Reading a few recruiting tea leaves

Sorry to disappoint some of you, but this post is about the eventual shape of Georgia’s 2018 class, and not what some individual recruits may be doing.  Anyway, Jeff Sentell focused on a comment Jim Chaney made to a Texas receiver Georgia is pursuing…

The Georgia class seemingly has about as much room as a Sam Pittman offensive line class in a Prius, but Bush said he has heard otherwise.

“He basically said that after Dec. 22 they were probably only recruiting four guys and I was one because he doesn’t have my size in this class,” Bush told DawgNation.

… and drew the following conclusions:

  • Georgia’s class is indeed wedged like the top of a Pittman OL board into a Prius.
  • There is room for Bush.
  • Taylor also is scheduled to make his decision known Dec. 22. The majority of the 2018 early targets for UGA all plan to make their decisions known Dec. 20. It was very interesting phrasing.
  • DawgNation has been pointing to a 24-man class for 2018 for quite some time. If that is the true limit for the class, then the staff does indeed plan to have about 18 to 20 members signed up into #Rarebreed18 by the end of the early signing period.

24 has been the number I’ve heard, but I’m not sure how cut and dried that is.  For starters, I’m uncertain about how many early enrollees will be counted against the 2017 numbers.  (I’ve heard anywhere from one to three).  I also don’t know how many kids currently with scholarships will still have them by next August.  If Kirby has learned everything about roster management from the master, I suspect that number will ultimately be a factor driven by how large a 2018 class he wants to sign.  (Besides a couple of candidates for medical hardships, you have to figure Roquan elects to turns pro, while Patrick has little choice but to follow suit.)

For now, I’d figure the class finishes anywhere from 24 to 28, with the likelihood that Georgia emerges from February over the 85-man limit, followed by a slow and steady attrition all through the summer until Smart hits the magic 85-man limit.  What are your thoughts?

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49 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

49 responses to “Reading a few recruiting tea leaves

  1. I was under the impression that we (SEC) now have a hard cap at 25 per class, regardless of any back-counting of folks like Wyatt.

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  2. Timphd

    Having a little trouble getting used to having a full 85 man roster. I like it though and will adjust.

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    • Couple that with all the investment in muscle fatigue technology and monitoring, use of an indoor practice facility and we’ve enhanced our depth exponentially in some spots when compared to the last staff. Not to mention, we’re trending closer to the level of having zero dead weight on the roster. When you have 85 guys who are all capable of at least towing the line in an SEC game, you further reduce your chances from injury.

      I don’t think it’s 100% good luck that we have astonishingly low injury numbers this year.

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    • MLB2

      I knew Kirby got full control but I was shocked he was able to force Jimmy Williamson into retirement. He has Saban like control over the program.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dawg in Austin

    I agree with all of that. Not many will be able to back-count to 2017, maybe 1-2. Also have to factor in the ridiculous talent pool in the state of Georgia in 2019 and make sure you have enough room for over 25 next year.

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  4. JarvisCrowell

    The rules were changed this year that only allow 25 recruits per year no matter what. So there is no reason to not take the full 25

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  5. The other Doug

    I believe a few of our current commitments might not have spots if better players sign.

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    • DawgByte

      Aaron Brule Tweeted to that effect this morning. Those lower star guys who committed early in the process are going to be casualties of these 5 stars who are jumping on the train later in the process.

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      • At least with the early signing period no one will be blindsided.

        If the coaching staff doesn’t want you to sign in December or enroll early, they are holding your spot for a bigger fish. Roll the dice at your own risk.

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  6. Rocketdawg

    You can back count to the previous class as long as you don’t go over 25. There are several big fish out there that we are in play for to include a couple of 5* Oline. If there are players Kirby wants to sign this year then some of our recruits that have already committed may be told to look around.

    This is shaping up to be a better class than last year (which was the best we have ever signed) and ‘19 could be even better. We’ll have the #1 or #2 class this year and are on track for the #1 class next year.

    This early signing day has made it a commit or lose your spot scenario for some of these guys who like to play games all the way to the old signing day in February.

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    • Chi-town Dawg

      Kudos to Kirby and his staff for doing another great job on the recruiting front. It wasn’t that long ago when we were in the basement for the 2018 recruiting rankings, but they kept pushing and flipped (and may still flip) some huge recruits and now have an excellent chance for another top 3 class if these guys stick. No doubt the on field performance played a HUGE role in his recruiting success with this class and should continue to pay big dividends with the 2019 class.

