Smart’s first UGA signing class shapes up nicely. No shock there

Kirby-Smart-by-Josh-Jones-4_o2s213

He’s not bad at this recruiting stuff, either. (Josh Jones/AJC)

Toward the end, the most-voiced reason for keeping Mark Richt was because Georgia’s 2016 recruiting class was shaping up nicely. Well, here we sit on the morning of Signing Day, and Georgia’s 2016 class is …

Shaping up nicely.

This wasn’t quite a given. Georgia should always recruit well, but Richt recruited very well. There was no guarantee such success would be transferable. And it mightn’t have been – had not athletic director Greg McGarity moved with alacrity to secure Kirby Smart, who apprenticed under Nick Saban, the greatest recruiter ever. (Maybe also the greatest coach. Might there be a connection?)

It was the maniacal Saban who said, after Alabama beat Notre Dame for the BCS title, “That damn game cost me a week of recruiting.” It was also Saban who, when asked what he did with his championship rings, said: “Sometimes I throw them on the table for the recruits.”

Smart arrived in Athens with three such rings and a fourth awaiting delivery. Apparently that impressed a few touted teenagers enough for them to honor the commitments they’d made to a different coach. And two 5-star prospects – tight end Isaac Nauta and “athlete” Mecole Hardman Jr. – pledged themselves to Georgia after the coaching change. At issue, as ever, is whether the Bulldogs will win bigger under the new man. As heartening as it was to see the heralded Jacob Eason enroll last month, Richt didn’t want for big-name quarterbacks. (Until the end. Might there have been a connection?)

For now, all we can know about Smart as head ball coach is that recruiting hasn’t suffered. But recruiting at Georgia has rarely been an issue. Coaching ’em up has. Guessing you knew that already.

Late-afternoon update: Even with Derrick Brown picking Auburn and E.J. Price opting for USC — and not the one in Columbia, S.C. — Georgia’s class ranks among the top 10 according to Rivals, Scout, ESPN and 247 Sports. And here we note that Smart didn’t move to Athens full-time until Jan. 12, the day after Alabama beat Clemson for the national title. Given the circumstances, that’s a pretty fair haul.

Oh, and about Georgia Tech: After a terrible season, Tech reaps a tepid signing class.

Reader Comments 0

73 comments
patriotdog
patriotdog

New scheme on offense, the third in three seasons, along with limited talent at qb, or zero experience if Eason starts the season ( he won't) makes UT the favorite.

MaxMose
MaxMose

The winner of the UT-UgA game wins the east---very simple. Florida will be way down with a terrible offense and a bunch of gaps on D from the muschamp disaster. With Kirby's D, Ga will beat tennessee and get to atlanta.

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

@FiftyBlue You're playing as usual during the spring. Hang the banner...use the leftover's from the Richt and just  "whiteout " the year.

buckeyes are nuts
buckeyes are nuts

How can UGA not win the lousy SEC East? My Bucks easily beat Michigan who destroyed the SEC East Champs Gators. The SEC East has been embarrassing for most of the last 6 years, with one exception when the Dawgs had a chance to beat Bama a few years ago. 

LOGS1973
LOGS1973

This class could easily win 6 games in the tough SEC East.

Good call Bradley! No reason these pups shouldn't win the

East , SEC championship and indeed the National Title. You

need to step up Bradley and make the country aware of this...LOL

Grant1296
Grant1296

Tech could possibly win two with the awsome class Mr. Green jeans put together 73...

Keep your fingers crossed...

LOL...

LOGS1973
LOGS1973

@Grant1296 GT expects 10 wins and UGA will be the easiest win on our schedule.. Soon you will

be begging for Pastor Richt...

Grant1296
Grant1296

LMFAO 73...

And all this time I thought UGA fans were supposed to be delusional ....

OH:IO
OH:IO

dogs:


2016 Mantra:


shoulda woulda coulda 

Grant1296
Grant1296

Looks like nobody cares about your dumb posts anymore Techeye...

I guess you're just too damn stupid to come up with new material...

OH:IO
OH:IO

@Grant1296


We're in a dead period. 


Savior  Skinny will provide plenty of material - or - should(a) I say -  the dog's reactions to Savior Skinny


Money

Grant1296
Grant1296

Still dumb Techeye....

Your pretend team is in big trouble ...Time to change to

MICH-I-GAN....

dawg fan
dawg fan

There is no reason why we shouldn't dominate the East.  We should already be dominating it.  This has not been a strong division for a while.  I see nothing about Florida that should scare a properly coached and well prepared team that doesn't play it's 3rd string QB for no apparent reasons whatsoever.  They weren't that great last year and they didn't light the world on fire with their recruiting class this week.  Tennessee is all hot air and hype.  Muschamp will run SC into the ground just like he did Florida.  LOL @ those clowns for hiring him.  Mizzou?  LOL. I see no reason why we shouldn't rule this joke division with an iron fist.

LOGS1973
LOGS1973

@dawg fan You may indeed dominate..Well at least

over Vandy & Wildcats..Relax dawg, that is two big

wins with a slim possibility of 4 more...woof, woof..

