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Georgia football defensive line recruiting picture comes into focus with latest commitment

SystemSystem Posts: 10,735 admin
edited June 2023 in Article commenting
imageGeorgia football defensive line recruiting picture comes into focus with latest commitment

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    JimWallaceJimWallace Posts: 5,771 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Nice article. Thanks for the excellent summary and update.

    Go, Dawgs!

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    WCHWCH Posts: 483 ✭✭✭✭ Senior

    Georgia has forged an ingenious recruiting scheme in every position that is designed not to stay where it is but to improve. Georgia fans have a lot to look forward to. Thank you Kirby Smart. Go Dawgs!!!

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    UGADad20UGADad20 Posts: 1,797 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited June 2023

    The impact of NIL (play for pay) is now starting to be revealed in UGA's recruiting and retention. Last year it was AMims who was lured away until UGA sweetened the pot. This year BAlexander was recruited right off the UGA campus with a USC sweetheart deal. 

    Now it is becoming evident that many/most of the top recruits are choosing to cash in when making their CFB selections. UGA missing on the best players in GA and numerous 5*'s is indicative that the UGA NIL collective has its own budget constraints.  Or, as likely, many other schools/collectives are ponying up for players they can buy for their programs. Remember the eight 5*'s in UGA's '18 class? The '24 class was being touted by Dawgnation as "possibly the highest rated of all time". Those claims have quickly been walked back in light of the reality of NIL.

    This will create a challenge for teams to develop lower rated players into solid SEC level players. It is also reopens the debate of what's better, lower rated players that you develop over 5 years? Or take 5*'s that don't do a lot their 1st year and leave after their 3rd year? 

    What this immediately means for UGA is this.  Taking Ogboko's commit means UGA is out on Justin Scott. Taking QJohnson's commitment means UGA is out on Eddrick Houston. It may also means that UGA is out on Jonah-Ajanye, Nwaneri and DStewart.  Not because of recruiting proficiency but because of money. That's the rub.

    A new era for CFB. Not as easy to build/sustain "Dynasty" status as it was before NIL and the TP.  It will be interesting to see how long the current dynamic lasts.

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    E_RocE_Roc Posts: 1,231 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    If Georgia were suddenly struggling to crack the top 10 (in November, not June), I might see your point. As it is, though, I think you're overstating things. Every year, it seems, there are highly rated in-state players who seem to decide they're going anywhere but UGA. I don't think we were ever getting Houston. I'm still hearing positive things about our chances with Ajonye.

    Taking a step back and looking at the class/cycle as a whole, I just don't see what there is to be concerned about. They're probably not going to sign the highest rated class of all time? Ok. Hasn't stopped them from competing for and winning titles so far. And I'm sure Jimbo would have some interesting things to say on the inherent value of garnering that distinction on the strength of NIL deals. Perhaps that was ultimately your point. But framing it as overreactive hand wringing over Georgia's recruiting halfway through the cycle - when we've got the nation's #1 class, no less - has me scratching my head.

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    UGADad20UGADad20 Posts: 1,797 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Valid points. Not "overreactive hand wringing over Georgia's recruiting halfway through the cycle". But you have to admit that recruiting better players (and developing them) makes it easier to win. Alabama built a dynasty that way. "players win games", CKS. UGA has done well building a foundation out of the highest ranked players.

    Just making 1 point and trying make another. 1) recruiting as we have known it is changed (over?). It is a new animal. Yes HC's that have traditionally been very good recruiters will continue to be better recruiters than most of their counterparts. But recruiting prowess may no longer reign supreme. The pendulum seems to be swinging to money.

    2)This new dynamic is making it more difficult for UGA to get players they would be expected to get. Not just Houston. Of the Top 8 (9 & 10 are QB's) players in GA (Rivals) , UGA has 1 commitment and 1 possible commitment. That's after coming off back to back championships. Based on recruiting prowess, proximity, and program success wouldn't you expect UGA to get whoever they want? Just doesn't seem to be the case as much anymore.

    I don't consider Jimbo to be an example to make your point. Jimbo is a coach that wins on talent only. He doesn't win on coaching or development. He's a fat cat. Sitting on a big contract. Has it made. Always won with better teams when he won. He is not going to outwork most coaches and certainly not CKS. Now, because of that and because the talent rising across the country equalizes more teams, he has been embarrassed. Enough so to bring in Petrino.

    Hopefully UGA closes on some/most of the blue chip players still in play. Consider that 1 of the (main?) reasons UGA has and has had very high ranking (top 3) recruiting classes is because UGA takes big numbers of recruits. Right now UGA has 21 commitments. Very few schools are over 20 yet. UGA can take big classes because UGA gets many high ranking players who leave after 3 yrs. The more lower ranking prospects, means more development time, means staying in school longer, means smaller (lower ranked) recruiting classes. Times they are a changing.

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    GtheGreekGtheGreek Posts: 1,001 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    "Now it is becoming evident that many/most of the top recruits are choosing to cash in when making their CFB selections"....

    This tells me UGADad you don't get it.....these are precisely the type of players that could never become DGD's! These are the type of players that are me first! These are the type players that will never surrender self for TEAM! These are the players that insist on freshman snaps without proving in practice they deserve the opportunity! These are the players that will spend 2-3 years in another program and are still 4 or 5 star high school players rather than top NFL prospects!

