Don’t bury me, ’cause I’m not dead yet.

A few commenters here were bold enough to predict that this year’s finish in the recruiting rankings indicated something big:  that Alabama’s obscene run was over for good, Kirby being the new sheriff in town and all that.

Not so fast, my friend.  Nick is still Nick, it appears.

With Eboigbe’s commitment, Alabama separates even further from second place Oklahoma in the 2019 recruiting race. After struggling in 2018 to get as many interior lineman as Saban wanted, he’s come back with 4 commits in Eboigbe, Antonio Alfano, Rashad Cheney, and DJ Dale.

Alabama’s 2019 class sits at number on in ESPN’s recruiting ratings and in 247 Sports’, as well.  This is not to say Georgia isn’t doing well — the Dawgs sit at fourth in the former and sixth in the latter (with the highest average) — but the idea that Kirby would ruin Saban on the recruiting trail sure seems like wishful thinking at the moment.

Especially when you see something like this…

Saban is also making a statement in the state of Georgia after Kirby Smart was seen to have put a fence around the state last year. Eboigbe is the 4th Georgia player to commit to Alabama, and the 3rd in the top 15 in the state.

… and wonder if Smart’s success in 2018 may have charged up his mentor.

Saban is just a different beast and it might be wise to keep that in mind.



Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting

44 responses to “Don’t bury me, ’cause I’m not dead yet.

  1. Skeptic Dawg

    College football fans should know by now that you can not compete with Saban. The guy is a machine who he thrives on beating everyone with his seemingly unstoppable process. Sure, a team can and will top Alabama from time to time, but no one will consistently get the better of Saban. What Kirby and the Dawgs did last year was remarkable and should be celebrated. To expect to best Saban routinely in recruiting or on the field is foolish. I hate to say it, but Alabama is a monster that has earned their credibility via winning and winning under the brightest of national spotlights. We are just not as talented, nor are we as deep, nor are we as well funded. In short, everyone else is playing for second place and hoping for a miracle, or for Saban to retire.


    • Hmmm… I’m a little more optimistic. We are one class away from matching them in depth. Our o-line is in much better shape than theirs and we trail them in the D-line side.

      One more recruiting cycle and it’s on…


    • Damn, Skeptic, I wasn’t trying to send you over the deep end. 😉

      Actually, Georgia squares off pretty well against ‘Bama: every year Georgia recruits as well levels the talent playing field a little more and I would say Ching’s story shows spending isn’t the issue. Given that Kirby sits in a more talent rich state than Saban does, I wouldn’t flake out over this, just recognize that Saban ain’t going away until… well, until he goes away.


      • Anonymous

        When you equalize the talent level with Saban as it looks like Kirby is, the question then moves to who has the better coaching staff. Saban no longer has the Kiffen / Smart combo or even the Daboll / Pruitt combo. I’m not sure the Locksley / Lupoi combo is at the level of his previous coordinators. Conversely, we need Tray Scott to come through in a big way this year in terms of both recruiting and talent development. The NCG, their D-Line was the one group that really stood out as better than ours.


        • TXBaller

          Indeed. Tray Scott has not had a significant DT commit yet. I’m not ready to put him in the “Rodney Garner” overrated category yet….but dude has to step up….soon!


        • DoubleDawg1318

          That was my observation as well. Kirby has hauled in a record number of blue chippers for Georgia but the DL has been the one thin area. We need to get our own version of Payne in order to beat Bama.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Skeptic Dawg

        Senator, there is not going over the edge nor is there any flaking our going on. I just view Bama as the better and more talented program. Kirby has changed the culture of this program and the expectationsof the fan base, both of which are greatly appreciated and were sorely in need of repair. I do not doubt Kirby and his staff. However, Alabama and Saban are on another level. The depth they displayed in the national title game was scary good. Freshman RB, freshman WR, freshman OL, freshman QB…all coming off of the bench to play a large role in the title. We do not have that type of talent and depth, neither does 99% of college football teams. At the end of the day Georgia is still climbing the mountain. The Dawgs are much further along now than we were 3, 4 or 5 years ago, but we still have a ways to go before we reach the top.


