How can UGA sign 30-35 recruits under the SEC’s new over-signing rules?

Last year, the SEC passed new rules on “over-signing,” including an annual 25-man limit for conference teams.

This year, UGA coach Mark Richt told the AJC that he expects to finish with a recruiting class of between 30-35 players. The Bulldogs already have 30 commitments for 2013, with at least a couple of more targets on both sides of the ball.

How can that be? How can UGA sign 30-35 if there’s a new rule with a 25-man limit?

“Early enrollees.”

Both UGA and Alabama will take advantage of the SEC's loophole with it over-signing rules, especially the Bulldogs (AP)

Both UGA and Alabama will take advantage of the SEC's loophole in its over-signing rules, especially the Bulldogs, which could finish with a super-sized class of 35 (AP)

The recruiting term will soon, if it’s not already, be as famous as over-signing, which is defined as a college team signing more recruits than they have scholarships available. Over-signing was made famous by coaches like Houston Nutt and Nick Saban.

Early enrollees is the loophole when the SEC talked tough and passed the over-signing rules last year. What are they? Early enrollees are recruits from high school, prep school or junior college that can complete college entrance requirements by midyear (or graduate early) and enroll at a four-year college in January. In some sense, it’s a reward for both the college and the recruits they target for taking care of work early in the classroom.

What’s the big deal about that? If a recruit can enroll early, then he can be “back-counted” toward the previous year’s recruiting class – if the college finished with under 25 signees in that previous year. Note: You must also stay below the overall roster limit of 85 players, too. This is how UGA will finish with a recruiting class of 30-35, even though all of them won’t count toward the 2013 numbers.

What do you think about UGA taking advantage of the over-signing loophole?

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Let’s talk a closer look at UGA’s situation:

Last year, UGA had a lot of momentum and success until signing day, when it missed on numerous targets. The Bulldogs finished with a much smaller class than they or anybody else expected at 19. Out of that group of 19, two failed to meet NCAA academic requirements. That knocks it down to 17. And then three other recruits enrolled early, with two “back-counted” toward the 2011 numbers.

So the final tally for UGA’s 2012 class was 15 signees, 10 spots under the SEC’s new 25-man limit. Some jokingly called it “under-signing.”

This year, UGA has 30 commitments and may finish with 35.

Out of the 30 commits, at least 17 have said that they intend to enroll early and begin taking classes at UGA for spring semester on Jan. 7.

Now whether all 17 make it or not is unknown. According to now-former UGA recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner earlier this week, each recruit has to be approved by the school president and admissions committee, and all of them had yet to be approved – whether it’s due to academics, waiting on test scores, delayed paperwork or for whatever reasons. A lot of that will unfold in the next 10 days.

While UGA would love to have all 17, it’s really counting on 10. That’s the magic number because that’s the maximum the Bulldogs can “back-count” toward the 2012 class, which currently has 15 signees, to max out with 25.

If at least 10 are early enrollees, UGA can quickly compensate for last year’s small class and add much-needed team depth with a super-sized signing class — perfectly legal under SEC rules.

What if 17 make it? What about the other seven? The other seven, even though they are early enrollees, they will count toward 2013’s regular 25-man limit.

Early enrollees are the hottest thing in recruiting. They’re not new, as some have pointed out below. But it is new for so many schools to to use them in this magnitude. UGA had only three early enrollees last year and two in 2011, before blowing the doors off with 17 potential EE’s this year.

UGA is not the only SEC school taking advantage of this new rule, with both Florida and Alabama expecting around 8-10 early enrollees each.

And a memo to high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors: If you really want to play D1 football, you will triple your marketability to colleges if you do well enough with your academics to be an early enrollee as a senior.

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340 comments Add your comment

Some Sense

December 23rd, 2012
6:54 am

Who are the key “early enrollees”?

Bama won

December 23rd, 2012
6:56 am

This is blatant cheating by Coach Richt. That is the exact same thing all you Georgia fans accused Coach Saban of doing. Early enrollees and oversigning are the same things, just different terminology.

Preacher coach fans should be ashamed.

For this, and not spiking the ball

AU Tiger

December 23rd, 2012
7:09 am

Because UGA bends the rules!

33 years and 5 yards………………..still waiting!

