They still give out grades in high school. That’s a fact. There are the As, Bs, Cs, Ds and everything below there, too.
Yet there are also Advanced Preparatory classes that students can take and it will elevate their grade-point average north of that 4.0 scale. That’s what it feels like when tasked by my editor with the assignment to grade Georgia’s 2018 recruiting class for this cycle.
Spoiler alert: There’s nothing but A-plus marks to follow.
How could it not be? In an era where some folks need a black belt for their overthinking, this task is rather easy. Let’s explain exactly why:
- Georgia had all A-plus marks back during the early signing period. That’s when it signed a whopping six prospects with that elite 5-star rating back in December. That Dean’s List was already reserved at halftime of this year’s signing day stretch.
- Kirby Smart and his staff signed one 5-star, a pair of top 100 players and another top 200 prospect on National Signing Day 2.0. That’s better than what almost the entire SEC as the top of their board for the whole class except for Alabama and LSU. That’s just what the Bulldogs did on Wednesday.
- Looking for a walk-off point? How ’bout the fact that the Bulldogs set the new modern record for 5-star signees in a single class (7) on that same 247Sports Team Composite ranking standard.
Grading Georgia’s 2018 offensive signing class
Again, we are not going to overthink this here. Just look at the to-do list the Bulldogs checked off offensively for its 2018 needs.
- *Justin Fields: Nation’s No. 2 QB and No. 2 overall player
- *Zamir White: Nation’s No. 1 RB
- *Jamaree Salyer: Nation’s No. 1 OG
- Trey Hill: Nation’s No. 2 OG
- *Cade Mays: Nation’s No. 3 OT
- Warren Ericson: Nation’s No. 5 C
- James Cook: Nation’s No. 3 All-purpose back
- Luke Ford: Nation’s No. 3 TE
*-Indicates a 5-star player
The offensive side of the ball here is so stout that when quality 4-star guys like Tommy Bush (nation’s No. 37 WR) and Kearis Jackson (nation’s No. 23 WR) and John FitzPatrick (nation’s No. 17 TE) provide good depth for the class, this year’s haul really is special. Throwing out all these rankings are nice, but the Bulldogs actually scored more points here with finding some top-shelf replacements to add depth to the QB, WR, OG, TE and OT spots.
5: top 50 signees on offense
6: top 100 signees on offense
7: top 150 signees on offense
Grading Georgia’s 2018 defensive signing class
Let’s just roll out the names.
- *Brenton Cox: Nation’s No. 2 strong-side DE
- *Tyson Campbell: Nation’s No. 2 CB
- *Adam Anderson: Nation’s No. 1 OLB
- Quay Walker: Nation’s No. 2 OLB
- Otis Reese: Nation’s No. 5 OLB
- Channing Tindall: Nation’s No. 5 ILB
- Azeez Ojulari: Nation’s No. 10 weak-side DE
- Jake Camarda: Nation’s No. 2 P
*-Indicates another 5-star player
The case can easily be made that the Bulldogs signed the nation’s top group of LBs this year. That’s even after watching its OLB coach Kevin Sherrer take a promotion to become the defensive coordinator at Tennessee. While the Bulldogs don’t have as many 5-stars from the class on this side of the ball, there is a decided edge in the number of elite players. The Bulldogs even signed a dual future P/K threat for their special teams in Jake Camarda. If we wanted to pick a nit, then the only spots where the Bulldogs didn’t grab a top 100 level player in this class would be at defensive tackle and safety.
5: top 50 signees on defense
6: top 100 signees on defense
7: top 150 signees on defense
Grading Georgia’s 2018 overall signing class
This class has to go down as the greatest recruiting crop in program history. At least during the modern history of recruiting rankings when star ratings are now a thing.
The Bulldogs finished with the greatest recruiting class in program history based on the 247Sports Team Composite rankings.
UGA also finished with the nation’s No. 1 class for 2018 and it wasn’t even really close. The Bulldogs wound up with a final 323.31 composite team rating. That’s just off the pace set by Alabama’s all-time class for 2017 at 323.87.
Florida tallied 324.62 class back in 2010. Aside from that, it will go down as the third highest-rated recruiting class of all time on the 247Sports Team Composite ranking archives that trace all the way back to 1999.