    I say NIL is great at weeding out goobers like Bear! It was great at persuading our "missed" 5 stars to play for Bama or Clemson or other declining programs. Trust in the process, trust in Kirby & Company!

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    CandlerParkCandlerPark Posts: 720 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate


    I commented on related point yesterday, @UGADad20, but I think the point got lost in an avalanche of other comments. It's this: We've already signed seven 3-stars this cycle. In '22, we signed only three 3-stars. Last year, we signed nine -- but only one (Thorson) had committed at this stage in the cycle.

    While Kirby's staff is excellent at ID'ing underrating 3-stars and developing them, the timing of 3-star recruits in earlier cycles indicates that some of them (unsurprisingly) were filling slots that at first were being held for higher ranked players.

    The surprise this year is that we've signed seven 3-stars so early, while the class is rapidly filling up overall (21 already!). Even if we're bound to recruit a large class, it's unlikely to go above 30 -- so that leaves at most nine slots over new nine months or so.

    Does that mean Kirby expects us to sign very few of the dozen On3 300 prospects who are given at least a 20 percent chance of choosing Georgia? Is he building in a buffer because he has reason to believe that some guys will withdraw their commitments? Or is it that the staff is confident that they've ID'd a bunch of really underrated 3-stars?

    I'm not going to guess at those answers or any other, because I don't think any of us are in a position to know. But I'd love for Connor or Jeff to find out more and to give us a bit of their wisdom.

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    BigDawg888BigDawg888 Posts: 1,554 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    So when you see the NIL value listed on sites I'm sure it is on a per year basis. With NIL collectives I would imagine their may be an initial NIL amount (let's say you are ranked 50 composite overall player) and you get 200K for the first year. Then after that first year you get a collective amount going forward (let's say each players collective amount is 50K for any player and 100K for a starter and 200K for all sec 1st or 2nd team and 350K for all american 1st or 2nd team). I don't know the rules for collective payouts but starting and performing would seem to be the thing to me. Now that doesn't prevent players from getting NILs through other means or NIL deals (see Raising Canes and Stetson Bennett IV). Now I have no issue with guys getting paid who have performed. I have a harder time for a guy who comes in and is a contributor but not a star (yet). Why should anyone pay a 2nd teamer 250K when they haven't done it on the field?

    USC and other schools want to pay these kids before seeing the results. There is nothing to prevent this right now but take 85 scholarship players at 50K and you get a collective of over 4 million dollars that has to be re-kittied every year. That's a lot of dough. Just not sure this wild wild west can last. What would be funny is if the players become employees in 2 years and have to sign ethical and morality contracts to receive money. Then they will all be put on a contract just like regular business. I expect that to happen and guys who took the money may see their annual NIL go way down. Some interesting times we live in...

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    BigDawg888BigDawg888 Posts: 1,554 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    NIL is part of it but with the linebackers and secondary it is more about playing time. With the wrs it is just the cool thing to sign with Clemson or Ohio State. The NIL just pushes them over the edge in some cases. Like with Nwaeri (sorry if I butchered your name man) I think if all things are equal and you are selling development vs. Venables who was a DC he is also saying look at the dudes I put in the league at the DL position. So if the intangibles are about the same maybe leaning in Georgia's favor then Oklahoma offers half a million vs. us offering 300K and Oklahoma offers guaranteed half a million every year and we have a collective after the first year that is based on performance then we are at a big disadvantage. Our boosters have been hit and hit hard over and over for facilities and maybe don't want to keep throwing money at the program. This is where unless their is a change in the rules (e.g. making them employees of the university) then whoever has the most cash will win. Texas schools could end up winning this NIL thing. Who knows what AD got paid to go back home.

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    UGADad20UGADad20 Posts: 1,797 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Well said and I agree. ESPECIALLY w/what you said in your 2nd and 3rd paragraphs.

    The sky isn't falling. It is just a new game that seems to be leveling the playing field. Too bad the playing field wasn't leveled when AL was doing their dynasty. BTW, AL is not dead. Watch out this yr if they get decent QB play.

    Some of the UGA 3* commits have very high ceilings. May be rated lower for failure to attend camps etc.

    Ogboko is an exciting prospect. Size and athleticism. Lower rated because he only started playing in the 11th grade! In the hands of the UGA coaches this kid will eventually be a force. Thinkin Devante Wyatt.

    But your points are made. Class filling up and UGA already taking 3*'s with many higher rated players left to commit.

    I also wonder if CKS leaves spots open for transfers. Does that restrict this years recruit numbers to just a few more? A much tougher schedule is expected in the SEC going forward. Freshman need time to mature and develop. Older , transfer players (Lovett, Thomas) should be plug and play.

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    UGADad20UGADad20 Posts: 1,797 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited June 2023

    Well that falls back to the whole cause vs effect debate. The chicken or the egg? Were these players always going to be "goobers"? Or does the new environment now create more of the "get mine now" mindset? I.e. the recruitment of HS football players is changing and now depends less on recruiting "skills".

    Don't fool yourself, there are a lot of Dawgs getting NIL money. Many of these kids are not super mature or savvy in the ways of the world AND many come from limited financial situations. It may be as much about making things a little better for their families now vs being "goobers".

    Under your definitions, with NIL becoming bigger and bigger, DGD's may be headed for extinction or relegated to hungrier, lower rated prospects looking for UGA development.

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