Means to an end

Top-ranked recruiting classes are awesome and all that, but let’s not lose sight that they’re just a necessary step to take towards the main goal.

Each of the past seven national champions have averaged a top-10 recruiting class the four years prior to winning the national championship, and all seven have landed at least one recruiting class ranked in the top four in the two years prior to their title win.

ESPN finds four programs currently meet those criteria:  Alabama (shocking, I know), Ohio State, Florida State and…

Georgia Bulldogs
Avg. class rank:
4.75

The Dawgs made it to the title game this season with a true freshman at quarterback. Georgia played 16 true freshmen overall and, similar to Ohio State, are adding 19 ESPN 300 prospects. That includes the No. 1 overall player: quarterback Justin Fields. Georgia is losing a lot of production in the ground game, with Nick Chubb and Sony Michel moving on, but they will be replaced by ESPN 300 running backs Zamir White and James Cook, who are the No. 1- and No. 3-ranked running backs, respectively. They’ll join D’Andre Swift and try to pick up where Chubb and Michel left off.

“Georgia played 16 true freshmen overall” is a good way to get a jump on the 2018 transition.  I have the feeling this team is going to miss less of a beat than some expect.

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43 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

43 responses to “Means to an end

  1. ugafidelis

    My question is why does everybody always leave out Herrien and Holyfield?

    Like

  2. Athens Dog

    I don’t think there will be any drop off in talent……probably more if you believe the rankings. The question i have is leadership. Who steps up? Unless there is leadership and team chemistry, talent might not be enough.

    Like

    • Dawg in Lutz

      couldn’t agree more. We need the leaders to step up and push the players through S&C and practices. staying focused and pushing hard everyday is vital to success. i will say this… when you have 85 players on the roster who can all play, practices are way more intense because guys want to earn and keep their playing time. CKS has created a ton of competition every day and this will motivate and keep the players focused if they want to see the field.

      Like

    • Russ

      I think Fromm is the leader of this team. He emerged as a leader later in the season, and I think everyone will listen to him. As for defense, we’ll see. But I think the leadership and chemistry will be good.

      Like

  3. According to the 247 composite Clemson did not have a top 4 class nor did they average a top 10 class the 4 years prior to 2016 when they won the NC. They weren’t even close to meeting these criteria. Just sayin’.

    Like

  4. Atticus

    QB-check

    RB-check maybe not as deep and talented early but a lot of depth and Swift is a potential superstar. White will be there too.

    TE-check (and hopefully we can use them more)

    WR-losing Wims hurts, who steps u? We have 2 really proven players in Godwin and Hardman (who could continue to make huge plays) and Ridley could be emerging. We need somebody to come up big from Landers, Holloman, Simmons, Blount and possibly Jackson or Bush.

    OL-who plays RT and Thomas makes the transition to LT. Depth will be fantastic

    DT-check

    DE-check

    OLB-big question. Who steps up? Not much experience between Grant, Beal and Anderson. Walker could be emerging he has the most experience.

    ILB-big question. Depends upon Natrez returning. Not many reps otherwise with Rice, McBride, Hunter, Crowder etc….

    CB-Baker is a stud, who fills the other role? Who provides depth?

    S-big question. Lecounte has the pedigree, Reed has a lot of experience. Outside of that virtually no experience.

    K-check, love Rod

    P-Camarda can boom it but its a bigger stage

    Like

  5. Busta

    I too believe there will be less of a drop off wont be as many expect. Also I don’t see how Holyfield and Herrien get overlooked. Holyfield has dropped the ball once or twice but has looked like a monster (imo) when he has the ball.

    Like

  6. DavetheDawg

    Don’t forget, we played 15 games last season. That’s a lot more practices, game prep and associated tasks on some very big stages – for everyone. A lot of guys who enrolled early got some practice time, too. Good times.

    Like

    • Atticus

      Correct and as we have significantly raised the talent level and depth, the practices have become harder than most games. That will certainly happen this year where our 2nd string could beat 3/4 of the teams on the schedule.

      Like

  7. I worry about us early as we may struggle with finding our new identity on offense and as we figure out who can do what on defense on the big stage. Everyone needs to worry about us later in the season.

    By November I think this will be a faster more talented defense than 2017 and I think we finally will have an “impose your will” OL.

    Like

  8. steve

    Regarding CFB success prediction: O’Gara at SDS should file his UT fantasy clip under ‘Mean to The End’ rather than means to an end. He is selling a dead cat in a bag and calling it a pig to hungry peasants. Promising that Jeremy will somehow change the decade of hopelessness in Knoxville to respectability is cruel, especially after Pruitt’s Ray Charles impersonation as a baseball hitter on recruiting day. Also, CJP has been known as a very short-tempered coach and that has already been seen with his Ike Turner routine on the reporter who asked about DBs. Moreover, he has never been a HC in CFB AND he has one very large barnacle on his hull (Phil). One other thing. Not infrequently (based on my listening to interviews and reading) something happens to these players when the are absorbed into the UT FB culture. They seem to become selfish, entitled, and self-centered. So to declare ‘Jeremy Pruitt’s approach to fixing Tennessee looks like the right one’ is just another unemptied bed pan. If happiness equals expectations divided by reality O’Gara is setting the UT fanbase up for some serious funk.

    Like

  9. saildawg

    I think the RBs will benefit from better OL play. I do get worried that we may be missing some plays that Sony and Nick made out of nothing. Sony’s TD run vs GA tech comes to mind, as well as a 3rd and 6 to extend the drive early in the game. They did cover up some deficiencies in blocking from time to time. I think if the holes are there, any of the RBs can do a great job.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. OurADisAGlorifiedBoatAnchor

    Regression to the mean on injuries is the biggest thing that could stop us from winning the East. Otherwise. I don’t see where the derailer would be.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Yurdle

    Overall talent will be there, but I worry about replacing the transcendent plays we got from Roquan, Chubb, and Michel. Particularly at ILB, we are replacing a truly special player with some merely excellent options. I hope someone steps up.

    Like

  12. DawgPhan

    we’ve been more talented than every team in the east for many many recruiting cycles.

    2018 UGA will be more talented than every team on the schedule.

    Like

  13. PTC DAWG

    Yeah, all well and good, but what does PUD think?

    Like

  14. You just don’t replace guys like Chubb and Michel; at least not with backups and freshmen. There will be a drop off.

    Like

    • DawgPhan

      agreed. There are some big holes to fill.

      I do know one thing, we are unlikely to get a lot of the “we are a better team this year, last year guys might have been waiting for to make a play” comments from players this summer…at least i hope so.

      Like

    • Biggus Rickus

      Chubb replaced an irreplaceable Todd Gurley his freshman year. Swift is clearly going to be excellent, and in his limited carries, Holyfield looked very good. There’s also no reason White and Cook can’t be major contributors as freshmen. Replacing Roquan seems impossible. As good as guys like Chubb, Michel, Wynn, Bellamy and Carter were, none seems irreplaceable in terms of production. Leadership may or may not take a hit.

      Like

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