Consider the possibility that the 2017 Georgia football team, the one that finished the season 13-2 and won the SEC Championship and the Rose Bowl, could be the least talented Georgia team in the next four to five years, possibly even longer.
The thought might seem absurd, but if recruiting experts are correct, the future is brighter than ever in Athens.
This means no disrespect towards the players on the 2017 team, who just finished one of the best seasons in Georgia history despite falling short to Alabama in the title game. While some members of the national media feel the team played above its expectations all year, the players felt they were exactly where they belonged on Jan. 8 for the College Football Playoff National Championship.
Those players had a good point, as Georgia’s roster this season included 11 former five-star recruits, second only to Alabama’s 18. Overall, UGA ranked No. 4 in the country in 2017 in terms of team talent, according to the 247Sports Composite.
But three of those 11 former five-stars on Georgia’s roster will be gone next year without a doubt, as Lorenzo Carter, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel exhausted their eligibility and played their final game against Alabama. Two other Bulldogs could possibly be leaving, with Jacob Eason considering a transfer and junior Trenton Thompson considering the NFL Draft.
Plus, the recruiting experts are not always spot on, so you have to look past the five stars.
Roquan Smith was a four-star recruit, and he is projected to be a top pick in the draft should he pass on returning for his senior year. Dominick Sanders was a three-star recruit, and he finished his career tied for the most interceptions in school history.
There is a strong chance that Georgia loses every one of those players in the coming months, so how could the future be brighter than ever? The talent coming to Athens via recruiting is unprecedented in school history, and to some extent national history.
In 2017, Georgia signed the No. 3 class in the country, featuring three five-star recruits and 16 four-star recruits. In what was his first full recruiting cycle as the head coach at Georgia, Kirby Smart signed the school’s highest-ranked class in history.
But somehow, the 2018 recruiting class will end up even better than the year prior, and national records could be broken in the process.
Headlined by quarterback Justin Fields, there are six five-star prospects committed and signed with UGA, giving the Bulldogs the No. 1 class in the country. And the final signing period does not come until February, so there is time for Kirby Smart and his staff to add to the historic group of recruits.
The most five stars signed by a school in one class is six, which Alabama has done four times in the past five years. Alabama has also claimed the top recruiting class in the country for the past seven years, but it appears that streak is coming to an end and a new run is beginning in Georgia in 2018.
Looking ahead to 2019, there are three five-star recruits already committed to Georgia, and all three are among the top 10 players in the nation.