Georgia ‘Crootin (on this site?): Primer on the Six Early Enrollees
Yeah, that’s right. Offseason hysteria means dipping a toe into my least favorite subject in the game, recruiting. My excuse here: well, these guys are on campus, not having slumber parties with Jim Harbaugh being stalked on social media by grown men.
*Leers accusingly at you, the reader*
Stop following children on Instagram.
ANYWAY, according to 247sports’ composite rankings, Georgia has the highest-quality recruiting class in the country. The Dawgs’ 16 commits have an average rating of .9219 (out of 1, which is given to the #1 overall recruit only), besting LSU’s .9215, Alabama’s .9128, and Ohio State’s .9118.
That high rating is driven largely by the six recruits who started class in Athens on Monday. If you know of a more recruiting-rankings-wise star-studded group of early enrollees, please comment and list ’em. These are your newest Georgia Bulldogs:
2 of the top 10? 4 of the top 60? That’s some great work,
Kirby Smart Mark Richt. There generally aren’t more than 7 or 8 teams with more than 3 top-100 recruits in any given class, so to get four of them in for the spring? YOOOOOGE first step for the KirbyDawgs.
Let’s get to know them.
Jacob Eason, QB: Well, congratulations, Jason. With your highly-publicized wavering on UGA, every article about you painting your dad as a helicopter parent, and Georgia’s current lack of a QB…the weight of the program’s next three years are on you, bud! I did see Eason make one of the more impressive downfield throws I’ve ever seen during the US Army AA game last Saturday, a 50-yard frozen rope. Unfortunately for him, the expectations are cerebral Stafford or bust.
Isaac Nauta, TE: Given his attendance at IMG Academy, Nauta has essentially been a professional for two years. He joins a ridiculous group of pass-catching TE’s already on campus, so expectations can be tempered somewhat. However, he comes in as the nation’s #1 non-QB skill talent. I expect him and JEB BLAZE to unleash merciless hell out play action in two-TE sets.
Julian Rochester, DT: Assuming the obvious, Georgia is going to an Alabama-style 3-4. At 6’5 321, Rochester (depending on his athleticism, you be the judge in linked videos) could profile as a NT or a big end. If he has the commensurate strength to match his size, expect him to join Trenton Thompson in creating a young D-line as soon as September.
Ben Cleveland, OT: I like this guy because he committed with Eason and then…did and said nothing for the next 18 months. He’ll likely be counted on in the rotation from day 1, as Georgia replaces tackles Kolton Houston and John Theus.
Riley Ridley, WR: There are four articles on his 247sports timeline calling him ‘Calvin Ridley’, thus my expectations for him are through the freaking roof. Anything less than 1000 yards and 7 TD’s like his mistaken namesake and he’s a bust.
Chad Clay, DB: The lowest-rated recruit among the six, Clay sports the best first name possible. He fits the profile as a physical Smart corner, but shouldn’t need to be counted on right away with Georgia’s young-yet-experienced secondary.
This is a formidable bunch, and its a great start to Smart’s tenure to already have these guys on campus…since, ya know, Kirby has been pulling double duty for the past month. Hopefully, the Dawgs can finish the 2016 ‘crootin class strong, and these guys make some early waves to offset the new staff’s lack of relationship-building for the 2017 class.