Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Georgia's top talent eluding Coach Richt? - part one

This turned out to be quite lengthy, so I'm cutting it into two posts. (I'll thank Brad for that as he has definitely sparked a curiosity here.) The second of which I'll clean up some tonight. But one of the holdover discussions after signing day almost every year has been Coach Richt's (and his staff) inability to close strongly. Depending on the year, that can been seen just as an innocuous claim or something extremely harmful to the program and its current roster. In this past 2013 class for instance, most of the signees were sewn up well before signing day, which made for a rather dull day in terms of excitement. Then when we missed on some "day of decisions" it really didn't hurt the roster as much as it did our heightened expectations and emotions.

Of course, that can be argued both ways in any given February. But the fact of the matter is that Richt has brought in plenty of talent during his tenure. And still we wonder why some kids cross the borders to wear different colors. The popular conclusion is that Richt isn't aggressive enough within the state. This battle cry rings out over social media and every message board out there. And it is as loud today as ever, despite signing some of Georgia's top players each year.

So for arguments' sake, here are the last eight years with the top ten players in the state listed (according to ESPN 150) with UGA signees in bold. Spend a few minutes looking over it this evening and then we'll compare conclusions tomorrow.

2006 2007 2008 2009
Marcus Ball Eric Berry Josh Jarboe Greg Reid
Reshad Jones Allen Bailey Brice Butler Branden Smith
Jermaine Cunningham Israel Troupe Richard Samuel Eric Fields
Carlos Brown DJ Stafford Terrance Parks Darren Myles, Jr
Justin Anderson Caleb King Omar Hunter Prince Kent
Asher Allen Cameron Newton Brandon Thompson Chris Burnette
Darryl Gamble Johnathan Dwyer DeAngelo Tyson Jarvis Jones
Quintin Banks Ted Laurent Jamoris Slaughter Washaun Ealey
Brandon Wood T-Bob Hebert Daniel Franklin Gerald Demps
Toryan Smith Conrad Obi Toby Jackson Donovan Tate
2010 2011  2012 2013
Storm Johnson Isaiah Crowell  Josh Harvey-Clemons Robert Nkemdiche
Markeith Ambles Ray Drew   Brandon Greene Carl Lawson
Ja’wuan James Jay Rome  Geno Smith Montravius Adams
Alec Ogletree Xzavier Dickson  Johnathan Taylor Alvin Kamara
Da’Rick Rogers Gabe Wright  Dillon Lee Shaq Wiggins
Mack Brown Quan Bray   Mike Davis Trey Johnson
Antonio Goodwin James Vaughers   Jordan Jenkins Vonn Bell
Adrian Hubbard Malcolm Mitchell  Ricky Parks Demarcus Robinson
Tai-ler Jones Avery Walls  Vadal Alexander Tyren Jones
TJ Stripling Damian Swann Joshua Holsey Kelsey Griffin

What stands out to you? I'll go ahead and let you know that it wasn't nearly as alarming to me as some comments I hear and read from people upset about great young football players leaking out across borders. And also, I'm glad some of these guys went elsewhere. Ya know?