Fact or Fiction: UGA is hottest team on recruiting trail
National recruiting director Mike Farrell and national recruiting analyst Adam Gorney tackle three topics daily and determine whether they believe the statements or not.
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1. Georgia is the hottest recruiting team in the country.
Farrell’s take: FICTION. Georgia is on a nice roll with defensive lineman Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins and 2022 cornerback Deyon Bouie in the fold, but the hottest team in the country right now is Ohio State. The Buckeyes are about to simply unload a string of commitments from the 2022 class, possibly led by five-star quarterback Quinn Ewers and could surpass their 2021 ranking, which is currently No. 2 in the country. Stand back, it’s about to start raining 2022 commits very soon.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. Ohio State is a good one because if Ewers goes to the Buckeyes, which is now widely expected, he’s going to pull a lot of talented playmakers to that class as well plus Ohio State is in great shape with five-stars Emeka Egbuka and J.T. Tuimoloau from Washington state.
But some other teams to consider here are Oklahoma, which recently landed two superstar receivers in Luther Burden and Talyn Shettron, LSU which basically flipped stud tight end Jack Bech along with getting Ryan, and Texas A&M, which went into South Florida for Amari Daniels and Yulkeith Brown over the weekend.
2. Sage Ryan is a sign that Nick Saban won’t be able to pull players out of Louisiana as easily as before.
Farrell’s take: FICTION. Four-star defensive back Sage Ryan was thought to be an LSU lock until the last week before his decision where everyone seemed to flip and take Alabama for the elite DB out of Louisiana. In the end, Ryan chose LSU despite the struggles on the field this season, but that is zero indication of Nick Saban’s ability to raid the state. Alabama is still, by far, the biggest threat to LSU as we continue to see on the field with players like DeVonta Smith and Dylan Moses as potential first-rounders. Ryan was a great keep for the Tigers, but it was very close and there will be others who leave for the Tide.
Gorney’s take: FACT. There is a myth that Saban is a massive threat in the state of Louisiana, but it’s just not backed up by facts. Of course, Alabama has dipped into the state for top prospects through Saban’s tenure in Tuscaloosa, but he’s hardly raided the place and in the last few recruiting cycles, most top players have stayed home.
Credit Ed Orgeron for that recruiting success. In 2020, none of the top 12 prospects from Louisiana picked Alabama. In 2019, one of the top 10 did and he’s already in the transfer portal, Ishmael Sopsher. In 2018, it was one of the top 16.
There have been big-time players like Smith and others over the years, but Alabama has had far better success in Florida and California than Louisiana. Ryan is just another example of a top prospect who looked at big-time programs out-of-state but again decided LSU was best.
3. Bo Pelini should be fired at LSU.
Farrell’s take: FACT. This has to end and it has to end soon. The new defensive coordinator at LSU has changed the scheme and lost a ton of talent to the NFL, but there is clear confusion on the field when LSU plays defense and they are giving up embarrassing numbers for a defending national champ. Ed Orgeron needs to stop the bleeding now because if Bo Pelini isn’t effective as a coach, he’s certainly not going to make up for it as a recruiter.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. I completely understand the frustration with Pelini and his defense at LSU. Forty-eight points to Auburn this past weekend was a joke from a football team that doesn’t really have an explosive offense. Forty-five to Missouri was the same story. The 44 points given up to Mississippi State in the opener looks worse and worse now seeing that the Bulldogs are a complete mess. In 15 games last season, LSU allowed 20 passing touchdowns. So far, the Tigers have given up 14 against some pretty weak competition and with Derek Stingley, Elias Ricks and other standout defensive backs. Something is not right. But Pelini is a smart coach who needs a little more time to figure it out. But it better be fast because I’m sure coach Orgeron is tired of this ridiculousness.