There is a whole lot of football talent in the state of Georgia for 2012. Recruiting players is like riding a roller coaster. Some weeks are good, some are bad. But the last two weeks have been disappointing for the Georgia Bulldogs.
All coaches have their favorite regions. It's understandable, South Georgia athletes considering Alabama schools and North Georgia kids considering Tennessee. But for Georgia, losing nationally-ranked athletes with the reasons given should be a crime.
Every player listed below is on the ESPNU Watchlist as a top athlete in the country.
Since I follow recruiting so closely, one of the disturbing trends is the comments by the athletes about Georgia after they committed to another school.
Not every player fits into the Bulldog schemes, but here is a look at the talent in the state of Georgia that committed in the last two weeks.
It all started with Dillon Lee on May 16, 4-star linebacker from Buford, Ga. Close to Athens, and his brother is already playing for the Dogs. Should have been a slam dunk for the coaching staff. Parents are on-board, and it makes Saturdays easier if both kids go to Georgia. Dillon committed to Alabama and said “Georgia was late in the game.” He said his commitment is solid.
On May 20th, three Atlanta players committed to Vanderbilt, Darreon Herring, Stephen Weatherly and Jacob Sealand. All on the ESPNU watchlist, none were offered by Georgia. Very talented athletes probably not good enough for Georgia. No finger-pointing here.
Why has it been tough for the Bulldogs in recent Recruiting ?
The package deal of the decade came with the Nkemdiche family in Grayson, Ga. Robert is automatically the top state recruit for 2013 at 6’5”, 263 lbs. But his brother Denzel is 5”11, 198 lbs and had interest from Georgia, Ole Miss, Miss State and California. The mother made it clear, this is a package deal. They both are going to the same school.
Houston Nutt got a verbal commitment from Denzel. Robert said it is unlikely that he will make an official visit to Georgia. The Nkemdiche boys go to school in Grayson, which is a stone’s throw from Athens. No good reason why they would choose Ole Miss over Georgia. The distance for game days makes it very difficult.
On the 24th, Joshua Holsey, a childhood favorite of the Bulldogs and a top cornerback in the state, seemed like a perfect fit for Georgia. Holsey picked Auburn, and said Georgia was the last college to offer of 24 schools. Holsey wanted to go to Georgia, but once the door was opened to other schools, the Bulldogs moved down the list.
The No. 1 prospect in the state is Geno Smith. A classmate of Holsey at St. Pius in Atlanta, Smith has narrowed his choices down to five schools. The Georgia Bulldogs didn’t make the final five.
Smith is considering Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Texas and Notre Dame. Why would Georgia not be on his list? The UGA coaches are already on campus seeing Holsey. Athens is one hour away.
College recruiting is very competitive, especially in the state of Georgia, and especially in Florida, South Carolina and Alabama. For the top athletes, its competitive everywhere.
College coaches spend a significant amount of time making road trips all over the South, trying to get the best athletes to come to their school.
They say time is our greatest commodity. With top talent being nearly equal, wouldn’t the athletes within an hour of the Athens campus get the most attention?
Maybe the Bulldogs will sign six top athletes from the Peach State next week.
In the end, Georgia will probably end up with a top-five recruiting class again. Just don't tell me they were late to the game for a top recruit in their neighborhood.
Jay Holgate is an SEC Football Analyst for the "SEC Football News" APP for Iphone and Android.