Alright. Alright. Alright. Yesterday sucked. There’s really no other way to put it. It’s never fun getting obliterated by another team, much less those lying, cheating F**ks from Ole Miss. Yea, we have Nick Chubb. Yea, Jacob Eason is the second coming of Jesus Christ. Yea, we have Kirby Smart. And yea, we thought we were pretty darn good after that UNC game. News Flash: We aren’t. We’re lucky to have three wins, to be honest. We aren’t Alabama (Yet). We’re fricking Georgia. We always get a top 10 recruiting class. We always have a couple superstars. We always come into the season with a lot of hype. We always suffer a catastrophic blow out loss early, and get knocked back down into reality. And most of the time, we always recover (Although we probably won’t this year, but I’ll get there), finish with 10 wins, and migrate south to Orlando for the Capital One bowl. Then we do it again the next year. It’s most accurately defined by one phrase: The Mark Richt Era. Yea, I know we thought we’d all fixed the problem (firing Mark Richt), but we’ve still got some growing pains to go through. Nick Saban went 7-6 his first year at Alabama, including a loss to Louisiana-Monroe. Pete Carroll went 6-6 his first year at USC. Even Vince Dooley went 7-3-1 his first year at UGA. My point: A dynasty doesn’t get built in a day. So, UGA fans, before you start freaking out and calling for Kirby’s job, in the words of Aaron Rodgers "R-E-L-A-X."
We just aren’t that good. Mark Richt pretty much stopped recruiting and coaching after that 2012 season. As a result, the cupboard is pretty damn near empty. Yea, we’ve got a ridiculous group of running backs and tight ends, a stud at QB, and a couple other studs here and there (Trent Thompson, Isaiah Wynn, Greg Pyke, Natrez Patrick, etc.). But don’t let that fool you. For the most part, we’ve got a lot of holes. A LOT. So, how did we get here? What are the "Holes"?
The 2013 Recruiting class
It begins with the 2013 recruiting class. That is the current senior class, and SHOULD be the backbone of our team right now. But, it’s not. As DawgNation and my boy, Chip Towers, pointed out, that class was a disaster, to say the least. It was ranked 12th in the country, which is actually pretty good, and included 33 members. But, don’t let those numbers fool you. Out of that class of 33, only 14 players are on the current roster. Out of that class of 33, 15 members have since transferred or never even enrolled at UGA (3 of which were kicked off the team). Out of that 33, 5 players are currently starting for UGA (including Reggie Davis, Mauger, and John Atkins, who have been in and out of the starting lineup). This class included the likes of Brice Ramsey, Jonathan Rumph, Tramel Terry, Tray Matthews, Shaq Wiggins, and Brendan Langley. All of which, have turned out to be busts in most people’s opinions. When you have a class of 33, that only produces 3 quality SEC starters (Kublanow, Leonard Floyd, and Davin Bellamy), that’s a problem.
The Offensive Line
This might be the worst offensive line we’ve had in 15 years (not to say that any of our previous ones under Richt were overwhelming.) I think our left tackle situation sums it up best. Tyler Catalina, was a 2nd team player in the Colonial Athletic Association, and is now the starting left tackle for one of the top teams in the SEC. Really? Need I say more? Since 2013, Mark Richt signed a grand total of 3 offensive lineman ranked in the rivals 250. In that same time span Alabama has signed 9. That’s 3 times the number of quality offensive lineman than UGA. Richt just didn’t get it. He didn’t value offensive lineman for whatever reason. He only signed one rivals 100 lineman during his tenure at UGA. One. Kirby Smart said it himself, ‘games in the SEC are won on the line of scrimmage.’ UGA is severely lacking in talent in this area.
Georgia’s top 3 receivers (Reggie Davis, Terry Godwin, and McKenzie) are under 6 feet and under 185 pounds. Correct me if I’m mistaken, but after watching Alabama, Ole Miss, and Tennessee this weekend, I don’t think they have one notable receiver under 6’1’ or 6’2’ and 185 pounds. Our talent on the perimeter is abysmal and it has been on full display the past 2 games, which have included a combined 13 (give or take a few) dropped passes. I honestly believe that a few friends and myself could put up a better performance than that. One more thing: Terry Godwin is not a 5 star, so everyone needs to give up on those hopes and dreams. He’s 5’11’, 180 pounds and is a quality slot receiver at best. He’s never going to be a go to guy on the perimeter.
Once again, this one is on Richt. He recruited and offered Rodrigo Blankenship a scholarship, expecting him to be Marshall Morgan's replacement. Uh yea, don't think that's working out too well. He also left Kirby with no punters. But, there is a solution (for now). He's already on campus too. In fact, he's already on the team. His name? Brice Ramsey. I'm not kidding either. Ramsey, aka "The Golden Boot", excelled last year as our punter and rumor has it that he made some kicks from 50+ in high school.
If your familiar with any of the top defenses in the SEC the past couple years, you notice similar trends in their secondaries: Tall, lanky, athletic corners, and ball hawking, hard-hitting safeties. Georgia has a couple players that fit this mold (Sanders, Smith, and Aaron Davis are the only ones that come to mind), but not near enough. Parrish is good for his size, but the guy is 5’9’ and is lining up against receivers that are sometimes 7 inches taller than him. And I’m not even going to start with Juwuan Briscoe. I could write a whole article, by itself, about his play this season.
There is Hope
Ok. So that was some pretty gloomy stuff. But, it’s reality. That’s who we are right now. We are severely lacking in talent and are mediocre at best. Anyone still want Mark Richt back? There’s good news though. There is hope. Kirby and the boys are making moves, and the ship is being turned in the right direction. Once again though, Alabama football, Barstool, The Great Wall of China, hell even Harambe, weren’t built overnight. Great things take time. Even though we won 10 games last year, this is still a rebuilding project .We have a very young team and have a couple great recruiting classes on the way. This year will be tough (hell we’ll be lucky to win 6 games), next year will be better (probably 10-3), but 2018 will be the first "real" season under Kirby Smart. It took Saban 3 years at Bama, and Meyer 3 years at OSU. So, Georgia fans, give it a couple years. 2018 will be the season that the sleeping giant awakes. And if we still suck then, then everyone should freak out. But in the meantime, everyone needs to R-E-L-A-X.