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What does Georgia’s latest 2018 scholarship offer mean?

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Samford v Georgia Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Georgia issued a scholarship offer to Brookwood wide receiver Matthew Hill today. Normally, this wouldn’t be particularly newsworthy. Hill is a four star recruit who committed to Auburn a few weeks ago. At 6’2 and 175 pounds he has the height and speed UGA has been looking for to upgrade the position. His midseason highlights continue to build on an already impressive onfield resume.

But what’s noteworthy here is that Kirby Smart extended a receiver offer this late in the recruiting calendar. Prevailing wisdom had it that Georgia would likely sign no more than 2 receivers in this class after inking 5 as part of the class of 2017. Florida standout Elijah Moore and Peach County speedster Kearis Jackson are already committed, and seem about as solid as any other recruit at this stage of the game.

What might Hill’s offer tell us? It could be any of several things. One is that Mark Webb’s move to cornerback from receiver is permanent. But that seems unlikely since the ‘Dawgs have 10 receivers on the roster and Javon Wims is the only senior. There would be plenty of bodies in the WR meeting room already.

Another possibility is that attrition appears likely, either at receiver or another position, and Hill was just the next player on the coaches’ recruiting board in line for an offer. Offensive lineman Sage Hardin recently announced he’s hanging up the cleats, and there are some other guys on the roster with injuries that could ultimately sideline them permanently. It’s also possible that four games in coaches have identified some players who don’t appear likely to contribute going forward, and will be encouraged to seek opportunity somewhere else.

Another reason could be that another prospect who had an offer has now let coaches know he won’t be coming to Athens. Given that Georgia just had a ton of recruits in town, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for one of them to have delivered the bad news personally.

Perhaps coaches now anticipate additional underclassmen leaving after 2017. This may be the best explanation.. Ask yourself, what has changed recently to convince UGA coaches they have more ‘ships to offer next year? A compelling possibility is the realization that several Bulldog underclassmen (Roquan Smith, Terry Godwin, and Trent Thompson come to mind) are having the type of season that makes turning pro seem like a good idea.

Hill remains firmly committed to Auburn as of this writing, so we may never know what prompted the late offer. But it’s another reminder that roster management never stops in college football, even when you’re getting ready to send Butch Jones to the unemployment line. Until later...

Go ‘Dawgs!!!