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Georgia football in-state recruiting isn’t struggling, it’s reverting back to its pre-pandemic ways

SystemSystem Posts: 7,416 admin
edited July 2022 in Article commenting
imageGeorgia football in-state recruiting isn’t struggling, it’s reverting back to its pre-pandemic ways

A lot has been made of Georgia football's ability to recruit the state of Georgia given some recent misses.

Read the full story here


  • BubbaBillBubbaBill Posts: 1,168 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    If we get (5-star) Richard Young then we would out recruit Bama in the RB battle since Justice Haynes is a 4-star. Only time will tell. Go Dawgs!!!

  • pepinpepin Posts: 52 ✭✭ Sophomore

    "But if simply locking down your home state were so simple, Florida, Texas, Florida State and Texas A&M would have more than one combined College Football Playoff appearance."

    Nonsense like that is absurd.

    Texas: Baylor, TCU, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Texas-Austin

    Florida: Miami, FSU, UF

    Alabama: Auburn, Alabama

    South Carolina: Clemson, Gamecocks

    North Carolina: UNC, NC State, Wake Forest, Duke

    California: UCLA, Cal-Berkeley, USC, Stanford

    Georgia: UGA. That's it. Yes, I have a ton of respect for Georgia Tech but the only times they have even tried to compete in recruiting were under Bobby Ross and Chan Gailey. (And the idiot Tech fanbase - incited by Mark Bradley at the AJC - ran Gailey off before he had time to build both lines and recruit pro style QBs - Gailey was trying to do at UGA what Jim Harbaugh did at Stanford - because they were convinced that George O'Leary's going 8-4 every year was "more exciting" so they hired Paul Johnson to ignore recruiting and go back to that nonsense.)

    As UGA has this state to itself, there is no reason why it shouldn't have the same in-state dominance that LSU has over Louisiana and the Buckeyes have over Ohio. I am sorry, but signing a 3 star Pennsylvania WR while deciding to go without a QB at all this year instead of offering Lilburn's Colin Houck (likely Georgia Tech bound at this point) is a choice. Just as was chasing after the Arch Manning pipe dream - Manning was never going to come to a school whose sole successful NFL QBs are Fran Tarkenton (older than his granddad) and Matt Stafford (almost as old as his uncle) - instead of seriously recruiting Dylan Lonergan and Malachi Starks.

    Of course, I am not going to criticize Smart for this. If building a competitive program while doing your level best to recruit Georgia was the goal, Mark Richt was doing a pretty good job winning 10-11 games a year doing that. Instead, Smart was hired to contend for and win national titles. He felt that recruiting nationally was the way to get that done and it is impossible to argue with the results. Yes, Dabo Swinney won 2 titles by heavily focusing on recruiting Georgia, but Clemson is in the ACC. You can't get through the SEC without dominating the line of scrimmage, and based on Richt's example you probably can't get the OL and DL talent that UGA has now by relying primarily on the state of Georgia. Jordan Davis is from North Carolina, as is a similar player in this class Jamaal Jarrett.

    And I am 100% fine with that. But come on AJC, just admit that this is what is going on here. Ideally you would see this situation develop.

    UGA: continues to win national titles with CKS recruiting nationally

    Georgia Tech: hires Bryan McClendon (before another school inevitably does) as their head coach to lock down state recruiting. Best of both worlds. Tech won't be good enough to consistently threaten Georgia, but they will be able to keep the likes of Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Auburn, Texas A&M, LSU, Ohio State etc. from raiding Georgia the way that they do now. Creating a strong NIL system using all of that tech CEO money can make that happen.

  • DallasDawgDallasDawg Posts: 1,258 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    @pepin you took the words right out of my mouth, almost verbatim. Agree 100 percent. Thank you. Go Dawgs!

  • UGADad20UGADad20 Posts: 1,660 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited July 2022

    This article sounds like CR rolling out the company line in a spin control attempt to quell the frustrations of UGA fans at losing home grown talent. All things being almost equal, most fans would prefer their school recruit the in state kids over other players.

    Coming off a NC and subsequently losing out on 13 of the top 15 players in the state seems counter intuitive and short sighted. 3 of the top 4 were good enough for perennial championship contender Alabama to take. No matter how you spin it it is not a good trend.

    If you look down the Rivals 250 list, the '23 class is a pretty lean year for the state of GA regarding HS football prospects. All for taking the best players you can get when you can get them. But IF UGA's "philosophy" is to recruit nationally at the expense of taking equally talented GA players, that sends the wrong message to GA HS players and their coaches and parents (and little brothers).

