Georgia is poised to sign the nation’s third-ranked recruiting class on Wednesday.
That’s a powerful finish for a #SICEM17 class that saw its first commitment way back in June of 2015.
When former Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart was hired on Dec. 6, 2015, the class had three commitments. That’s when Smart started building Georgia his way.
That meant recruiting his way. Getting his guys.
It meant none of those first three pledges would stick.
Smart’s first 60 days was chock-full of house cleaning. Counting the Class of 2016, the Bulldogs saw a total of seven de-commitments along his first two months at Georgia.
Things got better. Fast. The Bulldogs steadily built this class thanks to a few interesting storylines that are worth a few bullet points.
- Bone Thugs N’ Harmony class: Georgia saw seven of the 23 members of this class commit on the first day of the month. Pretty random, huh?
- Star Search: The Bulldogs have secured the commitment of eight players that had all once been committed to other schools.
- 4 flips and counting: There’s still at least two more potential flips that could add to that tally this week.
- December to remember: #SICEM17 did well in July and December. The class picked up nine commitments in those two months alone.
- 2-fers: UGA was consistent over the rest of the class timeline. The class picked up two pledges during the following months: December 2015, February 2016, April 2016, June 2016 and November 2016.
- Closing kick: Georgia has added nine commitments since November 4 and has only seen one Bulldog de-commit. That was due to a numbers issue at RB with previously steadfast Texan Toneil Carter. When Nick Chubb and Sony Michel came back, there was no room for him to enroll early.
- Great Wall of Georgia: Georgia will have the program’s top-rated OL class during the modern era of recruiting rankings. The Bulldogs have six OLs committed in this class. New offensive line coach Sam Pittman also worked fast. He had four members of his future line in place by July 10 of last year.
- Merry Commitment: The Class of 2017 saw one 4-star ILB commit on December 25 in both 2015 and 2016.
How did the rest of it come together? DawgNation has tracked 46 key moves that allowed the class to reach the perch it resides at today.
June 12, 2015
- Commit: 4-star QB Bailey Hockman (McEachern HS) is the first member of the Class of 2017.
It seems rather odd noting that Deejay Dallas (left) and Bailey Hockman (right) were the first two members of Georgia’s 2017 signing class. (Randy Schafer / Special to DawgNation.)
July 18, 2015
- Commit: 4-star ATH Deejay Dallas (Glynn Academy) joins his buddy Hockman in the class at Dawg Night.
August 10, 2015
- Commit: 4-star Louisiana WR Devonta Smith also commits to play for Mark Richt’s Georgia.
Nov. 30, 2105
- Fired: After 15 seasons, Mark Richt is no longer the coach at Georgia. Defensive line coach Tracy Rocker and outside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer would be the only carryover members of his on-field staff. Sherrer would continue to develop into an ace recruiter and a quality position coach.
December 6, 2015
Hired: Alabama defensive coordinator and UGA alumnus Kirby Smart is named head coach.
December 7, 2015
- Hired: Alabama defensive analyst Glenn Schumann is hired by Smart for his first on-field coaching spot. The role was unspecified at the outset, but he would become the inside linebackers coach and a key recruiter on the trail for Georgia in his first year.
December 12, 2015
- Hired: Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Jim Chaney is named QB coach and offensive coordinator.
December 12, 2015
- Hired: Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman is hired to the same post at UGA. He would be very instrumental in building this year’s talented OL class.
December 13, 2015
- Commit: 5-star safety Richard LeCounte III is Smart’s first recruit to UGA. Little did anyone know how big of a role he would play in the Class of 2017.
December 14, 2015
- Decommit: 4-star QB Bailey Hockman departs. He would wind up at Florida State.
December 16, 2015
- Decommit: 4-star ATH Deejay Dallas also moves on. He winds up at Miami with Richt.
December 25, 2015
- Commit: 4-star ILB Breon Dixon (Peachtree Ridge) also joins #SICEM17.
January 3, 2016
- Hired: Miami offensive coordinator James Coley is hired as receivers coach. Coley brings in a rep as an ace recruiter and lives up to that billing along his first year at UGA.
January 3, 2016
- Hired: Georgia Southern RBs coach and interim head coach Dell McGee is hired to coach the RBs in Athens. He would recruit a pair of All-American tailbacks to Athens in his first season.
January 12, 2016
- Hired: Alabama defensive backs coach Mel Tucker is hired to do the same at UGA plus coordinate Smart’s first defense. The move was expected, but could not be confirmed until after Alabama’s national title victory. Tucker has been a key staff asset on the sidelines and along the trail.
January 14, 2016
- Decommit: 4-star WR Devonta Smith is the last Mark Richt recruit to leave the class. He is expected to sign with Alabama or LSU this week.
January 25, 2016
Commit: UGA double-legacy Jaden Hunter (Westlake HS) commits to “come home” to play for Smart. Smart knew his late father, Brice, while both played for UGA.
February 15, 2016
- Flip: The Bulldogs pluck 3-star OG Justin Shaffer (Cedar Grove HS) from Louisville’s class. Shaffer might be the most seriously underrated member of this year’s class.
February 18, 2016
- Commit: Unrated WR Xavier Jenkins (Lowndes HS) pledges to catch passes from 5-star freshman QB Jacob Eason at UGA.
