Category Archives: Recruiting

What never was and what could be

David Wunderlich offers a tale about Georgia’s in-state recruiting since the 2002 season that provides an interesting contrast between Richt’s final years and Smart’s first two.

We’ve all lamented the disintegration of the 2013 class, but David notes that the class was a disaster not just because of who came and went, but also because of who never made it in the first place.

It didn’t have the lowest percentage on the chart, but the 2013 cycle was the nadir for Richt and in-state recruiting.

The top seven prospects in Georgia went out of state. Robert Nkemdiche, the nation’s top recruit, went to Ole Miss; to be fair, his brother already being in Oxford played a role there. Richt lost out on a pair of defensive linemen after that in Carl Lawson and Montravius Adams, guys who anchored Auburn’s defensive renaissance in 2016.

Fourth was Vonn Bell, who went on to star at Ohio State. Fifth and sixth were Alvin Kamara and Tyren Jones, a couple of guys who went to Alabama but didn’t stay long. Kamara eventually ended up a big contributor for Tennessee. Seventh was Demarcus Robinson, who became one of Florida’s top receivers in 2014 and 2015.

Georgia took a quarterback in 2013 with Brice Ramsey. He ended up a better punter than signal caller. Ramsey’s inability to fulfill his 4-star rating is why Georgia got the Greyson Lambert experience after Hutson Mason graduated. Another quarterback from Georgia who came out of high school that year was Alpharetta’s Joshua Dobbs. If 247 Sports has it right, UGA didn’t even offer Dobbs a scholarship.

Further down the list, UGA offered but couldn’t land Loganville’s 4-star running back Wayne Gallman. He and the next year’s 4-star Georgia product Deshaun Watson were obviously a huge part of Clemson’s amazing run the past couple of years.

That’s a lot of whiffing for one class.  Granted, the lack of success at running back can be partially attributed to Georgia’s giant haul in 2012 with Gurley and Marshall, but given their history with injuries and suspension, a top-flight back in the 2013 class sure would have been a big help.

Meanwhile, check out Smart’s trend line.

uga-ga-bc-pct

It’s not at Richt’s peak, but it’s certainly headed in the right direction.

That being said, it’s worth pointing out that, as the overall talent pool in this state has grown significantly over the last decade, it’s going to be nearly impossible for Smart to match Richt’s highest percentage levels, as they’re aren’t any more scholarships to offer.  What’s going to matter more, anyway, is if Smart can eliminate the dramatic swings that you can see beginning with the 2005 class.

Plateaus can be beautiful things.  Especially when they represent two gifts in one.

Even so, UGA secured 11 of the top 16 players within its home territory. Even better, the Bulldogs boxed out a lot of their direct competitors. Rival Auburn had signed 14 combined Peach State blue chips in the previous three cycles, but it only got one this time around. Florida nabbed two blue chips in 2016 but was shut out in 2017. Tennessee had signed at least one Georgia blue chip every year since Lane Kiffin arrived in Knoxville in 2009, but the Vols too came up empty.

Can Smart keep up that level of production?  That’s what we’ll have to wait and see.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

The gift that keeps on giving

Georgia’s 2013 signing class, ladies and gentlemen.

There are more former Georgia players that will be going to the [NFL] combine than those that finished their college careers there.

Yes, the massive brain fart that went into the 2015 Florida game plan didn’t help matters, but Mark Richt isn’t Georgia’s head coach now because several years’ worth of poor roster management decisions came back to bite him in the arse.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Momma told me not to come.

Ah, Minneapolis in the spring.

“There are not many better places in the spring and summer than the Twin Cities and the state of Minnesota,” Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck said. “It’s some of the most beautiful weather you’ll find in the entire country. That’s what we look forward to showing off.”

All I can say is that any kid from the South who thinks the weather in Minnesota is the same in June as it is in November deserves to freeze his ass off.

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Filed under Recruiting

Today, in always be ‘crooting

Word is that Georgia has offered this former Texas Tech defensive tackle the opportunity to join the 2017 class.  Fehoko already has generated a ton of interest, so this will be an early test of Tray Scott’s recruiting prowess.  (Not to mention Smart’s roster management skills.)

I’ve always wanted a little Polynesian/Pacific flavor on the Georgia roster, so go, Tray, go.

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UPDATE:  FSF has more on Fehoko here.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

The Roquan Smith option

For all the hand wringing over one of college football’s more detestable traditions, assistant coaches leaving staffs almost before the ink has dried after signing day, and the associated insistence that something ought to be done about it, damn it, am I missing something, or do recruits (at least the highly sought after ones) not already have a weapon in their arsenal?

It’s great to talk about committing to a school rather than a coach, but I think Reagan’s advice — trust but verify — might prove more useful.  Waiting out the post-signing day staff shuffle is a productive way to do just that.

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Filed under Recruiting

Coaching ’em down.

Take the five-year average of the 247Sports Composite team rankings without consideration for player attrition, player development, transfers or other factors, and what do you get?  This.

Here’s where your last 10 national champions rank on this list: Clemson (No. 12), Alabama (No. 1), Ohio State (No. 2), Florida State (No. 4), Auburn (No. 7), Florida (No. 10), LSU (No. 3)

Perhaps underperforming relative to their talent: Georgia (No. 5), Notre Dame (No. 8), Texas A&M (No. 9), Tennessee (No. 11), UCLA (No. 13)

“Perhaps”?  Thanks for being kind.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

“We don’t sign backups here at the University of Texas.”

Sure, Tom Herman signed the lowest-rated recruiting class at Texas ever, but at least there was science behind it.

However, it seems there was actually some strategy that went into Texas’ 2017 class. Herman said in a recent interview with Longhorn Network that he and his staff found research regarding first-year head coaches’ classes that prompted them to change their approach a bit. Below are some of Herman’s comments during the interview, which were transcribed via Football Scoop.

“We knew through all the metrics, all the analytics, all the numbers that point to most of the time in years of transition in coaching staffs, that signing class has the highest rate of attrition – meaning kids that quit – has the highest rate of off-field issues including academics, drugs and social, and has the highest rate of guys that can’t play, and don’t ever see the field.”

Whatevs, dude.  Just explain how proclaiming that you don’t sign backups — “None of these guys were signed for depth or anything other than we believe that they can either play now and help us win championships…” — turn right around to say that one of the main focuses of your 2017 signing class was to add guys who can provide depth, as opposed to ones who would see the field right away is anything other than a roundabout way of pretending you don’t really need those all-star recruits you were chasing and will continue to keep chasing.

Better stick the landing a helluva lot better with next year’s class.  At least that way you won’t have to spend as much time spinning to defend it.

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Filed under Blowing Smoke, Recruiting, Texas Is Just Better Than You Are.