Category Archives: Recruiting

Chicken Little hits the recruiting trail.

You know, I would have thought that in the wake of Kirby’s unprecedented recruiting success, at least Dawgnation would stop sweating the twists and turns on the road to signing day, but upon seeing the anguished gnashing of teeth on the Intertubes yesterday after the four kids from Grayson High School all elected to take their respective acts on the road, it seems I was a bit optimistic about that.  Lots of muttering about nefarious intentions abound, because that’s what we do when Georgia doesn’t get a commitment from every four- and five-star kid in the state.

I don’t seem to be the only one who noticed, either, judging by this Jeff Sentell piece with the clickbait-y title “UGA recruiting: Does Grayson High School steer its players from Athens?”  Hey, inquiring minds and all that…

Anyway, if you read it (and you probably will), you’ll probably detect the same methinks thou doth protest too much odor I found wafting from it.  Is there fire to the smoke there?  I have absolutely no idea, but I will say that I found it strange at the time to see one of the most accomplished high school football coaches in the state coach one season at Grayson, win a AAAAAAA state football championship and promptly depart.  Still do, for that matter.  Eh, maybe it was just a coincidence.

It’s the bigger picture that matters most, though.  Kirby’s done fine without much flowing through that particular pipeline and regardless of how it plays out, I doubt that will change any time soon.  Chill, folks.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Thursday morning buffet

Grab a plate, campers!

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, College Football, Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football, See You In Court, Strategery And Mechanics, The NCAA, The NFL Is Your Friend.

It’s the stars, stupid.

Every year, people get sucked into reading data like this…

… and jump to the conclusion that it’s proof recruiting rankings are meaningless.

Here’s what those folks should be looking at, instead.

For broader scope, let’s take a look at the entirety of the 2018 NFL Draft in terms of the draftees’ high school recruiting ranking in the 247Sports Composite.

2018 NFL Draftees

5-star: 19
4-star: 70
3-star: 106
2-star: 19
NR: 42

If one were to look at those numbers without an explanation, you’d see that 167 of 254 drafted players ranked as a three-star prospect or below. That’s 65.7 percent of all players drafted. But one also needs to consider the pool in which these players are coming from. To do, let’s take a look at the 2014 class, those players that would’ve been fourth-year seniors in 2017, along with the percentage of them drafted based on the 2018 NFL Draft.

2014 Class – 247Sports Composite

5-star: 33 (57.6%)
4-star: 296 (23.6%)
3-star: 1,541 (6.9%)
2-star: 1,666 (1.1%)
NR: NA

In other words, if you were a ’14 five-star recruit out of high school, your chances of being drafted by an NFL team were almost ten times more likely than if you were a three-star kid.

Last year’s draft numbers tell a similar story.

2017 NFL Draft

Five-star: 23
Four-star: 76
Three-star: 90
Two-star: 25
NR: 38

2013 Class – 247Sports Composite

Five-star: 35 (65.7%)
Four-star: 330 (23%)
Three-star: 1,790 (5%)
Two-star: 1,720 (1.4%)

Let’s face it.  Nick Saban and Kirby Smart aren’t killing themselves chasing the top high school talent because their goal in life is to finish first in the recruiting rankings.  It’s because there aren’t a lot of five-star recruits out there and the odds that any one of them will wind up being a major contributor are significantly greater.  Baker Mayfield’s recruiting ranking notwithstanding…

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Filed under Recruiting

Now, wait a minute.

Seth Emerson’s behind a paywall at The Athletic, so I’m not going to repost his story verbatim, but it appears the Tramel Walthour, grayshirt story is lacking a few legs.  For one thing, neither Smart nor Walthour have publicly confirmed such is the case.

For another, Walthour actually signed with Georgia.  I’m not sure how you can unring that bell with a grayshirt.

Take it for what it’s worth.  If Seth’s right, and I have no reason to think otherwise, then take back what I posted earlier regarding speculation about the roster numbers being tight.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Roster management, for the win

Several of you noted the news that Tramel Walthour has elected to move from the class of 2018 to the class of 2019 by taking a grayshirt.

The 2018 signee was rated as a 3-star prospect coming out of Liberty County High School  in Hinesville, Ga., according to 247Sports. At 6-foot-4 and 277 pounds, the defensive tackle already possesses the size necessary to succeed in Kirby Smart’s 3-4 hybrid defense. The rest of 2018 could be an opportunity for Walthour to get even bigger and stronger, which will only help his case once he enrolls.

What’s particularly interesting about the news is that the AJ-C links it to another roster move from last week.

The move by the Bulldogs was needed after adding Notre Dame grad transfer Jay Hayes to the roster last week. That created an issue with Georgia’s scholarship numbers. In order to get under the 85-scholarship limit, Walthour was asked to take a grayshirt. His love for Georgia prevailed, and he accepted.

Sounds like the roster numbers may be a little tighter than some of us thought.  Good thing Walthour is in love with Georgia.  Meanwhile, the sausage making continues apace.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Now Kirby really has something to sell on the recruiting trail.

#93K may be a nice sales pitch, but it pales in comparison to what Kirby has to offer recruits this morning.

Georgia set a program record by landing three players in the first round of the NFL draft.

Never before had the Bulldogs done this. But after a season that ended with a national championship appearance, the Bulldogs saw Roquan Smith (eighth overall, Chicago Bears), Isaiah Wynn (23rd overall, New England Patriots) and Sony Michel (31st overall, New England Patriots) all drafted in the first round.

That is some bad ass player development right there.

And let’s give Mark Richt a little credit here, too… especially for taking advantage of the opportunity Jeff Ulbrich gifted him.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Turned out and tuned up

I have a non-snarky question for the class.

I know Kirby thinks it’s a big deal, but when I see the occasional poll of recruits about what factors are important in choosing a football program, there are all kinds of things cited, like education, proximity to home, bonding with staff, opportunity to win championships, preparation for a pro career, etc.  But one thing I’ve never seen on a list is fan turnout at a spring game.

So, just wondering… how much do you think it matters?  Is it something that a recruit makes a priority, something that maybe is a tiebreaker in a close call, or simply something nice to note?

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Filed under Recruiting