    It seems that UGA gets an inordinate amount of players from FL. That hold seems precarious and short sighted. IF FU ever gets their stuff together or FL St returns to prominence, that FL pipeline could dry up. Miami is already starting to clean up in FL. Better to have strong relationships in state. Loyalty is a 2 way street.

    You would think that, long term, the home state coach would prefer to take in state HS players to build loyalty to up and coming players and HS coaches. Additionally, in state players are more likely to be comfortable closer to home and less likely to transfer. Many have grown up rooting for the home state team (Dream school). NOT signing Derek Brown probably cost UGA a championship in '17. NOT signing Will Anderson and Jamyr Gibbs may cost UGA a championship THIS year.

    UGA does not have big in state competition. That should make recruiting GA easier than in other states. UGA does have BIG competition for GA HS players. AL often comes in and cherry picks some of the best GA players. Clemson has built their program on GA players. TN has always recruited GA players well. AU has also recruited GA well. SC lifeblood is GA players. Most of that was before CKS. That was supposed to stop w/CKS.

    Not only is it keeping the best GA players in your state and program BUT it is also keeping the best GA players AWAY from your competitors. Another recruiting issue that CKS needs to fix along with QB and WR recruiting. Just shows that Saban is still King of Recruiting and the impact that an upgraded offensive can do for a program. I can't wait for him to retire. I would expect another year of questionable offensive recruiting until UGA can open up the O completely with the bigger armed Beck or BVG.

  • rhbatchrhbatch Posts: 730 ✭✭✭✭ Senior

    To all fans of UGA: If we expect loyalty from Georgia high school players to choose UGA, should we not expect loyalty from UGA fans to players from Georgia. I give you UGA fans (many) a prime example; Stetson Bennett. Loyalty, it's a two-way street.

  • pepinpepin Posts: 52 ✭✭ Sophomore


    I understand your perspective and I used to share it personally. However, I have come to the conclusion that Smart is right here and that UGA fans are wrong. And please realize this: I actually am not much of a fan of Smart as a coach. (Do not ask why. I have my reasons.)

    This is why CKS is right. Look at the past Rivals recruiting rankings of the past 10-15 years. More important, look at the NFL draft, the All-American teams, the All-SEC and All-ACC teams. What will you see? A ton of Georgia talent. So if UGA keeps that talent at home it means that they will dominate on the field, right? Wrong.

    Georgia produces a lot of the following: DEs, LBs, safeties, RBs, interior OLs, TEs and option QBs. That is great ... if you are 1980/1990s era Oklahoma and Nebraska.

    Meanwhile Georgia does not produce much of the following:

    DTs (especially elite ones that can both stop the run and collapse the pocket)

    OTs (especially pass-blocking LTs)

    WRs (especially #1 X and #2 Y ... the state does produce its share of good slot WRs)

    CBs (tall with man to man cover skills)

    QBs (pro style, not option or spread)

    Seriously, UGA fans. Look at the recent All (major) conference, All-American players. The 1st and 2nd round NFL draft picks. The NFL Pro Bowlers. How many products of Georgia high school football played those positions? Name them.

    This is why if UGA is going to actually contend for and win national titles instead of winning 10-11 games and contriving conspiracy theories about how the referees, the SEC office, the media etc. are conspiring to keep UGA down, they need to focus on getting the talent from other states that doesn't exist in UGA.

    Jordan Davis was the first UGA DT to be a #1 draft pick since Jonathan Sullivan in 2003. He is from North Carolina.

    Matt Stafford is the only UGA QB to be a #1 draft pick ever. He is from Texas.

    A.J. Green is the only UGA WR to be a #1 draft pick since Lindsay Scott in the early 80s. He is from South Carolina. Granted George Pickens should have been also, but Alabama.

    Yes, LT Andrew Thomas is from Georgia, but Isaiah Wilson: New York. Eric Stokes was also from Georgia but his backfield mates Tyson Campbell and Lewis Cine? Florida and Texas.

    As for why Georgia doesn't produce very many elite athletes at those positions ... I have some theories but it is for another day. But things being as they are, UGA can only be a top 10 team by relying primarily on Georgia players. Contending for titles is going to require consistently raiding other states for #1 draft picks at positions that Georgia high schools doesn't consistently produce.

  • UGADad20UGADad20 Posts: 1,660 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I think you would be very hard pressed to find any true UGA fan that doesn't root for SBIV to be a great player and especially reduce "the number of boneheaded play" (CKS) he has made in the past (vs AL) . Some UGA fans thought he wasn't the best player to lead them. That isn't disloyalty.

