After Georgia lost to in-state rival Georgia Tech on Saturday, the Bulldogs finished their 12-game regular season schedule of the 2016 college football season with a 7-5 record and a lot of questions. One of those being, what impact will losing to the Yellow Jackets and only winning 7 games have on recruiting going forward?
How will prospective student-athletes look at the program now compared to back in spring and 93K-Day or just a couple of weeks ago after the Auburn win? Will they see it as an opportunity to come in and compete for a start and playing time right away or will it hinder recruiting?
Here is what Kirby Smart said after Georgia’s 24-10 loss to Florida back at the end of October.
“There’s no question that they see it is an opportunity because I talk to kids constantly and that’s what they see it as. I think that is important. That you use that and that they believe that.”
And that is what you hear from recruits as well. They see that the University of Georgia football team has areas of need where there is an opportunity to come in and compete for a start or significant playing time right off the bat. And what if there are any coaching changes to the current staff on the Georgia football program?
No, I committed to UGA.. not a coach. https://t.co/qJRBr1zEZD
— William Poole III (@TheWilliamPoole) November 28, 2016
While William Poole certainly doesn’t speak for every recruit out there currently committed to UGA or showing interest in UGA, it just goes to show that prospects commit to the school and program and not necessarily the coach.
But what is really telling is that we just haven’t seen Georgia’s recruiting momentum really sputter or stall since Kirby Smart and company came on board. Right now, Georgia has 16 commitments for 2017 and that has the Bulldogs’ ranked with a number three class by 247Sports.com and ESPN and a number four class according to Rivals and Scout. To top it all off, it is very likely that Georgia will add to those 16 the likes of Cam Akers, Markaviest Bryant, Deangelo Gibbs, Malik Herring, Jeremiah Holloman, Nate McBride, Monty Rice, Tyler Taylor, and Leonard Warner. The Bulldogs are also still in the race for 5-star offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson, who will take an official visit on December 9th to UGA, and 5-star defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon. In addition, it would not be surprising to see Coach Smart and his O-line Coach Sam Pittman pull in one or two JUCO offensive tackles.
While programs that win consistently and compete for conference and national championships, like the Alabamas, Clemsons, or Ohio States, can use that in their pitch to recruits, the opportunity to play because of need is just as alluring, maybe more so.