UGA football: What’s the cause of Georgia’s recruiting struggles

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

UGA football has 10 solid players committed to its 2021 recruiting class, but the Bulldogs have missed out on many elite players so far.

UGA football hasn’t finished outside of the top three in recruiting since 2016 and 2013 was the last time Georgia finished outside the top 10. But those streaks appear to be in danger as July rolls into August.

Several players thought to be a lock or a “silent commit” for Georgia have ended up committing to other programs. five-star freak athlete James Williams committed to Miami on July 21. Back in June, borderline five-star Tony Grimes chose North Carolina over Georgia and has since reclassified to the 2020 class.

So what’s going on with Georgia this year, and how concerned should fans be?

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A number of factors are playing into Georgia’s current recruiting woes, mainly the novel coronavirus pandemic. Georgia isn’t able to host the visits it normally does and the pandemic has greatly altered the experience for unofficial visitors as well.

Athens is one of the greatest college cities in America, it’s a lively town with an active and attractive university campus. But this pandemic has prevented recruits from seeing that. Meanwhile, the pandemic has forced people to reevaluate their priorities, elite football prospects aren’t exempt from that. Ther aforementioned Williams and Grimes chose schools closer to home and their families. Five of Georgia’s 10 commits are from north Georgia.

Because of that, maybe fans shouldn’t be too concerned. The state of Georgia is loaded once again this year with 10 players ranked in the 247Sports Composite top 100. Six of the players have already committed somewhere, three of which have chosen Georgia (Brock Vandagriff, Micah Morris and David Daniel). One more appears to be a lock for Clemson.

That leaves only three uncommitted players in the peach state top 10 for Georgia to go after; offensive tackle Amerius Mims, linebacker Smael Mondon and receiver Deion Colzie. Bringing these players into the fold would drastically alter the perception of Georgia’s 2021 class.

Georgia and its fans won’t have to wait long to find out where Mims is heading. The five star from Cochran, Ga. is announcing his commitment on August 15. Colzie decommitted from Notre Dame in March and if proximity truly is key in 2020, Colzie will commit to Georgia since he already lives in Athens. Mondon has more options being in Paulding County, but Georgia is still the closest school.

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Georgia signing another No. 1 overall class in 2021 is a longshot, but the class is far from unsalvageable. Despite missing out on some recent commits, Georgia is still considered the front runner for many out-of-state recruits. Plus, throughout his time in Athens, head coach Kirby Smart has shown an ability to crank up recruiting efforts near signing day, which have led to some pleasant recruiting surprises around the deadline.