Kirby Smart identifies 1 game for helping UGA land nation's No. 1 class
Georgia held on to its key undecided recruits late this 2020 cycle, and even added some late prospects to pad the class, and that was a main reason why the Bulldogs received the No. 1 ranking by 247Sports. It’s the second time in three years that Georgia received the honor.
“The Notre Dame atmosphere was one of the keys to this signing class,” Smart said about the class, according to Brandon Sudge. Georgia knocked off the Fighting Irish 23-17 at Sanford Stadium in September in a primetime game on CBS that featured the new red lights that debuted in the fourth quarter of the especially physical game in Athens.
This was 247Sports’ explanation: “Nick Saban and Alabama threatened on Wednesday’s National Signing Day, but with four-star defensive tackle McKinnley Jackson’s decision to commit to Texas A&M over Alabama, there’s no other reasonable scenario remaining that would catapult anyone over Georgia for the top class in the 247Sports Composite Team Recruiting Rankings for the 2020 cycle.”
Offensive linemen may have tipped the scales. Five-star Broderick Jones and 4-star Sedrick Van Pran officially joined the fold and calmed concerns some Georgia faithful had after the transition from Sam Pittman to Matt Luke as offensive line coach. Two other additions came Wednesday, including, “a long, upside defensive back out of Louisiana that it flipped from Ole Miss named Daran Branch and in-state offensive lineman Cameron Kinnie.”
For context, 247Sports offered some perspective.
“Not only is the No. 1 class an indication of what Smart is capable of at Georgia on the recruiting trail, it also speaks to the consistency that he’s developed. This will be Georgia’s second No. 1 class but maybe more importantly, this is three consecutive years of top-2 finishes.”