ATHENS — Georgia football recruiting should be on the pole position this summer for a number of reasons, chief among them its built-in geographical advantage.
The Bulldogs’ 2022 class currently sits No. 4 in the 247Sports team recruiting rankings, but such numbers are fluid.
Georgia will, no doubt, finish higher as it adds more players and the class comes to fruition before the December early signing date
1. In-State Talent
The Peach State has always ranked among the richest in terms of football talent, and that was no different in 2020 per a 247Sports study on the 2020 cycle.
In reviewing players in the 2020 247Sports Composite 150, only Texas (25)and Florida (22) had more than Georgia (19).
In 2021, Florida (24) and Texas (22) maintained their edge in volume among top 150 players.
The Bulldogs, however, have a significantly bigger in-state inherent recruiting advantage than Florida or Texas.
Georgia has only one other Power Five school to recruit against in-state -- ACC member Georgia Tech.
Meanwhile, five of the 12 Texas FBS schools are in Power Five conferences and three of the seven Florida schools are Power Five schools that have won national championships since 2000.
2. Name Image Likeness
Georgia is one of five states set to go “live” with NIL legislation on July 1 that will enable players to be paid — Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and New Mexico are the others, with Ohio needing a bill to pass to join the club in July.
But beyond being in that select group, essentially having a recruiting advantage and head start, the University of Georgia’s proximity to Atlanta comes into play.
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“Georgia, two years ago, starting selling ’404′ in Athens, saying ‘hey we’re only an hour-and-a-half away from Atlanta, look at all of our alumni, look at the companies where some of our top supporters work at,’ " Former Georgia All-American punter and Icon Source manager Drew Butler said.
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“Atlanta is a Georgia town, there’s no question about it, and good on Georgia for using that as a recruiting tactic,” Butler said. “I think there’s no doubt about it, the opportunity to showcase the surrounding area, not only your hyperlocal area like Athens, but your regional hub, like an Atlanta, will help these students athletes go, ‘wow, there’s tons of opportunity here.’ "
Georgia’s $80 million football facility is the hot, talked-about new building on the recruiting circuit this season.
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Top players already want to visit the Bulldogs and get an offer, the program’s reputation for developing players improving with each record-breaking NFL draft class, and Kirby Smart’s squads an annual championship contender.
But having one of the largest weight rooms — if not the largest — along with a new, state-of-the-art locker room and incredible dining options on-site make the idea of spending three or four years at Georgia more welcoming.
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