Kirby don’t need no stinking wall.

Ian Boyd makes an interesting point in his post about 2020 recruiting.

Paul notes that the biggest schools in the SEC are now pursuing a national recruiting strategy, which has a bunch of second order effects. Instead of being content with a bunch of local 3/4-stars, LSU, Alabama, or Georgia will go into New Jersey, Texas, or California to have a shot at getting more blue chip 4/5 stars. Consequently, the extremely talent-rich South has some high 3/4-star recruits available to the rest of the SEC or whomever is positioned to clean up (generally the rest of the SEC).

He observes that with the change of emphasis at the top programs, lower tier SEC schools are signing better classes than lower tier Big 12 and Big Ten teams, but you know which other school I think stands to benefit greatly from that?  Georgia Tech.

Geoff Collins can make a good living signing three- and four-star in state recruits who aren’t being swept up by Kirby Smart’s program.  I think he’s shrewd enough to realize that, too.

There is some irony to that.  A decade ago, it was Georgia Tech that was trying to sign nationally, purportedly because it had to cast a wider net due to academics.  Now the situation is reversed — Kirby’s chasing kids all over the map and the Jackets are happily looking to sign talented local kids.  Or at least they should be.


Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Recruiting

36 responses to “Kirby don’t need no stinking wall.

  1. Will (the other one)

    I thought this was interesting too, especially in light of Monken coming aboard and the Dawgs likely starting a transfer QB who’ll be paired with several 4- and 5-star WRs (most of whom don’t have a ton of experience):

    “Running a pass-first system actually lends itself to the portal, because if your offense starts to come down to isolating a few WRs in space and protecting your QB to get them the ball then a single offseason is often enough to build the necessary chemistry between thrower and catcher if you have a savvy distributor as your trigger-man.

    Teams that aren’t running these sorts of spread passing systems are going to be at a major disadvantage in the portal wars in trying to nab top pass-catchers or grad transfer OL/QBs.”


  2. Diving Duck

    Yep. See Jahmyr Gibbs. Tech’s highest rated recruit in years would have likely been a Dawg a few years ago.


  3. Greg

    Been saying that for a year or so (potentially). Hope we ain’t leaving the gate open.

    Oh well, guess we can’t get’em all. But I certainly would like to see more Georgia boyz.


  4. PDawg

    Tech might get a few, but I think the biggest beneficiaries will be Tennessee, awbarn, and south Carolina


    • 81Dog

      Everyone comes here looking for players. We can’t ever sign all in the in-state guys who can play, but if we are signing OoS players who are better, so be it. Kirby wants to win it all, he’s shown he’s a pretty good talent evaluator, let it roll.

      Maybe we only beat Tech 52-17 in a couple of years. It it what it is. 😀


      • Greg

        agree, but if all things are given even…..would rather have an in-state player.

        Recruiting is at an all-time high, never seen it this good. Don’t think anybody in their right mind could complain about recruiting. It will never be perfect, but we are doing just better than most all…if not ALL.


  5. jtp03

    The academics requirements must have lessened a little bit on the flats

    Back to taking classes during the week at AUC and showing up saturday at Bobby Dodd.


    • Milledge Hall

      I doubt they’ve been lessened much.
      Pepper Rogers and Bill Curry were engineering GENIUSES!!!


    • The other Doug

      I toured recently with my daughter, and it sounds like they have a lot more non-engineering degrees that don’t require calculus.


  6. Former Fan

    Wonder how much that will change if and when USC is relevant again.


  7. rchris

    If a Georgia kid is a lesser talent than the national kid, then of course sign nationally. If the two kids are equal in talent, however, sign the Georgia one. Why? First, you deny the local guy to Auburn, Tech, and the SEC East. They may not be able to out recruit OSU, Okla., Oregon etc. for the national one. Second, if depth chart or other issues crop up down the line, the local guy is less likely to jump into the portal. Third, the local guy is more likely to be able to help with a future recruit than the national one, unless the national guy comes from a powerhouse program. Lastly, the local guy is more likely to feel ownership in the program than the national one, thus more likely to come back after graduation and help build the school’s brand.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely none of your comments applied in the case of Justin Fields. Given the TV explosion of the last 10-15 years, players are wed to playing for a school in the state.


      • rchris

        Quarterback is the one position where loyalty might not keep them off the portal (and I said likely, in any case), given that usually the 2nd string guy plays very little. I would note that neither Auburn, Tech, or the SEC East got him, so there’s that. Also, Kirby’s relationship with the Harrison coaches may be a little improved by signing him.


        • I imagine Kirby’s player evaluation model takes into account location, but I bet it doesn’t mean a lot. If a Georgia kid is ranked just below an out-of-state kid, I want Kirby to recruit both of them and whoever commits first gets the spot.

          If Kirby knew the Fields family was going to force Justin to leave if he didn’t win the starting job, I don’t imagine Kirby would have gone all in to sign him.


          • dawgman3000

            “If Kirby knew the Fields family was going to force Justin to leave if he didn’t win the starting job, I don’t imagine Kirby would have gone all in to sign him.”

            Curious of the proof you have that it went down the way you’ve stated above.


  8. Sweet D

    I think the character component is what leads Kirby to look nation wide, at this stage anyway. Talent shouldn’t be the only criteria. Chemistry and avoiding knuckleheads seems to be the name of the game IMO.


