Going from rebuilding to reloading

I’m not sure we can say Georgia’s reached that stage yet, but if Alabama’s your benchmark in that regard, the gap is certainly narrowing.

Here are a few other head-to-heads to think about between the Bulldogs and the Tide.

  • Alabama signed the nation’s top recruiting classes in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The Crimson Tide currently are rated No. 5 for 2018.
  • Georgia signed the nation’s No. 6 class in 2015 and 2016. The Bulldogs landed the nation’s No. 3 class in 2017 and currently have the No. 1-ranked class for 2018.
  • Alabama has signed 16 prospects with that elite 5-star rating since 2015.
  • Georgia has signed 14 of those elite 5-stars since 2015, including a gap-closing six of them for 2018.
  • The Crimson Tide’s recruiting history shows that they have signed 58 prospects with a 4-star rating since 2015. In comparison, the Bulldogs total up 52 of those elite players.
  • Alabama has signed up just one 5-star prospect for 2018.
  • The Tide have signed one player who was rated No. 1 in this class at his position for 2018. That’s junior college cornerback prospect Savion Smith.
  • Alabama has landed only one signee among the nation’s top 50 prospects for this cycle. Georgia has signed nine prospects who are rated in the top 50 of the 247Sports composite rankings for 2018.
  • The Crimson Tide have signed six players who rate among the nation’s top 5 prospects for their positions in 2018. In comparison, the Bulldogs have signed 12 of those players in their prized 2018 class.

There are still a few weeks to go until the February signing date, so I wouldn’t close the door on Nick Saban today.  But, barring some crazy stuff, it appears that Georgia will finish by signing the first SEC class to top Alabama’s in years.

That’s both exciting and necessary if the Dawgs want to be a consistent presence in the SECCG and the CFP.  But it’s also only one year.  That we’re concerned about how Smart will replace the talent, experience and leadership of the players who just left for the NFL draft should tell you this program isn’t on automatic pilot quite yet.  But the signs are promising.



Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

28 responses to “Going from rebuilding to reloading

  1. Biggus Rickus

    In fairness, to the extent people are worried about replacing players, it’s because Georgia has not established they can do it so easily yet. It’s also worth noting that Georgia’s class last year was good enough to be first in several of the recruiting cycles Alabama won.


  2. Recruiting is the least of my worries entering 2018. Kirby has the recruiting train rolling.

    I’m worried about depth at center if Gailliard were to go down, the ability to replace John Atkins at the nose to keep OLs off the inside LBs, and replacing Cam at punter (Long gave me no confidence and a true freshman there scares the daylights out of me).


    • Macallanlover

      Always a risk with a FR, but I am pretty confident about punting being in capable hands. I worry some about Gailliard because the position is so critical during a game, hoping KS gets some backup snaps this season for his replacement. I think we are going to be OK at DL, some of our depth will be untested but there is some talent on board and some more coming in (watch out for Wyatt making an impact.)


  3. Squatchdawg

    What we may be seeing here is the CKS had a lot more to do with Bama’s recruiting success than people thought. Time will tell.


    • Russ

      This is exactly my thoughts, too. Not sure it’s a coincidence that our recruiting has taken a huge step forward and Bama’s has tailed off a touch.

      I looked at those numbers last week, and coupled with our NC game performance, it gave me great optimism that we’ve narrowed the gap with Bama to as close as it’s been since Saban’s second year. My only caveat is our luck with injuries and Bama’s bad luck with same certainly helped close the gap. But it’s still close, and getting closer.


      • Squatchdawg

        Also …. Pruitt leaving will be another issue for Bama’s recruiting as he was pretty good too. I wonder who the “next man up” will be for Saban’s staff?

        He has to get tired of constantly replacing staff that gets snatched up by other programs.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dawg1

        Their injuries were NO where as bad as they were made out to be other than at LB where they still had 5 stars as backups. Anyone who saw Mack Wilson’s athletic/acrobatic TD INT v. Clemson knows that if that is a backup LB, ‘there needs to be no crying for Saban. My gosh, even their D-lineman catch TDs and run 40+ yards easily with INTs.


  4. JasonC

    Just looked at 247’s article on how players that transferred out of UGA did this past year (warning: slideshow). And, wow! We really didn’t miss much. Some of the DB would have probably helped (Wilkerson and Abrams) and maybe some of the OL would have provided some depth, but hard to tell based on the level of competition they faced. But amazed to see a few of those guys not even register on some pretty weak teams.


    • Jim

      The same Abrams that was part of a secondary that gave up two long Td passes to us after saying they were going to “beat the brakes off Georgia”?