    Why do some fans think that thinking 1 player is a better player than another player is saying the 1st player isn't good? 2 completely different things. And not "disloyal" at all.

  • UGADad20UGADad20 Posts: 1,660 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited July 2022

    pepin you make a decent case. HOWEVER, what GA HS's have produced in the past has no bearing at all what will be produced in the future. GA is a top 3-4 state for producing HS football talent. And moving up.

    LT's? AThomas, BJones, AMims, EPrichett (AL) TFerguson (AL) were/are as good as any prospects in the country.

    QB's? Lawrence, Fields, Watson, Newton, BVG, Calzada, Max Johnson, Plenty of QB's have been produced.

    CB's? Travis Hunter, Caleb Downs (will convert to CB at his size) and more too numerous to mention. Many guys that have contributed at a high level at other schools. BTW EStokes is listed at 6'0". With the proliferation of spread O's and smaller WR's you need to have some smaller quicker CB's.

    DT's? Derek Brown and there have been others. Not getting DBrown was a major loss that created some rumblings about DL recruiting at UGA. Rodney Garner seemed to consistently eat UGA's lunch on the DL.

    So GA has and will continue to produce very good HS football players. To not cultivate those relationships and build in some trust and loyalty will continue to allow competitors to build relationships, trust and loyalty. Yes UGA CAN get players from CA, TX or FL but it should be a lot easier (not to mention cheaper -UGA had the biggest recruiting expenditures in the country last year) with consistent success to recruit at home. Should be. Seemingly not this year. Next year? Who knows.

    I never said that UGA should EXCLUSIVELY recruit GA. You recruit the best players you can. BUT you can't miss out on 13 of the top 15 players in the state. Especially when you main competitor is feasting on them. It is a bad look. Helps your competitors and hurts you. All things being equal (with UGA's reputation for development equals equal) you take the home state kid. It just makes sense. Sometimes Saban will take a good player just to keep him from going to the competition. Alvin Kamara is a perfect example. Was down to AL and UGA. Saban took him and let him sit low on the depth chart. Finally he got fed up and left. But never played for UGA.

    I am a fan of CKS. Who are you going to get that's better? He has definitely taken UGA to a level that Richt couldn't. Albeit with better facilities, more recruiting budget and higher paid assistants. He does do some things that make you scratch your head. But he is very good overall and loyal to the home state school. He is unlikely to ever pull a Lincoln Riley on UGA. In state. Loyalty.

  • CandlerParkCandlerPark Posts: 630 ✭✭✭✭ Senior

    Couldn't agree with you more, UGADad20, especially this: "But you can't miss out on 13 of the top 15 players in the state. Especially when you main competitor is feasting on them. "

    Downs and Haynes aren't just our losses; they're our top competitor's gains. Given that both had been trending to UGA earlier (and Haynes up until the last minute), it makes me wonder how much Saban has made it a priority to deny HIS best rival our own instate recruits. That would certainly be in character.

    This is a trend worth being concerned about. To take a recent analysis, the Dawgs' roster this season will be 77 percent 4- & 5-stars, while Alabama's will be 89 percent. Georgia was near parity on that measure last season. And, historically, the blue-chip percentages correspond to one's chances at the Natty. Even if UGA's excellent talent evaluation yields a few 3-star pearls (a la Jordan Davis), all those 5-stars eventually show up as an advantage on the field when it comes to things like speed, power, agility, competitiveness, work habits, field smarts, etc.

    This isn't to say that we're not recruiting well. A lot of the 4-stars committed to us are among the top 200., and there's no doubt that the national recruiting field opens up more possibilities than keeping narrowly focused on Georgia. Plus, the competition with Alabama reverses itself if we somehow pickup those two 5-star defenders from Carver in Montgomery (although that's an outside shot).

    But failing to reap the benefits of a talent-rich home state (where we're the only in-state team recruiting at our level) is giving away one of our best advantages: Just as Alabama has the winningest reputation and A&M has loads of Texas NIL money, UGA has an in-state near monopoly in the third most talent rich state in the nation. Losing the top five players in our talent-rich state to neighboring rivals (3 to Alabama, 1 to Clemson, 1 to Tenn) is sort of a self-own.

    None of this should be taken to question Kirby's leadership or the recruiting bonafides of his excellent assistants. Sometimes, dem's da breaks. Plus, it's not a particularly strong year for GA HS prospects. But I also don't think we should be in denial about it.

