Fan talk: Is sixth-best recruiting class in SEC good enough for UGA? (UPDATED)

Landing Lorenzo Carter, the state's top prospect, was big for UGA. (Associated Press)

Landing Lorenzo Carter, the state's top prospect, was big for UGA. (Associated Press)

I’ll be off the next few days, so let’s take an early dip into some Junkyard Mail, starting out with a fan who not surprisingly wants to talk about how national signing day went for UGA. …

Grady Bowers writes: Bill, I know that Mark Richt said he was “excited” about the recruiting class he just signed, and I gather from what I read online that most fans agree with him. I hate to be the yeah-but guy and yet I can’t get past the fact that while Georgia once again landed a consensus Top 10 recruiting class, it was only the sixth best in the Southeastern Conference. Are we really losing ground to the likes of Tennessee? If you can make me feel better about this situation, Bill, I’d be most grateful.

Well first, Grady, as I wrote in Wednesday’s Blawg, I tend to think the ranking of recruiting classes is an artificial and superfluous competition that doesn’t actually win you anything. Yes, I realize the class rankings are (loosely) based on the star ratings various recruiting services assign to the prospects, which are in themselves pretty much a subjective guess at which players are mostly likely to be the best. That said, whether you are thrilled that Georgia overcame a complete replacement of its defensive coaching staff to still land a Top 10 class that included the No. 1 ranked prospect in the state in Lorenzo Carter, or are dismayed that Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, Auburn and Tennessee’s classes were ranked higher, probably falls into is-the-glass-half-full-or-half-empty territory. Let’s face it, SEC schools are ridiculously good at recruiting and even if you accept the premise that five conference schools got better classes than Georgia, the Dogs still were perceived as having the eighth best class in the country.

To me, the more important question is whether Mark Richt and his staff (including national recruiter of the year Bryan McClendon) got what they needed. I think at running back, the answer is a resounding yes since they brought in two five-star recruits to back up the likes of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. As we’ve learned the hard way, you can never have too many great running backs in the SEC. Said Richt of signees Sony Michel and Nick Chubb: “We will absolutely give those guys a chance to show what they can do, and if they can be productive, we’ll get them in the game.”

Getting a return specialist in Isaiah McKenzie filled a dire need for the Dogs. (Special)

Getting a return specialist in Isaiah McKenzie filled a dire need for the Dogs. (Special)

Georgia also restocked pretty nicely at tight end with Jeb Blazevich and surprise signing Hunter Atkinson. And I was thrilled they added a potential game-breaking kick returner in Isaiah McKenzie. That was a dire need that had to be addressed. “His No. 1 job is going to try to be that kickoff-return, punt-return guy for us,” Mike Bobo said Wednesday of McKenzie. “That could be the difference in a ballgame for us.”

Adding five-star Carter to the pass rush is big, too.

Yeah, I would have liked to see a five-star player signed for the offensive line, a perennial problem area for Richt teams, but the four players they got there are pretty solid three- or four-star choices. I’d also have liked to see a five-star signee in the defensive backfield, but four-star cornerback Malkom Parrish does look likely to be able to help out fairly early.

Overall, it’s a pretty balanced signing class, and keep in mind that the Dogs return an awful lot of starters from last year’s team.

Ted Sellers writes: Bill, I thought your National Signing Day “heartbreak” piece was one of the best summations I’ve ever read of how ridiculous the recruiting game has gotten. And I say that as a reformed recruitnik. I used to get all caught up in following those kids all year long, but when it got to the point where people were anguishing over what some 17-year-old tweeted, well, I decided I needed to step back and just wait until the class is signed before getting all wound up or let down. Thanks for putting that into words for me in a really nice piece of writing.

Glad you enjoyed it, Ted. I love that college football fans are passionate all through the year, and not just during the season, but I’d rather focus more on the players we have than fret about which way some potential future players are leaning.

