Georgia finished first in the recruiting rankings in the 2018 class. Expect the Bulldogs to be at the top in 2019, too. DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell will answer a UGA recruiting Question of the Day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can ask him your questions on Twitter or the DawgNation Message board forum. Previous QODs can be found on our question of the day archives page.
QUESTION OF THE DAY
DawgNation staffer Brandon Adams on DawgNation Daily: Does Georgia miss too many blue-chip recruits around the Atlanta area? Will there ever be a time when UGA locks down Metro Atlanta?
Good question, Mr. Baxter. My first reaction to that topic is that Atlanta always will be tough to recruit. There are so many coaches from around the SEC and the rest of the Power 5s aiming to recruit high on the hog in the 404 and 770.
Atlanta also is a transient town. There just aren’t as many kids in the continually expanding Metro Atlanta bubble growing up in Georgia. The parents are not alums of UGA and come from all over the country. Most of Georgia’s home-state advantage will come in those areas that fall more than 30-40 miles outside the perimeter.
That question was sparked by a recent internet report and Mr. Baxter (the pseudonym we kid about on our live shows) no doubt has the recent Grayson 4 decision fresh on his mind. That’s what any sharp talk-radio pro should be doing.
Of course, that should be considered an informed opinion only. Nothing fosters intelligent discussion quite like cold, hard numbers.
Checking out how UGA has recruited Metro Atlanta
Let’s keep this simple: We’re looking at how many of the top-10 recruits in Metro Atlanta signed with Georgia dating back to 2012.
I’ll offer a few guidelines. The rankings used here are from the mainstream 247Sports composite. I’ve tracked these across the first four years of the Kirby Smart era and the last four years of the Mark Richt tenure in Athens.
I’ve also included how the Bulldogs recruited the state’s top-10 players across each of these cycles as a control measure. It is much easier to lock down the state when the Bulldogs land the running back or linebacker they want in Columbus or South Georgia instead of taking the highly rated peer from South Atlanta or Cobb County.
UGA with Kirby Smart
- 2019 in Georgia: UGA has 3 commits from the top 10
- 2019 in Metro Atlanta: UGA has 3 commits from the top 10
- 2018 in Georgia: UGA signed 6 from the top 10
- 2018 in Metro Atlanta: UGA signed 4 from the top 10
- 2017 in Georgia: UGA signed 5 from the top 10
- 2016 in Metro Atlanta: UGA signed 5 from the top 10
- 2016 in Georgia: UGA signed 2 from the top 10
- 2016 in Metro Atlanta: UGA signed 2 from the top 10
UGA under Mark Richt
- 2015 in Georgia: UGA signed 5 from the top 10
- 2015 in Metro Atlanta: UGA signed 4 from the top 10
- 2014 in Georgia: UGA signed 3 from the top 10
- 2014 in Metro Atlanta: UGA signed 1 from the top 10
- 2013 in Georgia: UGA signed 2 from the top 10
- 2013 in Metro Atlanta: UGA signed 2 from the top 10
- 2012 in Georgia: UGA signed 3 from the top 10
- 2012 in Metro Atlanta: UGA signed 0 from the top 10
- It will be hard to dominate the Top 10 in Metro Atlanta. Getting half of the top 10 seems to be a worthy standard.
- Alabama, Auburn and South Carolina were pulling in far too many blue-chip recruits from Metro Atlanta during the last few years of the Richt era.
- Richt’s last few years on the recruiting trail at UGA were just not getting it done. The innovations and new practices brought in with the influence of Jeremy Pruitt were more than a few years overdue.
- There’s probably enough players in the defined metro area to stock about two or three top-20 recruiting classes. At least. Georgia never will sign them all.