ATHENS – Remember when Georgia signed the biggest class of the Mark Richt era in 2013? Turns out, that might be the biggest bust of his tenure as well.
The Bulldogs inked 32 players that year, 13 of whom came in as early enrollees. If Tim Kimbrough indeed does what he says he’s going to do and leaves Georgia in pursuit of a transfer, he will become the 15th member of that signing class to not complete his career with the Bulldogs. He could still change his mind and decide to stay, as I’ve often seen happen in these types of cases, but his latest tweets make it sound like it’s a done deal.
Kimbrough, a senior from Indianapolis and former 4-star recruiting prospect, started seven games last season. At the least, he was going to be a major part of the rotation at inside linebacker this year.
Indications are he was upset over the pecking order at inside linebacker. He was already playing behind sophomore Natrez Patrick at Will linebacker. When Patrick was sidelined with a minor injury this week, sophomore Roquan Smith got the snaps with the No. 1 defense.
Kimbrough said Thursday he intends to transfer to a Division II or FCS school so he can play immediately.
If Kimbrough follows through, that means that almost half of that 2013 class – 46.9 percent, to be exact – didn’t finish their career at UGA. In football recruiting, .531, the percentage of players still playing, is a bad batting average. That class was ranked No. 12 in the country by both 247Sports and Rivals.
If one adds in the players from which the Bulldogs haven’t gotten much in the way of contributions, this class looks even less productive. Only six players — John Atkins, Davin Bellamy, Reggie Carter, Reggie Davis, Brandon Kublanow and Quincy Mauger – are in position to start this season. The other six players still on the team will fill either special teams or back-up roles. A few of the other signees completed their eligibility and have moved on.
Which is not to say the Bulldogs didn’t get some good players out of the group. Leonard Floyd, the first-round selection of the Chicago Bears this past spring, was a member of this class. And so was wide receiver Jonathon Rumph, who didn’t do a lot on the field for the Bulldogs but is at least on the roster of the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL.
But a lot of the major signees from that class just didn’t pan out. Tray Matthews ended up at Auburn, Tramel Terry is at Jacksonville State, Brendan Langley’s at Lamar, DeVondre Seymour is at Southern Illinois, Brice Ramsey still hasn’t played much and Shaq Wiggins is still with Todd Grantham at Louisville.
Some of the misses were just bad luck. DeAndre Johnson and Rico Johnson both had health issues. Reggie Wilkerson and Carter have been dogged by injuries but could turn out to be pretty good.
In any case, when you hear current coach Kirby Smart complaining about the Bulldogs’ lack of depth, you can look back to the Class of 2013 as Exhibit 1 for why that’s the case.
Following is a list of the players from that class no longer with the program.
Pos., player, current school
- OL Josh Cardiello: UTC
- RB J.J. Green: Georgia Tech
- DB Tray Matthews: Auburn
- WR/DB Tramel Terry: Jacksonville State
- DB/LB Paris Bostick: Oregon
- DB Shaquille Fluker: Jacksonville State
- DL DeAndre Johnson: Retired for health reasons
- DB Kennar Johnson: DNF but graduated
- DB Rico Johnson: DNF for health reasons
- LB Tim Kimbrough: Transferring senior year
- DB Brendan Langley: Lamar
- WR Uriah LeMay: Charlotte
- OL DeVondre Seymour: S. Illinois
- RB A.J. Turman: Florida International
- DB Shaq Wiggins: Louisville