      Flea flicker to Godwin and fake crack toss seam route to Nauta?


  5. Jim

    B-b-b-but Mark Richt won ten games a year!!


    • Gaskilldawg

      Must have been a good coach to win ten games a year with inferior talent.

      (By the way, this is not critical of Smart in the least.I am thrilled with how Smart did this year and confident he will win the East and perhaps the SEC next year. )


      • HiAltDawg

        It’s not that Preacher Coach “won” ten games a year, it’s that he lost three games a year. Those of us that have literally “been in the Arena” so idiot fans are free to idolate football coaches to the tune of $4 million a year and be lectured to after poor performances know a non-hacker when they see one. 2015 called and needs you to join the ones of fans “blacking out” Sanford Bridge in support their coach.

        (By the way, this is entirely critical of Georgia Football circa 2008-2015 starting with me and the many dollars I spent supporting it ((accountability starts with me)). I am thrilled that UGA Football more than delivered on the energy and resources I spent on this season (trips to ND and Rose Bowl) and look forward to the Dawgs being four points better next time we get toe-to-toe with a certain bully to the West).

        (Double by the way, Coach Richt went on a USO Tour and totally won a few troops that were NFL fans over to College Football and OUR Dawgs (as related to me by someone that traveled with him but I’m running with it)! I would have loved a visit from our Coach when I was overseas so I reckon I should let it go, hahahahahaha!)


        • Gaskilldawg

          Richt is not our coach and never will be again. I do not understand the point in discussing Richt any more than I would in commenting that Harry Mehre lost more than he should.


    • Charles

      fart noise

      Liked by 1 person

  6. paul

    While I do wholeheartedly agree with a comment you made recently about our missing an opportunity to defeat one of Saban’s more beatable terms in recent years, I am hopeful that Alabama replacing both their offensive and defensive coordinators will provide us another chance to knock them off. The question is, how effectively and how quickly can we reload? Just another occasion for Kirby to show us what kind of coach he is.


  7. Otto

    Richt’s problem wasn’t signing talent, it was managing the roster and filling needs, specifically undersigning OL. Whatever problems Smart may have at UGA undersigning OL is not one of them.


  8. Derek

    “Alabama has landed only one signee among the nation’s top 50 prospects for this cycle. Georgia has signed nine prospects who are rated in the top 50 of the 247Sports composite rankings for 2018.
    The Crimson Tide have signed six players who rate among the nation’s top 5 prospects for their positions in 2018. In comparison, the Bulldogs have signed 12 of those players in their prized 2018 class.”

    You think there isn’t a big gap between 1st and 5th? It’s a gulf.

    Time to knock them off.


  9. W Cobb Dawg

    Per leadership, I think the fact that 9 of our 2018 signees are already in class is a great long-term omen. And I believe Fromm has leadership abilities that equal AM – if such a thing is possible.

    And by the way, 2018 recruiting tain’t over. Kirby is fighting tooth & nail to bring in his last few targets. This is a monster haul even saban would envy!


    • merk

      Funniest part was everyone saying 2018 was going to be a let down after the 2017 class, cause the 2018 Ga prospects were not as good.


      • Derek

        I thought we’d take a dip in 2018. I thought our first No. 1 class would be 2019. Now it may be our second in a row. As a proponent of the “Jimmie’s and Joe’s” formulation of college football, I am extremely optimistic about the future.

        The coaching staff well over performed the roster this year. They keep recruiting and performing at the level established in 2017 and we’ll have a lot of fun over the next several years.


      • artful codger

        I remember the early talk as the ’18 prospects were just as good, just not as many of ’em. Guess we countered that by just getting more than our usual ration. Way more.


  10. HiAltDawg

    What I find interesting, is that Kirby flipped multiple players that directly hurt Alabama, Penn St and Ohio St (and Tenn) and with Fields’ commitment balanced the success at Clemson getting Trevor Lawrence. Now it’s time to watch if he pulls in a “need” player in outside the normal recruiting cycle like Smith, Crumpton or Nizialek.


  11. Faulkner

    We have to find a way to overcome Bama’s 90 scholarship quota versus everyone else’s 85.


    • W Cobb Dawg

      Well, Kirby’s doing pretty darn good with those preferred walk-ons, transfers (graduate & undergrad), Hope scholly walk-ons, etc., etc.


      • Faulkner

        I was being sarcastic. I was referring to the 85 players on scholarships and the 5 refs who appeared to be on scholarship as well. I’ll get over it some day….


  12. Russ

    Just need to get at least one of those two remaining secondary prospects out there.