Theron Altman writes: Bill; what is the latest news on the last hire for the defense? I heard an internet rumor about Freddie Roach from South Alabama??? As you know he is an ex-Bama player and a very good defensive LB. Give me your thoughts! Thanks

We may find out who’s filling that position before the day is out, Theron. Citing an unnamed source, CoachingSearch.com is reporting that the most frequently mentioned name in connection with that vacancy, former Southern Cal linebackers coach Mike Ekeler, is going to get the job. It’s notable that he has some special teams experience, too, though Richt is waiting until the staff is complete before announcing exactly who’ll be doing what.

UPDATE: UGA made it official this morning. This is from the athletic department release:

Mike Ekeler, linebackers coach at Southern Cal in 2013, has been named Inside Linebackers Coach at the University of Georgia according to an announcement Thursday by UGA head coach Mark Richt. Ekeler had previously served as linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator at Indiana (2011-12).  A native of David City, Neb., he had served as linebackers coach at Nebraska for three seasons (2008-10) under head coach Bo Pelini.  During his three years in Lincoln, the Cornhuskers won or shared the Big 12 Conference North Division title all three seasons. “I was extremely impressed with his knowledge and energy during the interview process,” Richt said.  “He was highly recommended by many coaches and administrators with whom I talked and we’re very excited that he’ll be joining our staff.” The move completes the Georgia defensive staff which includes Jeremy Pruitt (Defensive Coordinator/Secondary), Kevin Sherrer (Sam Linebacker and the Star position or nickel back), and Tracy Rocker (Defensive Line and Will Linebacker).  Special Teams responsibilities among the staff are still to be determined according to Richt.

Hutson Mason's arm strength has been questioned. (AJC file)

Hutson Mason's arm strength has been questioned. (AJC file)

Patrick writes: Bill, Enjoy the read, especially in the off season. It’s a nice combination of scoop, football knowledge and logic. Thoughts on [Hutson] Mason’s arm after watching him in the last two games? His pass reminds me of Pascual Perez’s infamous eephus pitch — it has no velocity and appears to be almost pushed. Let’s hope he knows his way around Atlanta better than the late-Pascual.

From what we’ve seen so far, I think on short to medium passes, Mason throws a very catchable ball, and I like the way he surveys the field before turning it loose. However, I think it’s also obvious he doesn’t have the arm strength of Aaron Murray, so we might not see as many long throws downfield. I’d love for him to prove us wrong on that, though.

TD Dawg writes: I enjoy your columns, and appreciate your hopeful enthusiasm for our beloved Dawgs. I must admit ever since I stepped foot on campus in the Fall of 1982, I have been a loyal supporter of our Dawgs. Got spoiled with Dooley, then had to suffer through Goff and Donnan. Reckon that’s what makes me appreciate Richt so much, although my frustration level has grown greatly over the past few years with not being able to get over the hump of winning the SEC or national championship. However, it does my heart and soul good to travel long distances to see them play and enjoy the fellowship of meeting other Dawg fans who have made the trek, too. For instance, a few years ago at Arizona State. My wife and I left early that week, enjoyed Vegas, then the Grand Canyon where we met up with at least 50 or so Dawg fans. It was interesting to see the looks on other tourist’s faces at all these rabid football fans. So do you think we will get back to having some good road games scheduled in other parts of the country? Or will the long conference schedule make that hard to do?

I think those long trips to other parts of the country are pretty much a thing of the past, TD. Greg McGarity made it clear from the onset that he wasn’t a fan of that sort of trip (hence getting out of the contract with Oregon). And I do remember that the coaches said the long trip back from Arizona might have been a factor in the team not looking very good against Alabama the next week. McGarity has said that with Georgia Tech on the schedule every year, he’s not going to want to add another major nonconference opponent most seasons, though he’s already shown a willingness to agree to a Chick-fil-A Kickoff game. I’d love to see Clemson come back on the schedule for a home-and-home (though preferably not as the opening game of the season, considering our tendency to have starters suspended then). Basically, though, the key factor will be whether the conference goes to a nine-game schedule. If that happens, I think the nonconference schedule is mainly going to be cupcakes.

