Georgia football-Georgia recuriting-UGA recruiting
The Georgia Bulldogs are primed to host their biggest recruiting weekend of the year so far with their scavenger hunt this weekend in Athens. (Jeff Sentell/ DawgNation)

Georgia football recruiting: Huge weekend visit list means closing season is already here for the ‘Dawgs

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This rep offers up a preview of Georgia’s annual May scavenger hunt recruiting weekend. The ‘Dawgs currently hold the nation’s No. 2 class for 2024 on the 247Sports Team Composite scale and No. 1 overall for the On3 Team Recruiting Rankings.


Dylan Raiola. ✅

Biggest recruiting weekend of the year (so far) coming down the track. 🚂

Raiola’s big news on Monday sets the field for what is yet to come on the recruiting trail.

Kirby Smart has done a lot so far leading the Georgia football program. He’s heading into his eighth season and has two national titles, two SEC titles, three national championship game appearances and has now coached 15 NFL first-round draft picks.

Smart’s first steps toward that glowing resume were focused on the life’s blood of any program. That’s the art of stacking up very big wins on the recruiting trail.

Given the evolution of the recruiting calendar over the years through new NCAA policies, we’ve seen spring official visits and the early signing period radically alter the recruiting calendar.

We’ve basically evolved to this as we try to cover UGA recruiting:

January-May is Recruiting Season: That’s when the UGA staff dials in and evaluates the current class. The staff gets on the road to eyeball the current cycle of prospects. They talk to their teachers and school officials and check out their grades. That starts to build the relationship for the next wave of players they want to see in the red and black.

June is now Closing Season: The ‘Dawgs want to see the bulk of their NCAA-allowed 56 official visits take place in the summer. Most of those are now angled to go down in June. That’s what the staff prefers. It also adheres to a timeline that helps the rising senior prospects focus on their final varsity seasons.

July is now Committing Season: Georgia puts in a lot of good work in June and during recruiting season. They seek to harvest that good work in July. Every prospect now feels they have earned their five (or now unlimited) officials and takes those in June. They largely seek to commit in July. The Bulldogs took eight commitments from top prospects in July of 2022. There were another three commitments in June. Look for another active summer. (Note: This was once thought of as the time of year when Georgia lost a recruiting battle here and there. It caused the fan base to freak out about the cycle far too early. When December rolled around, folks kick themselves for doubting what this staff of elite recruiters annually proves it is capable of.)

Hunting Season: This is by and large the time of year when Georgia goes about the weekly grind of winning. Winning SEC titles and more national titles. The ‘Dawgs usually find themselves in a heated race with another three or four All-American recruits this time of year. There are always a couple of 5-stars or Top 100 national prospects that want to take their recruiting deeper into their senior seasons. Or to the early signing period in December. The fall gameday visits are mostly reserved for reinforcing public commitments and also building relationships with the top sophomore and junior prospects.

December is now Signing Season: The early signing period has now taken place in December for the last five cycles. That had led to Georgia seeing at least 75 percent of its commitments now sign with the program in December.

With this model, it makes sense to note that “Closing Season” started this week. There are official visits set for this weekend that will help shape the eventual 2024 class in Athens.

It was “Closing Season” before the Dylan Raiola commitment. Now the pitch has a very public cover boy for the 2024 recruiting efforts.

Raiola was important because the ‘Dawgs need to come with a heavy-handed offensive class this year. Especially after stacking up what clearly seems like the best two-year run of defensive recruiting during Kirby Smart’s time in Athens.

The ‘Dawgs are welcoming a slew of unofficial and official visitors this week for their annual “Scavenger Hunt” recruiting weekend tradition. The visit list will include several 5-star players and prospects also ranked No. 1 at their position nationally.

We’ll detail the guest list below.

Did you know the weekly "Before the Hedges" program is available as an Apple podcast? Click to check it out and download it.

Scavenger Hunt Weekend: Previewing the big weekend visitors

The Scavenger Hunt remains one of the most novel recruiting weekend concepts in college football. The ‘Dawgs have been doing this for a while now. Former 5-star Nolan Smith came to UGA a couple of times on scavenger hunts when he was a high school recruit. Smith is now in the NFL.

NextSentell’s Intel: How big of a splash will Dylan Raiola have on …
Leave a Comment