Grading the UGA football recruting class now that most of the National Letters of Intent have been signed and sent, and National Signing Day has wrapped up.
This was it. This was Kirby Smart’s first full recruiting cycle as a head coach, and he certainly didn’t disappoint. It was going to be hard to top what he did on only a couple months of work last year, but he did it.
UGA went back and forth with Alabama all year long for the No. 1-ranked recruiting class, and the Bulldogs barely fell short. However, their class is still elite , especially considering where they stack up in the SEC class rankings.
With that said, let’s take a look at the entire Georgia Bulldogs recruiting class from 2017, and hand out a few grades.
After picking up Jacob Eason last year, Georgia simply needed to add a little bit of depth to its roster. It did more than that by adding Jake Fromm, a former Alabama commit. Not only will Fromm be the heir apparent, but he could actually be better than Eason when it’s all said and done.
Running Back: B-
When Nick Chubb and Sony Michel decided to return to Athens for the 2017 season, that kind of threw a wrench in the plans for UGA. Toneil Carter had his scholarship offer pulled and ended up with Texas, but the Bulldogs did sign 4-star tailback D’Andre Swift out of Philadelphia.
Wide Receiver: A
UGA knocked it out of the park here. Landing Mark Webb wasn’t as difficult, as he was as close to a package deal with Swift as it gets. But Smart’s staff also kept 4-star wide receivers Jeremiah Holloman and Trey Blount in the Peach State while luring 3-star prospect Matt Landers from St. Petersburg, Florida.
Tight End: F
After getting Isaac Nauta in last year’s class, Georgia didn’t land a tight end in this class.
Offensive Line: A+
Georgia absolutely needed to stock up on offensive linemen, and it did that. All four of its offensive tackle were rated as 4-star players: Isaiah Wilson, D’Marcus Hayes, Andrew Thomas and D’antne Demery can all make an impact next season. But it didn’t end there. Four-star offensive guards Netori Johnson and Justin Shaffer are also a part of what Johnson has referred to as a “dream o-line.”
Defensive Line: B+
Robert Beal was, at one time, a Notre Dame commit. And the fact UGA was able to not only land him but keep him away from Florida State is a big deal. He can see a lot of early reps in Athens. When you consider the fact the Dawgs added 4-star defensive end Malik Herring, and stopped Florida and South Carolina from flipping 4-star defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt, this defensive line class is solid.
For a long time, it was known 4-star inside linebacker Nate McBride was leaning toward the Bulldogs, so that was a nice addition. But they also flipped 4-star inside linebacker Monty Rice from LSU. However, this group of linebackers is elite because they’re being paired with two 4-star outside linebackers in Walter Grant and Jaden Hunter — studs all around.
Defensive Backs: A
Four-star safety Richard LeCounte is clearly the most notable in this UGA football recruiting class. He’s a Dawg in every sense of the word with his tenacity on the football field. Combining him with 4-star cornerback William Poole III is a nice combo. But Georgia also got 3-star cornerback Latavious Brini to re-join the class while beating out North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia Tech and others for 3-star cornerback Ameer Speed.
Georgia Bulldogs Recruiting Class Overall Grade: A+
Note: Scout rankings and ratings used in this article.