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Georgia Tech Recruiting Extra: Atlanta

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Time for one more installment to the Recruiting Analysis. This time we'll take a closer look at the Atlanta Metro Area

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Hello FTRS! I'm excited to announce that Joey and Ben have allowed me(formerly AE1416) to join the FTRS staff as a football contributor. I'm looking forward to contributing to the blog and discussing Georgia Tech Football with all of you!

I had originally planned to only write 2 parts for the recruiting analysis, but someone suggested that I look deeper into the Atlanta area. In the first part of this analysis, we took a looked at how many of the State's recruits come from the Atlanta area, but now we'll look at where those recruits come from within Atlanta, as well as their college choices.

For this analysis, we will look at the top 25 recruits from the Atlanta area(Fulton, Dekalb, Cobb, Gwinnett, and Clayton Counties) according to Rivals.

Where are the City's Top Recruits Located?

This section will be threefold. We'll first look at the area high schools which produce the most talent. Then, we'll look at the hometowns of these recruits. Finally, we'll break it down by county to see which regions contain the most top recruits.

Breakdown by School

High School 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Total Average
Stephenson 4 4 0 1 2 11 2.2
Tucker 2 2 1 2 3 10 2
North Gwinnett 2 0 0 3 2 7 1.4
Creekside 0 2 0 2 3 7 1.4
Buford 0 3 1 2 0 6 1.2
McEachern 2 1 0 0 2 5 1
Norcross 0 1 1 3 0 5 1
Milton 0 0 2 1 2 5 1
Cedar Grove 1 1 1 1 0 4 0.8
Brookwood 2 1 1 0 0 4 0.8
Martin Luther King 0 1 1 1 1 4 0.8
Walton 0 1 2 1 0 4 0.8

While Stephenson has the top spot, Tucker has been the most consistent producer of top recruits over the past 5 years. Stephenson was loaded during 2011 and 2012, but hasn't put up the same types of numbers since. Tucker has kept its numbers up. Georgia Tech hasn't historically had success with Tucker recruits, and that means that we're missing out on a huge talent pool. While we've finally been able to break streaks of failure at Buford and Wheeler this year, this will be the next big challenge for the coaching staff to overcome.

On a positive note, we've been able to have success for two consecutive years recruiting North Gwinnett and Buford, two other highly ranked schools. Maintaining relationships with these schools and establishing relationships with more in the area will be a key to future success in Georgia Tech's recruiting efforts within the city.

Breakdown by Hometown

City 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Total Average
Atlanta 4 2 0 4 4 14 2.8
Stone Mountain 4 5 0 1 2 12 2.4
Marietta 1 1 6 3 0 11 2.2
Tucker 2 2 1 1 3 9 1.8
Fairburn 0 2 1 2 4 9 1.8
Alpharetta 0 0 4 1 3 8 1.6
Powder Springs 3 2 0 0 2 7 1.4
Suwannee 2 0 0 3 2 7 1.4
Norcross 1 1 1 3 1 7 1.4
College Park 1 3 0 1 1 6 1.2
Snellville 3 1 2 0 0 6 1.2
Buford 0 3 1 2 0 6 1.2
Lithonia 0 2 2 1 1 6 1.2

The hometown breakdown largely follows the school breakdown, as is expected. Stone Mountain, where Stephenson is located, and Tucker are near the top of the list. Other than those two, Marietta and Atlanta itself have numerous high schools.

Breakdown by County

County 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Total Average
Dekalb 8 11 4 6 6 35 7
Fulton 4 5 7 5 12 33 6.6
Gwinnett 6 6 7 9 4 32 6.4
Cobb 5 3 6 4 3 21 4.2
Clayton 2 1 1 1 0 5 1

Dekalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett are all pretty close at the top, with Clayton County being the only county that has significantly lower numbers than the others. Given that many of the large 6A high schools are located in the Northern Metro area, this makes sense. It should be noted here that the only bigtime recruting schools in Dekalb County are Stephenson, Tucker, and to a lesser extent, MLK. With Stephenson not sending top players to the next level like they used to, future years could see Fulton or Gwinnett county take the top spot.

