Here’s the thumbnail sketch:
Positions: four linebackers, four offensive linemen, four defensive backs, three defensive linemen, two wide receivers, one tight end, one running back and one quarterback;
Rankings: four 5-stars, 11 4-stars and five 3-stars.
Locations: 12 players from Georgia, two from Alabama, and one each from California, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.
The most extraordinary thing about this class is how ordinary it seems. I mean that as a compliment. Georgia is again going to finish with a national top-three recruiting class under Kirby Smart and it’s almost to the point of being ho-hum. That, despite it being accomplished in the face of strong pandemic headwinds. It’s been an enormous challenge and it’s to Smart’s credit that he’s landed another strong group.
A few specific observations:
- Over half the 2021 group comes from in state, which is a strong reversal of recent trends in Georgia’s recruiting. Some of that was driven, no doubt, by COVID restrictions that hampered the way Smart normally goes about his business. But it’s worth noting that the high school crop in Georgia this year was very strong and Kirby made sure he got his fair share of that.
- Another reason early signing day seems a bit low key is because there really weren’t any surprises. Georgia signed whom it expected to sign, or, as Kirby put it, “We have what we expect to have today.”
- One thing I appreciate about this group is how balanced it looks on paper. There is quality at every level and no real need to overload a particular position. That’s what the luxury of building top-three classes on top of each other for five years gets you.
- That being said, it’s obvious the key signee is Brock Vandagriff. It’s been said ad nauseam that you aren’t going to win these days without a stud quarterback and he appears to fit the bill in that regard. More importantly, it sets up something Georgia hasn’t seen in years: assuming JT Daniels returns next season, the opportunity to organize a smooth transition at quarterback with highly rated talent. I don’t think it can be understated how big that would be, not just for the next two or three years, but, considering how organized Georgia’s recruiting is, perhaps for the next decade.
- The other takeaway of note is the size of the early signing group. Georgia signed 20 kids yesterday, which means there are still open spots. How those are going to be filled, between February signings and transfers (more on that in another post), will be something to watch. Smart tried to pretend things were up in the air yesterday when he said, “Unfortunately, we have to get the groceries before we know what we need,” but I suspect he knows a lot more about it than he’s letting on.
If you want a deep dive on what Georgia’s done, you might want to watch this:
What’s your take on yesterday’s doings?