UGA’s Mark Richt and Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson both reaffirmed to the AJC that the state of Georgia is their top recruiting priority.
The state of Georgia is one of the nation’s top manufacturers of football talent, producing around 175-185 major-college prospects per year. The Class of 2013 is considered one of the strongest and deepest ever, as more than 100 of the state’s high school juniors have been already been offered D1 football scholarships.
There’s a lot of 2013 star power, too, with Grayson DE Robert Nkemdiche and Troup LB Reuben Foster ranked as the nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 overall prospect by Rivals, Scout, and 247sports.com, respectively. Also, Dooly County DT Montravius Adams is creeping up in the top 10 on many national lists.
Last month, UGA had a larger than normal percentage of signees from outside of the borders of talent-rich Georgia – with 8 of 19 members of the 2012 recruiting class from out of state. UGA landed the top two running backs from North Carolina, Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley, along with Florida’s top overall prospect in OL John Theus.
UGA did so well with recruiting the Southeast this year that some speculate that the Bulldogs may recruit more regionally moving forward. UGA’s Mark Richt said that’s not going to happen under his watch.
“I think what you’ll see historically from us is about 2/3 of the team is going to be from Georgia … and I think it’s going to stay that way,” Richt told the AJC. “Any given year, it may be a little different, like this year. But for the most part, we’re normally going to get 2/3 of our team from in state and the other 1/3 from out of state. I don’t think that will change.
“In any given year, you recruit the best players you think you can get after. Some of them decide to come to your school and some of them don’t. So we’ve got to keep watching film, evaluating and then go see these recruits later in the spring. We’ve got to make our best judgment on how to rank them, how to stack them, and who to offer and who not to offer … and then go ahead and see who you get.
“I can assure you that the state of Georgia is always the top recruiting priority for the University of Georgia.”
UGA has eight commitments for 2013, with six being homegrown products, led by Newnan safety Tray Matthews. UGA’s two imports may be the top overall prospects in their respective states, RB Derrick Henry of Yulee, Fla., and WR Tramel Terry of Goose Creek, S.C.
Meanwhile at Georgia Tech, more than half of the school’s last two recruiting classes have been from out of state. Last month’s haul included top-tier prospects from Alabama (QB Justin Thomas) and Florida (RB Marcus Allen), along with Australia (DT Adam Gotsis).
There is speculation among Georgia Tech fans that the Yellow Jackets have to recruit more from a regional standpoint because of the school’s academic standards. Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson didn’t outright refute the notion but made it clear that Georgia is always the talent pool of priority.
“Academics at Georgia Tech are always a concern, but we haven’t changed the way we’re recruiting,” Johnson told the AJC. “Our areas of emphasis haven’t really changed. We’ve re-divided them among our coaching staff some. But as far as where we are recruiting, it hasn’t really changed.”
What about the in-state prospects?
“Georgia is always No. 1,” Johnson said. “If you can get two players of the same and they can both get in school, you’d certainly take the local kid,” Johnson said. “But we’re not going to limit ourselves to just recruiting locally. If we can find good players that can qualify academically and get in school, then we’ll look other places. You know, recruiting works both ways. A recruit has to have interest in your school, too.”
Georgia Tech projects to sign 14-15 recruits for next year, and is waiting on its first commitment for 2013.
What do you think? Are UGA and Georgia Tech signing enough in-state recruits? Should they be signing more or less? Please post your comments below.
MARCH MADNESS, WHAT’S THAT? RECRUITING MADESS!
WHILE YOUR BRACKETS GOT MESSED UP …
IT’S NEVER BORING IN THE WACKY WORLD OF RECRUITING
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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