No questions. pic.twitter.com/gGN97NENnw
— D1 (@the__Duno) December 14, 2015
Georgia's recruiting has taken a hit at the skill positions since Mark Richt's departure, though the defections so far have been from out-of-state prospects like Texans Devwah Whaley and Davion Curtis. Until today. On Monday Georgia lost commitments from a pair of instate players, 2016 Houston County wide receiver Darion Anderson and 2017 McEachern QB Bailey Hockman.
Anderson, a three star recruit according to 247Sports, was an early, enthusiastic commit for this year's class. He was also a huge fan of Coach Richt, and it's not that surprising that he'd look around a little. While I really like Anderson as a player, this isn't necessarily a crushing blow. If there's an issue, it's that Georgia remains perilously low on playmakers at the receiving position, and needs actual warm bodies in the receiving corps for 2016. And Anderson really is an explosive player with the ball in his hands. Here's hoping that new offensive coordinator Jim Chaney can start getting things together for this class. However, I have a strong suspicion that Georgia's major contribution at the wide receiver position next season is going to have to come from some of the guys on campus now other than Terry Godwin making serious progress.
Hockman on the other hand is a higher rated prospect (#3 pro style QB in the 2017 class according to 247Sports, #7 player in the state of Georgia). But if Jacob Eason stays in the fold his loss might be felt much less acutely. What's more, there's still plenty of time for Hockman to come back into the fold. If he doesn't, it might give Georgia a chance to take a run at 2018 Cartersville QB Trevor Lawrence, a player who I personally have rated higher than Hockman.
Lawrence is rumored to be favoring Clemson and Tennessee at this point, in part because Georgia looked to have a fully loaded quarterback rotation by the time he would arrive in Athens. It will be interesting to see if Chaney's work with Tyler Bray at Tennessee may give him something to talk about with Lawrence. I also wouldn't forestall Georgia taking another run at Houston County QB Jake Fromm, an excellent pro-style signal caller who was recently named the Gatorade player of the year in Georgia and committed to Alabama after Hockman chose the 'Dawgs. It's all fluid right now.
As we've talked about since the coaching changes happened, there's going to be recruiting fallout. And things are likely to get worse before they get better, especially on offense. Mark Richt has an unrivaled reputation as a developer of quarterbacks and Georgia doesn't have that anymore. While Kirby Smart's defensive chops will open doors, and excitement around the program will continue to pay dividends with commitments like the recent one from Richard LeCounte. But Georgia's success on the recruiting trail in the long run is going to depend on the new staff doing some things on the field in 2016 to prove this program is headed in the right direction. Until that happens, these may not be the last defections.