  • UGADad20UGADad20 Posts: 1,660 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited July 2022

    Well said and spot on. Remember when we all crowed when UGA took the top 2 players from AL (Pickens and Webb)? We thought that was a problem for AL and a huge get for UGA. AL just did that to UGA. On the heels of a National Championship. Championship boost? Certainly not on offensive recruiting.

    Saban seems on a mission this year. "Leave no doubt". I don't expect him to take his foot off the gas especially against aTm and UGA. Is it because he is close to retiring or just wants to put any debate to rest when he enters a recruit's home? IDK. BUT CKS better have them ready for the SECCG. Saban is looking to soul crush this season.

    "Recruiting season" is not over. I HOPE UGA gets the 2 Carver, AL players but it just seems more iffy than getting home grown players.

    AND the original point of all of this was caring for and cultivating GA recruiting. GA recruiting should be a core value and long term objective. Logically it seems much more difficult and inconsistent to pull nationally than building an in state machine. THAT's the point. Working harder or smarter?

    Yes maybe a little down year for in state recruits. Yes hopefully UGA cleans up on what's left and stays top 3 again. Again, can't wait for Saban to retire. This script just seems familiar.

  • Diablo_and_DocDiablo_and_Doc Posts: 100 ✭✭✭ Junior

    We missed on both Downs and Haynes, it's alright to admit we are struggling right now.

  • FishingDawgFishingDawg Posts: 34 ✭✭ Sophomore

    A lot has been written on this article today, but for the life of me I am missing the points being expressed. UGA offers an in-state kid and he chooses to go to a different school. How is CKS or any of the other coaches at fault. Thank God for out-of-state kids choosing UGA. Apparently, they know a great opportunity when they see one. I always want UGA to offer Georgia kids, especially the ones with talent, and I wish those kids would stay home, but a coach has to find players of equal or greater talent when they don't. I think it is time to question the players that go elsewhere. Why?

  • UGADad20UGADad20 Posts: 1,660 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited July 2022

    Why seemingly all of a sudden? (or is it?) We all expected a championship boost and, so far (it is still early), we are not seeing it. Finally feeling the losses of good recruiters Pittman, Luke, Hankton, Lanning? UGA seemingly prioritizing national recruiting over in state recruiting over the years now having an effect?

    It is what it is. May not even be an issue. Just fans here venting frustration. GA is a great state for HS football prospects. UGA has been a great recruiting school. 13 of the top 15 players in the state are not committed to UGA. Something just isn't fitting.

  • E_RocE_Roc Posts: 1,212 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    There's nothing we can do about how the program is run. All this hand wringing is pointless. If we start seeing these top 3 classes becoming top 10 classes, then it might be time to start worrying. There still wouldn't be anything we could really do about it, but at least then there would be an actual problem to point to.

  • smooch8smooch8 Posts: 1 ✭ Freshman

    This is without doubt the most insecure fanbase in all of sports. There is a pathetic amount of concern given to what fans desire to see in recruiting vs what the coaches desire. We win a natty, and you losers immediately begin to unleash the negativity. One thing is obvious, the great majority of you NEVER played football. WINNING is everything. Scouting reports and star ratings are of far less weight.

    Sometimes it actually seems like some of you would rather have two 1,000 yd receivers than to win another championship. Change your pampers and stop **** your thumbs long enough to understand that these are the greatest of times to be a Bulldog.

    Georgia, led by Kirby, is killing it. And when you fail to see it, you guys don't realize what a laughing stock you are to other fan bases.

    I have never seen National Champions so willing to piss their bed.

    Shut your mouth-


    stop being week men

  • reddawg1reddawg1 Posts: 3,555 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I'm with you Fishing Dawg

    WHy a kid would want ot go out of state and play for another program is a mystery to me. I never had the size to play anything other than backyard ball wth my buddies but I grew up bleeding red and black, and if I would of had the size, I would have gone to UGA. I hated the other teams. THere was real rilvary back in the day.

    Today these kids go to all the camps and 7 on 7's and take all these visits, and they have friends they meet from other states that are going elsewhere and every coaching staff treats them like kings, and it's all good. There is the mass comunication aspect of it all too which plays a big role I believe. KIds aren't seperated into geographical pockets any longer without the ability to reach out to a friend elsewhere or a coach blowing them up with text messages or face time.You're as close as your smart phone. However, it (IMHO) diminishes the "us against them attitude".

    It's more like a business decision today or a friend decision. A lot less like love of state school.

  • dawgfromduluthdawgfromduluth Posts: 362 ✭✭✭ Junior

    Dell McGee seems to be struggling. Two huge losses to AL. Why?

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