National Signing Day Recap: This Georgia Class is the BEST!!!!!
To say that Georgia had a disappointing Signing Day would be to utter an equally accurate and misleading indictment. Yes, Signing Day itself had its fair share of letdowns. But that should not overshadow the class that Georgia brought in.
By way of recap here are a few brief and scattered thoughts on the class. And later, by way of opinion I’ll address the big picture.
- Laremy Tunsil seemed a lock for Georgia this time last week. He signed with Ole Miss.
- Dontravious Adams followed Rodney Garner to Auburn.
- Dee Liner remained in the grasp of Nick Saban.
- Alvin Kamara joined a host of other talented backs in Tuscaloosa rather than biding his time behind Gurshall.
None of the subjects above came as a surprise. Somewhat surprising was the addition of DeVondre Seymour. He may or may not qualify but this time last week he was off the grid. Davin Bellamy also seemed at risk to go elsewhere, but he chose the Dawgs. Perhaps the biggest surprise of all was that no player considered to be “committed” to Georgia flipped at the last minute, and there’s something to be said for that. Dozens of long-standing Georgia commits held firm, and for that we should be appreciative.
The Top-End Talent:
Georgia didn’t bring in any coveted five-star recruits but the Bulldogs brought in 15 four-star athletes according to Rivals.com. Here’s how the SEC Graded out with regards to four and five-star players:
|Team||Four and Five-Star Recruits|
The Big Picture:
I anticipate hearing three primary complaints regarding this signing class:
- Georgia didn’t land a five-star stud.
- Georgia didn’t finish with a top-10 class.
- Georgia didn’t keep talent in-state.
I think the table above answers any question regarding the “big five-star stud” issue. No, Georgia didn’t get one, but Georgia landed fifteen four-star athletes. No, Georgia didn’t land one of the nation’s 33 five-star prospects. But the Bulldogs brought in six of the nation’s top 235 players. And for what it’s worth the last time Georgia brought in more than 15 four and five-star recruits was in 2006.
I’d trade a couple five-star athletes for that kind of depth. Especially when four-star players like Todd Gurley, Keith Marshall, Damian Swann, Malcolm Mitchell, Amarlo Herrera and Aaron Murray seem to be doing just fine. Four-star talents like Tavarres King, Brandon Boykin, Cornelius Washington (2008), Orson Charles and Abry Jones (2009) and Alec Ogletree (2010) are or will be cashing in on their four-star rankings at the NFL level. Four-star players are very, very good. Just ask Jarvis Jones.
And no, Georgia didn’t finish with a top-10 class (at least not according to Rivals.com). But neither did last year’s class that saw six players (Gurley, Marshall, John Theus, Jordan Jenkins, Collin Barber, Marshall Morgan) start as true freshmen for a team that was five yards away from playing in the National Championship.
Georgia filled needs this year. Eight defensive backs came in to replenish depth. Four offensive linemen signed. Three defensive tackles and five linebackers faxed in paperwork. Oh, and thirteen of these signees have already been preparing with the team in Athens as early enrollees.
Georgia did lose a lot of in-state talent, some of which can be accounted for some of which cannot.
- Robert Nkemdiche went to play with his brother at Ole Miss.
- Montravious Adams followed his recruiter (Rodney Garner) to Auburn.
- QB Anthony Jennings would not have fit Georgia’s system.
Not Accounted for:
- Why wasn’t Georgia ever a player in the Carl Lawson sweepstakes?
- Why did Vonn Bell choose a Big 10 power over an SEC power?
- Why do elite RBs (Alvin Kamara and Tyern Jones for instance) prefer getting lost in Alabama’s depth chart to contributing right away for a Georgia team that is almost as good?
But to be fair, Georgia wrangled some elite players from out of state. Much to my delight, Georgia stole five of Florida’s best players (Paris Bostick – 85th, Ryne Rankin – 53rd, Reggie Wilkerson – 41st, A.J. Turman – 38th, Reggie Davis – 37th). Tim Kimbrough was considered the third best prospect in the state of Indiana. Uriah LeMay was North Carolina’s 16th best prospect. Tramel Terry was South Carolina’s 5th best player.
And, it remains to be seen if either side of this coin (side one: Georgia lost a lot of in-state talent, side two: Georgia brought in a lot of out-of-state talent) will become a trend. Obviously, I think we all like the familiarity of locking the state walls and bringing in the best of the best from this home state. It should be noted that four of Georgia’s last five NFL Draft Picks taken in the first two rounds (A.J. Green, Mohamed Massaquoi, Knowshon Moreno, Matthew Stafford) were from outside of Georgia (Cordy Glenn last year is the exception). And, 13 of the 28 players drafted from Georgia since 2009 were from outside of the state. So, out of state isn’t necessarily bad.
This isn’t the type of recruiting class that you’ll tell your grandkids about, but when you consider all of the following factors (some of which have already been mentioned), it’s hard to hang your head:
- 33 Total Signees
- 13 Early Enrollees
- 15 four-star athletes
- 6 players with JUCO or Prep School experience
- Four sets of teammates (John Atkins and Leonard Floyd from Hargrave Military Academy, Kennar Johnson and Chris Mayes from Gulf Coast C.C., Quincy Mauger and Brendan Langley from Kell High School, Brice Ramsey and J.J. Green from Camden County High School)
- Only three “late” committees, meaning 30 players have been Committed to the G for quite some time
That’s all I got/