For those of you who care about such things, John McDaid, the SEC’s new Coordinator of Football Officials, does not have a Georgia Tech or Alabama education.
Daily Archives: February 3, 2020
Over at The Athletic, Max Olson ($$) has a piece up re-ranking the 2016 recruiting classes, based on the following metric:
The point system we’re using for this is no different than in past years. Much like the recruiting industry’s five-star rating metric, we’re using a basic 0-to-5 scale.
5 points: All-American, award winner, top-50 NFL draft pick
4: Multiyear starter, all-conference honors
3: One-year starter or key reserve
2: Career backup
0: Left the program, minor or no contribution
In doing the math, he includes walk-ons and transfers who joined a particular program in 2016.
I’m not going to bore you with listing out the entire piece (for what it’s worth, Georgia finished fifth with a 75% hit rate, which ain’t bad at all for a transitional class). Instead, I just wanted to mention a couple of top finishers.
As acclaimed as Alabama’s class that year was — and it’s amazing — the Tide finished second to Clemson. That class ranked 11th at the time, but finished with an astounding 96% hit rate. Say what you will about Dabo and Clemson’s scheduling, but somebody there knows how to recognize talent, maybe better than any other program in the country.
And you’ll never guess who finished third.
Adjusted average: 3.19
Hit rate: 89%
Class rank in 2016: 12th
Four-year record: 34-16
Top signees: DB C.J. Gardner-Johnson, OL Jawaan Taylor, RB Lamical Perine, LB David Reese II, DE Jachai Polite
The top two classes in this revised ranking were extremely predictable. But the No. 3 spot? Here’s a little bit of a surprise. The first full recruiting class of the Jim McElwain era ended up being way more productive than expected. The players who signed in 2016 went through a coaching change during their second year in the program, but nearly all of them stayed on board. Only three signees — Jordan Smith, McArthur Burnett and Antonneous Clayton — ended up transferring prior to graduating.
In hindsight, maybe this ranking does kind of make sense? Dan Mullen inherited a group with a lot of potential and found immediate success, winning 21 games in their first two years together. The 2017 season was an abject disaster, no question, but this class played an important role in helping get the Gators back on track. This class hasn’t had any All-Americans but did produce 16 future starters, three of whom — Taylor, Polite and Gardner-Johnson — were drafted in 2019.
Didn’t think I’d see “Mullen won with McElwain’s classes” as a valid observation, but there you are. He’s actually recruiting a little better now than McElwain did, so we’ll see how/if this continues.
Patrick Garbin takes a look at a stat.
A quarterback pressure (QBP), a statistic UGA began recording in 1998, is any pass play whereby an opposing signal-caller is, simply, pressured (i.e., hurried, hit, or sacked). In 2019, the Bulldogs totaled a staggering 248 quarterback pressures, or 17.71 per game, a program-high since the school started keeping track.
I guess we can call that the Lanning Effect. I’m not exaggerating.
Notably, Georgia’s program-high for quarterback pressures last season promptly followed a record-low of only 4.93 QBPs in 2018. What’s more, in 15 seasons from 1998-2012, only once did the Bulldogs average less than 9.00 QBPs per game (8.27 in 1999). Yet, in the six seasons which followed entering 2019 (2013-2018), only once did Georgia average more than 9.00 QBPs per game (9.62 in 2014).
Graphically, it’s even more stunning.
Pruitt and Smart didn’t emphasize quarterback pressures, in the latter’s case, at least not until now.
Check out Georgia’s defensive passer ratings from 2011 until now:
- 2011: 98.74
- 2012: 120.64
- 2013: 134.74
- 2014: 105.80
- 2015: 104.98
- 2016: 122.97
- 2017: 113.41
- 2018: 117.47
- 2019: 111.41
There simply isn’t much correlation between quarterback pressure and defensive passer rating there. The best number posted was from Grantham’s second season (hello, Jarvis Jones!), but the two lowest seasons after that came under Pruitt. It’s too early to tell if 2019 is the start of a favorable trend, but at least we can see that more pressure didn’t cause Georgia’s pass defense to suffer.
Not just for what he may bring to the table (h/t Nick)…
… but also for what it suggests about how the Dawgs have completely remade their wide receiving corps over the past two classes.
The Bulldogs now have 23 potential members for their 2020 signing class entering Wednesday’s traditional date. Georgia had 19 players sign in December’s early period, including six who chose to enroll early, and five of the 23 are receivers — McConkey, Marcus Rosemy of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Arian Smith of Lakeland, Florida, Jermaine Burton of Calabasas, California, and Justin Robinson from the Atlanta suburb of McDonough.
Georgia signed two of the nation’s top five receivers — George Pickens and Dominick Blaylock — in last year’s class, with Pickens capping his freshman season by earning Sugar Bowl MVP.
That’s an enormous talent infusion, but it also means Monken and staff have to figure out a way to make some of those young ‘uns contributors in a relatively short time frame, especially considering most of them aren’t early enrollees.
Most intriguing of all, though, to me, anyway, is how specific are the plans for McConkey.
“Georgia offered me to be a true slot guy,” McConkey said last week. “Guys that can win the one-on-one battle. I mean obviously they have guys who can win one-on-one matchups but really get in space there down in the slot and make people miss in real tight coverage.”
He’s the lowest rated recruit in the 2020 class. He doesn’t fit the physical mold that Smart has favored at the position over several classes. And yet I can’t help but wonder how much he’s expected to contribute this season by Monken, along with some of the other new kids on the block. What do you guys think?
I didn’t watch the Super Bowl last night, but this was pretty damned cool looking.
That play looks like something straight out of a Temptations onstage set, circa 1965, but its origin is actually much older than that, according to the guy who drew it up.
What are the odds some college coach picks that up and runs with it this season?