Go Dogs!

Got something you want to discuss concerning the Dawgs? Or a question you want the Junkyard Blawg to tackle? Email me at  junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

305 comments Add your comment

GeoffDawg

February 6th, 2014
10:51 am

One other thing to note with regards to class rankings is simply that they tend to favor quantity over quality. UT signed 31 players! Many of whom will be counted backwards to last year but I’d be interested in comparing the average star ranking between the two classes. At the end of the day, you can only have 85 scholarships awarded so big class or small, the quality of the individual player matters more than the number of warm bodies that you sign in any given year.

dawgfan

February 6th, 2014
10:59 am

Sounds like another mediocre effort from our head coach. No big deal that many people who know what they are talking about think that 5 teams in our conference got better players than we did. Big whoop.

Can their coaches pull 2 flips off the high dive? I think not. Dismissed.

armydawg

February 6th, 2014
11:06 am

I don’t consider signing 3 five star players to be mediocre. I am happy with this class and look forward to great things from them. GO DAWGS!!!

dawgfan

February 6th, 2014
11:09 am

I consider 6th best in our conference to be very mediocre. I guess you think Gator Bowls and Outback Bowls are worthy of a banner in Sanford Stadium.

BOB

February 6th, 2014
11:12 am

Over the last couple of seasons there have been some pretty intense discussions on this and other sites regarding whether the resources provided by the Athletic Department and the recruiting by the coaching staff has yielded satisfactory results. This season will be all about results. The Richt/ Bobo/ Friend regime has had the time and talent to create a team that should compete for the SEC title. Period. If it means using all of the teams offensive weapons( a 260 lb fullback who can run and catch the ball); running a 4-3 defense that stops the run and rushes the QB( there is enough D-line depth and ability now); or playing cornerbacks that are big enough to press cover any receiver ,particularly in the red zone; or finally, instill some vocal leadership in the ranks in order generate some peer accountability because the fan expectation levels are at a very high level.

old dog

February 6th, 2014
11:25 am

Sorry, folks, but we are still too far behind on solid o-line recruits! In the SEC, this is where we have gottn whooped. I hate to keep harping on it, but when Cousins and company (Michigan State) whooped up on us a few years back, we should have taken notice……Nebraska showed us that in fact we had not. Kudos for the most part, but in the end we will be exposed by an average-at-best o-line.

old dog

February 6th, 2014
11:27 am

(And by the way, a couple of decent series against South Carolina in the second half does not a season make!!) Lets see how much improvement Ole Miss, Florida, and Tennessee make. They improved the up front folks….

SimpleDawg

February 6th, 2014
11:30 am

Bill, I think the 2014 signing class was pretty damn good. The #1 guy in the state, 2 RBs everyone wanted, some solid OL prospects, good CBs, stud LBs, a monster DL guy, pass rushers, a couple of speedy WRs…….and a Return Guy.

Needs addressed, opportunities for young guys to work hard and improve. What’s not to love?

So what about Bama’s class…..several of those guys achieved extra stars because Bama was recruiting them – happens every year. And Tennysee signing 36? Hell, they could use 56. UF? Will’s screwed up better….. LSU? Les has more madcap days ahead.

So…don’t worry, be happy.

I-DOG

February 6th, 2014
11:31 am

The specific ranking of the class is not important. Obviously, Bama appears to have had a great class, but the difference between the 8th best class and the 12th best class isn’t material at this point and one could end up being better than the other. Obviously, recruiting is very important and Georgia had a good class this year especially with getting Carter on NSD.

As I stated during the season, it is hard to imagine many of these guys contributing this year let alone starting: Their contributions will be 2 + years away.

I would think that RB’s Michael and Chubb will play next year and have an impact. If Gurley is healthy for any particular game, they VERY likely won’t start and if Marshall comes back from his injury, there will be quite a battle for playing time behind Gurley. Injuries happen at this position so they may end up contributing quite a lot.

