In the world of college football, recruiting is everything. The coach with the most studs wins. Just ask Alabama’s Nick Saban. His team has been in the National Championship race for so long it’s hard to remember a time when their name wasn’t mentioned by sportswriters in that conversation. Why? Because they can recruit the best in the country telling them that they will compete for a National Championship, that’s why.
But the Crimson Tide better watch out for Saban’s protégé at the University of Georgia. Kirby Smart is showing that he’s just as good at recruiting the big boys with his first two full recruiting classes. This year’s class of commitments and signees is currently being ranked by many ranking services as the number one group in the country. The 2018 class includes two five-star athletes, 15 four’s, and six three’s. Harrison High School’s Justin Fields is in that class as the number one prospect by ESPN’s 300 in the country. The dual-threat quarterback is a 6’3” 221 pound athlete also played defensive tackle for his high school team. Let’s just say he’s one tough customer. Another five-star athlete recently signing with the Dogs is defensive end Brenton Cox of Stockbridge High School. At 6’5” and 250 pounds and ranked as the number 13 prospect in the U.S., Cox runs a 4.95 40 yard dash and will add depth at the all-important position.
On Day Two of the Early Signing Period, Georgia got a commitment from tight end Luke Ford. According to Bulldog Nation he was the best remaining player at that position. With his signing, and that of linebacker Channing Tindal, Georgia has moved into sixth place as the best recruiting class since these rankings began in the recruit ratings era. That could improve or decline in February with the second signing period with some unsigned names still to be inked.
Regardless of what happens next, this class will make the Dogs a team to be dealt with over the next several years. One writer from SB Nation described it this way, “The Bulldogs are already in the Playoff in Year 2 of the Kirby Smart era. Imagine what happens when this recruiting class and last year’s No. 3-ranked haul start seeing the field. In college football, depth wins titles, and UGA is building a two-deep that few teams can top. Georgia’s class was already elite and secured the current No. 1 ranking in the country late Wednesday night when it signed LB Channing Tindall. The Bulldogs are basically building an SEC East Death Star.”
Smart and his staff have changed the landscape at UGA with the past two recruiting classes. With the National Championship Playoffs looming over the next two weeks, it seems that the Bulldogs are putting themselves in a position to play for more SEC and National Titles in the very near future. The UGA faithful are loving it. It’s been a while since the red and black could make the statement that they are in the hunt year-after-year.