Here’s an observation from Jeff Sentell’s look at the recruiting class Georgia just signed:
Senior film now matters a great deal: This class validates what Smart said at SEC Media Days prior to the 2019 season. He felt that Georgia, along with Alabama in his time there, didn’t take into account a prospect’s senior season during the final evaluations for those players. It was a chief reason why the Bulldogs announced signings from 3-stars in OL Austin Blaske, DB Daran Branch, OL Cameron Kinnie, WR Ladd McConkey and OL Devin Willock. Don’t believe that? Consider for a second that Georgia waited until December of their senior years to offer all of those guys save for Willock. When Willock’s offer became committable in the week leading up to the early signing day, he quickly de-committed from Penn State and sought to join the next class in Athens.
Now, one year doth not a trend make, but I find that interesting, nonetheless — especially in light of Smart’s decision to release Zachary Evans from his LOI.
This is the kind of decision making process you can engage in when you have a huge staff of analysts you can rely on for a deep dive on a recruiting class. It also helps to be doing so from a position of strength with regard to roster depth and quality of existing commitments/signees, which gives you more room to pick and choose players unearthed by your staff who may not get the same love from the recruiting services.
Again, who knows if this will be the story going forward, but I am curious to see how many of these three-star kids wind up panning out for Smart over the next few seasons.