Relax. Kirby can count.

I saw a few questions yesterday about how Georgia wound up signing more than 25 in the 2018 class.  We don’t know for sure at this moment if there are any academic question marks in the bunch that would affect the final edition, so that may be one possibility.  Another, and more likely, is back-counting.  Seth Emerson explains.

Think of it this way: A program can sign 125 players over a five-year span. That’s a fairly hard number. But within those five years you can play with the numbers, mainly by back-counting early enrollees, so that in some years you can sign more than 25 players. (And as a result in future years, you will have to sign less than 25.)

What is back-counting? That’s the process by which an early enrollee counts toward the previous year, assuming there is room to do so. Justin Fields, for instance, can count toward Georgia’s 2017 class.

There’s some danger that my numbers are off here – journalism majors are not known for math – but follow me here: Georgia signed 21 players in 2016, which would leave four spots open, but six enrolled early. That potentially could leave room for 10 to back-count to 2016. Georgia then signed 26 last year, six of whom enrolled early. So if you back-counted those six, that left room to sign up to 31 players this year … at least under my interpretation of the rules.

One change: The NCAA tweaked the signing rules last year to limit programs to only five back-counters. But even assuming that, UGA still had room to go up to 30 this year, again, by my interpretation of the rules.

Bottom line:  don’t sweat the 25-man limit.

The bigger issue is the overall 85-scholarship player ceiling, and there, Georgia is over.  For now.

Here’s what I do know: A program can only have 85 players on scholarship at one time. That’s a hard number. And Georgia has been near the limit and will be again in 2018.

My numbers, after the early departures of Roquan Smith and Trenton Thompson, the transfer of Jacob Eason, and the medical disqualification for Rashad Roundtree, had Georgia at 63 scholarships. (Here’s my most recent look at Georgia’s scholarship numbers, back in December.)

So if Georgia signs 26 players, then that puts it four over the limit. But with plenty of time to reach 85. Georgia was just over the limit last spring too.

Can you say roster management?  I thought you could.  This is one area I can definitely say Kirby Smart is on the mother.  Georgia will be fine when crunch time arrives.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

20 responses to “Relax. Kirby can count.

  1. Biggen

    Some guys may get… Processed.

    Seriously though, so much shit happens between now and the Fall that attrition will take its toll.


    • Bulldog Joe

      First guy to get processed should be Mark Fox.

      But the football exuberance probably gives The Georgia Way enough smokescreen to keep him yet another year.


      • Russ

        That was embarrassing, but sadly, not surprising. We’ve wasted the SEC POTY twice now, and last year’s team with two starting All-SEC member was a 1-and-done in the NIT. He’s gotta go.


      • W Cobb Dawg

        Fox stunk up an otherwise outstanding day to be a Dawg.


  2. A lot can and will happen. If you want to make some easy money, bet that Natrez will not be on the team in the Fall. That’s not a sure thing, but the odds would be in your favor. Good thing is we have tons of talent to replace him.


  3. Dave

    I’m confused. We were told for the past several months that 25 per class was a hard ceiling. Any time it was brought up that you could apply signees to past or future classes, you were chastised, ostracized, and circumcised.

    What gives?


    • DawgPhan

      could be wrong, but I think that you can backdate a recruit to the previous class based on when they get to school and all that.

      25 is the cap for 1 class. But if one of those guys counts to the previous class because of early enrollment or whatever then you can sign more.

      I think that you could potentially sign around 30 guys if you really took full advantage of the back dating and all that.

      I dont worry the least bit about losing 4 guys over the spring/summer

      we should have always been in this spot.


      • Dave

        Concur. End of the day, I trust the staff knows what they’re doing.

        I honestly hope we don’t “process” anyone who’s had a good attitude, gave good effort, showed up on time, etc. But, if you like sausage…


  4. C

    Who gets processed?
    Interested in the names I read.


    • W Cobb Dawg

      There isn’t much dead weight on the roster. Maybe somebody like Crowder, who was an afterthought that Bmac signed to fill a spot. If you’re a backup who hasn’t really challenged for playing time, like Madden, Keyon Brown, or Justin Young, you might start making other plans for the fall. OT/BBQ chef Barnes will need to make a move if he wants to stick. Chigbu better catch everything thrown to his side of the practice field this spring. And Marshall Long’s leg better be 110% or he may want to see if Beamer has a spot for him at oky.

      I personally think Natrez Patrick sticks around. If he satisfies his re-hab issues I don’t believe Kirby let’s that talent and experience walk away.


  5. I kind of feel violated looking back at how poorly Coach Richt handled the roster management situation. I don’t think we’re set up at all to do anything unseemly; rather, I (now) believe that a Coach is really not doing his job if he works under the assumption that every single kid will make grades and not run afoul of the law.

    I admit that I commended Richt at the time, and I certainly can be accused of being a wishy-washer homer (Saban Oversigns !). But what I wasn’t really considering is that a staff/program can individually mentor / help / expect Kid X to stay on the straight and narrow—but to operate as if all 85 or 25 will do that is just not realistic and is setting yourself up to shortchange your program and, ultimately, the guys who do remain on the roster.


  6. Macallanlover

    I think players will get “Billy Bobbed”, or normal attrition will occur (we have two players currently wandering around in lala land for,seemingly, legit reasons), and then there is Wyatt who is on board after signing with the 2017 class. Somewhere in there is at least one opening before summer, likely more.


  7. AceDawg

    Gibbs not being enrolled right now probably gives Smart some wiggle room in the interim while he humbles a few souls in the Spring. I’ve got to think that some of the junior and senior offensive linemen that have made no movement towards a starting spot are one particular place some guys could be moving on at.


  8. whb209

    Regarding the 25/year hard limit: Ryland Goede stated that he would play football and baseball at UGA. So put him on a baseball scholarship. That makes 25 not 26. Everything is right with the world. What is the baseball coach going to say? No. I don’t think so.


    • jtp03

      If you play football you have to be on football scholarship.


      • whb209

        Then if you play baseball you have to be on a baseball scholarship ?
        Not an argument, just a question. I have never heard of a rule that states, “if you are on a baseball scholarship you can NOT play football”


        • Macallanlover

          Of course not, but if you play both sports your scholarship counts against football. You can play any, or all, sports but your scholly will count against the revenue producing one….the one most likely to be a trick.


    • C

      He is 2019 so that point is mute. But I would imagine yes, the BB coach would say no.


  9. I can’t think of a single year where we haven’t lost st least 4 people between new signees not qualifying, guys transferring on their own, and/or disciplinary issues. That’s a very normal number. We’ll get to the 85 with no problems and nobody having to be “processed”.


  10. Remember when we had less players on scholarship than schools dealing with scholarship penalties? Ugh. Those were miserable times.