ATHENS, Ga. — Yes, Georgia has the nation’s No. 1 class according to Rivals.com, but Bulldog head coach Kirby Smart isn’t buying into the hype.
“I think it's great. I think it's great for the fanbase, but I'd trade that No. 1 ranking for the last No. 1 ranking in the college football poll. That's what's important is what you do on the field, and that's what we'll be measured by as coaches, what we're able to do with this class, what they're able to do in development,” Smart said. “That's the key ingredient is what can you do with these guys nutritionally, strength and conditioning, academically and even mentally. Mental conditioning is a big part for us. I'm a lot more concerned with that than how many stars they've got by their name.”
Still, the final tally was impressive, indeed.
Wednesday’s signing of five-star cornerback Tyson Campbell, four-star linebacker Quay Walker, four-star safety Otis Reese, four-star wide receiver Tommy Bush, plus three-star defensive tackles Jordan Davis and Tramel Walthour, bumped Georgia’s points total to 3,461 points, the second-highest in Rivals history following the 3,477 posted in 2017 by Alabama.
SIGNING DAY | Updated timeline of where Georgia players are going
MORE | See UGA's recruiting class
Rivals national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell was impressed.
“I think it’s probably one of the top three (of all time),” Farrell said. “The 2004 USC class on paper was very good, that’s the one with eight five stars. Last year’s Alabama class was really good on paper and obviously a lot of those guys had an impact in the national championship game.”
Smart also had this to say.
“That's what excites me most about them, the fact that 10 of these guys got over a 3.0 core GPA. We haven't had that in a long time. The fact that three of these guys got offered scholarships to Ivy League schools, that impresses me a lot. 25 of these 26 played multiple sports, and I think we all know the indicators of playing multiple sports,” Smart said. “Thirteen of the 26 played for a state championship, so when you start looking at those things, they're winners. They're a tight-knit group, really unselfish. Some of these kids went and watched other kids in the state championship game. Several of them went to other guys' surgeries when they had surgeries for injuries, which we had several guys have. They're a unique group. I'm excited about them.”
The final numbers were incredible and the Bulldogs’ success wasn’t relegated to the confines of the Peach State.
Georgia signed the No. 1 players from the states of North Carolina (Zamir White), Illinois (Luke Ford), Tennessee (Cade Mays), while three others signees were ranked the No. 1 at their positions – James Cook (Florida) and Jamaree Salyer (Georgia) and Justin Fields (dual-threat QB).
The overall numbers were also one for the books and the reason Georgia finished with nation’s top class for the first time in school history. (Click here to see who they are.)
Of Georgia’s 26 signees, eight were five-stars (tying a Rivals records) and 15 four-stars.