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      • I’m not sure our recruiting was ever as bad as it looked at the time. I remember reading at least a couple of the recruits when they announced their commitments making comments that seemed like they had been sitting on making the announcement for a while, that their decision had been in place for some time.

        I think Kirby understands the concept of momentum in recruiting, and he was actually having some of the guys hold off on announcing until a little later in order to build that momentum as signing day approached. Now the momentum is definitely rolling.

        Maybe I’m giving Kirby too much credit here for the timing of it all – but I don’t think I am.

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        • Chi-town Dawg

          Reverend, while I agree with your comments about Kirby’s recruiting prowess, I look at some of the big name commitments and I don’t think they were slings being held back from going public. For example, no way Justin Fields was a silent commit to us while a public commit to PSU. Also, I truly believe Zamir was a UGA lean, but undecided until late Spring. Same thing with Cox, if he flips to us after backing off of tOSU. No way he was expected as a silent commit back in Jan/Feb. I don’t disagree with your momentum comment, but truly believe the success on the field this Fall pushed some of these blue chips over the top for UGA. I think other programs were still using the underachieving meme against us on the recruiting trail based on Kirby’s first year and even some recruits emphasized the importance of seeing the talent translate into Wins.

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        • Macallanlover

          The 2018 class looked like a total disaster in early summer, it has been a helluva comeback since that time. We signed a couple, got a few to lean our way, then the roof began to come off as we had weekly announcements of very nice pickups and momentum built. When the season started fast for us it began to take on the look at a tidal wave. When Fields announced for UGA, it hit another gear.

          I expect some fallout as some players realize they will start in a deep hole simply on a talent basis, but there are some big names sitting close to the door. The 2017 and 2018 classes are just off the chains. The offense the next 2-3 years will rival anything we have ever seen, and the D won’t suck next year but will not be the strength.

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    • 3rdandGrantham

      Indeed. What I’m most excited about is the absurd talent we are bringing in on both the DL and especially OL, whereas in years past under CMR, we seemed to always do well with the skill positions but rather mediocre at best along the lines (particularly OL).

      When you suddenly have an OL that is comprised of guys like Cleveland, Thomas, Wilson, Salyer, Hill, Johnson, and others, you’re looking at a potential #1 OL in all of CFB in ’19 and beyond.

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  7. Kirby’s no dummy. The only way to end up at 85 to start the next season is to start above 85 after signing day. Whatever the number of signees is, I’d think we’ll be starting at around 89-90 scholly’s after both signing periods, with the slow and steady attrition you referred to ultimately making the numbers right.

    And FWIW, I don’t expect the slow and steady attrition to involve anything underhanded. It’s very normal to lose 3-5 guys during the off-season between discipline issues, guys choosing to transfer for playing time, legitimate medical hardships, and the inevitable one or two signees who ultimately doesn’t qualify academically. If you have any hope of being near 85 to start the year, you really have no choice but to do some reasonable amount of oversigning, as we’ve discussed in the past.

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  8. St. Johns Dawg

    I still would take quality over quantity … Sure Kirby & Co. should sign the full 25, but they are laser-focused on the BEST 25. We’ve upgraded the talent and that makes coaches look really, really good on Saturdays.

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  9. RandallPinkFloyd

    Word is that we’re pushing everyone to sign early and if they don’t… they may not have a LOI to sign on NSD in February. Unless you’re an elite talent of course.

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    • Chi-town Dawg

      I’ll be more interested in whether or not they allow all of the commits to sign an LOI in December. We have 2-3 lower ranked recruits and I wonder if they’ll let them sign early if we’re still in the hunt for some elite athletes and might need a couple of those spots.

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  10. kckd

    We’re gonna have two or three decommits soon is what I’m hearing. And it’s mutual. More wanting to come (that we’d be happy to take) than we have room for.

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  11. HVL Dawg

    So, you are expecting Eason to stay?

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    • Rocketdawg

      My guess is that he stays through the Spring for depth and to have a chance to win the starting job back. Ramsey is gone and Fields isn’t coming until June so it would be Fromm and a bunch of walkons for Spring.

      If he comes out #2 on the depth chart after Spring then he’ll transfer.

