Georgia just got through going toe to toe with the defending national champions in the SEC Championship Game. Georgia has also signed a top three recruiting class in each of the past three cycles.
These things are not coincidental.
We’ve learned over time that being a great Xs and Os coach isn’t enough to win a national title. College football supremacy requires the Jimmys and Joes, as well. There’s even a pretty good formula to tell you if you’ve got a shot to win it all.
College football’s early National Signing Day will take place on Wednesday, December 19, 2018, a mere 16 days away. We’ll have plenty of recruiting odds, ends, tidbits, and predictions over the next couple of weeks. But if you haven’t been following along the whole time, here’s where things stand.
Kirby Smart: Really Good At Recruiting
It should come as no surprise that Georgia is in pretty good shape. The rest of the SEC’s elite football teams aren’t suffering either. Georgia is currently #3 in 247Sports’ ranking of the top classes for 2019.
Alabama is back at the #1 spot, Texas A&M and Jimbo Fisher have been inviting recruits to sniff that new program smell and making the sale without even throwing in the free cup holders. The Aggies are at #2. Ed Orgeron’s recruiting pitch remains as incomprehensible as ever. But a good year for talent in Louisiana, where the Bayou Bengals almost can’t lose, has Da Coach O’s team at #4.
“Too Soon, Jimbo.”
The good news for Georgia fans is that, like Vin Diesel in a movie street race, Kirby hasn’t really hit the Nos yet (so far as we know....that fake punt might have been a symptom of disorientation, one of the hallmarks of nitrous oxide exposure). The Athenians have 18 pledges for this cycle. Alabama has 22 commits of the 25 they can count for this cycle. TAMU has 24, and LSU 20. In short, Georgia can pack in as many as seven more commits before even considering whether they might part ways with any current commits/players to make more room.
Where My (Future) ‘Dawgs At?
And the ‘Dawgs have plenty of big time recruits remaining on the board. While we’ll talk about these players in more detail soon, Georgia is involved in the recruitment of enough four and five star recruits to expect some pleasant news right down to December 19th, and perhaps beyond.
Bulldog fans and Dawg Sports readers love the big guys, and Kirby & Co. seem to agree. Georgia remains a player for Oxford, Alabama standout Clay Webb, the nation’s top center prospect. The 6’3, 295 pounder may play in the heart of Tide country, but he has family in Athens, GA and has a fondness for Sam Pittman (don’t we all?).
Coach Pittman is also still working on a couple of tackles to add to the class along with mammoth Rhode Island native Xavier Truss. West Virginian Darnell Wright and Illinois native Trevor Keegan would each be outstanding additions to Pittman’s growing stable of large sons. Wright is also considering Alabama, Tennessee, and Ohio State. The Vols have early playing time to offer, which may be hard to turn down. Keegan will be a battle with Big Ten powers Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State, though Clemson remains an option as well. I like Georgia’s chances to land one of these guys, with Keegan being the guess. Yes siiirrrr!
Defensively the ‘Dawgs already have six commitments up front. A couple of those appear less than solid, however. If Georgia picks up an “off the board” sleeper prospect at any position, defensive line may be it.
The Red and Black are also looking to add elite linebacking talent. The primary remaining target here is Mississippi five star Nakobe Dean, who is also considering the home state Rebel Black Bears, Alabama, LSU, and Florida State among others.
Perhaps the most closely watched recruitment over these last couple of weeks for ‘Dawg fans will be that of Cedar Grove wide receiver Jadon Haselwood. Haselwood, the nation’s top wide receiver and the top prospect in the state of Georgia, was a longtime commitment to the Red and Black before opening things back up in October.
At the time many thought Miami was the chief competition. I continue to believe that Oklahoma, the alma mater of Haselwood’s dad and possessor of perhaps the most high-powered offense in the Power 5, is actually the team to be concerned about. With the loss of Jayson Stanley, Terry Godwin, and Ahkil Crumpton, and Riley Ridley, Mecole Hardman, and Tyler Simmons all draft eligible, Georgia needs elite receivers ready to play from day one. Haselwood has to be viewed as a top priority.
In short, we’re in for an eventful couple of weeks. Until later...