Is that the term anymore? Or is it #93KDay every year for the Georgia Bulldogs now?
The program would love for that to become a tradition. Perhaps even the expectation for how UGA does spring scrimmages every year.
Kirby Smart called for it last year. It was an important moment for the program. When Smart called for a full house last spring and a hungry fan base over delivered, it meant something.
Free tickets. Free parking. Yet it strangely showed how UGA fans were bought in. Call it college football’s approval rating.
“They came in groves,” Smart said last year after G-Day. “I appreciate that more than they know. Our kids appreciate that.”
It made an impression on those who had yet to fully see what Georgia football was about. Smart has said he wants the fan base to feel challenged to repeat the same with another crowd that sees at least another 2,000 turned away in 2017.
“They should want to go out and have more (attendance) than the other teams have because it does help in recruiting,” Smart said last week. “It shows the passion and the energy that I know our fan base has, so that really is important.”
But the players are the ones rallying to fill it up this year. That’s current and former Bulldogs.
#93kday we need it packed out again , if you a true and real ⚫️🔴fan and supporter you'll come out and tell everybody to come to pack it out😈
— brian herrien (@brianherrienn) April 16, 2017
— Benjamin Watson (@BenjaminSWatson) April 14, 2017
What’s the new standard?
A Landof10.com report states Ohio State led the nation last year with 101,000 fans in the stands for its spring game. Georgia came in second at 93,000.
The 2017 crowds are booming as seemingly every program calls for a record turnout.
Top 10 spring crowds:
1 OSU 80134
2 Neb 78312
3 Cle 60000
4 UM 57418
5 UF 48000
6 Aub 46331
7 OU 43723
8 UK 37172
9 FSU 26649
10 MSU 25000
— Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) April 17, 2017
The turnout should be interesting this week. That’s due to the fact that Alabama, UGA, Penn State, Tennessee and Virginia Tech, among others, all have spring games this weekend.
The Bulldogs will show off new toys in the playmaker department on both sides of the ball. Nick Chubb will be healthy. Jacob Eason and Jake Fromm will be launching spirals this time. Those early enrollees will all get a good look.
It is also vital for recruiting. The game offers the chance to make the last impression on priority DE Brenton Cox before he decides the very next day between Georgia and Ohio State.
William Poole III was already committing to Georgia on G-Day last year. But the turnout itself affected so many other prospects.
“You will see,” Smart told the media after G-Day last year. “They (the potential recruits) were there and they were all fired up. They couldn’t believe it. They were ecstatic. There were a lot of good players here. So I think it will show the tale at the back end of it when it comes to the end of (the 2017 class cycle) it in February.”
Georgia finished with the nation’s No. 3 class (247SportsComposite) in 2017. ESPN Recruiting said it was Georgia’s best class in the 12 years it had been rating prospect classes.
Trey Blount, a 4-star receiver, saw all he needed to see at G-Day. So did 4-star OG Netori Johnson. Both wound up committing by May 1.
D’Andre Swift, the top player in Pennsylvania last year, also was very impressed. His father, Darren Swift, said G-Day blew them away last year.
“That might have been one of the most remarkable situations I can say I’ve ever been with him for in sports,” Darren Swift said. “You walk into the stadium and walk down and see 93,000. You see the ‘Dawg Walk’ and all the tradition they have there. I’ve never seen a town shut down and transform into a college football town for any game. Not just any game. This was a spring game. To see how everybody embraced the tradition and the football team that day was just nothing short of remarkable.”
Could it mean even more this year?
It just might. The Bulldogs haven’t been able to gain momentum with this year’s class. Georgia has just two commitments and rates No. 49 nationally.
DawgNation spoke with a source close to 5-star RB Zamir White on Monday and it wasn’t certain whether or not he was attending the Alabama or Georgia spring game on Saturday. That is still to be determined.
Early G-Day Guest List
DawgNation has an early list of which elite recruits are already expected among that potential 93,000. This list actually went up early last Friday for members of the DawgNation.com message board.
2017 UGA signees
(Other than the expected in-state guys)
5-star OT Isaiah Wilson (Coming all the way from Brooklyn)
4-star RB D’Andre Swift (Part of that two-link Philadelphia-to-UGA pipeline)
4-star WR Mark Webb, Jr. (Part of that two-link Philly-to-UGA pipeline)
2018 major targets
5-star OG Jamaree Salyer
4-star OG Trey Hill
4-star WR Josh Vann
4-star DE Brenton Cox
4-star WR Marquez Ezzard
4-star DT Darnell Jefferies
4-star LB Channing Tindall
4-star ATH Kyler McMichael
4-star ATH Nathaniel Watson
3-star QB James Foster II
3-star CB Christopher Smith
4-star DB Trey Dean
2019 major targets
5-star DE/OLB Nolan Smith (UGA commit)
5-star WR Jaden Haselwood (UGA commit)
5-star WR Dominick Blaylock
4-star OL/DL Christopher Hinton
4-star DT Rashad Cheney Jr. (UGA commit)
4-star LB J.D. Bertrand
4-star OT Luke Griffin (UGA commit)
4-star OG Keiondre Jones
4-star TE Ryland Goede
4-star DE Derrick McLendon
Notable targets not attending
2018 5-star DB Tyreke Johnson (His brother’s spring game is at FAU that day)
2018 3-star legacy TE Tommy Tremble (Has prom)
2018 UGA commit Donovan Georges (Distance a factor from Miami; Will visit this summer.)
2018 3-star DT Emmitt Gooden (JUCO prospect. Has JUCO spring ball)
2018 4-star WR Justyn Ross (Will be at Alabama’s spring game.)
2018 4-star DT TK Chimedza (Spring drills and travel from IMG Academy in Fla.)
2019 4-star DE target Travon Walker (Has AAU basketball)
2019 5-star ATH JaShawn Sheffield (Likely visiting Miami)
2018 4-star LB J.J. Peterson (Peterson is not expected to attend any spring games this week.)
Note: All ratings from the 247Sports Composite or 247Sports where the composite does not apply.
G-Day is scheduled for Saturday. Georgia’s spring game kicks off at 2 p.m. ET and will be televised on SEC Network.