ATHENS — Georgia finished the 2020 recruiting cycle with the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class. this was the second time in three years the Bulldogs accomplished this feat, with the 2019 class finishing No. 2 overall.
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart met with reporters on Wednesday to discuss the recruiting class, which consisted of 25 signees.
Smart gave a fairly detailed on the recruiting class. But it wasn’t so much what he said about the individual signees that caught our attention. It was more what he had to say about the various position groups and have Georgia felt it needed to address those spots.
Below you can read what Smart had to say about the Georgia position groups and why it recruited the way it did.
Quarterback: “We had researched the entire year with a thought that Jake (Fromm) would have the opportunity to come out early. So we had a pool of 30 to 40 of guys that we thought would be potential – whether they were transfers or whether they were grad transfers, whatever they may be, we knew we could possibly be in the quarterback market. And that included high school kids. And certainly excited about Carson and what he can do for our team. He came in and got to practice with us for the bowl game for a couple practices as well. But once Jamie went into the portal and we knew he was going to be a graduate transfer, we started communication immediately.”
Georgia signed Carson Beck in addition to bringing in Newman. Both players are already on campus going and will be able to participate in spring practices.
Running back: “Getting a second back in this class was key for us. We’re excited about the young man we have, we’ve been after him for a long time, he’s come up to a lot of camps. He plays in what probably is one of the toughest divisions, regions in our state and he’s played a high level. You talk about the people he’s had to play against, he’s been a really good player, I’m talking about Daijun Edwards, and Kendall joining mid-year has been a big addition, too.”
The Kendall that Smart refers is to is Kendall Milton. He is the No. 53 player in the 2020 class and already enrolled in classes at Georgia. He is Georgia’s highest-rated early enrollee for this year’s class.
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Wide receiver: “Wide receiver was an area that we had to address and I’m excited about the wide receivers that we have as additions to this signing class and those guys are expected to help us. With Justin being here now and going through a couple of bowl practices with us, it’s been a big addition to get those guys.”
Georgia signed five wide receivers in this cycle. Only Justin Robinson enrolled early, but Georgia got meaningful contributions out of Dominick Blaylock and George Pickens this past year and they did not enroll early.
Of the five, three rank among the top 100 prospects in the country. With new offensive coordinator Todd Monken, Georgia will be expecting Marcus Rosemy, Arian Smith and Jermaine Burton to contribute early on next season.
Offensive line: “We’re excited about the offensive line class. First of all it ranges from large and wide to a little bit lighter and more athletic. These guys will have to develop. I’ve always said the offensive line position is probably the toughest to come in and play right away if you just rank all the positions going forward. Andrew was very unique to be able to do that but that’s very rare to be able to do that at that position. These guys will have to come in develop, lift, work. What’s going to be unique for us is a lot of these guys may be littered across the two-deep. Just because our numbers are really down on the offensive line. They’ve got a good opportunity to come in and compete and start but they’ll also be going against some guys this spring that are going to get better and grow. Coach Luke is a big part of that energy. Getting him on staff fast was probably one of the critical roles to that transition. It wasn’t a long time process where they had to sit on the unknown. Two days, three days after Coach Pittman left these kid had somebody new to meet and began to meet them before the middle dead period, the Christmas dead period. It was critical so that he could communicate with them throughout that period and keep a relationship. He’s got a lot of energy. He’s been a blessing for us. In addition, it helps me from a head coach standpoint. It did help a lot on the offensive line.”
The Bulldogs ended up signing seven offensive linemen in this class. Georgia and new offensive line coach Matt Luke landed the No. 2 and No. 3 offensive tackles in Broderick Jones and Tate Ratledge. Luke also helped bring in the No. 1 ranked center in the 2020 cycle in Sedrick Van Pran-Granger. Do all of this after the departure of Sam Pittman is a very strong start to Luke’s time as the offensive line coach.
Related: Georgia OL signee Cameron Kinnie ready to tackle dream opportunity
Linebacker: “We think we were able to fill a lot of those holes, we feel like we’ve got a very balanced class across, probably a little more out of state than it’s been in the past. Also, probably a little less linebacker heavy. Those are two areas that, as far as inside linebacker and outside linebacker, that we probably didn’t feel like we had to have as much immediate help. Those will be huge opportunities for kids in the next signing class that want to play outside linebacker and inside linebacker because now we do have holes to fill.”
Georgia just signed one linebacker at either the inside or outside spot. He’s a good one in Mekhail Sherman who rates as the No. 32 overall prospect in the class. Georgia signed three inside linebackers last year and two outside linebackers. As for some names to watch at this position in 2021 are Barrett Carter and Smael Mondon.
Defensive back: “I feel like we’ve got a very complete defensive back class. I’ll always reiterate, I feel like you’ve got to sign four or five defensive backs a year in order to stay where you need to stay from a depth standpoint.”
Georgia did sign four defensive backs in this class, with the biggest name being 5-star cornerback Kelee Ringo. He’s the No. 1 ranked cornerback in the country for the 2020 cycle.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart updates Georgia football signing class
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