Patrick Garbin comes up with a stat that’s curious, but ultimately not that enlightening.
…why did Coach Richt sign so few quarterbacks? (the annual average number of QB signees followed by the Georgia head coach):
3.33 (40 QB signees in 12 seasons)—Dooley
1.86 (13 QB signees in 7 seasons)—Goff
1.80 (9 QB signees in 5 seasons)—Donnan
0.87 (13 QB signees in 15 seasons)—Richt
To answer his question, the reason that jumps to mind for me is that Richt wound up coaching two four-year starting quarterbacks in Greene (who wasn’t even a Richt signee) and Murray and another three-year starter in Stafford. That accounts for eleven of the fifteen years of his time in Athens. When you add in Shockley’s year as a starter – there was no way anyone was going to take that away – the overall effect was to cut down pretty dramatically on the number of years that the program under Richt was attractive to quarterback recruits.
Garbin goes on to point out that the rate Richt signed quarterbacks isn’t really that far out of the norm.
Knowing Georgia had ranked sixth among current big-5 conference schools in overall winning percentage during the Richt era, for a sampling, I looked up the number of quarterback signees from 2001 through 2015 of the five schools which ranked ahead of the Bulldogs in winning percentage: 1) Ohio State, 2) Oklahoma, 3) LSU, 4) TCU, and 5) Oregon.
Compared to Georgia’s total of 13 QB signees the previous 15 years, or 0.87 annually, the five other programs averaged exactly 17 QB signees from 2001 to 2015, or 1.21 annually. The difference isn’t necessarily significant like when compared to Georgia’s previous coaching regimes; still, it’s inconsistent enough to mention.
So, some ado about not much.
The more interesting question for me is what explains the signing rate under Dooley, who signed five more quarterbacks in his last twelve years than his three successors did in the twenty-seven seasons that followed. I’m guessing there were more than a few position changes involved, but, still, that’s a huge difference. Thoughts, anyone?