football

Raiding the state: Georgia

Mptcnjlwklj5lzvhyv37

Mark Pszonak contributed to this report.

Out-of-state recruiting is becoming more important in today’s world of college football and we are seeing more schools march deep into enemy territory and pull top prospects away with more regularity. This week we take a look at five of the biggest talent-producing states in recruiting and what schools have done the best job raiding them since 2012. Here is a look at Georgia.

Note: None of these lists include JUCO or Prep School prospects and focuses on four- and five-star prospects

STATE SERIES: Monday: Ohio | Today: Georgia | Wednesday: Florida | Thursday: California | Friday: Texas

Peach State Poachers
Team Four- and Five-Stars since 2012

Auburn

20

South Carolina

19

Clemson

13

Tennessee

12

Alabama

11

NOTE: Georgia has signed 47 in the same period. Georgia Tech has signed one.

1. AUBURN

App1nflrakru6yt8koln
Derrick Brown
Robin Conn/AuburnSports.com

Auburn has been the most successful out-of-state recruiter in Georgia since 2012 with 20 prospects ranked as four-stars or higher. This is even more impressive considering the Tigers did not add any four or five-stars from the state in 2017. However, they made up for this between 2014-2016 when they pulled in 15, including Derrick Brown, DaVonte Lambert, Dontavius Russell and Nicholas Ruffin, while several others have transferred out of the program, including Kalvaraz Bessent and Stanton Truitt. After not adding a four- or five-star 2017 commitment from Georgia, the Tigers have already made an impact in the state in 2018 with a big commitment from four-star offensive lineman Jalil Irvin.

Farrell’s take: Auburn has always done a good job recruiting the state of Georgia and I expect that to continue. It has established excellent relationships at numerous schools and offer a great opportunity for players who want to get away from home but not too far away. I expect Auburn to remain at or near the top of this list for the foreseeable future.

2. SOUTH CAROLINA

Jtyb7agqm882eji5koew
Mike Davis
AP

The Gamecocks have long made a recruiting home in Georgia, and have continued that over the last six recruiting years, landing 19 prospects ranked four-stars or higher. The program has steadily pulled in elite talent from the Peach State, however the end result has been inconsistent. Some, such as running back Mike Davis and defensive end Dante Sawyer, have become key contributors. Others, such as Dexter Neal, Octavis Johnson, Christian Owens and Wesley Green, have either transferred or never made it to campus. Either way, don’t expect the Gamecocks to focus any less of their efforts on Georgia in the coming years.

Farrell’s take: Georgia is crucial to South Carolina’s recruiting success, probably more so than any of the out-of-state programs on this list. With Clemson so hot in-state coming off a national title and how competitive things are in Florida, Georgia is a great place for the Gamecocks to add quality. We saw this in 2017 with Jamyest Williams, MJ Webb, Chad Terrell and Aaron Sterling. Under Will Muschamp, they should be stronger than ever in the state.

3. CLEMSON

The Tigers have hit multiple recruiting home runs in Georgia in recent years, and are poised to remain a major player in the Peach State. The recent streak in Georgia really began in 2014 when the Tigers signed five-star Deshaun Watson and continued in 2015 with both Mitch Hyatt and Austin Bryant. More recently the Tigers also added Zerrick Cooper, who will be competing for the starting quarterback job this season, linebacker Tre Lamar, and then AJ Terrell, Chase Brice and LeAnthony Williams in 2017. Also of importance, the Tigers already have a commitment from the No. 1 recruit in the country in the class of 2018, Trevor Lawrence, plus four-star defensive end Justin Mascoll, who are both from Georgia. Clemson has landed 13 prospects ranked four-stars or better from Georgia and that number will rise.

Farrell’s take: Watch out UGA, Clemson is starting to work Georgia more and it is an attractive option for obvious reasons, the biggest being that national title. There is a ton of talent in Georgia compared with South Carolina and I expect the Tigers to have a bigger presence in the state, something that has already started this recruiting cycle. Clemson, of all the schools on this list with the exception of perhaps Alabama, could be the biggest thorn in the side of UGA when it comes to the elite prospects in the Peach State.

4. TENNESSEE

Jvamembqdarpatxq9adu
Evan Berry
AP

Considering its proximity to Georgia, it may come as a surprise that the Vols are only fourth on this list and have actually had two recruiting classes in the last six years when they didn’t bring in a single four- or five-star recruit from the state. Despite this, Tennessee has still experienced its fair share of recruiting success in Georgia since 2012, bringing in Cortez McDowell, Evan Berry and Quarte Sapp. They have landed 12 players ranked four-stars or higher since 2012, just behind Clemson. This does not include Alvin Kamara, who signed with Alabama out of high school but was a key offensive weapon for Tennessee as a JUCO transfer.

Farrell’s take: After being raided a bit in their own state last recruiting cycle, the Vols have to focus on keeping talent at home first and foremost. But Georgia is a natural fit for them when it comes to recruiting a border state with a lot of talent. They just need to hit on a few more to gain some momentum here.

5. ALABAMA

Bomqce6vlzwwg1vtdkua
Kenyan Drake
AP

With Georgia producing elite talent on an annual basis, you can be sure Alabama is mining the state for elite recruits regularly. While the Tide have only signed four recruits that were four- or five-stars from Georgia since 2014, these have included Dallas Warmack, Adonis Thomas, who transferred to Florida State, and most recently Xavier McKinney. The Tide’s most successful season in Georgia over the last six classes was back in 2012 when Kenyan Drake and Dalvin Tomlinson were part of a group of five. With four-star running back Dameon Pierce already a part of the class of 2018, you can be sure that the Tide will pick and choose their targets in Georgia for years to come. Alabama has signed 11 prospects ranked four-stars or higher since 2012 and that doesn’t include Georgia native Reuben Foster, who played his senior year in Alabama and thus doesn’t count.

Farrell’s take: It’s not a shocker for Alabama to appear on any list when it comes to out-of-state recruiting of four- and five-stars and I’m actually surprised that it hasn't pulled more kids out of Georgia. The Tide are always a massive threat for the biggest names and are hard to hold off, but in recent years they haven’t had as much overall success in the Peach State.

OTHERS OF NOTE

LSU and Ole Miss have landed five players ranked four-stars and above since 2017 while North Carolina had four such prospects. Florida, Florida State, Louisville, Ohio State, Stanford and USC all have had three.

Farrell’s take: LSU has done well, led by Arden Key and Ole Miss of course landed Robert Nkemdiche, the highest-rated player in state of Georgia history. North Carolina is the big surprise here when you consider it pulled more four- and five-stars than Florida, Florida State and Ohio State, while USC and Stanford are interesting because they are pulling kids clear across the country, which isn’t easy.

Edit
,