Where are Atlanta's Top Recruits Headed?

I've added an extra column to this table, showing the percentage of the Atlanta Top 15 that each college has signed over the past 5 years.

College 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Total Average Percentage
uga 4 1 7 3 5 20 4 16
South Carolina 4 5 1 5 2 17 3.4 13.6
Tennessee 2 1 2 3 3 11 2.2 8.8
Alabama 0 5 2 0 2 9 1.8 7.2
Auburn 1 1 2 1 2 7 1.4 5.6
Stanford 2 1 0 0 1 4 0.8 3.2
Georgia Tech 1 1 1 1 0 4 0.8 3.2
LSU 0 1 1 0 1 3 0.6 2.4
NC State 0 1 0 2 0 3 0.6 2.4
Vanderbilt 0 1 2 0 0 3 0.6 2.4
Clemson 0 0 1 1 1 3 0.6 2.4
Missouri 0 0 0 2 1 3 0.6 2.4

To be honest, it was fairly disappointing to see Georgia Tech tied with a team on the west coast for sixth place in its own city. This is something that will need to improve, and I believe it will within the next 2 to 3 years. Will we be at the top anytime soon? No, but we don't need to be. As I stated in Part II, I feel comfortable with the direction we are heading in recruiting. I also think Georgia Tech's 2015 class was criminally underrated, and Anree Saint-Amour only missed being in the 2015 Atlanta Top 25 by one spot, coming in at 26.

Comparison with the State overall

Rank Georgia Percentage Atlanta Percentage
1 uga 24.4 uga 16
2 South Carolina 9.6 South Carolina 13.6
3 Auburn 7.6 Tennessee 8.8
4 Tennessee 7.2 Alabama 7.2
5 Alabama 5.6 Auburn 5.6
6 Georgia Tech 4.8 Stanford 3.2
7 Clemson 4.4 Georgia Tech 3.2
8 Florida State 2.4 LSU 2.4
9 Florida 2.4 NC State 2.4
10 Vanderbilt 2.4 Vanderbilt 2.4

While georgia has a huge hold on the state as whole, the gap between the top 2 colleges for Atlanta is much smaller. South Carolina, Stanford, and Alabama all are much better at recruiting the city than the rest of the State, while georgia, Auburn, and Clemson are significantly worse. For out of state schools, it makes more sense to concentrate on recruits in a densely populated area in order to get the most out of recruiting resources. Auburn, Clemson, and Florida State are close to the border, and generally recruit areas close to them. For the two in state schools, it is easier and more realistic to recruit outside the metro area.

I was initially surprised by South Carolina's massive success in Atlanta, until I looked more closely at their classes. While they've had success all over Atlanta, they have set up a ridiculous pipeline with Stephenson High school, the top high school for recruiting in the city over the past five years. They've signed 6 players from there in 5 years, and have gotten some great players like RB Mike Davis. This pipeline has greatly padded their numbers recently, and it will be interesting to see if they can continue that level of achievement, especially after Spurrier retires in a few years.

Conclusions

Atlanta is a huge recruiting battleground, and breaking into the fracas won't be easy for Coach Johnson and the staff. In Part II, I talked about why I thought Georgia Tech could increase it's recruiting success in Atlanta in the coming years. After looking through this data, I feel even more strongly about that. There are a few teams who could be falling out of the battle soon, and that is where the coaching staff should strike. I foresee Stanford falling out of the area a bit after a couple of mediocre seasons, and Vanderbilt is back in the SEC gutter. I also don't see South Carolina sustaining its recruiting run in the area. Once Spurrier retires, many of the ties he has made to Atlanta will be severed, and they will be very difficult to re-establish. The future is looking bright for the Jackets, but we'll need to build upon recent success, both on the field and on the recruiting trail, to keep things moving forward.