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Kirby Smart signed the No. 4 class for Georgia in the 2021 cycle.
Rob Davis

Return to visits shows how Georgia football is prioritizing in-state prospects for 2022 cycle

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June going to be a massive recruiting month for Georgia football program

Back when visits were a key part of the recruiting process, Georgia would use those to help show top prospects its program. The Bulldogs could bring recruits from all over the country to Athens to show them what the program had to offer.

It’s clear those visits had an impact, as the 2019 and 2020 classes were composed of a majority of prospects who played their high school football outside the state of Georgia. If you count Nolan Smith and Warren Brinson as Georgia products, the Bulldogs landed just nine players from the state of Georgia in each of those two cycles.

Then the pandemic hit and it seemed to force Georgia to refocus on in-state players. Georgia signed 13 players from the state — counting IMG Academy players Marlin Dean and Lovasea Carroll as in-state players — including seven of the top 11 in-state prospects from the 2021 class.

That trend has rolled right into the 2022 cycle, with seven of the eight current commitments coming from the state of Georgia. That number could grow this week as well, with Jefferson, Ga., product Malaki Starks set to announce his commitment on Thursday. Starks is the No. 29 player in the state and a commitment to the Bulldogs would give Georgia three of the four 5-star players in the state for the 2022 cycle.

Related: 5-star prospect Malaki Starks previews his upcoming decision

If you’ve been following recruiting closely, you also probably know that visits seem to be just around the corner. The NCAA has begun planning what a return to visits looks like, with a supposed full announcement coming no later than mid-April.

It is widely believed a quiet period will begin starting June 1. This will give players the ability to starting visits to schools and interacting with coaches in-person for the first time since the first week of March of 2020. For Georgia, the Bulldogs haven’t hosted prospects since the final week of January in 2020.

The Georgia coaching staff, being the dogged recruiters that they are, are not waiting for the official word from the NCAA to begin planning what those first visits look like. A number of top prospects have already begun to schedule where they will be on certain dates. Four-star offensive lineman Tyler Booker already has three weekends in June booked up with visits, with a trip to Georgia set to take place from June 18th to the 20th.