“The Fertile Soil of Georgia”

You’ll enjoy this deep dive into our state’s recruiting numbers as much for seeing the extent of Georgia Tech’s futility as for Georgia’s prowess.  This, for example, is simply delicious.

Georgia Tech has recruited a grand total of one Georgia Blue Chipper over the past four recruiting classes, which puts it behind Miami, UNC, NC State, and Duke (!) among ACC rivals. While GT’s rigorous academics focus certainly present a recruiting challenge, it is hard to view this performance as anything other than disastrous for a program located smack dab in the middle of Atlanta. Whether it is the academic challenges, Paul Johnson’s cantankerous personality, or the flexbone not resonating with highly acclaimed recruits, something is seriously wrong there.

The genius made a living off Gailey’s last, excellent recruiting class, ranked 15th nationally.  Under his watch, Tech’s classes have averaged 51st.  This, in a state that is producing prodigious amounts of high school talent.

Georgia consistently produces the fourth most recruits after the “Big Three” (Texas, Florida, and California), both in total FBS recruits and Blue Chip talent. It also ranks second to only Louisiana in per capita production of recruits (or third, if you include the District of Columbia), making Gerogia one of the most fertile recruiting grounds in all of college football.

It is also an interesting state to consider because the most prolific exporter of Blue Chip talent, with only two Power 5 programs located in the state (versus five, four, and three in Texas, California, and Florida, respectively), only one of whom is consistently successful in attracting Blue Chip talent in meaningful quantities.

Recruits from Georgia account for 8% of the total in my 13 year (2006-2018) set of Blue Chip recruits, with their numbers rising fairly steadily over time.

If Paul Johnson didn’t exist, we’d have to invent him.

36 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Recruiting

36 responses to ““The Fertile Soil of Georgia”

  1. Greg

    “with only two Power 5 programs located in the state (versus five, four, and three in Texas, California, and Florida, respectively),

    It seems like nobody ever mentions the schools we have sitting of our borders. What is it, 6 or 7 major programs within an hour or two drive (borders)?? That makes it tougher, but still no real excuse for GT…hope it continues that way.

    Tough to get them all (blue chippers), at least that use to be my excuse for Richt…..but boy, is Smart ever proving that wrong (most all).

    Amazing how many players come from Georgia, but it is the south where it is a religion. It seems like it has always been that way….good article.

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    • Macallanlover

      Yeah, I get tired of the “only two teams in Georgia”, as if there is a border wall preventing Bama, AU, FSU, FU, Clemson, SC, TN (and more) from driving less than 1 to 5 hours away and attracting recruits and their families with the short drive to see games. Anyone who has ever driven around Texas can easily see how that geography is more protected than Georgia, even with a couple more top teams fighting for talent. And how many major powers are located in Ohio, which is pretty deep with HS talent. Some of these writers have never left their home areas to see how the world actually operates.

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      • Greg

        Can remember growing up in south Georgia when scouts would visit spring training. I would see FSU, Auburn, Southern Miss and a few others…..but NEVER Georgia, the school most wanted to go. That has changed…

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      • Otto

        Agreed it is a shorter drive from Metro Atlanta to Auburn than Miami to Gainesville

        Further it takes about the same time to get from Atlanta to Gainesville as Miami to Gainesville and talent rich South Georgia is often closer to FSU, UF, and Auburn than UGA.

        However, UGA is still in a very good spot and I would take UGA’s natural access to talent over all but a handful of schools

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      • RandallPinkFloyd

        We should build that border wall…and make the surrounding states pay for it.

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      • Erk's Forehead

        Agreed on all but Tennessee & Carolina. Carolina will always be Carolina. The annual fluff of SCe is always too soon. If Kirby holds down the best recruits in GA, Tennessee will never return to relevance. There are no good recruits in Tennessee. Maybe in Memphis. But that might as well be Texas.

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      • Bulldog Joe

        Looking at the numbers, it’s easy to see how they all (except SC so far) made their national titles runs at our expense.

        Tennessee won theirs earlier by beating Donnan and Goff for in-state blue chips.

        Good to see Georgia finally leaning more on competitive recruiting budgets, facilities, and efforts and less on the empty arrogance of The Georgia Way in its recruiting program.

        At least the sleeping giant was finally shamed enough into waking up and competing.

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    • ASEF

      The full article mentions Clemson and FSU specifically in that context, as well as Auburn within the SEC. It’s in there.

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    • PTC DAWG

      Honestly, IF GT could pull a few recruits from UT/Clemmons/FSU/AU/BAMA/Carolina, it might make UGA’s job a little easier. But hell not…they got to suck. Which is OK, but doesn’t help my point.

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  2. AusDawg85

    If we stopped playing Tech, who would we have to mock? Reason enough to keep them on the schedule.

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  3. DC Weez

    I love Georgia Tech, how about you! Long live the Fish Fry!

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  4. Kdawg

    People need to realize that the Yech game is going nowhere. The game needs Clean Old Fashion Hate game every year.

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  5. Go Dawgs!

    The other day a few friends and I were discussing some of those games with Joe Hamilton and George O’Leary at Tech, and I’ve gotten to the point that I can’t really remember Georgia Tech running anything even resembling a pro set or I-formation offense. Fish Fry has been there so long that his offense has bled over into my memory onto Chan Gailey and George O’Leary’s years. It’s hilarious.