Everywhere else, the incoming freshmen are going to have to be very very good if they are to earn playing time because there are returning experienced 4 star players at just about every position.

Hard to imagine a WR unseating Connely, Bennet, Mitchell, Rumph, and the signees from last year’s class.

there may be an opportunity on the offense line to play, but a freshman will have to beat out a player that either has starter experience or been in the program for 2-3 years.

There is an opportunity at TE to get some playing time. Probably not going to see a QB unseat Mason.

On D, will a DL beat out Thornton or Johnson inside or Ray Drew, S. Bailey, Johnson, or Dawson at DE? I’m sure Carter will get a long look at DE or more likely OLB, and if he is outstanding… I’m sure he will start, but only if he is ready and very good.

at OLB, he would have to beat out Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd. Remember Jenkins was also a 5 star player and he has some experience now. If Carter is as good as advertised, he could certainly get playing time, but even he will have a tough time starting unless there are injuries.

At MLB, someone will have to unseat two very experienced seniors and then fight through all those MLB’s we signed last year.

While the secondary played poorly last year, an incoming safety will have to beat Mauger, Clemons, Moore, and Mathews for time and at CB, it is pretty much the same deal, four pretty highly recruited players that are older and more experienced. Obviously, if a freshman is practicing and playing great at CB, Pruitt would likely start him, but doesn’t seem very likely.

My guess is the first half of the season there are 0 starters that are true freshman with 5- 6 of the signees getting playing time on something other than special teams as a backup or even third string.

dawgfan

February 6th, 2014
11:32 am

We were on notice long before the Michigan State game. In Mark Richt’s 13 years as coach I can only think if two occasions where we had a top flight SEC O-line (2002,2007). He didn’t even recruit the 2002 guys. All other years we’ve been mediocre at best. Richt does nothing about it. He doesn’t care. “You just gotta make enough room for your skill guys to make plays” or whatever the crap he says. The guy has absolutely no freaking clue how to win big in the SEC.

He’s out to lunch.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

February 6th, 2014
11:34 am

Rivals said we signed 1 five star; who were the other two?

They're all zeros!

February 6th, 2014
11:36 am

Recruiting stars mean nothing at this point. They’re all starting over. They’re zero star freshman at this point. Time and time again 5 * recruits don’t pan out and a 2 * will shine!

wasn’t David Pollock only a 2 *?

I-DOG

February 6th, 2014
11:37 am

I’m OK with Mason not having a huge arm and even more OK with Georgia throwing mostly short and medium passes. Too many times on 3rd and 8 or even 3rd and 3… we seem to throw deep and when that low percentage play fails… the drive is over and we kick to our opponent.

More than anything, I’d like to see us focus SOLEY on run blocking and the running game for the first half of Spring practice. If we can be a slightly above average run blocking team… we will be formidable on offense next year with what should be a deep and talented backfield and then a QB that can manage the game and play pitch and catch with lots of weapons at WR to keep the defense honest.

I-DOG

February 6th, 2014
11:41 am

I think Georgia would be VERY hard to beat next year in any game that we have more running plays than our opponent does. I’m concerned that we will fall in love with our weapons at WR and attempt to be balanced. Run the ball 40 times in a ballgame and we would be a tough out for anyone on our schedule next season.

If we ran the ball 40 times at South Carolina, I would like our chances there to.

dawgfan

February 6th, 2014
11:41 am

We now sound like Tech fans claiming that certain schools get preferential treatment in recruiting rankings simply because of their brand. This is pathetic. Alabama has won 3 national titles in the past 5 years. Whatever kind of players they are getting it seems to be working quite well.