  9. practicaldawg

    I’ll believe these second order effects when I see them. I can believe other SEC schools might pick up an extra 3* or 4* here and there, but much of the ACC is also in the south, and the non-Clemson ACC remains horrifically bad. And any gains some schools like UF may be making with 3 or 4 star players are coming at the expense of losing all of their state’s top talent to UGA, Alabama, and Clemson.


  10. TN Dawg

    We lost a 5 star in our state to each Clemson, Alabama and LSU.

    I think what most people meant by building a fence was that the top talent in state should stay at home, not necessarily that nobody else would ever sign a three star from Georgia.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Macallanlover

    That is where I am as well, tech will always get some 3 stars, and an occasional 4 star player who is confused about decision making, but that has been true since the 70s. Do they get an extra guy or two most years because of UGA broadening its scope? Probably, but does that make any real difference? I say not, gt simply isn’t relevant any more, and not close to becoming relevant. The beneficiaries will be the TNs, SCs, etc., that do not have a lot to sell other than playing time, and playing in the SEC, but aren’t 8-10 hour drives either.

    It doesn’t matter that Collins has more opportunities, he is still in a losing program with little fan support, or media attention. And he is also located in Atlanta, not exactly a college environment, or that attractive either.


  12. sniffer

    This article speaks to what we know to be happening with the current top programs getting to and staying at the top. The likely change in this orbit is whether the head coach stays long term. Saban will be moving on soon enough and I believe Oklahoma will be needing a head coach one day soon. UGA is positioned nicely here and should benefit from Kirby being HC for many years.


  13. TN Dawg

    I think it’s pretty easy to identify who the beneficiaries are.

    Out of the top 25 ranked prospects in Georgia:

    Clemson signed 3 (1 5-star, 2 4-star)
    LSU signed 3 (1 5-star, 2 4-star)
    Alabama signed 3 (1 5-star, 2 4-star)
    Auburn signed 6 (6 4-star)
    Tennessee signed 3 (3 4-star)
    Tech signed 1 (4-star)

    Georgia signed 3 (1 5-star, 2 4-star)

    There is no denying Kirby is a great recruiter and has put together great recruiting classes.

    But I think it’s kind of wishful thinking to say that we intentionally passed over local talent because there was better talent elsewhere, unless you want to take the perspective that Saban, Dabo and Orgeron aren’t good talent evaluators and don’t know what they are doing.

    Our three principal competitors recruited the state as well as we did.

    2 of our 3 second-tier competitors (Auburn and Tennessee) recruited the state nearly as well as we did.

    Having lived in Tennessee for many years and studying the Vowels program, I have watched the pitfalls of when national recruiting goes sour on you. When the shine goes off the penny, things can go south very quickly.

    It’s troubling to me, but it’s just one man’s opinion.


    • W Cobb Dawg

      Great point. Not signing players like Gilbert or Murphy gets in the craw of every Dawg. And missing on Derrick Brown may have cost Kirby a championship. But considering nobody is going to out-work Kirby on the recruiting front, at the end of the day I guess its just a fantasy to expect Kirby (or anyone else) to cherry pick the top in-state talent.


    • The depth of Tennessee high school football isn’t great as I’m sure you are aware (you could make the case the best players in the state are two states away in the Memphis area). For them to be successful, they have to recruit nationally.

      I really don’t think Kirby is intentionally going out of state. Blue chips want to play for him. He’s all over Georgia high schools in the helicopter.

      You go after the best players on your board who you believe can help your team.

      Tell me a Georgia player we should have signed over Nakobe Dean, George Pickens, Kenny McIntosh, Nolan Smith (even though I consider him in state), and Tyrique Stevenson, and that’s only out of last year’s true freshman class. You could possibly make a case for a local player over McIntosh, but that’s it. With the exception of Dean, every one of those guys were from a border state high school.


  14. TimberRidgeDawg

    Having Tech improve their recruiting doesn’t hurt UGA as much as it will Auburn, SCar, and TN. If Tech gets a kid we pass on would have gone to one of those schools in the PJ era it weakens their classes but Tech won’t get enough critical mass to compete with UGA. It’s just spreading the talent thinner across more schools. Tech will improve but they have a well defined ceiling. If their class rankings are going to be in the 20’s they are likely taking those players from other schools we play.


  15. Gurkha Dawg

    For a bunch of supposedly smart people, Tech sure doesn’t use the city of Atlanta as an asset in recruiting. I mean Atlanta is the “Black Mecca”, right? A center for hip-hop, hollywood, TV, and black culture in general. I sure hope they don’t figure out how to market themselves effectively or they could be relevant again.


    • Mayor

      ^^This. Tech’s problem has been mismanagement by the AD. If they ever start hiring quality coaches for football and basketball plus using the recruiting advantage having an Atlanta campus provides Tech could become not only relevant but a real contender in the ACC. 30 years ago who would have believed that Clemson would be what it is now and Tech would be what it is now? I remain convinced that Tech’s real problem has been and continues to be the AD.


      • Gurkha Dawg

        Absolutely. If Tech hired Kirby as HC, it might take him a little longer, but he would be battling Clemson for the ACC every year and kicking our ass on a regular basis. Damn, that’s a horrible thought. Point is, it’s not some noble “higher academic standards” that’s keeping tech down. They’ve done it the old fashioned way: they’ve done a crap job of running their program.


    • Tony Barnfart

      I’m convinced a lot of kids, athletes or not, find the idea of going to school in a college town very appealing. Where a football player is literally part and parcel of the beating heart of the community.


    • PTC DAWG

      There is a reason a white lady almost won the last Mayors race in Atlanta…