Editor’s Note: DawgNation will publish a timely snapshot every so often during the recruiting cycle which gauges where the Bulldogs are as a class. Consider it a big picture overview of how the next wave of Georgia football talent is coming together.
Georgia and Florida. Florida and Georgia. That saga goes on and on.
It might be even a little more radioactive of late. Everything the rivalry touches, including a potential change of venue, invokes some strong opinions.
The recruiting trail is no exception.
Remember the subtle and not-so-subtle jabs from Florida coach Dan Mullen this spring?
There was the talk of transfers, pulp fiction spring game attendance and now almost everything Mullen says these days gets analyzed for hidden meaning.
Kirby Smart had a viral reply earlier this year in regard to any apparent “trolling” attempts. He told ESPN’s Paul Finebaum that words don’t affect what happens on the field.
“We want to talk with our helmets,” Smart said. “That is what we always talk about – we want to play a physical brand of football and not do it with our mouthpiece.”
It seems like Georgia is letting its wins on the recruiting trail do a certain level of talking in this rivalry, too.
Trendspotting the latest UGA-Florida battles on the trail
When 4-star WR Marcus Rosemy chose the Bulldogs over the in-state Gators earlier this month, it seemed like a playlist tune stuck on repeat. The sample size here really only needs to go back to March.
- Elite QB commit Carson Beck kicked off the trend. The nation’s No. 4 QB prospect chose UGA after having Florida in his final group. It was even circulated in the recruiting industry the Gators were his perceived leader, but Beck was not aware of how that came about.
- Elite Texas CB Jalen Kimber took an unofficial visit to Florida for its spring game weekend on April 13. He committed to Georgia on April 17. Kimber was then at G-Day on his only official visit on April 20.
- Jalen Carter, a 4-star DT, named a final group of Alabama, Clemson and Georgia on May 19. Carter is rated by 247Sports as the No. 1 player in Florida for 2020. He chose the Bulldogs on May 20. The Gators didn’t even make his final group.
- Former Georgia commitment Warren Brinson announced he was down to a final two of Florida and Georgia on May 31. The Savannah native plays for IMG Academy in Florida. He chose the Bulldogs on June 1.
- Florida resident Josh Braun was seen by many as Florida’s top target at tackle for 2020. He had a final three which included Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. His father, Mike, coaches high school football in Florida. His Dad even grew up a Gator fan. Braun chose to be Georgia’s third tackle in the class on June 20.
Rosemy gave several interviews after his official visit in Gainesville earlier this month that summarized that he was down to Florida and Georgia.
He’s the highest-rated receiver in Florida for this cycle. If he had chosen Florida, the nation’s No. 6 WR would have been the top-rated recruit for Mullen in the 2020 class at this time.
All told, the optics look like six of the last nine UGA commitments can be seen as some sort of “talking” on the recruiting trail.
Want a speed read over the last week? Here are a few of the bigger stories of late on the recruiting trail:
Check out the latest “Before the Hedges” on UGA recruiting
Did you see “Before the Hedges” this week? Brandon Adams hosts a weekly UGA recruiting show called Before the Hedges at 3 p.m. every Wednesday on the DawgNation Facebook page.
It also streams each Wednesday on the DawgNation YouTube channel.
Where UGA recruiting ranks for 2020
Georgia has 14 commitments for 2020. Corey Wren, the nation’s No. 35 ATH for this cycle, was the most recent pledge back on June 21.
Rosemy, the nation’s No. 39 overall prospect, was just a day prior to that on June 20.
UGA sits at No. 4 nationally for 2019 in the 247Sports composite team recruiting rankings. That places the Bulldogs third in the SEC.
Alabama and its 20 pledges rank No. 1 in the SEC. Clemson sits at No. 1 nationally, followed by Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Florida, Miami, Michigan and Texas A&M.
Georgia is the only school in the top 4 that does not have at least 18 commits. The top five teams in those rankings have 18, 20, 21, 14 and 14 respectively.
How far away are the Bulldogs from taking over that No. 1 spot? It would take quite a lot.
The current gap here shows how well programs like Clemson and Alabama have been recruiting and what a difference those four commitments they have on the Bulldogs count for at this time.
If Smart and company could add a quartet of its highest priority 5-star recruits to the board right now, it would just be enough. That would give the Bulldogs a 298.56 score on the 247Sports Team Composite ratings. Clemson would still be just behind with a 297.92 score.