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Grading Georgia football’s 2019 recruiting class
Georgia’s signing class is in the books for the 2019 recruiting cycle. The Bulldogs brought in 24 players in all and finished with the No. 2 overall class in the country, with only Alabama putting together a better class. UGA landed the No. 1 prospect in the country in Nolan Smith, and pulled in a big surprise on National Signing Day by landing 5-star wide receiver George Pickens.
Of course not everything went perfect for the Bulldogs in this class. Georgia saw two players 5-star commits de-commit in the form of Jadon Haselwood and John Emery Jr. So with taking everything into account, we’ve decided to grade out Georgia’s 2019 class. Back in December, we gave the Bulldogs a B+ after Early Signing Day:
Quarterbacks, B-: The Bulldogs pulled in two quarterbacks in the 2019 recruiting class in 4-star quarterback Dwan Mathis and 3-star quarterback Stetson Bennett. Neither are the big-name quarterbacks that Kirby Smart has landed in the past, but Georgia didn’t need to land a starting quarterback in this class. The Bulldogs have Jake Fromm for 2019, and even if does go down to injury, the Bulldogs chances are probably sunk anyway.
Running back, C+: Georgia did sign 4-star running back Kenny McIntosh out of Florida. He’s a physical back in the form of Elijah Holyfield. But the reason for the low grade is because of what this class could’ve had. We mentioned that Georgia had the No. 2 overall running back in Emery Jr. committed at one point. He flipped to LSU. Then Georgia went very hard after the No. 1 running back in the country in Trey Sanders. He ended up going to Alabama.
It’s worth mentioning that if Zamir White is healthy in 2019 though, it doesn’t matter who Georgia brought in at the running back position. A healthy White should make Georgia’s running back room just as good if not better in 2019.
Wide receivers/tight ends, A: Things weren’t looking great when Haselwood ended up picking Oklahoma and Isaac Nauta, Mecole Hardman and Riley Ridley declared early for the NFL draft. But the Bulldogs alleviated any concern when it landed Pickens and 3-star tight end Brett Seither on National Signing Day.
Georgia landed two top-5 wide receivers in this class in Pickens and Dominick Blaylock. Makiya Tongue out of Louisiana is also a nice grab for wide receivers coach Cortez Hankton. Georgia hadn’t landed a top-5 wide receiver since 2009. That’s a huge win for the Bulldogs.
Offensive line, B+: After the stellar offensive line haul in 2018, Georgia didn’t need a ton of offensive line help in this class. But that didn’t stop the Bulldogs from pulling 5-star center Clay Webb out of Alabama. Georgia also brought in 4-star offensive tackle Xavier Truss and 4-star Warren McClendon.
Some might squabble about Georgia not landing a higher rated tackle prospect, but this was a very solid class that should at the very least provide depth at the tackle spots.
Defensive line, A+: The defensive line class has depth and star power. It’s got the aforementioned No. 1 prospect in the country in Smith, 5-star defensive tackle Travon Walker, the No. 1 JUCO player in the country in Jermaine Johnson and a trio of Tennessee defensive linemen.
The reason the SEC has been so dominant is because of defensive line play. Georgia’s front got a whole better in the 2019 recruiting class. This class is going to be a big problem for opposing offensive lines for years to come.
Linebackers, A: This group pulled in 5-star linebacker in the country in Nakobe Dean and pulled him out of Mississippi. The Bulldogs also reeled in Rian Davis — a top 100 player out of Florida — and Trezmen Marshall from Homerville, Ga.
When you factor in who Georgia brought in with its last class in Quay Walker and Channing Tindall, UGA is set at linebacker for the next couple of classes. In 2020 Georgia won’t target many linebacker prospects. But because of the Bulldogs’ work these last two classes, they won’t need to.
Secondary, A: If the Bulldogs had pulled in Kaiir Elam, this would’ve been an A+. But even without him, Georgia will just have to settle for the No. 3 cornerback in the country in Tyrique Stevenson, the No. 3 safety in Lewis Cine and the No. 2 JUCO defensive back in D.J. Daniel.
There’s not a ton of depth with the class, but all three signees have the potential to be immediate impact players for Georgia in 2019. When you factor in that Georgia did this while losing former defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, that’s a great effort by Smart to keep this class together.
Overall, A: In December this class was a B+. Since then, the Bulldogs added Stevenson, Pickens and Seither. That bumped up the defensive backs and wide receiver grades for the class. It’s also the second best class Georgia has ever landed, behind only the 2018 class.
It’s not a better class than what Alabama brought in. But that’s only because Alabama signed more prospects. And the Bulldogs’ 2019 class is significantly better than the Crimson Tide’s 2018 class. Smart has continued to close the gap between Georgia and Alabama. We’ve seen that on the field the last two years on the field and the Bulldogs continue to do so on the recruiting trail.
Best Georgia football stories from around DawgNation
- Never doubt Georgia’s Kirby Smart when it comes to signing day fireworks
- Former Georgia football QB Justin Fields speaks, not looking back
- Social media reacts to Georgia’s stunning flip of 5-star wide receiver George Pickens
- Georgia football: How the nation’s No. 2 recruiting class for 2019 was built
- Auburn coach claims 5-star’s flip to UGA ‘is not going to bother us’
- Georgia football podcast: Reaction to 5-star WR George Pickens’ flip to UGA
- Georgia football coach Kirby Smart on ESPNU: ‘With each class, we’ve grown’
- National Signing Day: Georgia football signees, projected commitments, live updates
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