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  6. The Quincy Carter of Accountants

    The triple option is awesome, and when well executed is a joy to behold! Who’s with me!?!?

    /Looks around…damn it.

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    • David Chadwick

      I actually think it is. As someone who played against option teams, I can say they are extremely difficult to defend. The rub is that it is just as difficult to recruit kids that want to play in it. The NFL doesn’t use it, so better players avoid it. It doesn’t enhance the skill set the NFL values. CPJ is a blessing to UGA. I can’t imagine dropping GT from the schedule. In this day and age it’s an almost sure-fire P5 win.

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  7. Russ

    I didn’t realize Tech increased their academic standards so much after Chan the Man left. I mean, that’s what I read on Stingtalk so it must be true, amirite?

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    • Otto

      GT isn’t any more difficult, the Genius just isn’t as likable as Chan.

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    • Bulldog Joe

      After Jan Kemp, we, too, used the same academic standards excuse for decades of recruiting underachievement.

      Thankfully, those who were most responsible for furthering that narrative are no longer working for the University of Georgia.

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  8. CPark58

    I get that he is a dickhead and doesn’t care to recruit but Paul Johnson is not a bad coach. That high school offense he runs is the only one I can think of where the Xs and Os actually does a decent job negating the Jimmy’s and Joe’s with reasonable success.

    He still has a better record against us(2-2) as we do against Florida(1-3) over the last 4 years despite fielding a JV team. Even if you go back to 2008 he is 3-7 against us vs our 4-6 against UF with a much smaller margin of loss. In the 20 before he got at Tech, UGA was 15-5 against them.

    Yea, what an idiot and what a crappy, ineffective offense.

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    • PTC DAWG

      Ba….3-7 isn’t far from being 2-8 and there’s your 5-15 all over again.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Argondawg

      Yeah cuz we wouldn’t burn the northern part of the state down if Tech beat us 70% of the time. I can’t even figure out what the hell your point is.

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      • CPark58

        My point is we are historically much better than tech, not just Paul Johnson’s tech. With the talent disparity what it is and the programs what they are, I’d much rather UGA face pretty much any traditional coach than FishFry.

        It’s fair to say that the lack of talent is of his own making but I never understood how easily people can dismiss the guy as a joke either.

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    • 81Dog

      what do you think the odds are UGA turns it around against Florida before Fish Fry turns it around against UGA? He’s one missed tackle (or one less pick 6) and one stupid short kick from being 1-9. His margin for being 30% instead of 10% is razor thin.

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      • CPark58

        True but by that logic a 2OT game that went our way, a 13-7 snoozer win that could have been lost on a missed tackle, and even the WeRunThisState game we seemed to dominate was a only a one score game with a lot of time left in the 4th all could have gone the other way. Even the game after the WRTS game wasn’t sealed until very end if you remember.
        We got pantsed repeatedly in Jacksonville with similar talent but I never felt like we were a joke (though Florida fans might’ve felt differently.) However, since Paul Johnson got to tech that game makes me nervous even though on paper we should destroy them.

        That said, they are the ideal rival, it’s USUALLY a dramatic game that we rarely lose.

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        • 81Dog

          You could have just stopped at “true.”

          PJ only beat us when we beat ourselves. Florida beat us in the Spurrier/Irvin M era like we stole something many times, but if last year was any indication, they are probably done rolling us. So, we may go 50/50 or better with Florida, but PJ will be lucky to maintain his stellar. 300 winning percentage (. 000 in Atlanta, where GTU is 0 for the 21st century). Just my opinion, of course.

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          • Cpark58

            I don’t think Florida is going to roll us in the foreseeable future either nor did I say they would just like I never said his record is “stellar”. All I was saying is we had comparable talent to UF for years and got hammered anyway but in contrast when you consider the huge talent gap, the basis of the post, I think Tech’s performance, not just wins, under Paul Johnson against us is very respectable and not just the work of an incompetent boob like he’s made out to be.

            It’s ok if you don’t agree that’s just my take.

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    • ASEF

      It’s a golden age in the SEC and ACC right now, and Tech is plopped in the heart of a recruiting engine that has helped propel Georgia, Auburn, Clemson, FSU, and Alabama to just about every championship game in the past decade. 13 out of 20 possible spots belong to that group. That’s insane.

      Equally insane: Tech basically sitting the whole thing out. One Orange Bowl appearance surrounded by a whole lot of “ended year unranked.”

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      • Got Cowdog

        Don’t forget Mark Richt’s evil twin resides in the ACC. If CMR had a vice it was putting it to the tecchies and their leader(s) with intent. I am not a Miami fan, but CMR owns tech and I hope it stays that way.

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  9. TomReagan

    Every time I look at a map like that interactive one in the piece I think about how much wasted talent there is in Macon, Augusta, and Savannah. If those towns had decent public schools things would be even better by a decent bit.

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  10. W Cobb Dawg

    Gotta say I’m impressed with Kirby’s ability to keep in-state talent. He puts up one helluva fight. We’ve got recruits tossing ut hats, jumping ship on Harbaugh at the last minute, and even turning down saban schollies!

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  11. South FL Dawg

    30 years from now good ol’ Paul Johnson will still be leading them to 6-6

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