        • Georgia was a play away in overtime — behind a true freshman quarterback! — from winning the national championship against that same Alabama team. What exactly are you looking for in order for that distance to shorten?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Hal Welch

            3 seconds, a blink, and at least 3 pretty shitty calls that bright Bama back otherwise Kirby and his under-talented Dawgs already had Bama beat. Not in the ropes, beat. But i digress… I love where we are. And i can not wait toy see the 2018 version of this team.

            Liked by 2 people

    • PTC DAWG

      LOL, you must have missed the game in The Benz…it looked pretty damn close to me. Bring’em on.


    • Truckin

      Bullshit. We should have won last year if not screwed by officiating. He “Saban” might still have the media and officials helping but we were the better team with a freshman qb.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yup – I did t buy into that “Kirby is the new recruiting King either”. Bama got caught recruiting last years time table like it had been in the past -closing very strong – very late.

    They have clearly learned from that mistake. I’m quite happy with where Georgia is sitting. They have fewer scholarships to give and they are being careful.

    So far – so good…


    • Argondawg

      I agree completely. Who caught Saban flat footed more than anyone? It was his protege that finished on signing day in a way that would make Saban proud if he wasn’t so pissed off. I heard “And Georgia lands another 5 star” more times in the last cycle than i had in the previous 7 or 8 years combined. Last year was magical. I have a lot of faith in this staff and it has stayed almost completely intact. Saban is gonna Saban but Kirby is not that far away from catching him talent wise.


  3. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Meh. The commentary was written by the AL folks. We can only get 25 in any given year; some recruits are going elsewhere no matter what we do. There are fewer and fewer positions where we can credibly promise early PT. Finally, it’s still June. Last year, Kirby flipped a couple of Bama ‘commits’ at the last minute last year. I’m thinking it’s a little early to crown anyone – Saban, Kirby, Dabo, etc. king just yet. I don’t know anyone that thought Saban was done, but a lot of us think that he will have to work for commits for the near future.


    • Biggus Rickus

      Exactly. It’s June. My guess is Smart will get more or less who he wants if Georgia has the kind of season everyone’s expecting. Not to mention that 18-year-olds are often fickle and we have no idea how things will look in five months.


  4. mp

    Alabama isn’t going away as long as Saban’s around. However, UGA does have 3 5-star recruits to his 1, accoring to 24/7. As DDB said above, it’s too early to say anything about definitive about any class, though. At this time last year, people were freaking out about UGA’s 2018 class.


  5. Tommy

    Um, it’s June? And didn’t we flip a few from Saban last cycle?

    This isn’t a binary choice between believing:
    A. Last year was a fluke and Saban’s dominance will be eternal
    B. We blew up the death star good simply by having a single #1 recruiting class.

    It’s a little of both and there will be plenty of back and forth for years to come.

    Things to keep in mind:
    1. At neither LSU nor Bama did Saban play for an NC in his second season. (Neither did Bryant.) Kirby just did.
    2. Kirby is the head coach of a championship calibre program for the flagship university in one of the four most talent-rich states in the country. Saban isn’t.
    3. Kirby is 42. Saban is 66. If other programs can’t hire away Saban’s genius, neither can Alabama.


    • Again, I don’t think Kirby is going away.

      I just don’t think Saban is, either.


      • Argondawg

        Hard to argue with that. I think Kirby is going to match him stride for stride. At this point in the cycle I would rather have what we have on the board more than what he has. We are way ahead of where we were last year at this time. We could very well finish 1 and 2 in recruiting this year. Kirby is every bit the competitor that Saban is and he is 25 years younger. I truly believe that Kirby is the heir apparent in the conference but the King is still sitting on the throne with no signs of slipping. Hopefully I’ve got 25+ more years to watch this play out. Suffice to say I feel as good about where we are headed as I have ever felt and that doesn’t suck.


