Category Archives: Recruiting

Poor, poor pitiful Hugh

Hugh Freeze would love to set the record straight, believe you me, but the goddamn lawyers and those bastards at the NCAA just won’t let him.

Which makes this…

so unfair.


Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football, The NCAA

Onward and upward on the recruiting trail

Dean Legge is prone to hyperbole, so you have to wade past the broad pronouncements in this post — there will have to be at least a couple of national signing days in the rear view mirror before I’m ready to proclaim that Kirby Smart is out-recruiting Nick Saban — but I will admit this little tidbit is interesting:

With all of that said, have a look at the current trajectory of Kirby’s recruiting vs. Mark Richt’s time in Athens as well as some of UGA’s peers in college football. Kirby has signed or gotten commitments from 36 players who qualify to be ranked in Scout’s Top 300 (2019’s Luke Griffin will almost certainly be considered a Top 300 player, but our ranking for rising sophomores is not out yet). Of those 36 players, 27 of them are Scout Top 300 players. That’s a 75% rate of Scout 300 prospects secured by Kirby so far in seven months – pretty good.

What happened in the Richt era? From 2008 to 2015, Mark Richt signed 190 prospects – 97 of them were Scout Top 300 players. That’s 51%, or every other prospect being one of the top 300 players in the country. Pretty good. At least good enough to win division titles and pretty much win ten games a season. 51% is a rate many programs around the country would take in that time.

Had Richt signed players at the same clip Kirby is signing them right now he would have signed 143 Top 300 players – about 46 more of them over eight years. That means UGA would have had a floating average of about 20 more Top 300 players each year in the program (a little more than five per class). That would have made a difference, because those players would have been near the top of the list of the 85 scholarship players – not at the bottom simply due to the fat (sic) that they were Scout 300 players. In other words they would have played – many would have been starters.

Obviously the 2017 hay is a long way from being in the barn (it’s a real stretch to claim that “Kirby is signing them now”), but strictly in terms of judging the trajectory of Georgia’s recruiting efforts and impact, it’s clear that there’s been a change in bending the arc upwards since Smart took over the reins from Richt.  And Legge is correct to point out that there would be a real effect over time as the improvement accumulates… assuming it does, of course.

No, that doesn’t translate into an automatic berth in the SECCG, or the national playoffs.  But it sure as hell doesn’t hurt Georgia’s chances.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

It’s a puzzle.

You know something I don’t get?  This.

Sam Pittman is having a great day today. That’s because he now has his left tackle.

That’s been the go-to line for Pittman down the home stretch of recruiting Pace Academy offensive tackle Andrew Thomas. The nation’s No. 10 offensive tackle chose Georgia on Saturday evening during ESPNU’s broadcast of Nike’s all-star “The Opening” prospect showcase in Oregon…

Thomas fulfills a major priority for Georgia as the top-rated offensive lineman in the state this year…

Andre Thomas said his son was sold on Pittman from the first meeting. That was important as Thomas was not deemed a recruiting priority by the previous staff. He was getting recruited harder by Alabama, Clemson, Florida State and Notre Dame.  [Emphasis added.]

I mean, WTF?  Georgia struggled to find true left tackles under Richt and here you’ve got a highly regarded in state recruit you can’t bring yourself to chase hard?

Even if you were a die hard believer in Richt as Georgia’s head coach, this is the kind of stuff that should drive you crazy.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Thursday morning buffet

A few nibbles here, a few there…

  • Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione admits the math isn’t there for Big 12 expansion.
  • Does somebody at Tennessee need to step up and commend Drae Bowles for coming forward?  (Note that is not the same question as will somebody at Tennessee step up.)
  • Ole Miss hasn’t sold out its ticket allotment for the opener against FSU.
  • Here’s you a handy summary of all the preseason mags.
  • Academics vs. the jocks at Cal-Berkeley, not a pretty story.
  • Buyer’s remorse at Auburn can come on very quickly, it seems.


Filed under Academics? Academics., Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Big 12 Football, College Football, Recruiting, SEC Football

Message for a new coach

One of my favorite quotes ever was the subject of my first Envy and Jealousy post back in 2007.  All these years later, and it still resonates.

Miami: From a Bulldog perspective, if you looked at the state of Florida as though it were Afghanistan (and I do), the Gators, obviously, are the Taliban, while Miami is whatever warlord is running things in the Northeast. The Hurricanes don’t occupy anything remotely resembling moral high ground, but they are useful.

I bring this up now, because if you’re a Georgia fan, FSU and Miami should serve one useful purpose — crapping on Florida recruiting by sucking the oxygen out of the tent.  Bud Elliott writes that one of those two is keeping up its end of the bargain.

Florida State has enjoyed a strong run of success against Florida and Miami under Jimbo Fisher, and those wins are really paying dividends on the recruiting trail. For example, just this past year, the Gators and Hurricanes signed a combined 19 blue-chip recruits, while the Seminoles brought in 18 by themselves.

Coach Richt, I’m just sayin’.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Recruiting

Chasing blue chips, a reminder why

Brian Cook summarizes the math nicely here:

Recruiting is important, part infinity. PFF released a list of the top 101 players in college football that we mentioned in this space because it has five different Michigan defenders on it. Some dude on 247 ran it through some statistical analysis. Results:

Minimum: 1 ~ 1.000
First Quartile: 31.5 ~ 98.40
Median: 238 ~ 90.90
Third Quartile: 1000 ~ 84.19
Maximum: 3000

Over 25% of players listed in PPFs player rankings were rated as 5* players coming out of high school by the composite. Over 50% were rated as 4* players. While recruiting rankings aren’t perfect they are a strong correlate of future success.

Five star players are approximately 1-3% of the pool and four-stars about 10%. This is in line with findings about the NFL draft; applying this analysis to PFF’s rankings of college players based on their performance right now is even stronger evidence that recruiting rankings matter.

Yes, there are many three-stars and two-stars who defy the odds and go on to playing success.  But that’s the point.  Those odds aren’t in a coach’s favor.

Three-quarters of the top players are blue chippers who make up under 15% of the total pool of recruits.  So if you’re looking for great players, either you find a way to separate the wheat from the chaff consistently, or you chase the kids at the top.  There’s no mystery why the best recruiters go after the most highly ranked high school kids.  That’s where the odds are.


Filed under Recruiting

Home grown

David Ching asks:

Which states have proven to be the most fertile recruiting grounds for SEC schools at specific positions?

That was the question we hoped to answer this week by breaking down the conference’s 3,762 signees between 2006 and 2016 by home state and position and then tallying the numbers.

Today we will examine defensive positions…

What will amaze you when you read his piece isn’t that Georgia is the state leader over that time, but the size of the margin in certain areas, like “Nearly one in five of the SEC’s defensive line signees (133 out of 712) hailed from Georgia.”

Holy crap, Dawgs.  With numbers like that, who cares about locking down the borders?  Just get your fair share of in state talent and you’d be kicking ass.


Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football