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Could This Be Kirby Smart's Best Recruiting Class So Far for the Georgia Bulldogs?

March 29, 2021
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ATHENS - Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs have the top recruiting class in the SEC. It remains to be seen if they can keep it. 

Still, the most-recent tear of the Bulldogs is impressive. The highlight was probably beating out Clemson for Jalon Walker‍ on Sunday. Insiders feel like that was a difficult loss for the Tigers; most felt like he was a prospect Clemson really felt like they could land. 

I’m not sure the same could be said for Clemson’s chances with Malaki Starks‍, but he picked the Bulldogs over the Tigers and Tide nonetheless. He told us after committing to UGA on Thursday that Clemson was his No. 2 school. Monday Jordan James‍ picked the Bulldogs

This is the best start to a recruiting class I can remember for Kirby Smart, who is no stranger to closing very, very strong in the recruiting game. I don’t doubt Nick Saban and Alabama’s ability to get the job done on the recruiting trail… Bama will make a comeback in recruiting’s consensus rankings. 

I still expect Bama, Ohio State and the Dawgs to fight it out for the top spot this winter. In other words, nothing is new in the world of recruiting. 

But could this be Kirby’s best overall class? It would have to top the 2018 class that had Justin Fields, Zamir White, Jamaree Salyer and Tyson Campbell, or the 2020 class that had Kelee Ringo, Broderick Jones, Jalen Carter and Darnell Washington. 

Those were both really good classes. I’m not sure the 2022 class has the firepower at the top of the class quite like the 2018 class. But there are different ways to make runs at a class, and sometimes depth pays off. 

Still, the way the 2022 class is falling in line is different than everything before - it is happening faster. Of course this is the first class that’s lived in most critical recruiting time (coming out of their sophomore year in high school and going into their senior season) in a completely unknown state. They didn’t know what high school football would be like a year ago, and they’ve lived a recruiting existence that doesn’t involve official visits or trips to games to watch from the sidelines. 

This class, like the one from earlier this year, very simply had a different experience… perhaps that’s why they are jumping on at Georgia quicker. Perhaps UGA and Kirby are asking them to jump on quicker. Perhaps it is as simple as Gunner Stockton’s popularity in state and with his 7-on-7 team. 

There’s never any one answer in recruiting - its a lot of different things that add up. 

But everything is in place now. Sanford Stadium’s bridge end has been gutted and turned into one of the finest recruiting facilities in America. The draw of playing at Georgia and in the SEC has always been huge. Kirby’s program has proven they are a real player on the national stage for nearly half a decade now. And that program has fine tuned their message to prospects over the last 12 months. 

Kids aren’t waiting around any more… they learned that sometimes it is best to make the move to where you want to go because you simply don’t know what tomorrow brings. Better to firm things up while you can.

I don’t know anything, but it would make sense to me that the bulk of this class is done before the season - if not before July 4th. We’ve got official visits coming in early June, which isn’t that far away. That could be a very busy time. December is now the real signing day. The calendar keeps moving forward, and that doesn’t seem to bother any major prospects.  

Topping the 2018 class, which will include at least two first rounders - Justin Fields and Azeez Ojulari - is certainly asking a lot. Again, the top of that 2018 was impressive. We will see out close this class can get to that. 

 

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