Georgia Football: Fans Should Be Worried About Local Talent Leaving State

Brian Jones@Brian_L_JonesContributor IFebruary 6, 2013

Dec 1, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; The Georgia Bulldogs mascot cheers with fans during the third quarter of the 2012 SEC Championship game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at the Georgia Dome.  Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

Anyone that follows high school football knows that the state of Georgia is one of the top states in the country in terms of talent. Mark Richt has been successful in recruiting because he has been able to keep some of the top players in the state from leaving.

And while Richt will have a very strong 2013 class, he was not able to land some of the best recruits in Georgia.

The first name that comes to mind is Robert Nkemdiche, who is the not only the top prospect in the state, he’s the No. 1 player in the country.

Nkemdiche signed with Ole Miss and never really had the Bulldogs on his radar. The other two schools Nkemdiche was considering were Florida and LSU.

Another top player from Georgia that will not play for the Bulldogs is Montravius Adams. The 300-pound defensive tackle from Dooly County, Ga. had Georgia as one of his final schools but decided to sign with Auburn.

This is really not a surprise because Adams said early in the recruiting process that he wants to leave Georgia to continue his football career. Adams is listed as the No. 2 defensive tackle in the county according to ESPN.

Reuben Foster is another player from Georgia that decided to leave the state to play on Saturdays. In fact, he left the state before his senior year as he played his high school ball at Auburn High School in Auburn, Ala.

Foster was listed as the No. 2 player in the country behind Nkemdiche and originally committed to Auburn. But he decommitted to the Tigers and signed with Alabama.

Those three are arguably the biggest names from the state not to sign with Georgia. However, there are more top players that decided to say no to the Bulldogs.

According to Rivals, only one of the top 10 players in the state signed with the Bulldogs, and that was DB Tray Matthews. Some of the names in Rivals’ Top 10 in Georgia include Carl Lawson (Auburn), Von Bell (Ohio State), Demarcus Robinson (Florida) and Tyren Jones (Alabama).

So the question is: Should the fans be worried about local talent leaving the state?

As good of a job Mark Richt has done with his recruiting classes, there has to be concern about local talent leaving Georgia for schools out of state.

This is not to say that Richt can’t get other good players in Georgia, because he has done that, especially with the 2013 class.

However, when the No. 1 and the No. 2 players in the country come from the same state, one would think that the Bulldogs would land at least one of them.

The same can be said about the reaming players on the Rivals' Top 10. Nobody was expecting Richt to land six or seven of those players, but it’s surprising that he could only sign one of them.

But the one thing good about this is that Georgia is loaded with talented high school players. Out of the 30-plus players the Bulldogs singed this year, more than 20 of them are from Georgia.

Because of the talent level in Georgia, there are always going to be numerous teams from across the country coming to the state and trying to land some of its top players. So Richt has done well not letting the out-of-state schools take all the talent in Georgia.

If Richt can find a way to keep some of the upper echelon of talent in Georgia, the Bulldogs could get over the hump and win the BCS title.


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