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Georgia holds a clear edge on the recruiting trail with Auburn in tonight's Top 10 matchup.

Georgia football: The recruiting tale of the tape with Auburn and Gus Malzahn

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry takes a look at how well Georgia has recruited over the last four cycles and compares that to Auburn’s work on the trail. 

When looking at Georgia at Auburn this week, there are two names that come to mind for the visitor’s side.

Bo Nix. Owen Pappoe. 

Those two prospects were rated as 5-star recruits in the 2019 class. Both will be pivotal in any script for an Auburn upset win Saturday night.

When looking at their counterparts on the Georgia side, it would appear that the dandy Auburn duo is outnumbered in the number of 5-star signees on the field tonight.

Just a wee bit.

Richard LeCounte III. Zamir White. Jamaree Salyer. Tyson Campbell. Adam Anderson. Nolan Smith. Nakobe Dean. Travon Walker. George Pickens. Jalen Carter. Darnell Washington. 

Those are just the 5-stars that remain at each program who are expected to play significant snaps tonight. That’s not counting Georgia sending a pair of its former 5-star signees off to the NFL Draft this spring or the three others who have transferred out.

Auburn has signed three of those 5-star prospects since 2017. Georgia has signed 19.

Players like that win these big SEC ballgames whether they are played in October or November. The side that has more of those and those other elite blue-chip recruits should have the advantage.

Georgia has a clear edge in that number, too. The Bulldogs have signed 81 recruits with a 4 or 5-star ranking over the last four cycles. Auburn has signed 54.

The reason why is the best players on the field and the prevalence of them from one sideline to the other is what separates the winning side in a top 10 matchup like this one.

5 more things for your back pocket for Saturday’s game 

Big gap in recruiting rankings 

Georgia’s recruiting classes have finished with an average ranking of 1.7 over those last four cycles. Auburn finished with an average ranking of 9.2 in those classes.

Big emphasis on defense 

Want to know where all the elite players are? Well, it is a split for Georgia. The Bulldogs have signed 39 of those blue-chips for the defensive side of the ball. That’s even after that program went way heavy on offense with 12 blue-chip offensive signees in its 2020 class.

Auburn slants very heavily on defense. Of those 54 blue-chips, the Tigers have brought in 32 of those for that side of the ball.

Auburn has loaded up at the WR position 

Every legitimate game preview for tonight’s contest will have to include Seth Williams and then Anthony Schwartz for Auburn. Those are the potential game-breakers for the Tigers.

That should be no surprise. Auburn has signed seven WR prospects with a 4-star rating among those 23 offensive blue-chip signees since 2017.

Georgia holds a big edge in its O-line room

The numbers for the offensive line aren’t as good. Auburn is breaking in four new starters for this season across its offensive front, but it has not reloaded with elite talent. The Tigers have signed just four prospects with a 4-star rating or better to play the offensive line since 2017. That factor intensifies with the notion that there are just two of those left on the roster.

Georgia has signed 15 offensive line prospects since 2017 that finished with a 4-star rating or better.

The border rivalry in recruiting 

Auburn depends on recruiting well in the state of Georgia as the life’s blood of its program. The 2020 signing class is a great example. The Tigers found 10 of their 26 signees in the state of Georgia, including five of their six highest-rated recruits.

That trend extends out to the last four cycles.

  • Auburn’s 2017 class: 5 of 22 signees from Georgia
  • Auburn’s 2018 class: 8 of 23 signees from Georgia
  • Auburn’s 2019 class: 9 of 21 signees from Georgia
  • Auburn’s 2020 class: 10 of 26 signees from Georgia
  • Four-year totals: 32 of their 92 signees from Georgia

Georgia has won three of the last four meetings, including three in a row. The dominance in the series extends to 12 wins in their last 15 meetings dating back to 2006.

If Auburn starts to win the “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry” more often in the years to come, then the Tigers might wind up with more of those 5-star prospects from the state of Georgia.

RELATED: Check out the recruiting tale of the tape with Arkansas last week

SENTELL’S INTEL

(the recent reads on DawgNation.com)

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