• Comment

Gay: Georgia Bulldogs fans still celebrating Christmas

Posted: December 26, 2017 - 4:31pm

In five days, Georgia will play Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl. If the Bulldogs win that contest, it will be bedlam in the Peach State - the Bulldogs will advance to the national championship game (held in Atlanta) and try to bring home their first title in 37 years. If Georgia loses, the Bulldogs will wrap up a wildly successful season.

No matter what happens in the Rose Bowl, Georgia locked up a bright future last week. When the NCAA allowed college football teams to hold a three-day signing period in December - in addition to the National Signing Day in February - the Bulldogs took advantage. Georgia signed enough four- and five-star recruits to create its own constellation.

To recap, the team added the No. 2 player in the nation (per Rivals) in quarterback Justin Fields. Then, the Bulldogs added No. 7 overall Zamir White, the top running back listed. Georgia also added the top offensive lineman (No. 9 overall) in guard Jamaree Salyer. The Bulldogs also picked up No. 13 in defensive end Adam Anderson, No. 15 in offensive tackle Cade Mays and No. 18 in running back James Cook. That's six of the nation's top 18 players headed to Athens, Ga., in 2018.

The number of other Southeastern Conference teams that signed a player in the top 18 (per Rivals' rankings)? Zero.

Georgia didn't stop with those six players. The Bulldogs also added defensive end Brenton Cox (No. 34), offensive guard Trey Hill (No. 73), tight end Luke Ford (No. 83) and cornerback Nadab Joseph (No. 84). So the Bulldogs have already signed 10 of the nation's top 84 players, and that's just per Rivals. Some of these guys are rated higher at ESPN.com, 247sports.com and other sites.

In total, Georgia has already signed six five-star athletes for its 2018 class. Per Dawgnation's Jeff Sentell, the Bulldogs signed just five five-star athletes combined from 2013-15. Last year, the team signed just three.

And the recruiting season isn't over. While Georgia signed 20 players last week, the Bulldogs are still looking to add about seven more in February. The Bulldogs currently have the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation. If Georgia adds another five-star kid or two, this class will challenge to be the greatest recruiting class ever.

This is like Santa Claus dropping presents off at your house, coming back for milk and cookies and leaving a few more presents, delivering gifts throughout the neighborhood and then circling back to drop off a few more presents. Insane. But wait, there's more.

Georgia has already gotten a jump on 2019 - football players currently in their junior year of high school. The Bulldogs have verbal commitments from three players (per Rivals) ranked in the top 8.

Georgia is locking down recruiting in the SEC, especially in the East. While Florida and South Carolina each have top 20 recruiting classes for 2018, neither team has a five-star stud. And Tennessee is barely beating the likes of Kentucky and Vanderbilt in recruiting.

So what does this all mean? If you believe in recruiting, it means Kirby Smart and his assistant coaches are making Georgia great again. For years, Tuscaloosa, Ala., was the place to play. Now, it appears Smart is turning the tide.

I do have a confession to make. I've never been a big recruiting guy. I think the process is flawed. Recruiting services make tons of money off parents trying to get their kids exposure and rankings.

I've never understood the whole five-star process. How many stars do kids get for work ethic? How many stars do they get for character? If you think those two things are unimportant, you're wrong. No football coach wants a lazy football player driving a moped around campus in the wee hours high on drugs and/or alcohol.

While I don't keep up with recruiting all day, every day, I do know you have to have a certain amount of talent to win. Coaching only goes so far. Phil Jackson and his Zen philosophy and triangle offense would have been worth nothing had he coached the Atlanta Hawks in the 1990s instead of leading Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and the Chicago Bulls. The same holds true for Alabama's Nick Saban, who is a legendary college coach thanks to having some legendary college talent.

Now much of the high school football talent appears to be staying in Georgia. The Bulldogs are starting to build a dynasty under Smart. Hold on tight to those eclipse sunglasses. Georgia's future is extremely bright.

^

BEST OF 2017, PART I: I've read some "Best of 2017" lists and about puked. Some of the music choices for the varying lists are interesting to say the least, many of the artists I've never heard of - and I do listen to Top 40 music (this is what happens when you have 12-year-old children).

One of the most interesting rock bands I've heard this year is Greta Van Fleet, a four-man American band. If you like classic rock like I do, you'll enjoy these guys. Greta Van Fleet sounds like the child (or grandchild) of Led Zeppelin, one of my all-time favorite bands. Two songs by Greta Van Fleet, Highway Tune and Safari Song, sound like they were ripped from 1968-69, the time period of Led Zeppelin's first two albums. I hear four or five different Zeppelin songs when I hear Safari Song, and that's a good thing. Check out Greta Van Fleet for yourself.

Greta Van Fleet released a double EP earlier this year (an eight-track release). I want to hear more from these guys. I hope they release more music in 2018. Best of luck, GVF!

BEST OF 2017, PART II: If you think the 2017 music lists are bad, try the movie lists. My wife, two kids and I recently went to see the latest Star Wars film, The Last Jedi. Spoiler alert: My favorite part was when Jar Jar Binks returned in the end to save the Rebel Alliance. I hope I didn't just give anything away.

(Kidding. I hear producers are saving old Jar Jar for Episode IX.)

In today's day and age of knee-jerk reactions, I initially read where The Last Jedi was getting mixed reviews. Fake news! The four of us thought it was fantastic and are looking forward to seeing it again. Of course, I still have to catch up on several other films, and the kids want to see Pitch Perfect 3. (Disclaimer: I've seen the first two Pitch Perfect movies, which were pretty funny - unlike that disastrous Ghostbusters movie from 2016.)

If you have any spare time before we get moving along in 2018, go to the movies. There's some quality films out there.

  • Comment