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Georgia football and basketball have a chance to pull off rare recruiting accomplishment
Georgia football has never had a problem attracting top players. The Bulldogs have routinely finished in the top 10 in the country in recruiting rankings, including three consecutive top three finishes under Kirby Smart. The same could not be said for the basketball program. But that be might changing for Tom Crean and the Bulldogs, as they landed a commitment from 5-star prospect Anthony Edwards on Monday.
Edwards — a 6-foot-5 guard from Atlanta whose game compares to James Harden — is the highest-rated prospect to ever pick the Bulldogs. He’s rated as the No. 2 player in the country in the 247Sports Composite rankings, sitting behind only future Memphis Tiger James Wiseman. Edwards has a chance to ascend to the No. 1 overall ranking with a strong performance in the McDonald’s All-American game in March.
Should Edwards rise to the No. 1 overall spot in the 247Sports composite rankings, it would give Georgia the No. 1 overall player in both basketball and football, as Nolan Smith signed with Georgia in December. If that happens, Georgia would be the first program since recruiting rankings came about back in 2003 to sign the nation’s No. 1 player in both basketball and football.
Even if Edwards isn’t able to finish as the top prospect in the class, Georgia is already in rarefied air when it comes to landing elite talent in both basketball and football. Since basketball recruiting rankings began back in 2003, only four times has a school signed a top-5 player in both basketball and football: Alabama in 2017 (Collin Sexton in basketball, Najee Harris in football), Ohio State in 2008 (BJ Mullens in basketball, Terrelle Pryor in football), USC in 2007 (OJ Mayo in basketball, Joe McKnight in football) and Texas in 2006 (Sergio Kindle in football, Kevin Durant in basketball).
The closest a school has come to signing both the No. 1 player in basketball and football was USC, when Mayo was rated as the nation’s No. 2 basketball recruit and McKnight was the No. 1 player in football.
Georgia football has actually landed the No. 1 overall player in the country twice in the past 5 seasons, as Trent Thompson was the No. 1 player in the 2015 cycle. And if you’re looking ahead, Georgia is recruiting the No. 1 player in the 2020 cycle, Bryan Bresee, very hard.
As for the basketball team, Edwards said he hopes to add 5-star small forward Precious Achiuwa and 4-star guard Lester Quinones to Georgia’s 2019 recruiting class. The Bulldogs have the No. 12 class in the 2019 basketball recruiting rankings. Georgia also signed 4-star prospects Jaykwon Walton and Toumani Camara. Edwards can officially sign with Georgia on April 17, which he said he very much intends to do.
Edwards did play football growing up, and mentioned that if he could, he’d theoretically play wide receiver for the Bulldogs. But he doesn’t have any plans of pulling a Julius Peppers and playing both football and basketball. Edwards just hopes to bring the Georgia basketball program to the same level as the football program.
S&P+ has Georgia football has the No. 2 program heading into 2019
Georgia football has high expectations for itself heading into 2019, given how close the Bulldogs have come to winning a national title in each of the past two seasons.
And it seems those expectations are valid, as Bill Connelly’ S&P+ has Georgia as the No. 2 team heading into the 2019 season, behind only Alabama. The preseason projection is based on three factors: recent history, returning production, and recruiting.
Clemson comes in at No. 3, followed by LSU at No. 4 and Oklahoma at No. 5. As for where Georgia ranks in each individual category, the Bulldogs rank No. 2 in both recruiting impact and returning projection. Georgia is No. 7 in recent history, which takes into account the Bulldogs’ performance over the past five seasons.
Georgia will see four teams ranked in the top 13 in 2019. Georgia plays No. 6 Florida(!), No. 8 Auburn, No. 12 Notre Dame and No. 13 Texas A&M. The Bulldogs also play No. 16 Missouri, No. 18 South Carolina and No. 21 Tennessee, meaning Georgia will play seven of the top 21 teams in the S&P+ rankings.
ESPN has Georgia pegged as the No. 3 team in its Way-Too-Early Top 25, behind Alabama and Clemson. The Bulldogs finished 2018 ranked No. 7 in the AP Poll, following Georgia dropping its last two games of the season to Texas and Alabama.
The Bulldogs begin the 2019 season on Aug. 31 when they take on Vanderbilt in Nashville.
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- Georgia football coach Kirby Smart talks quarterbacks, depth concerns
- If Georgia football fans can root for Jacob Eason, they can do the same for Justin Fields
- WATCH: UGA target Anthony ‘Ant Man’ Edwards puts on show but team loses in Region 1-AAA Tournament
- 5 questions with Georgia football tight end Eli Wolf, Rocky Top relocation
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Dawgs on Twitter
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) February 11, 2019
Many Hoosier fans forgot how @TomCrean came in when the @IndianaMBB program was really down & ultimately led them to 2 @B1GMBBall titles / watch that pattern happen with UGA / getting ANTHONY EDWARDS is big break thru for Bulldogs. https://t.co/T7DguHUdda
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) February 11, 2019
S/o to my Young dawg Anthony Edwards I already how you about to act! I like the way he going to do it to 💪🏾 congrats bro
— Harry Giles III (@HGiiizzle) February 11, 2019
Go Dawgs !!
— Coach Kirby Smart (@KirbySmartUGA) February 11, 2019
Good Dawg of the Day
Me making different accounts to get that free first month subscription pic.twitter.com/6guoeNcSpc
— MarQz (@marquezzz202) February 9, 2019