Griffon

December 23rd, 2012
7:24 am

As always, Muck Richt will bend the rules, ignore the rules, and just plain cheat to keep his $300,000 paycheck coming in every month. Not that dawg fans care if he uses sleazy practices to recruit and sign stupid bozos who can barely read.

Yes, there’s a reason why UGA is known far and wide as The Cesspool of the South.

GaPnt

December 23rd, 2012
7:27 am

This just proves again what SEC stand for: Sure Everybody Cheats. What a stinking cesspool is the SEC.

A person SMART enough to know.....

December 23rd, 2012
7:30 am

More marketable if you do good with your academics? UGa has about 74% special admits so that seems funny. In Georgia the kid if he is good will be given grades and passed along to go play college ball as we all know. The Government School Educational System in Georgia is terrible.

bitter pork his

December 23rd, 2012
7:36 am

MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR too all TROLLS——-even THE TRAILER TRAMPS

———————————-from —TUSK-UR LOOSERVILLE

————————-I PREDICTED the down to the last play in the sec final

——————-THANKS DAWGS FOR THE BEST PRESENT OF ALL

———————-RESTORED—————-PRIDE—————–2012 SENIORS RULE

———————KING, M/C, A PERSON SO DUMB——2013—BRING BIT ON

—AND HOPEFULLY SANTA WONT FORGET THE—————-MOONPIES—-HAHAHAHAH

01HAWK

December 23rd, 2012
7:40 am

Welcome to the party UGA. It is about time CMR figured it out like SABAN.

You can not say over signing about BAMA any longer……………….LOL

bitter spoiled recruit

December 23rd, 2012
7:41 am

@DUMB—————–WITHOUT SPECIAL ADMITTS WHAT HAPPENS TO THESE KIDS????

————————YOU BIG DUMMY——————–IT GIVES THEM A CHANCE TO

———————SUCCEED

collegeballfan

December 23rd, 2012
7:43 am

Toward the point, Gregory at GT signed Solomon Poole in basketball in November and he enrolled in December. Now on the team and playing.

david

December 23rd, 2012
8:00 am

You haters are going to be in a world of trouble when your boss man finds out that you clocked out early from the midnight shift to race home and get on this blog.

At GT

December 23rd, 2012
8:01 am

AT GT, CPJ does not do this because no one wants to play all at GT. CPJ signs kids that no one else recruits and as a result, Tech’s classes usually number around 12-15 kids. Whether they enroll I. January or August, Tech will end up 6-6.

ACC and Tech are non factors. SC will lose to Tech, because the Men of Troy will have no respect for Tech and will over look Tech and GT will defeat hapless USC in a nothing game.

bitter spoiled recruit

December 23rd, 2012
8:15 am

NOT HATE-IN ON CPJ —BUT TRUTH——WORSE RECRUITER EVER

Granthams The Man!

December 23rd, 2012
8:18 am

@ Bama Boy. You have no clue!

”Oversigning” means you will have to cull or kick to the curb or talk into Bogus Medical hardship’s, the extra players that Saban never had a scholarship for in the first place.

There’s a reason why Mark Richt never did ”Oversign” players.

Saban never had the scholarships available for the Six extra players that he signed and then culled each and every year. Mark Richt has the Scholarships.

Too bad the new rules have taken away Saban’s ill gotten advantage.

Keep selling that line. Only the ingorant will believe you.

01HAWK

December 23rd, 2012
8:21 am

Silence is GOLDEN………………………………….Where are all of the DAWG fans crying about other schools over signing when your SAINT RICHT has finally figured it out after how many years ?

01HAWK

December 23rd, 2012
8:23 am

Granthams The Man!

December 23rd, 2012
8:18 am

Too bad the new rules have taken away Saban’s ill gotten advantage.

Wrong………………………….Let’s see……………………………In BCS game 3 out of the last 4 years.

SABAN will always have the advantage.

01HAWK

December 23rd, 2012
8:27 am

Has it been that long…………………………1980, I mean…………………………..Some of those players from your last National Title will be drawing Social Security soon……………Now that was funny.

Granthams The Man!

December 23rd, 2012
8:31 am

@ Hawk, You mean, the SEC finally figured out how to nullify Saban’s dirty practice and take away his ill gotten advantage.

Say good bye to Alabama having all that extra depth. The rules now allow Richt and others to establish more depth without kicking these young kids to the curb.

Saban was even forced to say he would now honor four year scholarships. How will he cull those under performing players now?

