of over-signing.