OH:IO
OH:IO

8 out of the 10 dogs wins are against cupcakes. 

Dewnsav
Dewnsav

@OH:IO one thing's for sure, you guys know a cupcake when you see one pal... :-) ...go dogs


BobDawg
BobDawg

@Dewnsav @OH:IO If you ever want to see what a Big 10 High School Stadium looks like…Check out the Illinois stadium…. Vadosta holds more folks than that High school stadium holds…. 

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@OH:IO That is one thing the Buckeyes and Bulldogs have in common ,a sweet tooth. Both teams should be sponsored by Hostess,they play so many cupcakes.

tneck
tneck

Dominate the East?  Other teams recruit and coach too.  Smart hasn't proven he can coach any better than Richt and Richt was pretty good, averaging 9.6 wins a year.  Let''s be cautiously optimistic at this point.

MaxMose
MaxMose

with a good D and this top 10 class, Kirby should dominate the weak SEC east for years---but, nick will deliver a beatdown in the SEC title game. Alabama's loaded again with that #1 class-they will be back in the final 4.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@FiftyBlue 

If that "weak SEC east" includes fla, I wouldn't count on domination. Where have you been the past 25 years?

MikeS777
MikeS777

On the one hand, this recruiting class is impressive in that it didn't fall apart as what typically happens when coaches change.   According to Rivals, it finished 10th.  On the other hand, that's good for 5th in the SEC.   Alabama got another #1 class.   LSU, Ole Miss, and Auburn all finished ahead of UGA.   Florida and Tennessee are in the top 15 only a few spots behind UGA.

According to Scout, they finished 9th behind Alabama (#1), LSU, Ole Miss with Florida and Auburn right behind them at 10 and 12.

It's a great class, but Florida, UT, and Auburn recruit as well as UGA on a consistent basis.  Toss in a game against Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss, or Clemson and UGA is regularly playing at least 4 teams per year with as much raw talent as they have.  That's not counting the fact SC has been a regular in the top 20 recruiting under Spurrier.

So can we finally dispense the notion that UGA has superior talent?  It will go a long way to helping out Kirby Smart if you do.  This is the SEC.   Every year half the top 15 in recruiting is SEC schools.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@MikeS777  Yes Captain Obvious. We are all aware that other SEC teams have good players too.  Thanks for that.  What would you like to discuss next, the color of the sky or whether water is wet?  The issue is having a coach who can prepare our team to play those other teams with good players.  We haven't had that in a while.  We've had a coach who can prepare our team to beat the Vandy's, Kentucky's, Mizzou's and Georgia Tech's on our schedule, but when it comes time to play those teams with players just as good as ours we lose and lose bad at about a 90% clip.  That is a FACT. That's where coaching comes in to play and that's why we canned your choke artist hero.  Go put on the U gear Vanilla Ice and leave us alone.  Enjoy Miami.  Word to your mutha.   

LOGS1973
LOGS1973

@dawg fan @MikeS777 better be able to score touchdowns instead of field goals to even

stay close to GT dawg.. SEC wins should come easy as there is no talent there!

DawgNole
DawgNole

@LOGS1973

Stay close to GT???

Thirteen of 15, lamebrain.

It appears you've been knocked up side the head by some of those LOGS.

mgunter
mgunter

Good class, but I thought th loss of Brown to Auburn and Price to USC were devastating. Both will play in th NFL. Seems to always happen to th Dawgs regardless of who th coach is.

dawgfacedboy
dawgfacedboy

"10 win seasons aren't going to cut it." 


Sure they will. Smart just has to sprinkle a run at a title here and there. He has to beat teams like UF when they are a dumpster fire and about to fire their coach. He has to beat  SC when they have inferior talent for the better part of their coach's  tenure. He can't blow 3 TDs leads. He can't squib/pooch kick with under 30 seconds left in a game, giving the opponent prime field position. He can't get blown out by real contenders on national t.v. on a consistent basis. He can't have 4 and 5 star recruits come in and go unnoticed for 4 years until they go to the NFL for the next 10. He can't continue to pull in top 10 classes every year and not contend for championships while literally everyone else who is in the top 10 every year has. Don't think there is a correlation between recruiting and success??? Go look at the teams in the top 10-12 in recruiting over the past 10 years. Tell me what pattern you see...with the exception being UGA.


10 win seasons are just fine but that can't be your sole claim to fame.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@dawgfacedboy  Ding!!  Ding!!  Ding!!  We have a winner Johnny!!  Show him what he's won!!  Well said. 

MikeS777
MikeS777

@dawgfacedboy I'll tell you what I see.   I see Alabama getting #1 classes every year and at least 4 other SEC schools than UGA in that top 10.  I see the fact that UGA has to beat them just to get to the playoff while teams like USC, Ohio St., Oregon, Michigan St., FSU, etc. can go lay waste to lesser conferences with no one else on their talent level, then lose to the SEC champ in the National Championship and/or CFB playoff.

No coach is mistake free.   If those are your expectations for Kirby Smart, you're in for a quick disappointment.