    • 1smartdude

      Not sure we actually flipped a couple from Bama, watching the pod cast over at DawgNation the other day and they seem to think Saban actually duped us on Joeseph. Seems they took his LOI offer away from him, before he committed here. Knowing he couldn’t qualify was the reason given by those guys. That said, Kirby knows recruiting. He’s produced for years with Saban and has so far here. Expecting him to beat out Saban for the number #1 class, year after year, is probably unrealistic expectations. There have been quite a few combined coaching staffs that haven’t been able to stop them, much less putting those expectations on one staff. Consistently in top recruiting classes is all that’s required. Coach them up and take advantage when your opportunity is there. Done that with the SEC Title last year and missed in the last game. We’re not guaranteed those shots, even with a string of recruiting classes. Kirby’s biggest responsibility right now is getting those same recruits to grab those chances.


      • Cojones

        My opinion is the Al talk bs about Joseph is just that – bs.
        He is a Dawg much to their chagrin and we weren’t surprised since we knew his status as well. His entry into UGA will not lose him any time at all since he was to be red-shirted anyway. Sour grapes on their part.

        Agree with the remainder of your post.

        Liked by 1 person


    This won’t be over for a while, seeing kids sign from Georgia really hasn’t ever bothered me, we just can’t sign them all…and they are a LOT of FBS kids in Georgia.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Brandon

    That was a ridiculous idea anyway, a lot of people get carried away with their opinions fairly easily. It’s usually the same people who declare that we will go 6-6 if we don’t beat South Carolina in early September.


  8. ApalachDawg

    Nick Saban is a good coach
    The REC makes Saban look like a football god
    Alabama has been committed to the cause longer than we have
    Kirby is a good coach
    The UGA version of the rec and our beloved talent rich state will make Kirby a football god far superior to those red necks to the left of us
    They stepped up the money laundering machine and we will do the same
    This is just getting started but we will overtake them
    UGA money is behind Kirby
    The days of UGA being all holier than thou and accepting moral victories are over
    This era of UGA football is the barn and bammers worst nightmare – we have deeper pockets and more homegrown talent to spend it on
    Just like Wyatt Earp said – you called down the thunder and now hell is coming with me.


  9. Uglydawg

    Both schools are and will be recruiting on the highest level. It will eventually come down to, (if it hasn’t already) which school has the best coaching staff. ….who has the best field/game day coaching. Georgia was eating Alabama’s lunch until the refs stepped in. Saban, put in Tua out of desperation and it was either going to back fire on him or he’d get a miracle. He got the miracle, but it ranks right up there with ‘Kick-6″ and the “Miracle on the Plain” and Tennessee’s “Hail Mary” as a golden horseshoe finish. These two teams are very close to being even and it’s going to come down to coaching and reffing in future match ups..of which i hope there will be one soon.
    I think Georgia’s running game coupled with an improved receiving corps will be more than Alabama can handle. Tua or whatever his name is, is a dangerous ball slinger who will have a downside that is going to bite Alabama hard sooner or later.


  10. Bright Idea

    Saban never had to overcome a regime like Adams’ on his own campus. Unless Kirby encounters a similar roadblock, let’s hope not, there’s no reason he can’t compete regularly with Saban. I just hope his staff doesn’t turn into the revolving door that Saban’s has been. Few assistants can survive long term working for head coaches who never sleep.


  11. Saban is like 80 and a multi-millionaire,. we’re gonna run his hillbilly ass out of the SEC just like we did the old ball sack. Put 50 on Saban and he’ll quit just like SOS did. The path is clear…. walk it. We just need to make sure Saban, a man who doesn’t have time for this shit , is subjected to more shit (like getting his team embarrassed) than he has either the time or inclination to put up with . Satan retires before 2020.


  12. Russ

    Good conversation fodder for June, but I’m looking forward to the third week in December. We should have our second consecutive SECC at that point. We’ll see how that helps our closing in recruiting.


  13. S

    I’m not concerned yet, as it’s just June. If we get whipped on both signing days, then I’ll get concerned. There was a lot of panic this time last year, if I remember correctly.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. TMC DAWG

    Beating them on the field is the key beating them in recruiting. This year is not over in recruiting. But we must restock the de line to keep up with them. Beat them and things WILL start to go aganist Saban.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Derek

    In fairness all four GA kids going to Bama are at a position that we’re pretty loaded at and they’re young. With Beal, Cox, Nolan Smith, Anderson, quay Walker, Otis Reese, Ojulari, and Walter Grant in the fold we’re loaded at that position and the guys we’ve got are better than those 4 Saban commits.