I grow more and more disgusted with the apathy and acceptance of mediocrity that is poisoning our program with each passing day.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

February 6th, 2014
11:41 am

I can see it now; if UGA had ranked ahead of Bama in recruiting this year

the kool-aiders would be saying Saban hasnt got it anymore and that UGA is the next Bama

instead; today we are hearing that recruiting rankings arent that important and shouldnt be taken too seriously

I-DOG

February 6th, 2014
11:45 am

too, I get -5 points for the improper use of to, too, two.

ARdawg

February 6th, 2014
11:47 am

What a demn shame. If we had the likes of dawgfan and Flat recruiting, I’ve no doubt we’d be the #1 recruiting class every year. *jagg off motion*

ARdawg

February 6th, 2014
11:49 am

It’s just too bad the blog expertise of those two can not be channeled into the coaching staff at UGA. Oh think of the championships we would own. *more jagg off*

gomdawg

February 6th, 2014
11:50 am

IT DOES NOT ALWAYS MEAN THE BEST IS THE BEST , LOOK AT DAVID POLLOCK

Run, run and run it some more, then BOOM!!

February 6th, 2014
11:58 am

With the BIG TIME backs that UGA has, we should rush it hard. Not counting Keith Marshal, UGA has TG, the 2 backs from 2013, that kid from Florida and JJ Green. I think the Karemplis kid is also back. NOW we add Sony Michel and Nick Chubb into the mix.

UGA can throw in the HUGE FB Quavon Hicks and Hall. I see these two blocking forth aforementioned running backs.

The SHORT to intermediate passing game should click every time. ONE or TWO of these guys can establish the RUN THREAT, making the passing game really deadly.

If D can ACT like a solid SEC squad, UGA should be competitive in EVERY GAME.

Time will tell.

Oh, can the guys act right and not get benched for high school kid stuff. THAT is the question.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

February 6th, 2014
11:58 am

Im sorry ARdawg that I find it comical how important recruiting rankings were when the Dream Team was being talked about and now its considered fluff when several SEC schools out-recruited us this year

dawgfan

February 6th, 2014
11:58 am

I must have missed the part where I’ve ever said I should be the coach of the Georgia Bulldogs. Pretty sure I’ve never said that. I’ve only said that someone who is better than Mark Richt should be our football coach, whoever that might be.

I can think of 5 coaches in our conference alone right off the top of my head that are better so finding one shouldn’t be hard.

ARdawg

February 6th, 2014
12:10 pm

Flat, ranking of recruiting classes mean exactly D-i-c. In any case regardless of who the staff has recruited it’s not a time to spew all of your negativity. By all accounts it appears to be a good class with some highly regarded athletes and as a fan, you should wish them all the very best. If I recall correctly, the supposed Dream team wasn’t even a top 5 class that year. Not that it matters as few of the highly regarded recruited teams rarely make it 3 or 4 years down the road. 9iss and moan when you have a legitimate 9iss and moan but, recruiting ain’t it bruddah

maconexpress

February 6th, 2014
12:12 pm

I love this recruiting class. We have the players to win national championships so let’s get it done fellas.

Bulldawg35

February 6th, 2014
12:17 pm

6th best in the sec is for losers!! And that’s just what we are right now! We have to bad recruiters right now on the staff that is hurting us..Richt and will friend!

Bulldawg35

February 6th, 2014
12:19 pm

How in the hail did Tennessee recruit better than us??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Bennie

February 6th, 2014
12:19 pm

a- richt wins 6-8 games a season with 1st year qb’s like Mason (see Greene, Stafford, Cox and Murray)

b- richt doesn’t do well with 1st year new defensive coaches, see 2010, went 6-7

c- UGA finished #7 in the SEC conference recruiting class according to USA today, below average.

The recruiting class overall, and Richt, are mediocre.

Bulldawg35

February 6th, 2014
12:21 pm

It won’t be long before Tennessee and Florida start beating us again…..because they’re already out recruiting us….ole butch jones can recruit better than Richt! How sad!

Bulldawg35

February 6th, 2014
12:24 pm

Bryan McClendon is the best recruiter of the year! So how in the heck do we finish 6th in the sec?? Well it’s because Richt can’t sell UGA like he could in his early tenure! That’s a fact jack!!!!

