Some of you raised questions yesterday about the position allocation in this year’s class, particularly about the number of kids in the secondary. I get your point, but we’re not Kirby Smart, who had a strong idea from the get-go about what he wanted to land. Take a look at these measurements:
Only two of UGA’s 26 additions in the currently class are under six-feet tall. When it comes to the offensive line pledges, the average over 6-foot-5, 334 pounds each. The Bulldogs also signed four cornerbacks who are 6-feet or taller after starting a pair of players in Malkom Parrish and Deandre Baker in 2016 who measure in at 5-foot-9 and 5-foot-11 respectively.
There’s this, too.
At 6-6, 304, Demery is the smallest lineman the Bulldogs picked up this recruiting cycle. (I feel like I need to write that twice). At 6-6, 304, Demery is the smallest lineman the Bulldogs picked up this recruiting cycle – the smallest. He’s the average size for what UGA used on the offensive line in 2016, and he’s the smallest in this class. [Emphasis added.]
Kirby knew he wanted size and size is what he got. And when I say from the get-go, I mean get-go.
The Bulldogs were eighth in last year’s recruiting rankings, the highest finish ever for a newly hired Southeastern Conference coach, and Smart said this class started to form when last year’s recruits were faxing their letters of intent.
“I don’t think people know how deep we were into this class last year at this time,” he said. “I remember being at the national championship game (as Alabama’s defensive coordinator), and during the time I was able to recruit, I was on the phone with a lot of these guys.”
I know it’s typical to see indications that a recruiting class bonds during the time leading up to signing day, but this Georgia class seems a bit unusual by the usual standards. Take this bit about Latavious Brini, for example.
The continuation of recruiting Brini was not only evident from the coaching staff, but from the 25 other committed Georgia prospects as well. One of the Bulldog signees told The Telegraph that all of the commits had a group message, and the player would normally be removed or voluntarily leave after he had decommitted. For Brini, he decided to stay, and thus the close-knit group elected to keep recruiting him.
Also, here’s something Kirby said yesterday about the group’s contribution to recruiting.
“When you’re talking about being the head coach and what the differences are, that’s probably the biggest difference in the recruiting part of the job It’s tough because a lot of people want to come to the University of Georgia. We had a lot of momentum and had a good class going. I had to put the reins on (signee) Richard (LeCounte) and some of those guys because I think they thought they could recruit everybody in the country. But we’ve got a limited number of spots and those guys are pretty aggressive. Those are tough decisions.” [Emphasis added.]
Add in the decision by the four underclassmen to pass on the NFL draft and come back to play at Georgia in their senior seasons, and you’ve got a pretty strong indication that this Georgia staff is good at getting kids to buy in. That’s a start.
… you say this.
Luckily for Tom, the Big 12 couldn’t recruit its way out of an open paper bag this year.
Those of you who thought Florida had suddenly grown a pair of… um, scruples about refusing to sign the kid who was cited for pot possession while on a recruiting trip to Ohio State need to rethink.
I bet he’s already got Huntley Johnson on retainer.
Talented classes are, in the immortal words of Charles Grant, motivational stones for head coaches like Kirby Smart to deploy.
Then there’s the depth factor. It was something Smart complained about when he got to Georgia last year, saying he felt reasonably good about the top 22 players, but not so much after that.
“There were positions last year we couldn’t make a change. We couldn’t motivate a guy with change because we didn’t have anybody else,” Smart said. “Now at almost every position we hope to have a great competition so those guys are motivated and give a little better effort in practice.”
One such guy apparently being Jacob Eason…
“That’s big for us. We wanted [competition] at every position, especially at quarterback. Everybody’s driven to be great, but they’re really driven when they have a person behind them. Having Jake there is really going to push Jacob — it’s already doing it.”
Hmmm… maybe we really should keep an eye on those G-Day QBR stats this year.
This is how you know you’re at a completely different level from everyone else playing the game.
Parks is rated on the 247Sports Composite as the No. 7 weak-side defensive end in the class of 2017, the No. 93 player overall and the No. 17 prospect in the state of Florida. He’s listed at about 6’3 and 250 pounds. He has at least 32 scholarship offers, including from the highest tiers of each Power 5 conference.
Great prospect, right? Um… he’s not signing anywhere today. Because?
On the riches scale, that falls somewhere between ridiculous and obscene.
This is one of those stats that is more impressive when you look closely.
The 2017 Georgia part, I mean. It took Saban a few years to get cranked up to that level; Smart got there after one season.
And it matters, too.
Now comes the hard part, of course.