Georgia Team News

Kirby Smart facing first adversity on recruiting trail since arriving at Georgia

Kirby Smart

Ever since Kirby Smart arrived on campus as the head coach of Georgia, the Bulldogs have experienced no adversity at all on the recruiting trail.

In 2017, which was Smart’s first year recruiting for UGA, the Bulldogs finished with a top-five class nationally that included 20 prospects ranked as either a four, or five-star recruits.

In 2018, Georgia’s momentum on the recruiting trail actually increased as Smart put together what many believe was the best recruiting class in the country. The group included 26 prospects which some experts continue to consider to be among the best of all-time – not just at Georgia.

The Bulldogs’ 2019 class started where 2018 left off. The Bulldogs currently have eight prospects committed and all eight are considered to be among the top-300 overall talents nationally.

On the surface, it appears Kirby Smart continues to possess his magic touch with recruits. A closer inspection, however, reveals a different story.

Two five-star prospects in recent weeks, both from the state of Georgia, have opted to leave the state and commit to arch-rivals of the Bulldogs.

High school teammates, linebacker Owen Pappoe and offensive tackle Wanya Morris, both from Loganville, GA., both considered to be five-star talents and both who held offers from Georgia appear headed out of state to play their college football.

Pappoe committed to Auburn back on May 1, surprising many who felt he was all, but a done deal to Georgia. Morris committed to Tennessee, also on My 1, in a move that was not quite as surprising. Still, a top-five talent from Georgia crossing state lines and heading to Tennessee was not something we saw in 2017 or 2018.

If you combine the 2017 and 2018 recruiting cycles, Georgia was able to sign nine of the top-12 prospects from the Peach state; so far in 2019, the Bulldogs have missed out on three of the top-five prospects within the own state.

Now, it’s not all doom and gloom for the Bulldogs.

Georgia currently has a class ranked in the top-10 in the country. It had been No. 1 earlier this year. Georgia has eight blue-chip commitments and many more will follow.

But by only receiving one commitment in the past two months and losing out on two recruits rated as five-star prospects from its home state, this is the first bit of adversity Georgia has faced on the recruiting trail since Kirby Smart took over the program.

RELATED: Kirby Smart no stranger to high expectations – and meeting them.

(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreenGN)

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