Saban will always be the poster Boy of Oversigning. Richt never did and it was the right thing to do.

But, ain’t y’all bamma Boys proud.

01HAWK

December 23rd, 2012
8:36 am

We are proud…………………………..Enjoy MICKEY at DISNEY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What’s in your wallet………………………….CAP ONE BOWEL

againstcorruption

December 23rd, 2012
8:39 am

Saban will do anything to win. Look at the suitgate thing that ESPN and the NCAA wants everyone to forget. Its bigger than the Ohio State and Miami thing put together.

3d

December 23rd, 2012
8:41 am

Damn, there’s some bitter folks from Alabama on here.

Guess I be bitter too if I had to call that po dunk state my home.

Larry the Cable Guy won’t even do a show from there.

Seriously?

December 23rd, 2012
8:41 am

I will be glad when Christmas holiday’s are over and all of these trolls go back to school. Their immaturity is really ruining this blog.

shipyard dawg

December 23rd, 2012
8:43 am

Grantham the Man , You are the Man .

Dawg Days!

December 23rd, 2012
8:43 am

Bama fans! Really? Really?? Are you so dumb that you don’t know the difference between early enrollees and Saban’s practices in the past of over signing? LOL!

Vince

December 23rd, 2012
8:46 am

Do your research before you come on a board and make an idiot of yourself. Oversigning and having early enrollees is NOT the same thing.

Ragamuffin

December 23rd, 2012
8:46 am

“whether it’s due to academics,”

Explanation: can he read?

globeflyer

December 23rd, 2012
8:52 am

To those who can’t help themselves from making Saban references….pull up your pants, your “Red A**” is showing (and I don’t necessarily mean “Crimson Red” either)!

Half Century Dawg

December 23rd, 2012
8:53 am

Bama won

December 23rd, 2012
6:56 am

They are not the same thing at all

01HAWK

December 23rd, 2012
8:53 am

You just can not get over losing the SECCG for a 2nd year.

I hear Mickey and Disney are nice this time of the year.

01HAWK

December 23rd, 2012
8:58 am

Everything SABAN does is within the rules. He makes new rules that the NCAA will try and curtail such as SKYPE.

SABAN has been using SKYPE for years and other coaches are just now starting to catch on. Of course CMR is always late to the party.

Dawg Days!

December 23rd, 2012
9:01 am

01Hawk….I am actually pulling for Alabama to beat ND. Not sure what your infatuation with Georgia is? Go change your diapers.

Moist Dawg

December 23rd, 2012
9:06 am

Who really cares if we oversign? It’s about time we play hardball.

01HAWK

December 23rd, 2012
9:09 am

Dawg Days!

December 23rd, 2012
9:01 am

01Hawk….I am actually pulling for Alabama to beat ND. Not sure what your infatuation with Georgia is? Go change your diapers

Who really cares if you pull for BAMA………………………………I don’t

Do you get marijuana brownie points for that.

chilidawg

December 23rd, 2012
9:18 am

The early enrollee vs. grayshirt explanation has been detailed here many times for the people who come here because their home state does not have a newspaper or blog. Time to move on.

Dawg Days!

December 23rd, 2012
9:20 am

Ahhh….Marijuana brownies! I’ll bring some to Saban’s recruitment class. Let me know how many players he plans to over sign so I will know how much to bring! Merry Christtmas! Brush your tooth!

Tampa Gator

December 23rd, 2012
9:35 am

Bama fans……..

Saban oversigned and made room for players by medically discharging players or taking away their schollys and asking them to transfer, etc. The reason the SEC changed the recruit signing rules was because of coaches like Saban constantly oversigning and doing the above to keep his 85 man roster. What Richt and most SEC coaches are doing now is within the rules, and the rules now force coaches like Saban to play by the rules…..and the game is now coming back to better competition in the SEC because coaches like Saban can no longer bend the rules to their advantage. Some of you Bama fans are just plain…BLIND.

Neutral

December 23rd, 2012
9:37 am

I’m totally amazed with the utter stupidity demonstrated by every negative blogger. UGa and CMR are doing nothing illegal, immoral, unethical, etc. Get a life guys because you are struggling way to hard to find something wrong with UGa’s program. P.S. GT just wishes they had the luxury of signing the max allowable recruits!!!

