National signing day has come and gone, and the Georgia Bulldogs finished the day with one of the 10 best classes in the country.
However, there were some doubts as to how the class would turn out, because there were a few players who decommitted to the Bulldogs at the last minute. However, some players decommitted from one school to the Bulldogs, too.
But this class is different. This class may not be the best in the country according to most recruiting media outlets, but this class has a bit more of an edge to them than any other class in the Richt era.
That reason, along with a few more factors, is why the 2015 class will help the Bulldogs win a national championship.
Since Richt has been the head coach at UGA, he has had no issues signing talented players. However, he has never landed an individual who won National Player of the Year.
That changed when Thompson signed with the Bulldogs this week, which was huge for the Bulldogs moving forward. Bringing in a guy like Thompson will help strengthen the defensive line, which is needed if the Bulldogs want to have an elite defense.
But adding Thompson was only the beginning.
The Bulldogs also signed Jonathan Ledbetter, who could be a better defensive line NFL prospect than Thompson. The 6’5’’ defensive end is quick and physical and can get after the quarterback. Those two, along with Natrez Patrick, D’Andre Walker and Michael Barnett, make up possibly the best defensive line class in the Richt era.
As good as the defensive line can be, the offensive line is no slouch either. Sage Hardin, Sam Madden, Patrick Allen and DeVondre Seymour are all guys who can run-block, which is needed in the offense the Bulldogs run. Also, the line has a ton a size, so new O-line coach Rob Sale will have a lot to work with the next few seasons.
Adding depth and talent to both lines was needed for the Bulldogs to get over the hump in the SEC. But another thing they did was add depth, talent and versatility to the entire defense.
The linebackers the Bulldogs signed can do a number of things, especially Gary McCrae. He can play outside linebacker, defensive end and inside linebacker. The same goes for Chauncey Rivers, who can also play various linebacker and defensive line positions.
The pass defense improved vastly for the Bulldogs in 2014, but defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt knows that it could have been better. That’s why the Bulldogs got Rico McGraw, Shaquery Wilson and Deandre Baker. Wilson and Baker could play offense, but the fact the Bulldogs added players with the ability to help in the secondary is huge.
Out of the 28 signees, 14 are from the state of Georgia. And of those 14, four are ranked in the 247 Sports Georgia Composite Rankings. The Bulldogs have had their struggles landing the top talent in Georgia in the past, but that wasn’t the case this year thanks to the coaches, who stayed on Thompson and Terry Godwin.
Georgia is a hotbed for college talent, and the fact the Bulldogs were able to sign nearly half of the 10 best players in the state is not a bad thing.
This class was about building the line of scrimmage, adding depth on defense and keeping the talent in-state, and the Bulldogs hit on all those three in more ways than one.
This team may not help the Bulldogs win the College Football Playoff this upcoming season, because most of them won’t see too much action. But watch out for the Bulldogs in 2016, because they will finally reach their goal thanks to 28 young men who on February 4, 2015.
All recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted. Rankings courtesy of 247Sports Composite Rankings.