It was bound to happen with Sam Pittman.
He is just too good at his job and had always planned to retire in Arkansas one day.
That timetable went fast with the strong pull from Arkansas. Pittman has taken the head coaching job at Arkansas in a most uncommon move from position coach to head coach. He makes the move with zero experience as an offensive coordinator or a head coach for that matter. At least outside of the high school or junior college ranks.
Can Georgia keep what was shaping up to be a historic offensive line class together? That doesn’t seem likely. Especially given how some of them were so closely tied to Pittman and that long sustained relationship was the reason why they chose Georgia over other elite programs.
Pittman also built his classes early. He had his work done months in advance. So that means the Bulldogs haven’t had a lot of groundwork with backup plans. The thinking here is the next hire will likely need to have strong relationships built with their own targets to be able to replace any departures with what was set to be the highest-rated overall OL signing class in program history.
Let’s look at the current Georgia o-line class as a whole and try to anticipate where things stand. We’ll assess each of the five commitments with the latest 247Sports Composite rankings.
Georgia is now coming up on nine days before the first day of the early signing period. The biggest remaining weekend for official and unofficial visitors will be this weekend.
5-star OT Broderick Jones/Lithonia High/Lithonia, Ga.
Saturday position fit: Left tackle
Broderick Jones is Georgia’s highest-rated OL commit. For now. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
National rankings: Nation’s No. 2 OT prospect and No. 19 overall/
His spot in the class: Rankings place him No. 2 out of Georgia’s 15 public commitments.
Committed since: April 26, 2018 (At least. Was a silent pledge for at least a month prior.)
Ties to Pittman factoring in the overall strength of commitment to UGA: Very strong ties here. This should be seen as a decision that now impacts him greatly.
He chose Georgia over interest in these programs: Auburn, Illinois, South Carolina and Miami.
Early enrollee: No.
A thing or two to know here: Jones wasn’t planning on signing during the early period. But his fondness for Pittman might have eventually swayed him early. … Look for him to now go on all his official visits to several schools like Auburn, Miami and South Carolina, among others. The Bulldogs do have a chance to get back in here with a strong replacement hire. The proximity of Georgia and the scope of the program are major draws here. … There’s just an unknown here. He’s going to likely hit the reset button on everything now.
4-star OT Tate Ratledge/Darlington School/Rome, Ga.