How large will UGA’s football recruiting class be for 2013?
Mark Richt isn’t saying — at least publicly.
“I don’t really get into talking hard numbers with everybody in the media, to be honest with you” he told the AJC recently.
“I will say this: We will definitely have space to count guys back to last year’s class … there’s no doubt about that. We would love to have as many midyear enrollees as possible to maximize that number going back, along with providing space to go forward with 25, if there’s room with the 85 number [for overall scholarships].
“There’s no doubt, this year in particular, we definitely would be looking to get guys to come at the midyear [in January] and count back towards last year’s class.”
Let’s take a step back: The SEC has new rules against over-signing, limiting each member school to sign a maximum of 25 recruits per year. However, there is a loophole if a signee is an early enrollee. The Macon Telegraph’s Seth Emerson explains it here.
Basically, an early enrollee can count against the 25-man limit with his current recruiting class, or “back-count” toward the previous class if that previous class had less than 25 signees. UGA signed 19 for its 2012 class, three enrolled early, and at least two of the three will count toward its 2011 class, which will make the final number at 16-17 for 2012.
The bottom line is that UGA could end up signing as many 33 for 2013, although somewhere between 26-30 is more likely.
All Richt will say on the record is that it could be one of his larger classes.
“Yes, it could be,” he said. “The bottom line is how much space do you have in the 85-man limit? That’s the bottom line. We’ve already had some attrition after this year’s recruiting class ended. And you could always end up having more attrition for various reasons.
“So between now and next year’s signing class, there’s a lot of things that can happen. That’s the hardest part about recruiting … it’s trying to get your numbers just right when all these parts are moving.”
Richt has a good idea what the number will be for the 2013 but he’s not going to go public with it. Why is that? Why keep it a secret? Richt has his reasons.
“Well, first, if you say what a number is, everybody will sit there and say that’s their target they’re trying to get; so if you come short of it, there’s conversation, and if you go over it, there’s conversation,” he explained.
“The reality is that the number is not a hard number. The number fluctuates. If you start throwing numbers out there, it almost becomes confusing to everybody if that number changes for one reason or another, if you see what I’m saying.
“I can’t tell you exactly how much space we got, that’s the reason why. Because it’s always changing, whether it’s a guy turning pro, whether it’s a guy that gets disciplined and gets dismissed from the team, whether it’s a guy who wants to transfer, or whether it’s a guy who gets hurt and gets a medical DQ … I mean, there are so many things that change your number. Or even sometimes, you’ll have a walk-on that you will put on scholarship, and you want to have the freedom to do that.
“So, for me to try and say what the number is, it moves too much and too often for us to say certainly where it is. So that’s why I like to stay away from that.”
UGA may already be halfway to its magic number with 15 early commitments for 2013.
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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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