Bennie

February 6th, 2014
12:25 pm

By the way, Hutson Mason has a 57 and a 58 adjusted qbr on espn rating in his 1st 2 games, would put somewhere around 60th in the NCAA if that continues. He’s medicore. Average. Murray’s was #4 in ncaa at 84 adjusted qbr. That’s a 50% drop at Qb. Mason is simply horrible.

Bennie

February 6th, 2014
12:26 pm

McClendon can recruit, but he can’t develOp talent. He needs to be fired.

UGA hasn’t finished in the top 3 in the SEC in rushing since McClendon has been at UGA.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

February 6th, 2014
12:32 pm

Earth to ARdawg

what am I moaning about?

Bennie

February 6th, 2014
12:32 pm

uga only recruited 1 5 star player. and way too many 3 star players. very poor recruiting class.

top 10 NATIONALLY sounds good, but if you play in a conference where you rank 7th in recruiting class, by USA today’s compiled ranking (averages them all), then you’re getting outrecruited by 6 competitors.

Richt’s entire defensive coaches bailed on him 2 weeks before recruiting, no loyalty, no relationship, bad sign of the job Richt’s doing to build relationships around his defensive staff.

Bennie

February 6th, 2014
12:36 pm

In USA Today’s consensus rankings:
Bama, LSU, T A/M, tENN Aub, Florida all ranked ABOVE UGA.

So UGA is in the company of teams like:
Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Miss St.

That’s how this recruiting class ranked in the SEC.

Horrible.

Bennie

February 6th, 2014
12:41 pm

Mason has thrown an interception in every game he’s started, on track to throw 12-15 interceptions in 2014.

Murray threw 41 interceptions

Cox threw 15 in his one season.

Lose the turnover battle, and lose the game 75% of the time.

Richt can’t fix this either because he’s a mediocre QB coach.

Bulldawg35

February 6th, 2014
12:44 pm

Bennie

Shut up!!!! It was two *5 stars! Yes I do get mad and say some crazy things about UGA but that’s cuz I care about UGA…I’m a true fan…..you’re nothing but a troll….a tech nerd!

Bennie

February 6th, 2014
12:47 pm

McClendon is why UGA never wins Championships.

ALL SEC Champs in the last 8 years finished in the top 3 in the SEC in rushing.

McClendon NEVER HAS.

He needs to be fired, I don’t care how good of a recruiter he is, fact is, he can’t get enough production from his unit to win a championship.

Bennie

February 6th, 2014
12:53 pm

Pruitt laid an egg. He recruited 2 3 star Db’s, Jones and Fenteng. I expected more out of him, heard he was a great recruiter, 2 3 stars at DB? What a huge letdown. Sanders at safety was ranked 68 best safety. Jones was ranked 84th best DB.

DB’s gonna get lit up.

Bennie

February 6th, 2014
12:56 pm

Crowell was a 5 star rb, didn’t work out. 5 stars feel entitled. they don’t do the work it takes to earn greatness.

McDawg

February 6th, 2014
1:00 pm

its time for Bennie’s nap now

P-Man

February 6th, 2014
1:19 pm

Gosh! I guess there’s no sense in playing any games this fall, what with a horrible coaching staff, and a terrible recruiting class. Whatever will we do? Will the Earth stop spinning? Oh no!

Geez, there sure are a lot of negative Nellies out there. (And saying the same things, over and over, on EVERY UGA blog…)

RiffRaff

February 6th, 2014
1:26 pm

“Mason throws a very catchable ball, and I like the way he surveys the field before turning it loose. However, I think it’s also obvious he doesn’t have the arm strength of Aaron Murray, so we might not see as many long throws downfield. I’d love for him to prove us wrong on that, though.”

Mason has started two games and his deep threats have either been injured or not 100%. Will have to wait till Keith Marshall, Chris Conley, Malcolm Mitchell, and Justin Scott-Wesley are back at full strength to find out.