And I'm tired of listening to people make stuff up.   Richt electing to squib kick wasn't what lost the Tech game in 2014.   It was the defense that couldn't hold an option team out of FG range for 18 seconds.  Blown out consistently?  Richt beat a top 5 UF team in 2012, played #2 Alabama all the way down to the last play, beat a top 10 SC team in 2013, beat a top 15 LSU team in 2013, lost by 3 to a top 10 Clemson team in 2013, lost on a miracle play to SEC champ Auburn in 2013, and blasted FOUR ranked teams in 2014 including SEC East champ Missouri, Auburn, and Clemson...all on national TV. 

If Kirby can't do better than 10 wins, mark my words...people will be on here making up reasons why he should be fired too.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@MikeS777 I'm pretty sure he didn't say he expects Kirby to be "mistake free."  You MADE THAT UP.  He expects him to have our team prepared every week instead of watching us embarrass ourselves about 1 to 2 times per year like we did under your hero.  You can whine about Saban, Bama, recruiting classes and how hard and unfair everything is all you want.  Cry baby cry.  But the fact remains that there is absolutely no excuse for the type of no show embarrassing blow out losses we routinely endured under your hero Mark Richt.  None whatsoever.  Big hairy freaking deal if we win 10 games if we got our brains beat in in the other 3 games like we did this year.  We won 10 games in 2011 too but lost to every single ranked team that we played.  Whoopdeefreakingdoo your hero won 10 games!!  Nobody cares.  He was a choke artist when it mattered most and thank God and greyhound he is gone.  You can go with him if you like.  No one is stopping you.  Good riddance. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@MikeS777 

So when was it that FSU "lost to the SEC champ in the National Championship and/or CFB playoff"???

Hello?

And you have the nerve to call out others for "making stuff up"?!

Lying-axx hypocrite.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@dawgfacedboy: "He can't squib/pooch kick with under 30 seconds left in a game, giving the opponent prime field position."

____________________

There were less than 20 seconds left in that game when he stupidly ordered the pooch kick. Even MORE inexcusable!

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@MikeS777 @dawgfacedboy It was not only the Squib Kick at the end of the Tech game in 2014,it was Richt calling a timeout with 3 seconds left on the play clock.This gave Johnson time to get his FG team on the field and their kicker made a 55yd FG to tie the game. No timeout and it is likely Tech gets a delay of game penalty.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Buschleaguer

It was a 53-yd FG to tie the game.

And one of the most memorable images from that game was Richt standing corpse-like on the sideline, surrounded by total bedlam, immediately after Dawgs scored the go-ahead TD.


DawginLex
DawginLex

I thought Kirby did a great job with the class. I also think D. Brown's visit to Pat Dye's cabin $ealed the deal to the Barn. No worries. He can enjoy losing to us annually and probably playing for a new coaching staff in 2017. Greatest thing about recruiting is that once it's over, you are just another kid with a helmet on trying to get playing time. Your helmet and jersey don' t indicate how many stars you had in recruiting

Termigator
Termigator

@DawginLex I don't quite get the fascination with signing with the Barn. I agree that unless a drastic improvement happens that Malzahn will be canned next year. These HS Drama Queens for the most part have been the center of attention their entire playing career up to now. It would be fun to watch them getting screamed at their 1st day of practice as reality finally sets in.


TU
TU

Chaney has a tough assignment going against top SEC defenses with a pocket passer. Eason will need 16 to learn the system and develop timing with the receivers.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@TU  I guess you live in a cave because an SEC team just won the national title with a pocket passer. 

wwvv
wwvv

Seems like every year we get only two of top ten Ga recruits. Anybody know why that is? Can Kirby stop that? Why did Pittman underperform with the offensive line?

Overall I'm happy, some things just don't make sense to me.

rationally
rationally

Three things you can count on..... Death, taxes and Nick %^& Saban!!!!

Dewnsav
Dewnsav

I say it every year...we get ours and most other programs get theirs..Kirby was hamstrung fulfilling his obligations at Bama and a short cycle 'til NSD...we left a few 'ships on the table that can be utilized next year...good luck and congratulations to all the young men who signed today, no matter where they decided to go...go dogs

Mr. Negative
Mr. Negative

Yess, so the annual Doggie Delusion starts today and runs till the annual butt kicking in Jax

dawg fan
dawg fan

Alabama, Alabama, Alabama. Saban, Saban, Saban.  ONce again the Fan Club wants to make everything about Alabama and Nick Saban, as if they are the only reason for their hero's downfall.  We were getting our jocks handed to us by Florida too.  We couldn't beat out Mizzou for East titles.  We haven't won a game in South Carolina's stadium since 2008.  Do I need to keep going?  Do I need to keep reminding you clowns of all the ways your hero Mark Richt came up short time and time and time again?!?!?!?!?!  Kirby is the coach now but I'll be happy to keep digging up the past if you fake phonies don't want to support him.  Let me know. 

TrueFan1
TrueFan1

@dawg fan Marsha, Marsha, Marsha, Dude you know how you are when you haven't eaten...Here, have a snickers......better?