Georgia Football: National Signing Day Was a Huge Win for the Bulldogs
Note: Unless specifically noted all rankings, ratings, etc. via the 247Sports Composite. Also, publish time on this bad boy was 6:00 p.m. ET on February 1, 2017. So pardon any developments in the evening.
There’s an awful lot to like about Georgia’s 2017 recruiting class, but if you’re a light follower of recruiting like myself (and like Chad) it may be hard to know where to begin. So with that in mind, I’ve sifted through the rough to find the five diamonds that you—an avid follower of recruiting or a casual Georgia fan—will find most encouraging.
1. This is Georgia’s Best Class Ranking—Maybe Ever
If you believe in college football rankings, then this is the best Georgia recruiting class ever. I believe in rankings because 1. The correlation between success in recruiting and success in games is rich and 2. The correlation between individual player ratings and NFL futures is rich. I’ve talked about this at length so do some research if you’re a nerd (check this out).
So, as a believer this class is insane relative to Georgia’s already high standards.
The 247Sports Composite (which combines all major recruiting services) has the Bulldogs ranked third in the nation. They’ve never finished higher (data going back to 2000). The 2006 class was also third (but with a lower average rating, fewer 5-star signees and fewer 4-star signees).
Rivals.com has Georgian ranked third as well. That’s the best recorded on the site (which posts data since 2002).
Scout.com pegs Georgia with the second-best class in the nation. The Bulldogs have never topped that spot.
ESPN tabs the Dawgs as the nation’s third-best class. Again, this is the best class reported by the site.
So if you buy that class rankings matter, this is an epic success for Kirby Smart! Even if you buy the myth that Georgia out-recruits its peers (it doesn’t: See Alabama, LSU and Florida over the past decade), this is a huge class.
2. This Class is Incredible – Numerically Speaking
Georgia’s average recruit rating (per 247Sports) is 92.71. That’s the third-best tally in the nation behind Ohio State (94.47) and Alabama (93.61). That’s really a fantastic number. Consider other elite classes in the last ten years (2017 classes italicized).
- 2017 Ohio State (94.47)
- 2015 Alabama (93.64)
- 2017 Alabama (93.61)
- 2014 Alabama (93.59)
- 2010 Florida (93.55)
- 2010 Texas (93.55)
- 2013 Alabama (93.25)
- 2009 USC (93.16)
- 2012 Alabama (93.09)
- 2016 Alabama (92.85)
- 2017 Georgia (92.71)
Now, the numbers above just represent individual player averages. Another way to look at this would be by evaluating 247Sports (again, they compile all sites’ data) total class ratings. For 2017 the Top 5 classes are as follows:
- Alabama: 322.53
- Ohio State: 310.97
- Georgia 300.98
- Southern Cal: 296.12
- Michigan: 293.77
Those numbers take things into account like actual class size. In other words, these ratings give preference to Alabama’s 29 signees over Ohio State’s 21, even though the average rating of committed Buckeyes was higher. This is a combination of quality and quantity.
Where does Georgia’s rating of 300.98 stack up historically? Consider how many classes bested that total over the past ten years:
- 2017: 2 (Alabama, Ohio State)
- 2016: 1 (Alabama)
- 2015: 2 (Alabama, Southern Cal)
- 2014: 1 (Alabama)
- 2013: 2 (Alabama, Ohio State)
- 2012: 1 (Alabama)
- 2011: 0
- 2010: 2 (Florida, Texas)
- 2009: 0
- 2008: 0
3. This Was NOT a Weak National Class – Georgia Just Killed It
The bullet-points above support this case. At worst, Georgia’s class rating of 300.98 would rank third among its peers in any class over the past decade. And, this class would only rank third four times in the last ten years (this year, 2015, 2013 and 2010). So by that measure, this is a strong national class. Case in point, it would have been the second-best class in the nation in 2016, 2014 and 2012. It would have been the best class in 2011, 2009 and 2008.
- Best Class in 2008: Notre Dame (294.67)
- Best Class in 2009: LSU (291.33)
- Best Class in 2011: Alabama (298.50).
Further, consider how the nation’s third-best class has held up each of the ten years prior to 2017.
|Year||No. 3 Class||Average Rating||Total Rating||5-Star||4-Star|
Now Consider Georgia’s 2017 class:
|Category||Result||Better Than No. 3 Class AVG||Rank Among Previous 10 Classes|
|Average Rating||92.71||YES||Tied – 2nd|
|5-Star Players||2||NO||Tied – 5th|
|5 & 4-Star Players||20||YES||First|
4. Georgia Landed Elite Players All Over The Field
- Richard LeCounte III is the no. 2 safety prospect in the country.
- Jake Fromm is the the no. 3 Pro-Style QB in the country.
- Deangelo Gibbs is the no. 4 safety in the country.
- D’Andre Swift is the no. 4 running back in the country.
- Malik Herring is the no. 4 strong-side defensive end in the country.
- Isaiah Wilson is the no. 5 offensive tackle in the country.
- Nate McBride is the no. 6 inside linebacker in the country.
- Netori Johnson is the no. 7 offensive guard in the country.
- Robert Beal is the no. 8 weak-side defensive end in the country.
- Jaden Hunter is the no. 9 outside linebacker in the country.
- Andrew Thomas is the no. 9 offensive tackle in the country.
- D’Marcus Hayes is the no. 2 JUCO offensive tackle in the country.
In total, 12 new Georgia signees rank among the nation’s Top 10 at their respective position. Six play offense, six play defense.
Seventeen of the nation’s Top 200 high school prospects signed with Georgia. That’s staggering. Only Alabama snagged more Top 200 players (with 18).
5. Georgia Locked Down the State
I do think in-state recruiting can get a bit blown out of proportion. Get the best players you can get; I don’t care where they’re from. But by practically every measure Georgia held its own in Peach State.
The state’s top prospect was a QB, Davis Mills, heading to Stanford. He’s regarded as the top QB in the class. Georgia got the third-best Pro-Style passer in the class (Fromm) and the No. 2 Pro-Style QB last year (Eason), so it’s not a shock that Mills went elsewhere. Aubrey Solomon, no. 3 in the state and the nation’s second-best DT went to Michigan.
Outside of that, it’s hard to find much fault with what Georgia did in-state.
Five of the Top 10 players in the state are staying home. In addition to Mills and Solomon, Georgia missed on three defensive backs—AJ Terrell, Xavier McKinney and Jaymest Williams were ranked 7th, 8th and 9th in the state respectively. But, Georgia signed two DBs who ranked second (LeCounte) and 6th (Deangelo Gibbs) in the state.
Players 11-16 in the 247 Composite State Rankings ALL chose Georgia. So 11 of the Top 16 will suit of for the red and black.
That’s all I got/