Ask, and you shall receive. Earlier this week, Atlanta's original team requested that I take a look at the top prospects in Georgia this year to see how well we're doing in the game of recruiting within our own state. What I found is very interesting at times. Below are some findings, along with some of my commentary. Take a look.
(This data comes from Rivals, and is their postseason top 80 players in the state of Georgia in the high school class of 2014. This reflects commitments as of 1/22/2014. The Excel sheet used can be found here.)
So, most simply, Georgia Tech succeeds here, as it is tied for the most with 7 commitments that are ranked in the state's top 80 prospects. They're tied with uga, though both schools are in the hunt for one or more prospects on the list. (That includes both uncommitted prospects and those committed who could be flipped.) So, in pure volume? Georgia Tech is doing well.
Here's where things start to get a little interesting. All of Georgia Tech's 7 commitments are rated as 3-stars, and the highest-rated commitment is #32, being OL Andrew Marshall (the second-best player to only receive 3 stars, for what it's worth). uga's 7 commitments are ranked higher, with an average of 3.71 stars. However, that puts them at 5th among teams with commitments from Georgia. Clemson and South Carolina are actually the leaders in the quality of recruits that they're pulling from Georgia, with all 9 commitments having 4- or 5-star ratings.
|School||Avg Pos Rk||Avg Ranking||Count|
This shows a numerical average of each committed player's overall ranking in the state and position ranking in state. The implications here are again looking at quality. Notice how far Georgia Tech falls in this measure. (They're not aided by the Austin twins and Qua Searcy playing DB -- by far the most popular position with 21 players in the top 80.) The Yellow Jackets currently have exactly one commitment ranked in Georgia's top 50. If they were to flip Mike Rogers (#42 in Georgia, #5 ATH or #5 RB), he would be the second-highest-rated in-state recruit for Georgia Tech.
Georgia Tech's In-State Commitments
|32||Andrew Marshall||OL||2||3 stars||6'4"||267|
|54||KeShun Freeman||DE||5||3 stars||6'1"||223|
|55||Lawrence Austin||DB||14||3 stars||5'9"||181|
|57||Lance Austin||DB||15||3 stars||5'9"||179|
|61||Qua Searcy||DB||18||3 stars||5'11"||165|
|64||C.J. Leggett||RB||6||3 stars||5'10"||207|
|78||Tre Jackson||LB||11||3 stars||5'10"||220|
This is just a table of the raw data and some info on our commitments. Nothing to analyze here.
It would appear that "The Migration" goes both ways. Of the top 10 prospects in the state, 5 will play in South Carolina (4 at Clemson, 1 at USC), one will play in Kentucky (UK), one will play in Ohio (tOSU), and one is undecided but could end up in Florida (UF). For those keeping score at home, only two of this year's Top 10 Georgia prospects are staying in-state. The Top 20 doesn't look much different. Of 11-20, 2 more are going to South Carolina (one to each), 2 are going to Alabama (both to Auburn), one to Tennessee (UT), one to Mississippi (Ole Miss), and one to North Carolina (NC State). That leaves, of the top 20, 4 committed to play at uga, and 2 still uncommitted.
Alabama could be slipping. They only have two commitments in Georgia, and the highest-rated one is #47 DB Chris Williams.
39 of Georgia's Top 80 are committed to SEC schools. 25 are committed to ACC schools (including Louisville). 9 are committed to B1G, AAC, and Independent schools (including Maryland), combined. 7 remain uncommitted.
Of the Top 80, Rivals rated 2 players as 5-star players, 28 as 4-star players, and 50 as 3-star players. Of the 4- and 5-star players, 19 are committed to SEC schools, 7 are committed to ACC schools, 1 is committed to Ohio State (B1G), and 3 remain uncommitted.
My high school is represented on this list for the first time since 2010, when Charles Perkins was the #7 RB and #44 prospect in the state. This year, Collins Hill LB Jonathan Thomas is the #10 LB and #68 prospect in the state. (This puts him one slot ahead of Georgia Tech target, and #69...Myles Autry. You may not have realized how much his stock fell this year.)
The basic takeaway here is that Georgia Tech is able to recruit a lot of guys from Georgia, just not many of the best guys in Georgia. Now, that statement is based on what Rivals thinks and may not necessarily reflect what the coaching staff thinks. We've seen in the past that star-ratings are not necessarily indicative of production in college, although they do have a correlation with it.
Another interesting trend here is the number of players leaving the state. How uga only has 5 commitments out of the top 30 prospects is beyond me, and that Georgia Tech has none is pretty disappointing. Then again, that so many schools come here to recruit just shows how much talent is in the state.
How does all of this make you feel? Happy we are able to recruit a wide base? Frustrated we're unable to recruit Georgia? Overwhelmed by all of these strange numbers?