How many programs could survive this kind of talent drain out of a single signing class?
Of the 12 most highly rated players Georgia signed in that class, five have transferred out. Justin Fields is at Ohio State after one year at UGA. Cade Mays is at Tennessee after two years at Georgia and a ton of playing time. Brenton Cox left after one year and sat last season at Florida. Luke Ford was in Athens for a year but transferred back home to play for Illinois and Otis Reese spent two seasons with the program before transferring to Ole Miss.
That’s five top 100 players with three five-star prospects.
For all the head shaking we’ve done over the incredible shrinking class of 2013, 2018 says, “hold my beer”. And yet…
How many teams can lose a trio of five-star prospects from one class and still have the majority of the five-prospects still in the fold from that same class? It can’t be common but that’s the case for Georgia as running back Zamir White, offensive lineman Jamaree Salyer, cornerback Tyson Campbell, and outside linebacker Adam Anderson remain.
… UGA had 24 players report to campus from the 2018 class. Five of those players left via transfer, 11 (White, Salyer, Campbell, Anderson, Walker, Cook, Hill, Ojulari, Wyatt, Davis, and Camarda) are starters or big-time contributors, and you have three more (Tindall, Jackson, and Wilson) who are on the cusp of being integral pieces.
That is friggin’ ridiculous. It’s also another reason why having a top-three recruiting class isn’t just about bragging rights. The implosion of Georgia’s 2013 class was certainly a contributing factor in Mark Richt’s downfall. For Kirby Smart, the 2018 losses are more of a bump in the road than anything else.