Georgia runs away with 2018 Rivals recruiting national championship
Georgia fans didn’t mind Wednesday’s lack of drama.
There was no late surge into the top spot. Nobody was waiting until the 11th hour to see how the team rankings would shake out. There was no back-and-forth battle. Instead, the tale was simple and concise; UGA signed seven five-star prospects during the early signing period. Then, on Wednesday, it added five-star defensive back Tyson Campbell, four-star receiver Tommy Bush and Rivals100 linebacker Otis Reese to sprint away with the 2018 recruiting title as if it were stolen property.
That’s it. End of story. TKO. Someone probably should have stopped the fight in December.
The prologue is bit more interesting than the story itself. UGA’s top-ranked class is led by five-star quarterback Justin Fields, who signed with the Bulldogs despite hyper-successful freshman Jake Fromm being firmly in place as the team’s starter. Head coach Kirby Smart and company also convinced two five-star running backs (James Cook and Zamir White) to shrug off the thought of competition with each other to join the same class. The sales pitches weren’t always easy, but landing a historic class rarely is.
Georgia has never toped the Rivals.com recruiting rankings and has ranked in the top five on just two other occasions. It’s previous best finish was third, and its previous record for five-stars in a class was three. Praise will be piled on Smart and many will point to the season that was as driving force behind the Bulldogs’ 2018 class, but UGA assistant Dell McGee shouldn’t go unnoticed. McGee had a hand in landing White, Cook and Fields. He also was involved with landing five-star Brenton Cox and a number of other members of the class.
Where this UGA class ranks historically will be determined years from now, but it has as good a shot as any to be talked about for decades.
GROUP OF FIVE CHAMP
At 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Boise State and Cincinnati were tied atop the Group of Five recruiting rankings. There’s still time for movement, but one or both will finish the cycle as king of the small-conference schools. The Broncos class is led by four-star tight end Tyneil Hopper while Cincinnati’s top-rated signee is four-star defensive end Malik Vann. UCF won the Group Of Five title a year ago and went on to go undefeated. Cincinnati and Boise State finishing second and fifth respectively.
ALABAMA HANDS LSU OFFSEASON 'L'
Alabama used a gut punch to SEC rival LSU to close strong, as no Signing Day moment was bigger than the Tide snagging five-star defensive back Patrick Surtain, who outwardly called LSU the favorite for much of the process. The situation gave Alabama a much-needed boost and ruined LSU’s morning all in one stroke.
Was it Bama’s best class? Not by a long shot, but news of the program’s recruiting decline may have been premature, as the Tide still managed to crack the top 10 in a “down year.”