Fishing in a better stocked pond

In today’s Mailbag ($$), Stewart Mandel makes a good point about Kirby’s impressive recruiting success in comparison to what came before:

As for Georgia as a sleeping giant, it’s worth noting that the talent pool in its state has noticeably risen over the past decade-plus, mirroring Atlanta’s dramatic population growth. In 2008, the state of Georgia produced 24 players rated four-stars or higher on 247Sports. There are currently 40 in the class of 2019. While there are inevitable ups and downs in any state from one year to the next, that’s a pretty dramatic shift. And it helps explain why Smart is in better position to put together Alabama-esque classes than any Georgia coach before him.

Sure, you still have to get out there and land them.  Still, it’s nice to be the in state program where the state is cranking out more and more studs every year.

How much worse does this make Paul Johnson’s recruiting look, by the way?

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40 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

40 responses to “Fishing in a better stocked pond

  1. And if you look at 247’s top 10 in the state, we’re not getting them all… But the pool is so deep, we do not have to. With that said, I really do believe that if we have as strong of a season as most of us think, that the 2020 class and above will be an even higher percentage of top players in the state – staying home…

    Like

    • Otto

      Agree you don’t have and further you can’t get all of the in state top talent but UGA has recruited well in neighboring states especially the Carolinas and Florida which is even more talent rich. UGA will constantly face kids who are transplants wanting to go back home but again the pool is so deep. UGA has also snagged kids out of the Northeast dating back to Butts’ good teams in the 40s. Swift and Moreno continue that legacy

      A good head coach should regularly have UGA in the top 5 classes. If UGA is undersigning or out talented , the head coach should be rethinking their recruiting strategy.

      Like

  2. Biggus Rickus

    Out of curiosity, I decided to check the overall number of four stars and higher in 2008. There were 332 that year vs. 366 in 2019. There were 376 in 2018. So some of it may be the population boom, but some of it is also more training and exposure of recruits at camps and what not. There could arguably be some inflation going on, too.

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    • DawgPhan

      you should have done a per captia comparison if you wanted to dismiss the population increase as the driver.

      Like

      • Biggus Rickus

        I only spent two minutes on it. But the total population of Georgia increased from 9.7 million in 2008 to 10.5 million in 2017 (the most recent I could find). I think it’s a stretch to attribute a doubling of highly ranked recruits to it.

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        • Sides

          I looked at the same thing. The star rating increase was approx 67% while population increase was 11%. Maybe if you calculated greater ATL pop increase it would be more in line but there are probably other factors than population growth.

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          • Sides, curious about your perspective on the “cannon shot” post from one of your fellow fans. Not trying to troll you, I would like to read what you think.

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            • Sides

              I don’t really think much about it. I just consider it a fan smack talk blog post. I am surprised a reputable blog (oxymoron?) like this would stoop to posting message board comments from random idiots on the web :).

              I do think some of Uga’s recruiting rankings are overrated. This post about increase in star rankings vs pop growth illustrate it. I have also read a few things about NFL players per state per capita that make me think the star ratings on the state of Georgia recruits are overstated.

              For instance, Georgia has approx. 10 million people and SC has 5. Georgia has about 2x the number of NFL players as SC:

              https://www.cleveland.com/datacentral/index.ssf/2016/09/which_states_produce_the_most.html

              Yet Georgia has over 8x the number of blue chip recruits as SC:

              https://www.sbnation.com/college-football-recruiting/2016/6/28/12040586/rankings-state-stars-florida-texas-california

              Something doesn’t add up. With all that said, I am more concerned with Clemson recruiting than Georgia recruiting. If there was any ‘cannon shot’ hopefully it was Josh Belk leaving Clemson for SC. SC has done well with top state of SC talent under Muschamp.

              Like

              • I am surprised a reputable blog (oxymoron?) like this would stoop to posting message board comments from random idiots on the web :).

                “We’re gonna keep doing this sketch. Y’know why? Because it’s funny. And in my business, you never cut funny.”
                —King Kaiser, My Favorite Year

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          • Uglydawg

            Maybe this explains some of it.
            As more and more schools grow into higher HS classifications, more kids get looked at. They have been there all along but “classification graded” due to less exposure and a tendency for recruiting services and collages to overlook them. There are exceptions (see Hershel Walker our of Class A Wrightsville, Ga.)..but a lot of kids have been overlooked…that’s how some coaches find that hidden nugget…they look where other’s have overlooked. When a coach has a weekend to watch HS football games and make visits, his time is better spent in Gwinnett or Cobb VS Telfair or Putnam Counties.
            Growth means schools move up and get attention.

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        • DawgPhan

          why would you assume that blue chip talent is even distributed across the state?

          You might want to look at the programs that are actually producing that talent.

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          • Biggus Rickus

            I don’t assume it’s evenly distributed. I do think there’s more to the number of four and rive star recruits than population growth, though. A thorough analysis would look at regional population and demographic growth. I’m not going to take the time to do all of that. I don’t really care what the exact ratio of population growth to player development to exposure to inflation is. It’s enough for me to know that citing population growth alone is simplistic and lazy.

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    • Bulldog Joe

      Georgia won two postseason games.
      Kennesaw State won two postseason games.
      Georgia State won a postseason game.

      The north Georgia talent pool appears to be raising all boats.

