Georgia Recruiting Being Crushed By Lack of Visits
"We just got to get him on campus."
"Their staff is really genuine."
"That vibe in Athens is just different."
"My visit to Athens really changed things."
When we talk to recruits across the country, those are some of the most repeated phrases. The staff knows how powerful in-person visits are for Georgia. The reason they've signed 16 five-stars over the last three cycles and no other team has more than 11 is because of that homelike feel when recruits take a trip to see what Georgia's culture is all about.
And without those visits, Georgia's recruiting is taking a major hit.
Just look at the 2020 signing class. Carson Beck committed the day after Junior Day in 2019. Justin Robinson committed the during an unofficial visit to Athens. Jermaine Burton flipped days after spending his last official visit in Athens. Major Burns was on that same official with Burton. Heck, Jalen Kimber committed two days before his official visit to Athens.
Even Mekhail Sherman took a visit to Athens on April 19th, gave Ohio State the last crack at him on the 27th, then committed to Georgia on May 9th. Extend it to the 2021 class, Brock Vandagriff took an unofficial to Athens just three days before committing.
And those are just the athletes that committed shortly after a visit, there are even more examples that have committed to Georgia based on the in-home visits from the coaches. Matt Luke taking a trip to Rome, Georgia to see Tate Ratledge ultimately sealed the deal there. Even when he was shutting down his recruitment for the state championship run in Louisiana, Sedrick Van Pran opened his door for Matt Luke and Kirby Smart and left confident knowing Georgia was the right decision for him.
The College Atheltic Financial Information Database (CAFI) tracks all reported spending and categorizes each dollar going in and out of the program, and prior to 2016 (Kirby Smart's arrival in Athens) there was no category labeled "Recruiting." Since 2016, that category has gone from $3.55M to 3.99M during the fiscal year of 2018.
That money isn't being spent on much other than travel expenses either. Every single opportunity that the Georgia coaching staff has to hop on their plane and jet across the country to talk to a recruit, they take it. That's the main reason Georgia has had such success nationally in terms of recruiting. It's the willingness to go to these kids.
Think about it, when Mark Richt was in Athens, there weren't people tracking planes. Now, when Kirby steps foot in the Athens Airport, people are on alert.
There wasn't a Richt Copter. No, it's a Kirby Copter. This staff is about building personal relationships with these prospects, both in their homes and on campus, and right now, they aren't able to do that.
You can follow us for future coverage by clicking "Follow" on the top righthand corner of the page. Also, be sure to like us on Facebook @BulldogMaven & follow us on Twitter at @DawgsDailySI.