Category Archives: Recruiting

Aside from signing five-star recruits, what has Kirby Smart ever done for us?

Seth Emerson ($$) has an excellent piece up about Georgia’s 2021 signing class, which wound up ranking fourth in the 247Sports Composite.  (FWIW, Alabama lapped the field in 2021.  But I digress.)  Anyway, what’s been notable about that class, which so far is 24-1 and has a national championship ring in its wardrobe, is that its major contributors haven’t come from its top.

But the three highest-ranked players in that class — tackle Amarius Mims, quarterback Brock Vandagriff and inside linebacker Xavian Sorey — aren’t starting yet, and neither are seven of the top eight.

Instead, they’ve emerged from players who were outside the top 100 recruits, like:

  • Brock Bowers (105)
  • Jamon Dumas-Johnson (198)
  • Javon Bullard (634)
  • Kamari Lassiter (239)
  • AD Mitchell (383)

A common thread throughout those players is staff evaluation in a COVID setting.  As Emerson describes it,

It’s because of the relatively unheralded members of the 2021 class, and why they were overlooked has a lot to do with what was happening during their senior years of high school: COVID-19 and its impact on recruiting.

There were no official visits. Recruiting camps were severely cut back. And many players, including Dumas-Johnson and Bowers, didn’t have a high school season.

“I would venture to say — I don’t know this for fact, this is just my opinion — that everything would be off for that year,” Kirby Smart said. “Because there was no true evaluation. What are you evaluating it on, what are you basing that on?”

Whatever it was, Kirby ain’t telling.

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UPDATE:  Skip the first of Bud Elliott’s explanation for why this year’s transfer portal market may be wilder than ever and focus on his second point.

Then ask yourself whether it’s likely Kirby does any portal dipping this year.

37 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Always be… ‘crootin’?

Well, this is one way to spin a 3-4 record:

The stupid things you get to say when you’ve got an $85 million buyout…

22 Comments

Filed under Blowing Smoke, Recruiting

He can’t do that to our recruits!

Welp, this is a flattering opinion from Andy Staples ($$).

Something has happened to weaken Alabama, but I don’t think Saban’s response will (or should) be “I’m just going to chill at the lake with Miss Terry.” First, I’m not sure how Saban would fill the hours. Second, I think part of him might actually enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to win with a less prohibitive advantage than he had before.

So what happened to reduce that previously prohibitive advantage?

Kirby Smart got the Georgia job.

You thought I was going to say the change in name, image and likeness rules? You thought I was going to say the transfer portal?

Nope. The thing that has affected Alabama the most is a coach who recruits pretty much exactly the same players Alabama recruits and getting quite a few of the players Alabama wanted over a six-year period.

They never shoulda let Kirby leave Tuscaloosa with Saban’s recruiting board, PAWWWLLL!!!

36 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting

Got some talent rankings for you

As you look at the top of the 2022 247 Sports Team Talent Composite, keep in mind something.

16 Comments

Filed under Alabama, Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football, Transfers Are For Coaches.

Ain’t slowin’ down

Something to consider as we (sometimes) smugly look down on gap closing takes is that when it comes to recruiting, the SEC is one tough neighborhood ($$).

Yes, Alabama and Georgia are two of the most dominant recruiting outfits in the country, but the conference is very deep from top to (almost) bottom. Consider the following: 11 of the league’s 14 teams were in the top 30 of the 247Sports Team Talent Composite in 2021.

That’s why it’s so difficult to make a significant move in the league. Consider Tennessee’s recruiting class in the 2020 cycle — the Vols ranked No. 11 nationally but No. 7 in the SEC. The bar is so much higher because every school is recruiting well. And let’s use Tennessee as an example to add more context to the league’s recruiting prowess. The Vols are seventh in the SEC in average class rank over the last five years; they would rank fourth in the Big Ten, third in the ACC and the Big 12 and second in the Pac-12 over the same span.

Need more data? Probably not, but here it is: In the last 10 years, the average SEC class ranked No. 19.6 nationally. The next-best conference is the Big Ten at No. 37.3.

And that’s with Vanderbilt in the mix.  Sure, Mullen wasn’t a great recruiter, but he wasn’t awful, either.  He was just badly outclassed.

9 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football

The NIL is coming from inside the house.

