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Early National Signing Day: 3 Burning Bulldog Questions

SEC Championship - LSU v Georgia Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Tomorrow is Early National Signing Day, and as usual Kirby Smart and his staff are in the hunt for the nation’s top class. Before the big day arrives, let’s look at some of the big questions facing Bulldog fans.

  1. Can Georgia secure yet another “Signing Day National Championship”?

Possibly, but it may be tough. According to 247Sports’ rankings the Red and Black are currently alone in second place behind Alabama. The Bulldogs have 23 commitments to the Tide’s 25, and both teams are still looking to add some big names (more on that in a moment). The gap between Nick Saban’s team and Smart’s is currently about 17 points (318.58 to 301.56), which is a pretty wide margin.

Still, if the Tide miss on a couple of big name players and suffer a couple of defections, it’s possible the ‘Dawgs could wind up with the top class. That being said, I’m not too worried about whether this class ends up #1 or #2. The name of the game in recruiting is volume, and this class has enough players at positions of need to keep the cupboard stocked.

What’s more, a quick perusal of the transfer portal over the past couple of years leads me to the conclusion that Georgia has passed Alabama in terms of evaluating players. When this staff seems to reach for players who aren’t as highly rated as fans may like their hit rate is extremely high. A #2 class with underrated difference makers like Ladd McConkey, Dillon Bell, and Javon Bullard is perfectly fine by me.

2. Can Georgia flip Justice Haynes?

Doubtful. This seems to be the question du jour for UGA fans. The #3 running back in the nation and the #2 player in the Peach State surprised a lot of people with his verbal commitment to Alabama, especially given his father Verron’s place in Bulldog football history. But the younger Haynes has been steadfast in his desire to go somewhere to chart his own course. That hasn’t stopped the Bulldog staff from recruiting him, and he hasn’t exactly been telling them to get lost.

That being said, I still expect Haynes to sign with the Tide. He’s been committed for long enough and recruited for the Tide enough that jumping to the ‘Dawgs now would be a huge coup.

3. Well then, which recruits are Kirby & Co. likely to finish with?

There are still some true blue chippers in play for the ‘Dawgs. Five star edge rusher Damon Wilson of Venice, Florida (Venice HS) will choose between Georgia and Ohio State. The nation’s #13 prospect has gotten several 247 Crystal ball predictions to the good guys.

The Red and Black are also still in the running for the nation’s top tight end, Phoenix standout Duce Robinson. Robinson, the #17 prospect in America, has Georgia, Texas, and USC as his finalists, but may not announce a decision until February.

Defensive tackles are always in high demand in the SEC, and Georgia is looking to add another to the 2023 class with Jacksonville standout Jordan Hall. The 6’5, 310 pounder has an enormous wingspan and quick first step. The #73 player in the 247Sports Composite rankings, he’ll choose from among offers from Georgia, Alabama, Florida and LSU.

Georgia is also a strong contender for North Carolina athlete KJ Jones. The three star prospect is one of those guys we see every year, whose recruitment picks up following a solid senior season. Jones was a North Carolina State commitment but picked up a UGA offer when he visited for the Tennessee game in November. The 6’0, 200 pound standout projects as a cornerback or safety at the college level.