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Georgia must keep top Atlanta area talent from Alabama and Clemson

Dabo Swinney doesn't think much of those NFL scouts doubting Deshaun Watson.
John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports

Georgia provides one of the deepest hotbeds for top-tier college football talent, but Atlanta alone stands by itself.

In Monday night’s Alabama-Clemson College Football Playoff national championship game, 14 players with ties to the Peach State’s largest city and suburbs were on display between the two teams’ rosters.

And that should bode well for the Georgia Bulldogs who in their 2017 class currently have commitments from 10 Atlanta-area players. Of that group, eight are four-star prospects.

For Clemson, former five-star offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt, as well as ex-four-stars quarterback Deshaun Watson and running back Wayne Gallman, headlined the Atlanta-area players.

On Alabama, defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson and kicker Adam Griffith, both redshirt seniors, were starters, while freshman tight end Miller Forristall and sophomore offensive lineman Dallas Warmack were key reserves.

Since he was hired in December 2015, one of Kirby Smart’s biggest goals has been to keeping the top talent in state. That starts with the Atlanta talent.  As his first true recruiting class has shown – which 247Sports currently ranks third nationally – he has succeeded.

Time will tell what the results will look like from Smart’s targeting of the Atlanta metro area, but history, or certainly in the case of Alabama and Clemson, shows a strong potential.

RELATED: 35 of the 44 starters in Alabama-Clemson title game were at least 4-star recruits

Clemson

5-star OT Mitch Hyatt (Suwannee)
4-star QB Deshaun Watson (Gainesville)
4-star RB Wayne Gallman (Loganville)
4-star LB Tre Lamar (Roswell)
3-star TE Shadell Bell (Decatur)
3-star QB Nick Schuessler (Grayson)
3-star LB Jamie Skalski (Sharpsburg)
3-star OT Tremayne Anchrum (Powder Springs)
2-star DB Ryan Carter (Grayson)
NR TE Grant Radakovich (Marietta)

Alabama

4-star DL Dalvin Tomlinson (McDonough)
4-star OL Dallas Warmack (Atlanta)
3-star PK Adam Griffith (Calhoun)
3-star TE Miller Forristall (Cartersville)

RELATED: Georgia looking to seize recent momentum moving into 2017 season

(You can follow Dan Mathews on Twitter @DanMathewsATL)

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