This seems like a totally expected move.

South Carolina is becoming the first major college athletic department to partner with a sports marketing agency to establish an in-house name, image and likeness firm, where Gamecocks athletes will have free access to deal facilitation, content generation and branding services.

The school has hired Everett Sports Management (ESM) to launch Park Ave, an exclusive initiative that will provide NIL services for Gamecocks athletes. South Carolina’s board of trustees on Tuesday afternoon approved the two-year, $2.2 million contract. Everett Sports Management, based in Greenville, S.C., represents NFL players such as Jalen Hurts, Mac Jones and Jonathan Taylor, and handles NIL marketing for several college athletes, including Miami basketball players and social media stars Haley and Hanna Cavinder, Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett and Coastal Carolina quarterback Grayson McCall.

“There have been a lot of different approaches (toward NIL), and nobody has gone this way,” South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner told ESPN. “We’re confident that this will be an impactful situation for our young men and women to play sports and get branded at the maximum level.”

It’s all about control.  I expect a lot more schools — at least those in states that don’t restrict school involvement in NIL — to follow down this path.

Also, don’t be surprised if schools also don’t look for ways to either control or kneecap booster collectives.

“A lot of donors give to collectives, but a lot are reluctant,” Tanner said. “I haven’t had one donor that has not embraced the idea of a national marketing firm that has excelled in this space. To us, this is very unique. We still have two collectives that are supporting us. But this has an opportunity to take it to a different level.”

What about Georgia?  Well, they’ve got some amending to do with HB 617, for starters.  But I expect that if Kirby Smart sees this as potential exposure in recruiting, he’ll be on that particular mother shortly.

11 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy, Recruiting, SEC Football

Today, in moot points

This year’s NFL draft has Kavion Henderson (Leeds/Leeds, Ala.) thinking hard about joining the Georgia program. With 15 players selected in the NFL draft, the Bulldogs made quite an impression when it comes to thinking of the ultimate football goal.

“To be drafted high, you want to go to Georgia,” Henderson said. “If you want to go to the NFL, you want to go to Georgia.”

Amazing that playing the Cocktail Party in Jacksonville hasn’t dampened his enthusiasm yet.  Maybe Kirby Smart hasn’t apologized for it.  Still, you’d think with all the negative recruiting about it…

38 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

He sure can pick ’em.

Whoa.

You’ve really got to work to make something like that happen.

It’s hard to believe, but when they can Coach 404, they’re basically going to be right back where they were, talent-wise, when Johnson left.

43 Comments

Filed under Georgia Tech Football, Recruiting

Moot point, ctd.

With this news

The biggest event in college football is on the way back to Atlanta.

Previously played here in January 2018, the College Football Playoff national championship game will return to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in January 2025, several people familiar with the matter told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Atlanta will become the first city to host the CFP title game twice.

… comes the obvious question:  will Kirby Smart object to not being able to host recruits at the game?

50 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Moot point

If Kirby ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

News broke this week that Georgia will be allowed to provide tickets for recruits to attend the neutral-site game against Florida in Jacksonville, Fla., where the SEC rivalry has been played for all but two years since 1933. Kirby Smart noted that this option has been available for a decade, even if it has never been utilized by either program.

“We’ve always been able to do that,” Smart told reporters on Saturday following Georgia’s first scrimmage of fall camp. “You make an independent decision that each university can decide how they want to do their tickets. For the first time, we are able to allot tickets, which we do on every neutral site game. We do it with Clemson. We do it with Oregon. We do it all the time.

“Per NCAA rules we are not allowed to see them or talk to them,” Smart said. “We can’t do anything with them, so it’s really a moot point. They get to go, but what good does that do in terms of recruiting that you don’t get to spend time with them and host them? It doesn’t change the official visit they are on.”

Hardly surprising, but it does raise a question for me.

… Last month Smart told Tim Tebow on SEC Network he would prefer to play the game in Atlanta than in Jacksonville.

“I will tell you what, you tell Florida, you call the AD, ask him to come to Atlanta and come play us,” Smart said. “We will play in Atlanta as many times as you want. You will get your 50/50.”

If this is all about being able to host recruits, what difference does playing the game in Atlanta make?

Gee, if I didn’t know any better, I’d think Kirby is full of shit about this.

99 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting