Georgia hosts Missouri this weekend. It will be a top-15 matchup. That’s what the national rankings say.
That is not what the recruiting rankings say. When it comes to that metric, the Bulldogs hold a decided advantage in the talent they have stacked up over the last four classes compared to the Tigers.
The national rankings for each school over the last four cycles are telling:
- Georgia: No. 1 (2020); No. 3 (2021); No. 3 (2022); No. 2 (2023)
- Missouri: No. 49 (2020); No. 30 (2021): No. 18 (2022); No. 32 (2023)
What do those rankings boil down to on the field? Check out this head-to-head comparison graphic.
|Recruiting since the 2020 cycle||Georgia||Missouri|
|5-stars signed||18 (13 still with the team)||1|
|Top 200 overall prospects signed||63||5|
|2021 signees left||17 of 20||7 of 23|
|Transfer portal additions since the 2020 cycle||9||30|
|Transfer portal additions since the 2022 cycle||2||21|
That’s pretty telling in terms of the talent distribution on the field on Saturday afternoon. While the Bulldogs have cleaned up on the recruiting trail, perhaps the best measure of how the Tigers have played so well this season is the talent they’ve added to their roster via the transfer portal.
The Tigers (7-1) have brought in 21 transfers over the last two seasons to help offset that disparity. Georgia needed a lot of late-game Stetson Bennett IV magic to avoid a big upset on the road last year.
The No. 1 Dawgs went punt, fumble, punt, punt and fumble across their first five drives. That buried the reigning national champions in a 13-0 briar patch on the scoreboard.
Georgia then ended its next five drives in field goal, field goal, field goal, touchdown, touchdown before running out the clock on its last possession to hold on for a 26-22 victory.
Mizzou brought in transfers from programs like Florida, FSU, Miami and Oklahoma in their latest class. The Tigers had added reinforcements from Auburn, Clemson, Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Stanford and Texas A&M for their 2022 team.
The biggest head-to-head recruiting battle between the two schools actually went in favor of the Tigers. That’s when they secured the signature of 5-star WR Luther Burden in the 2022 cycle. He was the nation’s No. 1 receiver and the No. 3 overall recruit for that class.
Burden has been the definition of dynamic for the Tigers with his 61 catches for 905 yards and six touchdowns. He’s already matched his receiving touchdown total from his freshman debut season. He even added two rushing scores during the 2022 campaign.
Burden wound up with his likeness of a potato chip bag as a NIL opportunity shortly after he signed with the Tigers. He had three catches for 16 yards in last year’s tussle with the Bulldogs.
That said, he didn’t lead the Tigers in receiving a year ago. That was former Tiger Dominic Lovett. Lovett had 56 catches for 846 yards and benefitted from an NIL package that saw him hit the transfer portal and join the Bulldogs.
Lovett has 35 catches for 365 yards and one touchdown for the ‘Dawgs so far this season. He’s second on the team behind Brock Bowers in both of those totals.
Perhaps the other major takeaway is how the 2021 signing class has shaped each of these programs. While the ‘Dawgs still have 17 of their signees from their 2021 class on the team, the Tigers have seen 15 of their signees from that cycle leave the program.
That’s a big building block for each roster. Especially when it comes to the upperclassmen on each side of the ball that have now spent two-plus seasons developing within each program.
Georgia’s 2021 class includes the likes of:
- TE Brock Bowers (All-American level starter out with an injury)
- S Javon Bullard (All-SEC level starter)
- EDGE Chaz Chambliss (Starter)
- LB Jamon Dumas-Johnson (All-SEC level starter)
- OG Dylan Fairchild (First-year starter in 2023)
- CB Kamari Lassiter (All-American level starter)
- OT Amarius Mims (All-SEC level starter returning from injury this week)
- LB Smael Mondon, Jr. (All-SEC level starter)
As a means of comparison, the Tigers only have seven members left from their 2021 signing class. While Georgia can point to the core of that class and find eight major impact starters, the Tigers will likely only get contributions on Saturday from three members of their 2021 signing class. That figure does include starters at C, DL and at the “Star” position on defense.
There are a lot of weeks where we can point to a clear recruiting trail distinction between Georgia and its opponents, but this week is decidedly so.
Have you subscribed to the DawgNation YouTube channel yet? If so, you will be able to see special 1-on-1 content with key 2024 prospects like Daniel Calhoun, Dwight Phillips Jr., Dylan Raiola and Sacovie White.
(check on the recent reads on Georgia football recruiting)