    Not at all shocked that we’re seeing somewhat of an exodus at that position.

    Liked by 1 person

    • artful codger

      Rashad Cheney would have made a nice ‘get’ for Tray Scott to get the ball rolling … 13th ranked DT from Ellenwood

      Liked by 1 person

      • Derek

        It’s THE area of concern. Unfortunately, it’s a bad recruiting year for them in state. No Trent Thompsons or Derrick Browns in this years class. I’ll assume we can load up in 2020.


  16. W Cobb Dawg

    As I tell younguns looking to supplant me in business, ‘Good luck, I have a 25 year head start’. Saban has a big lead, but that gap is closing very fast.

    From my viewpoint I’d say saban, or more accurately bama, has more to worry about than UGA – due to saban’s age.

    Kirby’s doing just fine on the recruiting front, thank you. Expect to see us in the top 3 after the dust settles on signing day.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Macallanlover

    Too many treat the specific rankings as if it were science, with absolute measurements to project the productivity of half developed teenagers, often playing against badly overmatched HS players. This isn’t to say there isn’t a correlation between top classes and winning records, there clearly is, but the difference between number four and five, or one and three is minute. If not, Bama would never have lost the last several years. But they have, and also struggled in times when they pulled a game out.

    I can be very happy if UGA stays near the top in recruiting classes, say Top 7. I would rather have the needs met to keep us with quality depth than oversigning at a position where we already have depth and falling short at another. I will trust Kirby’s evaluation of talent over the recruiting geeks’ ranking. And I think Kirby’s relationship with Georgia HS coaches will lead him to the better players in regards to both talent and character, more so than even Saban can overcome.

    No, we haven’t caught up with Bama yet in the talent area, but the gap was slim last year, it will be even slimmer this year. Yet we outplayed them on January 8. You just need to be close. Clemson, ohio, AU, Ole Miss, and A&M have all beaten Bama recently, none of them were closer in talent than we are. I respect Bama, Saban, and what they have done, but I am not in awe. Those footsteps the Tiders are hearing are ours. It might not be this year, but it could bem and it certainly will be very soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Cojones

    You can’t sneeze at 10 players collectively ranked #5. Smart’s word is “patience” and we should share with him.

    Last year I sounded the alarm around April-May as to a falloff in recruiting and then Kirby’s team picked it up and put a great class into the barn in early Dec. My patience was not Kirby’s idea of patience and since we pay them to do this recruiting, I’ll go along with whatever he feels he needs.

    Despite the fact that many Georgia players ranked in the 4-5 range are going out of state (not just to ‘Bama) , those players wouldn’t see much time playing at their positions where we are now flush so we aren’t catching the tail of the recruiting heap as of yet. There are players that I consider “lynchpin” in position recruiting and the only loss in that category is Pappoe at DT. He would have finished a great DT pairing for the next class and I see him as the only loss of consequence thus far in recruiting. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t mind at least one more fast-ass WR in this class, but that’s an opinion and doesn’t have crap to do with the way UGA recruits..

    Liked by 1 person

  19. The other Doug

    I agree that Saban isn’t going quietly and I think Smart has showed that he can recruit on Saban’s level. So, if both of these guys are going to get theirs, who is getting the short end?


    • ASEF

      Exactly. Smart isn’t drying up Saban’s well. I wonder how Auburn is going to handle Georgia and Alabama operating at a peak. If Taggart gets FSU rolling, Auburn could be looking at some awfully lean years.


  20. kckd

    I’m not sure how many they plan to sign, but they are taking a lot of early commits compared to other years. They still don’t have a five star in Rivals recruiting rankings, don’t know about the others. They have one high 4 star (6.0 just under the 6.1 rating a five star gets) Those guys will have to move up the rankings or Bama will have to add a lot more top end guys to make this class what others have been. I still think we have a great chance to beat them out in the end.


  21. artful codger

    need to put that fence up a bunch higher around Gwinnett County