More, on Georgia’s early signing day

Andy Staples:

Feelings will be hurt on all sides this week, but at least coaches and players will know where everyone stands with a chance to regroup and make alternate plans for February. The coaches don’t like the new system because it forces them to try to secure a signing class while also preparing for bowl games and playoff games. They also don’t like it because it will force them in some cases to prove that an offer is real and not simply code for “we’ll take this defensive end if the defensive end we really want doesn’t flip to us from our rival.” Players who chose their schools long ago and simply want to be done with the recruiting process—this is most players, by the way—will love being able to sign and enjoy the remainder of the holiday season with the knowledge that their spots are secure. Players who enjoy being courted incessantly by schools may want to stretch their recruitments into February, but if they’ve already committed somewhere, they run the risk of having an offer pulled if they don’t sign with the school to which they proffered said commitment. And that makes perfect sense. If you claim you’re committed and you don’t sign the NLI the school sends you, are you really committed? Of course not. The coaching staff probably should pull the offer in that case.

Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said last week he will evaluate any such situations on a “case-by-case” basis. This is wise. Some players might be good enough to be worth waiting for until February. Others might be easily replaced by another player who wants to sign right now. Players, meanwhile, will need to evaluate their situations carefully before they turn down a bird in the hand. A player with 40 Power 5 offers can afford to prolong the recruiting process. He has leverage. A player with two Power 5 offers probably is better off signing now. The key for recruits and for coaches is to be brutally honest with themselves about where they or their programs stand in the pecking order. Any overestimation of one’s place in the world could result in a lost scholarship or a lost player.

There are plenty of other situations that coaches and administrators are watching closely this week because no one knows exactly how the process will play out.

Andy doesn’t mention it specifically, but I think one of those situations would be a recruit’s shaky academics.  If I’m not mistaken, if you let a player sign this week, but he winds up not qualifying, he still counts against your numbers.  If that’s right, I can’t imagine there’s a coach out there facing that who wouldn’t tell a kid who wants to sign in December his decision would have to be postponed until February.

So, with all that in mind, be ready to match Jeff Sentell’s list of those whom he projects to sign this week against the group that officially puts pen to paper.

UGA’s commits who plan to sign this week

(ratings from the 247Sports Composite)

  • Jake Camarda/Norcross, Ga./3-star/nation’s No. 8 kicker
  • Owen Condon/Oklahoma City,/3-star/nation’s No. 37 offensive tackle/No. 476 overall
  • James Cook/Miami/4-star/Nation’s no. 3 running back/No. 31 overall
  • Jordan Davis/Charlotte, N.C./3-star/nation’s No. 28 defensive tackle/No. 403 overall
  • Warren Ericson/Suwanee, Ga./4-star/nation’s No. 5 center/No. 267 overall
  • Justin Fields/Kennesaw, Ga./5-star/nation’s No. 1 dual-threat quarterback/No. 2 overall
  • John FitzPatrick/Atlanta/4-star/nation’s No. 16 tight end/No. 342 overall
  • Trey Hill/Warner Robins, Ga./4-star/nation’s No. 2 offensive guard/No. 38 overall
  • Kearis Jackson/Fort Valley, Ga./4-star/nation’s No. 22 wide receiver/No. 117 overall
  • Azeez Ojulari/Marietta, Ga./4-star/nation’s No. 8 weakside defensive end/No. 133 overall
  • Chris Smith II/Atlanta/4-star/nation’s No. 30 cornerback/No. 295 overall
  • Zamir White/Laurinburg, N.C./5-star/nation’s No. 1 running back/No. 6 overall
  • Devonte Wyatt/Decatur, Ga./4-star/nation’s No. 3 defensive tackle (JUCO)/No. 7 overall (JUCO)

Bottom line so far: 13 of Georgia’s 18 current commits.

He mentions a few others straddling the fence.  Given Kirby’s mastery of roster management, you’d have to think the group allowed to sign this week will say volumes about how the rest of Georgia’s 2018 class will shape up.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

12 responses to “More, on Georgia’s early signing day

  1. I don’t see a single one on that list who will be told to hold off unless there’s a question about academics. Throw in a few guys who are announcing decisions tomorrow, and December 20 will be a good day for the Dawgs.


  2. truck

    Adam Anderson will sign early. That is, unless the internet lied to me.


    • He’s one of those kids along with Salyer, Cox and possibly Mays who could turn this class into a true monster. I still think we need an elite defensive tackle in this class.


      • DawgByte

        I couldn’t agree more on the elite interior defensive lineman. It puzzles me as to why we’re struggling with recruiting elite IDL. In this current class we have a 3*, JUCO transfer and Davis; who’s a big body, but certainly not a Derrick Brown or Trenton Thompson.


        • W Cobb Dawg

          Seems to be slim pickins all across the country this year for DTs. I’m okay with the 3 verbal commits we now have. But I agree I’d like to see us land another DT, particularly somebody to play the nose.


        • Brandon M

          It’s my understanding that this years DL class in Georgia and really the southeast in general isn’t as good as usual (relatively of course). And there are maybe 3-4 in state DL in the class of 2019 who would all be the best DL in GA if they were in this year’s class.


  3. W Cobb Dawg

    “The coaches don’t like the new system because it forces them to try to secure a signing class while also preparing for bowl games and playoff games.”

    Is he counting Kirby in that group? Because I can’t imagine any realistic scenario that would work much better for the Dawgs. We’re coming off a huge sec championship win and headed to the Rose Bowl/playoff. Our players are riding a high like we’ve rarely seen. Even if we were to lose, all but 6 or so recruits will be signed. Meanwhile, our top divisional threats are crawling out of dumpster fires with new HCs who’ve only been on the job a matter of days.

    The Dawgs have momentum. Kirby has done an incredible job. I don’t like to get hopes up to unrealistic expectations, but we could land the #1 class. Considering bama has been #1 for 7 years running, that would be an earth shaking event!


  4. The other Doug

    It looks to me like some coaches, Kirby Smart, decided to embrace the early signing period while other coaches, Nick Saban, thought they could talk the kids into waiting like the old days. It’s rare that Nick Saban gets it wrong, but he did on the early signing period.


    • Comin' Down The Track

      The idea, as I understand it, is to secure the LOIs of as many of the top commits as possible and then laser-focus on four guys for the stretch run to NSD. This is how work is done, my doods.


  5. Macallanlover

    My head was swimming with what KS was able to put together last February, so few misses as the chickens came home to roost. But what could happen tomorrow, and into February, is off the charts. Yes, some of that optimism is being sold by the recruitniks who always over indulge on the KoolAide, but even if a couple of big fish on our wish list get away, it is still a monster class….especially when you overlay it with the talent we already have in-house. As we toast whatever comes our way for 2018’s final list, it is easy to say UGA will be in the championship conversation for the next few years. I now can envision how Bama fans feel when they look at a roster full of 4 and 5 stars across the board and see quality depth every where we look. Good times indeed! Enjoy it Dawg fans, we haven’t seen this level of success before. May want to budget for SECCG tickets for the next few years because UGA is going to represent the East for a while. We just increased our talent edge over the East rivals.



    Some internet sites have Mays signing with UGA tomorrow!,