After a morning and early afternoon full of recruiting wins, Kirby Smart’s luck finally ran out. Within fifteen minutes this afternoon both the top offensive and defensive lineman in the state, Archer’s E.J. Price and Lanier’s Derrick Brown, announced they’d be leaving the state to play their college football. Price, forecast by many to reaffirm a prior commitment to the Bulldogs, instead elected to head west to Southern Cal. Brown, as many had expected, chose the Auburn Tigers over the instate school.
Price’s decision was a little bit of a surprise given the distance to L.A. But the Trojans do have a solid history of turning out offensive linemen, a current need for players at the position, and a locale that can’t be beat on a January visit. Brown has been recruited by Rodney Garner for a long, long time and the two have a special relationship. Retaining Tracy Rocker may have kept Georgia in this one, but it wasn’t enough to overcome that. For the third time in the past seven years, the top player in the state according to 247Sports rankings (in this case Brown) will be leaving the state to play his college football. That’s not terrible, but it’s not exactly outstanding, either.
I’ll be along later with a more thorough look at Georgia’s signing class. But for now I can say that these two losses hurt. Price because Georgia really needed to secure a prototype left tackle to guard the blind side and whiffed on at least three, despite the fact that there’s no such player on campus at the moment. In 2016 some combination of guys who’ve proven somewhat serviceable at the spot or haven’t proven anything yet will have to anchor that spot. Brown stings because he seemed to be leaning to the Bulldogs for such a long time before slipping through the ‘Dawgs outstretched paws at the end. What can you say? You win some, you lose some. Here’s wishing both young men success in their college careers. Until later . . .