National Signing Day got off to an early and inauspicious start for Georgia Bulldog fans tonight as wide receiver commitment Darius Slayton officially flipped his commitment from the Bulldogs to the "University of Auburn" WarPlainsWalletFillers.
Slayton's mother answered some questions for the AJC about her son's suddenly close recruitment, including revealing that she's apparently always been kind of an Auburn fan. She also allowed as how Mike Bobo's departure may have also had something to do with the Slayton's renewed affinity for blue and orange. For me this raises the specter, which had been dead for a couple of years, regarding Tony Ball's recruiting chops. Usually when a coordinator leaves it falls to a player's position coach and the head coach to steady the relationship. With Van Jefferson and now with Slayton that appears not to have happened.
The Bulldogs are now less likely to be able to play Terry Godwin at his (in my mind) more natural position of cornerback, assuming that Godwin doesn't also decide that Auburn is the place for him at his announcement ceremony tomorrow evening at 6:00 p.m. If Godwin also defects, a Georgia receiver class that had looked like the best in the nation in mid-December now won't be in position to replace the production lost with the graduation of Chris Conley, Michael Bennett, and Jonathan Rumph. While Michael Chigbu has a lot of potential, Jayson Stanley is coming off an ACL tear and may not be in a position to contribute in 2015. The class could get a modicum of help, however, if the 'Dawgs are able to raid Miami's class for receiver Terrell Chatman.
But that's unlikely to salve the loss of one of the state's best receivers to the hated Plainsmen. If this is a harbinger of things to come, Mark Richt's gonna have a lot of fun meeting fans tomorrow night to explain how excited recruits are about the new Bulldog offense.