Why Smart will never be able to build a fence around the state

It’s the sheer numbers, stupid.

More than 4,000 former Georgia high school players have been on college rosters this season, according to the annual research of Steve Slay, a member of the Georgia High School Football Historians Association and football fan who has tracked these numbers in Georgia for the past 10 years.

His 4,191 Georgia players on 2017 rosters are the most he’s counted. They range from the 585 playing in Power 5 Conferences such as the SEC and ACC to the 372 on the rosters of junior-college teams such as the Eastern Arizona College Gila Monsters of the Western States Football League. Fun fact: There are 28 former Georgia high school players who were Gila Monsters this fall.

There also are six recently selected Associated Press All-Americans from Georgia.

Those include Oklahoma tackle Orlando Brown (Peachtree Ridge), N.C. State defensive end Bradley Chubb (Hillgrove) and Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith (Macon County), all on the first team. On the second team are Clemson tackle Mitch Hyatt (North Gwinnett) and Colorado State receiver Michael Gallup (Monroe Area). Clemson defensive end Austin Bryant (Thomas County Central) made the third team.

You want more math?

Kirby’s game plan has to be to take the best and leave the rest.

Oh, and once again, thank you, Paul Johnson.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

41 responses to “Why Smart will never be able to build a fence around the state

  1. Bright Idea

    With this kind of talent one would think Tech could win the conventional way. Recruit like hell and coach them up. Of course they’re sticking to the claim that 3,999 of these guys can’t get in Tech.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mayor

      Correct BI. That’s why I believe Tech is actually worse off under Fish Fry. If you will recall Tech was actually a pretty good program when Tech had George O’Leary who was a conventional coach who ran a conventional O and recruited well.


    • Erk's Forehead

      I can’t remember when Tech took good athletes out of the State. Any program from a state not as rich in talent as GA should always be knocking at the door. I remember Rich Brooks (Kentucky) developing a 3* pipeline down in LaGrange. UK went to several bowls in a row which is world-beater for them. That’s part of the reason UT has imploded. (Besides the dysfunctional athletic department and rampant sexual predation). They haven’t taken the best from GA. Tennessee just doesn’t produce a lot of quality HS athletes. Memphis may as well be California.


    • 81Dog

      Tech football is a prime example of the foolishness of unilateral disarmament. Tech may have given up recruiting 4 and 5 stars (possibly because what choice do they have running that offense?), but the teams they play haven’t, and they wont.


  2. Biggus Rickus

    That does seem to be his gameplan. And even then, the higher ranked guys or the guys you value higher than others won’t pan out all the time. So the other end is to make sure you sign enough to keep failures from killing you. Obviously, that’s easier said than done, or everyone would do it, but Smart’s done a masterful job of it so far.


  3. Derek

    We have 4 5 stars. None of our top sec competitors have a single 1.

    You can’t get ‘em all but if you can get the best….


  4. Stoopnagle

    So, who is taking donations for a gift card for Fish Fry? Dude is a gift to Georgia football even is he is sitting on a two-game win streak between the hedges.


  5. Russ

    Can we still bitch about the ones that got away?


  6. DawgPhan

    Managing the numbers is so much better now.


    • Bulldog Joe

      Large in-state talent pool – limited recruiting budget – undersigning – over-the-top-disciplinary policies = lost opportunity for UGA.


  7. JCDAWG83

    Kirby can’t get them all but he can get the best the state has. That is what was missing before Kirby got here. It seemed like every year 8 or 9 of the top ten players in the state went to Bama or AU or Clemson. A coach told me once that a really good recruiting class would produce 8-10 players who really contributed. With redshirting, 5 recruiting classes should provide 40-50 good players for the program at any given time. There will always be kids who don’t live up to expectations, transfer, get kicked off the team or have injuries that cost a season or more.

    Georgia can’t lock down the entire state, there are simply too many good players for that to happen. Georgia needs to lock down the top talent in the state. If Kirby can do that, Georgia will be nearly impossible to beat.


