If you’re looking for a nice summary of how Georgia’s signing day measures up against the rest of the division, SB Nation has it for you here. This chart, in particular, speaks volumes:
UGA blue-chips vs. the SEC East
Class Year 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 Georgia 4/5-stars 20 13 14 13 15 10 Ratio of UGA blue chips vs East 1.3 2.4 2.8 3.5 2.1 3.8 Rest of SEC East Combined 26 31 39 46 32 38
The total number of blue chips signed by SEC East teams runs in a range of the mid-40s to the mid-50s from year to year, and 2017 fits neatly into that pattern. But Georgia signed nearly half of that total, which is a radical departure from the previous five seasons. The biggest reason for that is the mythical fence Kirby Smart erected: “In total, Georgia’s 2017 class is made up of 26 members; 18 are from the state of Georgia alone, including 16 blue-chips.”
You think about the other East programs like South Carolina and Tennessee that have to make a living off Georgia talent to succeed because they lack the in state talent base, and you realize that Smart’s killing two birds with one stone here. If 2017 turns out to be anything but a one-year wonder, the longer term implications of what that means for the division are pretty apparent.