BigDawg

February 6th, 2014
1:27 pm

Fellow Dawgs—- Recruiting and bringing in quality recruits is the life blood of a winning football, basketball, baseball or whatever sport program. In football games are won in the trenches and lets face it Fellow Dawgs. Coach Richt and his staff have not been consistently getting the job done. Coach Richt’s own spoken words tell you just how out of touch he is in this “You just gotta make enough room for your skill guys to make plays” when talking about the importance of the Big Ugglies. Why do you think Alabama has won 3 of the last 5 MNC and except for a special teams breakdown against Auburn possibly we would have been talking about 4 of 5? It is if you look at how Saban recruits and signs 5 to 7 OL every year and He has been able to come into Georgia and cherry pick the Best OL almost at will. We seem to go after one highly regarded OL per year and in some years we have gotten them and a couple of guys who were projects in other years like last year the # 1 guy bolted and signed with another team at the last minute.

IMHO not much will change until Coach Richt puts as much effort and emphasis on recruiting 5 to 7 OL and DL with these being the “BEST” prospects as he does on the skill guys. I hope I am wrong but 13 years of falling short says otherwise.

Go Dawgs

ugafaninTN

February 6th, 2014
1:29 pm

How did TN have a top class? One of the reasons was what they call the legacy class (former Vol players kids). If Dooley had stayed, none of these three highly rate, I believe 4 star kids, would have gone else where. When Jones came in, he immediately reached out to these former Vols to make the feel welcome (The Berry Twins, Todd Kelley’s kid, Bill Bates son). That turned things around. So they had 4 kids highly recruited out recruiting for them. The came the instate talent. Tennessee is a wierd state to recruit. Most of the time, the highly rated and sought after talent is from West Tennessee (everything west of Nashville). UT does not exist in west TN. Those peope do not have an affiliation with UT. The cream of the crop this year was everything East of Nashville and UT picked up those kids. These are two big things that happened that normally does not happen. Talent in the state of Tennessee is generally not that great but this year and next year are the excetptions to the rule. And it does matter where this good talent is b/c not the whole state is UT bound. Take that with they an sell playing time. There roster is terrible and these highly rated kids want playing time. I don’t ever want another UT fan to poke fun at Alabama and their Grey shirting and Blue shirting and having players mysteriously walk away from the program b/c with signing 34 or 36 kids, they are going to have to do that.
UGA’s class is solid. What we need now is the coaching to coach these kids up and for once in a long time, on defense, I feel we have that now.

JB

February 6th, 2014
1:36 pm

How many national championships has Mark Richt won at Georgia ? 0
Georgia continues to get progressively worse as other SEC teams continue to get better. Georgia must recruit better in state especially with 5 star and 4 star players.

GaDawg98'

February 6th, 2014
1:36 pm

Good point, Geoffdawg.

These recruiting services often calibrate each recruit based on stars and individual rankings and then add up total points for the entire class. 247sports, which takes into account the cumulative evaluation from multiple sites, has a good breakdown of the total number of points for each class with each recruit contibuting to a point total; therefore, the teams with the highest number of recruits often end up ahead of Georgia based on shear number rather than quality; of the SEC schools ahead of us in the “recruit rankings”, Alabama signed 26, Auburn 23, Tennessee 33, LSU 23, and Texas A&M is the only one that matches us with numbers at 21.

Teams 5-8 247sports.com
Texas A&M-277.35 points
Auburn-275.9 points
Tennessee-274.79 points
Georgia-273.38 points.

These are extremely close. Looking at our numbers, our overall recruits are ranked higher than most schools in “initial quality.”

If you look at it from a compliance standpoint, 85 scholarship limit with 4 classes is 21.25 scholarships per class, so we are right on par for where we should be.