    • Not just locking down the top talent but selecting the top talent when they overlap at a position and then coaching and developing them properly when they get on campus.

      All of us are excited about Justin Fields eventually signing and heading over to Athens. However, the state produced 3 Elite 11 QB’s this year and 4 QB’s with a rating of 4 star or higher.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Russ

        Rest assured if one of the others pans out better than Fields does in 3 years, we’ll hear all about how we should have recruited the other kid.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jeff Sanchez

          Ah, the Brice Ramsey corollary

          Liked by 2 people

        • It is a bit of a cruel hoax … but it is part of the reality of recruiting.

          Heck just look at our next game – if the starting OU back doesn’t go against due to the rape allegations the back up is from Marietta. If the has big against us, there will be talk about how we let one get away.


          • I am no longer typing complete coherent sentences so I will be quiet after this … if Trey Sermon has a big game for OU against us in the Rose Bowl – there will be talk about how did we let him get away from Georgia.


  8. 92 grad

    What makes me proud is that Kirby is making the program recruit on its own merit. When the top 10 or so recruits already want to come it’s not a hard sell pitch that rests on the recruiter to convince a kid to sign. If things continue to trend upward the recruiting staff can pick and choose instead of chase and pray.


  9. James Hester

    What is he referring in the article to in reference to Gila Monsters? I see from wikipedia a Gila Monster is a lizard native to Southwestern US. Can you explain?


    • Biggus Rickus

      Is this serious? It’s the nickname of some Arizona college where some Georgia players have gone, as explained in the paragraph where the words show up.


  10. Bulldog Joe

    Glad to see UGA finally using this situation to their competitive advantage.


  11. rchris

    To paraphrase Robbie Robertson: UGA should say to everyone take what you need and leave the rest, but never ever ever take the very best. Seriously, if we can get the 16 guys we want from the state every year, and 5 or 6 guys who are better than that 16th guy from contiguous states, we will be seriously hurting Auburn, Clemson, Tennessee and any other program that doesn’t have a strong recruiting base other than the state of Georgia. Tennessee’s already struggling. Hopefully, over time, the rest of them will struggle a little as well. That’s what building a fence really means. And Mexico will pay for it.


  12. Hopefully, someone over on North Avenue doesn’t read this and ask, “Why not us?” The fact that our main competition for blue chip talent comes from out of state gives us the same advantage that LSU has always enjoyed but with a deeper high school talent base.

    Fish Fry’s offense is a gift that keeps on giving for us on the recruiting trail on both sides of the ball. It’s too bad he wasn’t at tech when Calvin Johnson was coming out of high school because he would have been incredible playing with Greene, Shockley and Stafford.


  13. diving duck

    Auburn is building a top 10 class without a single prospect that was coveted by Bama or UGA.


  14. 69Dawg

    This was Sgt Carter’s second biggest problem. His worst problem was his game day coaching. CJP will be all over Georgia and offer some opposition for us. Our problem is that the state borders on so many other states it a hard geographic problem to defend. UT/Vandy to the north North/South Carolina to the east Auburn/Alabama to the west and FSU/UF to the south, all of these have some loyalties in Georgia that help them get the players. I lived in Fayette County and we had way more Auburn fans than Tech fans and it only gets worst the further down I85. Our doing so well this year has really helped a lot. Keep it up Kirby and pay the assistances.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Macallanlover

    The problem with getting rid of Fish Fry is the transition to a conventional offense. You don’t have a roster full of players with the correct skill set, from linemen, to receivers, to QBs, and even some of the backs. It is a two recruiting class cycle, and several bad years with in the 8 years. They screwed themselves, and it is fun to watch them suffer. The trade off was accepting mediocrity with no chance of winning anything, and they took it. Why? Just drop football and focus on being good at something. GT is simply meaningless, to their students/fans, to the alums, and even their competitors. So why put yourself through it when you could focus on baseball, or golf, and, perhaps be excellent at them? Better to be realistic than to face certain doom every season.