March 3, 2016
- Flip: Alabama commit Jake Fromm (Houston County HS) decides to follow Smart to Athens. The 4-star QB had always wanted to play for Georgia.
April 16, 2016
- Commit: 4-star CB William Poole III (Hapeville Charter) chooses UGA over Florida on the day the Bulldogs saw some 95,000-plus fans show up for the G-Day spring scrimmage.
April 19, 2016
- Commit: Former Alabama commit Netori Johnson (Cedar Grove) opts to join his teammate to play (Shaffer) in Pittman’s offensive line room.
May 1, 2016
- Commit: 4-star WR Trey Blount (Pace Academy) helps Bulldog fans get over their Demetris Robertson hangover.
June 1, 2016
- Commit: 3-star Florida WR Matt Landers — a hand-picked raw 6-foot-5 target — becomes the third receiver commitment in the Class of 2017.
June 15, 2016:
- Commit: Massive 6-foot-6 offensive tackle D’Antne Demery (Brunswick High School) also opts to join Pittman’s growing massive human being club in Athens.
July 3, 2016
- Commit: South Florida 4-star CB Latavious Brini — another Coley pull — opts to wear the red and black one day before the nation’s birthday.
July 5, 2016
Commit: 4-star DE Robert Beal (Norcross HS) also commits to rush the passer for Smart, Sherrer and Tucker in Athens.
July 10, 2016
- Commit: 4-star Texas RB Toneil Carter commits to play for McGee and Smart from Nike’s “The Opening” out in Oregon.
July 10, 2016
- Commit: “The Opening” closes with more good news for the Bulldogs with 4-star OT Andrew Thomas (Pace Academy) making his pledge. When he said Georgia, that meant the class would already have three future U.S. Army All-American lineman this year.
July 14, 2016
- Decommit: 3-star WR Xavier Jenkins backs off his pledge to the class. He has yet to settle on a new school.
August 8, 2016
- Flip: South Carolina commit Devonte Wyatt (Towers HS) opts to bring his fleet Nike “Air Force Ones” home to play for the Bulldogs in his home state. The 4-star DT has been timed by his coaches at 4.58 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
August 21, 2016
- Decommit: 4-star ILB Breon Dixon removes his name from the class at Georgia. It was highly unusual seeing a Christmas Day commit leave the class.
September 1, 2016
- Commit: 4-star Philadelphia RB D’Andre Swift shows there is something to this 2017 class at Georgia. The nation’s No. 4 RB and the No. 1 player in Pennsylvania was moved to play in Athens. That big G-Day crowd helped to open both his and his first cousin’s eyes.
September 16, 2016
Commit: Swift’s cousin didn’t wait long. 4-star Pennsylvania WR Mark Webb Jr. also commits to play for Coley, Chaney and Smart at Georgia.
October 6, 2016
- Decommit: 4-star South Florida CB Latavious Brini opts out of the class at UGA. He’s expected to wind up at Florida Atlantic or South Florida this week.
November 4, 2016
- Commit: 4-star OLB Walter Grant (Cairo HS) chooses Georgia after his final regular season game The 6-foot-4, 237-pounder can be a quality DE, ILB or OLB in the SEC. Winning the head-to-head battle with Alabama was another promising sign for the class.
December 1, 2016
- Commit: Who wants to play with Savages? 4-star DE Malik Herring (Mary Person HS) gets visited by Santa Rich and Santa Jake on his way to committing to the Bulldogs.
December 1, 2016
Commit: Santa Rich and Santa Jake also came to see 4-star WR Jeremiah Holloman. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Holloman currently rates as Georgia’s top-rated receiver for 2017.
December 12, 2016
- Commit: Big junior college OT D’Marcus Hayes commits to play for Georgia. He’s expected to come right in and nail down a starting spot. He enrolled in January.
December 16, 2016
- Commit: Pittman’s final giant OL commits to Georgia with the decision from 5-star New York OT Isaiah Wilson. Wilson would become the highest-rated commitment in this year’s class.
December 25, 2016
- Commit: The Santas return. They help entice 4-star ILB Nate McBride (Vidalia, Ga.) to join them in Athens with the help of a Bulldog pup and a monster truck on DawgNation.com.
January 1, 2017
- Commit: The Bulldogs celebrate the New Year with a commitment from priority DB target DeAngelo Gibbs (Grayson HS) at the Under Armour All-American Game. Gibbs is rated as the nation’s No. 4 safety for the Class of 2017.
January 1, 2017
- Commit: Georgia lands another All-American commitment on the same day as Gibbs. This one comes from the U.S. Army All-American Bowl week events in Texas. 4-star ATH Tray Bishop (Terrell County) decides to play for Tucker and Smart.
January 2, 2017
- Flip: 3-star Alabama ILB Monty Rice had been a Georgia silent during the season but he abruptly chose LSU in mid-December. Yet he wound up in Athens when it came time for him to enroll in January.
January 9, 2017
- Early enrollees: Gibbs, Rice and Hayes are already on campus. They are joined on this date by Fromm, Holloman and LeCounte. That trio went straight from the U.S. Army All-American Game in Texas to Georgia.
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Follow Jeff Sentell on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges. Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.