We also signed a preferred Walk-on kicker from Stratford Academy in Macon (see Macon Telegraph) that did not count towards scholarship total, and he usually kicked it through the uprights on the kickoffs. Not sure if he will compete with Morgan for the kickoff job or not, or if we are just securing a kicker for the future.

Silly Bloggers

February 6th, 2014
2:09 pm

I am not a Richt supporter at all; however, I will say that I am very pleased with the recruiting class. If you are willing to point out the negative of the program, you have to be able to point out the positives as well when they happen.

The negatives: Can’t argue about the lack of offensive linemen, or the fact that we are historically weak in this area during the entirety of Richt’s tenure, or that Will Friend doesn’t exactly breed a lot of confidence in coaching up the linemen.

The positives: We addressed every other need. I would have liked to see another safety, but with a limited amount of spots, we did excellent.

For the teams ahead of us, it is a wash except for Alabama. They recruited around 15% of the 5-Stars out there and that separates them from EVERY other team. As mentioned, a lot of rankings have to do with class size. Were these other schools successful? Of course, but they each missed on something key.

As for coaching, I am not a Richt fan, and I flat out don’t like Friend, but I am optimistic about Pruitt. Again, this is a kudos for Richt on the entire hiring of the defensive staff. Give credit where credit is due.

Teams ahead of us:

Tenn – 36 new players is going to be impossible to manage. I think Butch Jones has talent, but that is going to be a hard team to keep together.

Fla – They have had amazing classes and you saw what happened last year. Granted, Fla revamped thier offensive coaches, but I still think Pruitt vs. Collins is no where close as coordinators go.

Auburn – How long before teams start figuring out the gimmick offense? Similar to Tech’s sliding scale of success with the option. Last time I checked, their defense wasn’t a whole lot better than ours.

A&M – Defense? They were the closest thing to making Grantham look competent.

Bama and LSU: – Both solid programs. Bama ahead of the world. LSU, as mentioned, the closest thing to a balanced team.

Go Dawgs and job well done coaches!

DawginColorado

February 6th, 2014
2:17 pm

It is so predictable that (NOT)Dawgfan will put his lack of effort spin on the recruiting rankings. Dude, you are f-d up. If you look at the way things panned out it was really Bama nd LSU and then everyone else as far as recruiting numbers. A&M got 1 more 4 star than we did. UT had a class of 33 and signed a bunch of 4 stars but zero 5-stars. And because it’s you mission in life to demean Coach Mark Richt in everything he does, you say that it was a lackluster effort. I’m sure Carter didn’t choose Bama because the Georgia coaching staff did try. What an utter farce!

We had 21-22 slots available. We got the top prospect in Georgia. We addressed several needs. Did you even read Jacob Park’s comments on why he chose Georgia over Bama? Here I’ll help you:

“It was different. Coach Richt and (offensive coordinator Mike) Bobo didn’t hassle me. They didn’t call me every day. They sent me letters. They didn’t send me a million letters like everybody else. But when they did, it was a letter that meant something. I went on a visit there, and it came down to Georgia and Alabama. Alabama was being wishy-washy. Coach Bobo told me ‘I sent two offers out this year, you and Deshaun Watson. I’m not going to offer anybody else until you make a decision.’ I took that to mean that he liked me a lot.”

Does that sound like they didn’t care what they were doing? Does that sound like they were out recruited? Hell no it doesn’t.

Moral of the story is that you twist everything to fit your f-d up mindset (NOT)dawgfan. Anyone with an ounce of sense should know that they should just write off anything you post. I get sick of seeing it.

Mark Richt is not lazy. get it through your f-d up little head. He cares as much as any coach about his program and the young men he coaches. Just because he doesn’t throw sideline tantrums does not mean he doesn’t care and it only shows how screwed up you are that you make that assumption.

Get off these blogs and get some help. Good grief!

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

February 6th, 2014
2:31 pm

The new defense is something Im looking forward to seeing in the next couple seasons

as well as the new RB’s QB’s and the speedster kick returner

will the O-line dampen things? Probably