Category Archives: Recruiting

Okay, so this didn’t happen.

One thing I’m a little surprised about from yesterday is that Roquan Smith didn’t turn out to be the trend setter I expected.  Not at Georgia, obviously, because this year’s staff isn’t going anywhere any time soon, but I anticipated hearing stories of other highly ranked kids who decided to hedge their bets.  I’m a little surprised, to be honest.

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UPDATE:  Seth Emerson has more on “pulling a Roquan” (nice!).

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Filed under Recruiting

Off to a good start

Seth Emerson looks at Georgia’s newly minted 2016 signing class… and doesn’t see much of a change from went on before.

There may have been some subtle changes to how Georgia did its first signing day under Smart. But the final result – for now, pending one more big target – was about the same as it usually was under Mark Richt.

“Today, for me – for you guys it may be about stars and rankings – to me about it’s about new Bulldogs new members of the family,” Smart said.

For those who do care: Georgia ended the day ranked seventh nationally and fourth in the SEC in the 247Sports Composite, which takes into account the ratings of the four major recruiting outlets. That will change if five-star athlete Demetris Robertson, who remains uncommitted, signs up later.

Either way, there are a couple contexts in which to look at Smart’s first class.

Compared to almost any other first-year coach, it was an unusually strong class. Last year Florida finished 22nd nationally in Jim McElwain’s first year. Nick Saban’s first class at Alabama was 10th.

The caveat: Georgia was already on the way to a strong class when Richt was fired. It was ranked third nationally on the day he was fired. Smart ended up holding on to most of it – 11 of the 20 signees committed under Richt – and on Wednesday he signed defensive back-receiver Mecole Hardman, a five-star who was leaning heavily to Georgia before Richt’s firing.

First of all, he’s right to give Richt some credit there.  The old staff did lay the groundwork for much of this class, which isn’t to say that Smart and company didn’t have to do a lot of work to preserve their efforts, and that’s something we should appreciate.

But I was sort of curious about his “the more things change” point, so I decided to take a look at the 247Sports Composite to see where this year’s bunch sits in comparison to where all of Richt’s classes finished.  Here’s what I found:

YEAR RANK SIZE AVG.
2016     7        20  91.48
2015     5        30  89.73
2014     8        21  90.97
2013    12        34  88.51
2012     8        19   91.23
2011     6        26   90.03
2010    11        28   83.54
2009    5        21    91.43
2008    7        25   89.84
2007    9        24   87.69
2006    3        26   90.57
2005    6        17   90.64
2004    7        21    88.54
2003    9        24   86.15
2002    9        30   86.48
2001   10        27   74.16

(First thought:  sure looks like there’s been some grade inflation over the years, doesn’t it?)

More than superficially, there’s some justification for Seth’s point.  But there are a couple of nits to pick with it, too.  There’s an interesting correlation between class size and average recruit rankings:  Richt’s larger classes tended to have the lowest averages, which would indicate a certain amount of slot filling going on.  Sometimes that paid off spectacularly, as it did with his first class, and sometimes, as in 2013, it blew up in his face.

But what I can’t help but notice more than anything here is that in his first shot, with less than two months on the job, Smart’s average ranking betters every one of Richt’s fifteen and his national ranking ties for sixth best out of those sixteen years of classes.  I don’t see how you can’t be at least a little impressed by the results there.

Yes, the trick now is following up – keeping them in school, making them SEC-caliber players and finishing the next recruiting cycle even more strongly.  But as beginnings go, I’ll take it.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

“… tell the damn Gators anything they want to hear.”

For obvious reasons, this is my favorite recruiting story from yesterday.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Recruiting

Leaving money on the table

As I expected

As for overall numbers, Georgia has signatures or commitments from  18 players, and Marshall would make it 19.

“You’d like to add a few more, but we’re not in desperation mode by any means,” Smart said. “I’m completely comfortable if we only end up at 18, 19, 20 guys. Because I’m not gonna rush off and get any reaches. … To have those spots available when you have a full recruiting cycle (is ideal).”

This doesn’t bother me, at least not yet.  It’s not a Richt-type, benign neglect approach to recruiting.  Smart’s got a plan.  Obviously, he likes what he sees on the 2017 horizon and is confident he can use the open 2016 slots to fill out next year’s class, after he’s had a full recruiting cycle to sell the program to those recruits.

Now, whether he can successfully implement his plan, that’s the question.  We’ll see.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Meet the SEC’s Mr. Popularity.

Bert’s gonna Bert, people.

This year’s SEC Media Days are shaping up to be a real hoot.

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UPDATE:  In the flesh…

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UPDATE #2:  And now we enter “Bert, you’re fulla shit” territory.

Riiiiight.

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Filed under Bert... uh... Bret Bielema, Recruiting, SEC Football

PAWWWLLL, Kirby ain’t payin’ attention.

Kirby Smart wants to know what are these “recruiting rankings” you’re referring to.

Smart insisted to former Bulldogs quarterback D.J. Shockley on the show that he didn’t pay attention to recruiting star ratings when asked about sleepers to watch.

“That’s a hard question D.J.,” Smart said. “I don’t know even who the four and five stars are. I try not to look at it and see it that way from that perspective. I look at who the guy is on an individual basis and see the quality of player. Fortunately, I’ve been able to watch all these kids.”

Damn it, Kirby, how can you win signing day if you don’t even know how?

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Now that’s the way to commit.

I’m not sure anybody’s gonna top this.

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Filed under Recruiting