Here’s an interesting piece by Rivals’ Steve Megargee about the state of Georgia’s rising prowess in the production of D-1 level recruits. It’s a phenomenon that’s taken on increasing velocity of late:
Farrell said Georgia really started to break away from the pack with the 2011 class that featured eight of the nation’s top 56 prospects: Thomasville Thomas County Central defensive end Ray Drew (Georgia), Monroe Area defensive end Stephon Tuitt (Notre Dame), Columbus Carver running back Isaiah Crowell (Georgia), Valdosta cornerback Malcolm Mitchell (Georgia), Atlanta Grady cornerback Damian Swann (Georgia), Griffin defensive end Xzavier Dickson (Alabama), Tucker linebacker James Vaughters (Stanford) and Valdosta tight end Jay Rome (Georgia).
“That year propelled into last year, which propelled into this year,” Farrell said. “The 2011, 2012 and now 2013 [classes] have seen such a different caliber of talent in Georgia that pushed them to my immediate answer for No. 4 now.”
This question is a bit overstated – “If Georgia has this much talent, why aren’t Georgia and Georgia Tech as successful as, say, Alabama, LSU, Ohio State or Virginia Tech?” – in that Tech has some structural limitations (curriculum and idiosyncratic offensive scheme), which Georgia doesn’t share, and that Georgia’s played in a rougher neighborhood than either the Buckeyes or Hokies have in the past few seasons, but there’s definitely some truth at its core. Georgia nailed five of the top eight recruits on that 2011 list of Farrell’s, but it’s fair to say Richt hit a dry spell before that.
Paul was right to note that’s water under the bridge at this point, except the program is still scrambling to fill a numbers shortage with the 2013 class. It’s good that Richt recognizes that and is in the process of assembling what is looking like his largest class ever, a class that is likely to contain the largest number of early enrollees as well. The important thing going forward is not placing the program in the position of having to play catch up again.