Tampa Gator

December 23rd, 2012
9:39 am

Some of the Bama fans on the AJC make you want to pull against the SEC in the title game……but to them I say….enjoy the game…..because the rest of the SEC has come back up because of the new recruiting rule….forcing Bama to play by the actual rules when recruiting and managing the roster. The lower division schools are no longer….and can’t be…..Bama’s dump schools.

Just saying

December 23rd, 2012
9:40 am

You are totally correct Neutral!
I call this “Dawg Envy” and it is what the “negative” bloggers (mostly techies) say loud and clear every time they post. Go DAWGS!!!

Ptc Dawg

December 23rd, 2012
9:45 am

Even our fellow Gator fan gets it. I guess it is just too much reading comprehension for the Tide to handle.

Tampa Gator

December 23rd, 2012
9:48 am

But there is one additional rule I would like to see changed that all coaches are now taking unfair advantage of…..and that is the transfer rule. I think coaches are still misusing this process to their advantage. And I think players should be able to transfer without sitting out a year. Heck, the coaches can do it. And I think a transfer, if accepted by another school, should maybe count for more than one roster spot or maybe count as two recruits in one year.

Just saying

December 23rd, 2012
9:49 am

You are correct Tampa Gator……..and when Kirby Smart takes over on January 9th Bama will be back to where they were just a few years ago (ie losers to UGa, FL, LSU, Auburn and TN every year). By the way, I know many folks believe Kirby is incredible, but I noticed that his All American loaded defense gave up 400 yards to UGa and LSU and over 500 to Texas A&M. Also, he didn’t even slightly slow down UGa when it counted in the SEC CG. We all know how that game ended and it was thanks to UGa…..not Kirby’s vaunted defense!!!

SmyrnaGuy

December 23rd, 2012
9:49 am

To all you baffoons who want to say CMR is bending the rules… take a hike!

The overall rule is 85 scholarships at any given time. It shouldn’t and doesn’t matter what year you fill your bucket, save the SEC 25/year limit.

Grayshirting and essentially kicking players off the team for “medical” issues are what we should be talking about. Tell me again who is noted for these practices? F NS the little Napoleon

bahits.com

December 23rd, 2012
9:53 am

Doesn’t Tech only sign about 10 players a year? They should be able to get 35 signatures, too, if they recruit some of the nuns at St. Mary’s house for the poor.

SmyrnaGuy

December 23rd, 2012
10:04 am

I’m NOT rooting for UA in the title game, just like I didn’t pull for AU, UF, LSU or UA in any of the prior six. It doesn’t make UGA better by association. What it DOES do is makes head to head recruiting that much harder. Especially when other teams break the rules (paying players, or truly oversigning).

Flo - Ri - Duh

December 23rd, 2012
10:05 am

As long as they stay within the total limit of 85 on scholarship at one time what’s the big deal.. The problem before was certain coaches would have over 85 scholarship players.

Tide Rising

December 23rd, 2012
10:10 am

Just saying,

The official stats I saw Bama gave up 396 yds to georgia. So you guys couldn’t even hit the 400 yard barrier. Meanwhile we gained 519 yards total offense including running over, around, and through the dawg defense for 350 rushing yards.

As for the yardage we gave up to LSU we WON that game even after committing more turnovers and fumbling near their goal line. Ya’ll just mad because Eddie Lacy and TJ Yeldon ran wild on your sorry ole defense.

Football Fan

December 23rd, 2012
10:12 am

Do you really think that Georgia players are the only ones that use marajuana? Out of all the players in the SEC, ONLY Georgia players do? Other coaches cover it up so their players can play. It’s simple as that. And Bama fans can’t say Georgia is cheating by over signing because Saban is KING of over signing…It doesn’t matter though because Saban will be in Cleveland next year.

Alabama Short Bus

December 23rd, 2012
10:20 am

Bama fans are so stupid. Here we have an entire article dedicated to explaining to them that THIS IS NOT OVERSIGNING, and what do the bama fans do? They blow up the message board with cries of “mark richt is oversigning.”
You can’t make this stuff up. They really are that dumb.

Tide Rising

December 23rd, 2012
10:22 am

Sooooooo. When Saban oversigns and backcounts recruits its blatant cheating. But when Richt does it then its playing by the rules. You dawg fans are nothing short of laughable.

OVERSIGNING IS OVERSIGNING. UGA is cheating and Richt is a CHEATER.