Over at Dawg Post, Dean Legge reacts to the commitment of Darius Slayton:
Today’s commitment from Slayton, who multiple insiders have maintained for some time is one of the “absolute must-get guys out there”, pushed Georgia past Alabama for the top spot. That’s a monumental move on a couple of different levels.
First, pushing to the number one spot means that a program has done the recruiting work over the last few years to position themselves to be number one.
Second, it means a program has won big recruiting battles.
As good as Alabama has been, and they are elite in recruiting, Georgia has more than held its own this recruiting cycle with the Tide. All indications are that Terry Godwin will sign with Georgia, and former Bama commit Jonathan Ledbetter will as well. The Dawgs lost Rico McGraw to the Tide, and Columbus native Mekhi Brown still appears headed to Tuscaloosa.
The biggest driver in Georgia’s surge to the top has been in-state success. For the record, I don’t think you, specifically, have to keep all of your in-state prospects. Often players really don’t fit best at Georgia (see RB Oregon commit Taj Griffin from McEachern). After all, some of the best players over the last few years at Georgia have been from out of state (Todd Gurley and Aaron Murray come to mind).
Nonetheless, of the top ten players in the state of Georgia, the Bulldogs very well could sign six of the top ten (Thompson, Godwin, R. Smith, Slayton, Ledbetter and D. Walker). That’s a recruiting rate that’s, quite frankly, never been accomplished in Athens. None in the top ten are expected to wind up at Florida, Alabama or Auburn.
Obviously, you can think of the same caveats that come to my mind. It’s a long way to February. And even if you sign them, that doesn’t mean you keep them, as the incredible shrinking class of 2013 demonstrates.
But that the staff is finally pushing back against the in state encroachment on the recruiting front we’ve all fretted about since Saban showed up in Tuscaloosa is welcome news. No way Richt is ever going to erect a fence around the state – the geographic advantage Auburn has around the Columbus area and the same thing FSU enjoys in parts of south Georgia argue against that ever happening – but the home team should be able to take in a steady stream of the best high school talent the state offers, especially since Georgia Tech doesn’t. It’s a crucial development and it’s important for the Georgia program to make sure it’s not merely a one-year bump.
The one surprising thing about the article is that there is no mention of Jeremy Pruitt. It’s hard to believe his arrival and the uptick at recruiting are mere coincidences.