Let’s face it: it’s basically impossible to write a best-of-recruiting piece about the 2018 class without having Georgia’s footprint all over it.
Category Archives: Recruiting
Here’s a nice summary from Jeff Sentell about where Kirby Smart is headed with Georgia’s next class, not from the perspective of individual recruits, but overall needs for the roster. The staff has already sent out 192 (!) offers, broken down by position as follows:
- QB: 10 (5 Dual-threats, 5 Pro-Style)
- RB: 9
- WR: 28 (Already with a pair of 5-star commits)
- TE: 5 (Already with a 4-star commit)
- OT: 22 (Already with a 4-star commit)
- OG: 7
- OC: 1
- K: 0
- DE: 33 (Both strong-side and weak-side DEs)
- DT: 16
- OLB: 14 (Already with a 5-star commit)
- ILB: 2 (Already with a 4-star commit)
- CB: 18 (Already with a 4-star commit)
- S: 11
- ATH: 16
- Total: 192
It’s interesting to see the points of emphasis at this early stage. Apparently, somebody has figured out that you can never have enough offensive tackles. That’s a refreshing change.
Georgia landed three of the top eight offensive line prospects this year by the 247Sports Composite: No. 2 Jamaree Salyer, No. 4 Cade Mays and No. 8 Trey Hill.
That’s after bringing in two of the top 10 2017 line recruits in Isaiah Wilson and Andrew Thomas, giving the Bulldogs five top-10 offensive line prospects in the past two recruiting cycles. Only three other programs have more than one: Ohio State with three and Alabama and Stanford with two each.
More than twice as many as ‘Bama? Hoo, boy. I need to go off and decompress somewhere.
The five-year average of the 247Sports Composite team rankings has Georgia sitting third nationally in terms of signing talent. Now, as the article points out, that’s not the same metric as how much talent will be suiting up in the fall. (“They don’t take player attrition, player development, transfers or other factors into consideration…”)
Aside from that, there’s another factor to consider — the number of kids from the 2014 classes who will be actual contributors in 2018, when they’re redshirt seniors. Here’s Georgia’s 2014 list, for example. By my count, there are two of the twenty signees, Gaillard and Baker, who are still around. It’s a guess on my part, but I doubt that ratio is an outlier, particularly at major programs where there are various forms of regular attrition.
So, I wonder what those averages would look like for SEC schools if you lopped off their 2014 classes. Math is hard, but here goes. Teams are listed in their five-year averages order, with the five-year average in parenthesis. (The chart only listed the top 25 schools.)
- Alabama: 2.5 (2.2)
- Georgia: 4.25 (5.0)
- LSU: 7.5 (6.4)
- Auburn: 9.75 (9.0)
- Tennessee: 13.75 (12.4)
- Texas A&M: 14.75 (12.8)
- Florida: 14.50 (13.4)
- Ole Miss: 21.0 (19.8)
- South Carolina: 21.25 (20.2)
- Mississippi State: 25.00 (27.0)
That’s ten out of fourteen conference schools listed in the top 25, which isn’t a bad batting average.
What’s really of interest, though, is that while there was little shifting of the overall order after lopping off 2014, every program but two — Georgia and Mississippi State — saw its average decline. Now I doubt anybody’s crying for Tuscaloosa, but some of those drops are pretty significant in a conference where almost every program recruits well. It will be interesting to see which coaches can reverse those trends over the next couple of seasons, but, again, the signs are there for Georgia to have an edge in talent over everyone but you-know-who during that time period.
David Wunderlich shows what a deep, deep hole Dan Mullen has to climb out of on the recruiting front here.
I estimated that UF might have a class with as many as 22 or 23 recruits next year. If it’s 22, they’d need to sign 13 blue chips to get to exactly 50% blue chips signed over a four-year period. Given the composition of this year’s class, that’s doable. If they only sign 20 next year, they’d need to get 12 blue chips. Given that they got 12 blue chips this year with 19 signees, that’s also doable. I suspect most Gator fans would see it as failing to meet expectations if they only sign 12 or 13 blue chips next year given that it won’t be a transitional class anymore.
Merely getting to 50% would still put them a ways behind Georgia, LSU, and FSU, and the blue chips would be most heavily concentrated among first and second-year players. We’re really more looking at 2020 for having a roster with the kind of talent Florida fans expect to see.
I doubt Kirby will be slowing down over the next two years, either.
I haven’t taken the chafing dishes out in a while, so here goes…
- No matter how you slice it, Georgia’s 2018 signing class is stellar.
- Which makes it no surprise Kirby’s decided he can live with the early signing period.
- Gene Smith bitches about head coaching salaries out of one side of his mouth, but talks a very different game when it comes to assistant coaches. Again, it’s not what you think your guys are worth that matters. It’s what your competitors think your guys are worth.
- Looks like Jim McElwain’s got himself a new gig.
- It’s amazing to see the level of navel gazing going on in the Alabama media with regard to the Tide’s 2018 class. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Kirby’s really got those folks shook up.
- “Who’s been the top recruiting team of the entire internet rankings era? The answer will probably surprise you.” Number two on the list certainly did.
Bill Connelly points out one other note of interest from the 2018 signing classes.
The most eye-catching story of all happened right at the top:
Holy crap, Georgia and Ohio State!
Per the 247Sports Composite, the Bulldogs and Buckeyes combined to reel in 10 five-star prospects and 35 four-stars among their 52 total prospects. Both classes were among the best ever recorded. No. 3 Texas crept above 247’s 300-point mark as well.
It was the second straight year that each of the top three classes scored at 300 points or higher.
In 2016, the No. 1 class (Alabama’s, naturally) was barely above 300.
If you’re a visual learner, this might help.
In other words, top-heavy is fine, as long as you’re part of the top. Georgia is now. There are a lot of SEC East teams that have some serious climbing to do. That gap ain’t gonna close itself.