Can UGA recruiting now match Alabama’s most impressive feat on the trail?
Want to attack every day UGA recruiting info? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. The play sheet today calls for a couple of specific examples in a larger discussion. Georgia is getting closer to having a recruiting issue that Alabama has been able to navigate and overcome.
We’re going to take the Intel in a few different places tonight. The first is to offer up a premise regarding a status the UGA football program is approaching.
It is a good problem to have. Yet it will not be easy to navigate. Alabama has done so. Kirby Smart’s experiences with that issue in Tuscaloosa and Athens lend one to think the Bulldogs will do the same.
But it is starting to show a little with at least two specific cases this off-season.
Georgia has likely recruited two positions (with apologies to guard and outside linebacker) better than any others during the Kirby Smart era.
Those would be running back and quarterback.
Recruiting an initial wave of talent is one thing. Continuing to sign better players year after year is the real sleight of hand.
Sign a better class in 2019? It will not be easy after the Bulldogs had the top-ranked class in 2018.
Alabama has managed that just fine, though. While the Crimson Tide never signed seven 5-stars from the 247Sports composite in a single cycle like UGA did in 2018, they have signed a 6-pack of those elites several times.
That’s the real brilliance in what Alabama has done on the trail. Nick Saban’s program turns its classes into a fast lane to the first round. And then they do it again.
How will Georgia recruit great players year after year? The normal boilerplate answers can apply.
- Iron sharpens iron
- Savages want to play with savages (Been a while since we used that one, right?)
- Competition breeds success and kills complacency
- It is bearable to wait to shine at a program that competes for championships.
UGA has recruited at an optimum level for two years. Can the Bulldogs keep it going? DawgNation has spoken to two players of late that aren’t as invigorated as others to commit to the G.
Quavaris Crouch rates as a 5-star athlete who can excel at running back or linebacker. He’s leaning toward the defensive side of the ball. K.J. Jefferson is a quarterback.
The way they regard how UGA has stacked up talent will not be isolated incidents.
5-star Quavaris Crouch on UGA recruiting
Quavaris Crouch can’t help but notice the RB talent. He’s good friends with freshman Zamir White.
“I feel like Georgia is a nice school,” Crouch said. “It’s Running Back University. But, me personally, I feel like they have a lot of backs. I want to come in and play. I’m not scared of competition, but it’s the smart thing to do. I know some are going to say, ‘Oh, you’re scared of competition.’ I’m not. I don’t care what running backs they have there, I’m coming in to do my job. There are a lot of running backs there, and they are going to show them loyalty because they are trying to get them to the league, too.”
Crouch is looking for the best path to at least a decade of NFL paychecks. He hopes to get there after three seasons.
He’s an opportunity guy.
He also knows his odds are better to do that at linebacker than running back. He’s seen how a brilliant NFL back like Le’Veon Bell has a hard time securing a long-term deal and the ginormous guaranteed signing bonus which goes along with that.
“I just want to make enough money to take care of my family,” Crouch said. “Running back — you can do that — but as a linebacker, you don’t get hit a lot and you play longer. I feel like it would put me in position to play longer and take care of my family.”
He’d rather hit than be hit. And he is not a frail young man. He’s not quite 6-foot-3 in height and weighs in around 238 pounds. He looks like a Derrick Henry type of back.
Winning? He doesn’t care deeply about that. Crouch doesn’t think that Tom Brady worries too much about the championships he didn’t bring home playing for Michigan.
White told him what to look for if he wound up at Georgia regardless.
“He told me that when you come in all the 5-star stuff goes out the window,” Crouch said. “You have to work your way up to earn your respect.”
KJ Jefferson on the UGA recruiting depth at QB
Kenneth “KJ” Jefferson has a Georgia offer. The Mississippi standout ranks as the nation’s No. 21 pro-style QB on the 247Sports composite standard for 2019.
He visited UGA after an impressive junior season for North Panola High. The 6-foot-5, 206-pounder completed 64 percent of his passes on a 14-1 team. His Cougars fell in the state title game.
Jefferson tallied up 3,028 passing yards and a 39-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He also rolled to 1325 rushing yards and eight scores on the ground.
He fits the profile. Strong arm. Good speed. That equates to a very good prospect, but he’s not rated anywhere near the way Jacob Eason, Jake Fromm or Justin Fields were.
Georgia will sign a guy like Jefferson in 2019. It would make a lot of sense. For both parties.
But here’s the big but when it comes to Jefferson. He’s just being honest.
“I’ve been talking to (offensive coordinator) coach (Jim) Chaney a lot,” Jefferson said. “He just tells me if I came in there I’d have to be behind Justin Fields and just stay patient basically.”
He’s not seriously considering the offer.
“Because of me coming in I’d have to redshirt or sit out my freshman year because of the quarterback depth that they have. That’s why that school is not just sticking out all that much to play.”
He wants to play. Early. That’s why Arkansas, Mississippi State and Missouri are standing out.
Others won’t feel that way. South Carolina pledge Ryan Hilinski didn’t worry about Fromm and Fields and the potential depth chart at Georgia.
The Bulldogs are going to recruit well year-in and year-out, but they are also going to have to overcome a few very good players feeling the way Crouch and Jefferson do.
Alabama has done that for years. That will be the next step for the Bulldogs, too.
A couple of Owen Pappoe-related tweets to peruse
Owen Pappoe is all over social media now. Let’s take a moment to call attention to two tweets. One will quicken the pulse.
The other reflects a normal day for a high school kid with vast Saturday and Sunday potential. Which one is which?
when it’s work day it’s work day! @opfreak15 Premium⛽️🏋🏾♂️ @JtEllis13 @ChazChambliss @kevinswint1 @Thechrishinton @IsaiahLand716 @loganator35 @jeffsentell @BrandonGraham76 @BigMurphy_25 @DBill02 #dawg @youngthug #backbone🔥@KippLAdams #147.12 #work @ZeekBPrint @tgordon90 pic.twitter.com/gSMoauDtBv
— Marcus Howard (@mwhsports38) April 18, 2018
The answer likely lies in the eye of the beholder. Former Bulldog DE Marcus Howard does work him out as his trainer.
— Camron Thompson⭐️⭐️ (@thompson_camron) April 19, 2018
I’ll offer up a closing thought about Pappoe. It would not surprise me if his coming decision winds up being his final decision. No matter what school he chooses.
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