      Wait…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. James Stephenson

    We should all send thank you cards to CPJ. And wish him well, except against UGA.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Comin' Down The Track

    How much worse does this make Paul Johnson’s recruiting look, by the way?
    Is there a bottom to this question? I guess we might find out eventually. They really do deserve each other. 😉

    Like

    • truck

      There doesn’t appear to be anything in nature that doesn’t make Tech’s recruiting look bad.

      Liked by 1 person

    • stoopnagle

      Let the hate flow through you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Bulldog Joe

      The correct answer is: “Not worse enough.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Uglydawg

      I think CPJ has found an offensive system that lets him relax and recruit players with a little different physical build and skill set (and mind-set..see Reggie Ball, GT QB). This is old news..but it allows him to be…..relaxed (I don’t want to call the man lazy) when it comes to recruiting.
      But he can’t do that with his defense…A coach can determine if he wants to run an oddball offensive scheme and get away with it. But the teams he plays determines the kind of defense he needs. This is where CPJ is not making ends meet.

      Like

    • thickdawg

      “Paul Johnson’s recruiting”
      Those three words together in that order just sounds wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Bright Idea

    Kirby is clearly not depending solely on in-state talent. He’s going after the creme no matter where they’re from, guys your wife could pick out on a game film. (Oops, sexist comment!) I wonder when somebody will start to criticize him for bypassing Georgia kids for out-of-state ones. It won’t be me.

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    • ApalachDawg

      As long as he wins, it won’t matter where they come from.
      I’m just glad to see that we now have an aggressive recruiting strategy/philosophy for ALL positions on a football team.

      Like

      • Macallanlover

        And I am not opposed to that as a direction, as some UGA fans are. I don’t care where they come from, get the best talent that fulfills your needs, regardless of state where they grow up. As a native born Georgian, I get the pride of keeping Georgia talent home. But that is impossible due to the in-state depth of talent, and scholarship limitations.

        My preference is to see young men who grew up Georgia fans and, logically, would lay it all out for old State U, but there are too many examples of recent success stories (Gurley, Stafford, Michel, Murray, Green, Swift, etc.) to hang onto that theory when there are better players of need willing to leave their home state to contribute in Athens. I trust Kirby and staff to make those calls and continue what they are doing. Who could possibly complain given the last 2 1/2 recruiting classes and on-the-field results? Drive time from home is a bigger factor than where a mythical line is drawn on a map anyway.

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    • Scott

      Sorry if this was asked and answered, but did anyone compare the total number of 4/5 stars graded in total (US) 2008 vs 2019 by the recruiting services? I’m wondering if there is a trend above and beyond the state of Georgia to award more blue chip ratings now versus the past….

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  6. Hal Welch

    Maybe I’m looking at this wrong, but after The Montana Project and several other things out of Stewart’s musings… I just see this as another way to dis at Georgia. “Well I mean they’re successful now, but look at how many people moved there in the last decade,”. I’m not saying there isn’t some truth to it. But I bet the population stats for Birmingham, Knoxville, Columbus and Orlando have all swollen as well.

    In specific, Mandel has now gone from being one of the media members pushing the narrative “why can’t Georgia win” as a reason to fire Richt to “well no wander they’re winning, look at the population explosion”. It’s disingenuous at best and ignorant at worst.

    I bet if anyone spent the time looking at analytics they’d find that there are simply more 4 and 5 star players out there. Probably because the players are working harder, the recruiting services have more resources and are working harder. Nike Camps, Under Armour Camps, Trent Dilfer, the Elite 11… everyone is trying to produce more talent. I feel confident metro Atlanta isn’t the only place that has seen a significant increase in star power.

    He just can’t stand admitting the UGA is a national power and frankly should have always been.

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    • It’s behind a paywall, so I didn’t want to quote too much, but Mandel definitely wasn’t dissing Kirby or Georgia’s recruiting: “…Kirby Smart has unquestionably upgraded Georgia into a recruiting behemoth.”

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    • Godawg

      The media tends to lump any recruit from Georgia as being from the Atlanta area, I re-watched the Rose Bowl over the weekend and Chris Fowler said Jake Fromm was from “Warner Robins, a suburb of Atlanta.” Gee, I know the Metro area continues to expand, but dayam!

      Have Montezuma (Smith), Homerville (Marshall), Thomaston (Walker), Brunswick (McClendon) and Savannah (Robinson) experienced massive population growth as well?

      Like

  7. Whiskeydawg

    Paul who……..

    Like

  8. pantslesspatdye

    Senator, do double money sites $$ cost more than single sites $? I didn’t know if this worked like restaurant reviews.

    Like

  9. DawgPhan

    not sure why everyone is digging in their heels about Atlanta growing and having more blue chip recruits is actually not true.

    Like

  10. D.N. Nation

    Let’s check in on StingTalk’s take!

    “No football player going to ‘u’ga is gonna qualify to play for us. mutt players are ööööing idiots. the place is a ööööhole factory that’ll let ’em take stupid-ass’d majors like ‘women’s studies’ or some bullshit like that. The mutt admin only cares about winning football games and not a damn about the athlete.”

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    • Uglydawg

      Never mind that GT has scarfed up UGA transfers on several occasions. But we’re dealing with a desperate fan-base when we check out ST.

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      • gt football is irrelevant and its pathetic / shrinking fan base knows it. Thus they are lashing out at the UGA football program with their tired worn out excuses. However the gt student and alumni population at comic-con is growing stronger every year. So there is always that I suppose.

        Like

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