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  12. Biggen

    I’m curious what happens when the ~31 or so seniors + few juniors leave at the end of the season. If we can only sign 25 this December/February, then won’t we have less than 85 total scholarship players on the roster??

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    • 3rdandGrantham

      Not sure why people were throwing around that 31 number to begin with. It was either lazy or dishonest journalism, and rival fans are eating it up thinking we literally lose about 40% of our roster this year, which logic alone says that just can’t be right.

      UGA has 18 seniors on scholly and 13 walkons, so overall this is a pretty typical year for us in terms of graduating seniors. I’ve pointed out this rather easy explanation to my rival friends, yet they either are having a hard time grasping the difference or are willfully blinded and simply want to believer we indeed lose that many.

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      • Thanks for that explanation. I hadn’t taken the time to look it up, but the 31 number kept striking me as odd, given the amount of attrition we’d had from that time period. Having 18 scholarship seniors makes sense to me, especially since that is a combination of 2 classes (some are true seniors, some are redshirt seniors).

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      • Biggen

        Ok, this makes more sense and thanks for that. I can’t remember where I heard it. I was thinking it was from Danielson from the SEC Chamionship broadcast. I’ll have to go back and re-watch it. Oh darn… 🙂

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        • Yeah but you have to listen to Danielson dropping compliments about Bama for 3 quarters, then just giving up and flat out saying Bama should make the playoff over whoever wins the game being played.

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        • Argondawg

          Actually during the actual SEC championship ceremony Kirby referred to the 31 seniors this year. He was being all inclusive.

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  13. steve

    During the recent SEC Q&A Auburn was heard asking if ‘back counting’ was more like ‘side counting’ or ‘off the books’. Then they denied saying it. Then when presented with the video tape proof they said ‘everyone else does it’. Finally, they said ‘prove we meant what we meant’. Finished the statement with ‘we have the largest TV in the known universe’….yeah, that’s right!
    Then a fire alarm was pulled in the hall and everyone forgot about Auburn and the Vatican city bank connection.
    Trey Hill says Hi, Gus.KMA.

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  14. 3rdandGrantham

    This class has the potential to eclipse last years absurdly great class and, if we land Mays, could end up overtaking OSU as the #1 class in the country. Dec 20th-22nd looks to be a massive period for us, as guys like Salyer, Ford, Reese, Tindall, and Cox will be deciding, and that’s on top of Hill committing last night. Those guys alone put us over 300 team score (247) and quite a bit ahead of last year’s total score.

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  15. GruvenDawg

    I am completely blown away by our performance this year. Every concern I had this year has been answered. I really thought we were at least a year away due to the O-line and questions in the secondary, receiving corps, and special teams. I predicted 10-2 or 9-3 with UF winning the East (July). Kirby, Pittman, and Chaney have truly transformed this team starting with the offensive line and the future is bright.

    Chaney has shown he can develop a young QB and can adjust game plans if we are not able to run it up the middle (SECCG). QB’s and RB’s will continue to line up looking at the potential the offense will have. Once Kirby allows Chaney to open up the playbook for Fromm and Fields over the next few years the WR’s will also begin fighting to come (#1 for 2019 is already committed). The O-line talent we have being developed by Pittman and the earth shattering O-line class we have potentially coming in means our offense alone should keep us in the CFB conversation through 2022. If Kirby keeps stocking the D-line and secondary UGA is going to be everybody’s nightmare for years to come.

    It is truly a great time to be a DAWG!!!

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  16. DawgPhan

    24-28 is right where we should always be with each class. If we are tight on the numbers but are getting 24 guys that is great.

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  17. Sounds about right. I don’t like taking away scholarships for the latest and greatest recruit but we ARE chasing Alabama.

    I can’t really comment on the scholarship thing and what year it applies to. I’ve already followed recruiting but this is too much for me to even care about keeping up with. What used to seem cut and dried, isn’t. Now this definite number has loopholes all around it.

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  18. W Cobb Dawg

    And don’t forget about transfers. So far Kirby’s landed JR Reed, Catalina, Smith, Nizialek, Marvin & Crumpton. And then there’s the PWOs….

    Kirby is on it!

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  19. Jared S.

    My general response on counting recruiting class spots is, “Wow, that’s confusing.”

    My next thought is, “I have total confidence that Kirby is on the mother and has it all under control.”

    Comforting thought!

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