The Georgia Bulldogs joined an elite group of teams last month, capturing the school’s second consecutive national title in a 65-7 shellacking of TCU.
In doing so, the Bulldogs joined Nebraska (1994, 1995), USC (2003, 2004) and Alabama (2011, 2012) as the only squads since 1990 to win consecutive championships.
They also set the table to become the first college football team to win three straight championships since Minnesota did so between 1934 and 1936, thanks to having the second-ranked recruiting class in the nation this offseason (per 247 Sports), behind Alabama.
Oddsmakers at BetMGM Sportsbook sure seem to think the Kirby Smart-led Bulldogs should be in good shape to do that in 2024, giving them the best odds (+300) of hoisting the College Football Playoff trophy once again.
To get a better handle on how the Bulldogs went from SEC underachiever to the class of the nation, BetGeorgia.com analyzed the top recruits to come through Athens over the past decade, focused solely on players that have already left Athens.
There is no legal Georgia sports betting.
But Georgia Senate Bill 57, which would legalize mobile sports betting, was heard by the Committee on Economic Development earlier this week.
Georgia Top 10 Recruits Since 2013
Justin Fields (QB, 2018)
- Recruiting Ranking: Five stars/.9998
- Years: 2018-2020 (2019, 2020 Ohio State)
- Stats: UGA: 27-of-39, 328 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs; 12 carries, 42 yards, 4 TDs; Ohio State: 68.4% completions, 5,373 yards, 63 TDs, 9 INTs; 218 rushes, 867 yards, 15 TDs
- Accolades: Two time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year (2019, 2020)
Nolan Smith (LB, 2019)
- Recruiting Ranking: Five stars/.9994
- Years: 2019-2022
- Stats: 110 tackles, 20.0 TFL, 12.5 sacks, 1 INT, 3 pass deflections, 3 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery
- Accolades: Anthony Muñoz Award (2018)
Trenton Thompson (DT, 2015)
- Recruiting Ranking: Five stars/.9992
- Years: 2015-2017
- Stats: 127 tackles, 15.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 3 pass deflections
Kelee Ringo (CB, 2020)
- Recruiting Ranking: Five stars/.9976
- Years: 2020-2022
- Stats: 76 tackles, 3.0 TFL, 1.0 sacks, 4 INTs, 1 TD, 15 pass deflections, 1 forced fumble
- Accolades: 2nd team All-SEC (2022)
Jacob Eason (QB, 2016)
- Recruiting Ranking: Five stars/.9975
- Years: 2016-2019 (2019 Washington)
- Stats: UGA: 208-of-377 (55.2%) passing, 2,458 yards, 16 TDs, 8 INTs; 1 rushing TD; UW: 260-of-405 (64.2%) passing, 3,132 yards, 23 TDs, 8 INTs; 1 rushing TD
Zamir White (RB, 2018)
- Recruiting Ranking: Five stars/.9957
- Years: 2019-2021
- Stats: 382 carries, 2,043 yards, 25 TDs; 17 catches, 132 yards
Jamaree Salyer (OG, 2018)
- Recruiting Ranking: Five stars/.9956
- Years: 2020-2021
Tyson Campbell (CB, 2018)
- Recruiting Ranking: Five stars/.9944
- Years: 2018-2020
- Stats: 89 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT, 10 pass deflections, 3 fumble recoveries, 2 fumble return TDs, 1 forced fumble
Lorenzo Carter (DE, 2014)
- Recruiting Ranking: Five stars/.9913
- Years: 2014-2017
- Stats: 166 tackles, 21.5 TFL, 14.0 sacks, 6 fumbles recovered, 6 forced fumbles, 1 pass deflection, 1 TD
Mecole Hardman (WR, 2016)
- Recruiting Ranking: Five stars/.9910
- Years: 2016-2018
- Stats: 60 catches, 961 yards, 11 TDs; 13 rushes, 97 yards, 2 TDs; 1 punt return TD
How Georgia’s Top Recruits Fared
Two of Georgia’s top-five recruits since 2013 finished their college careers elsewhere, in quarterbacks Justin Fields and Jacob Eason.
Fields went on to take the Buckeyes to a pair of CFP appearances, falling to Clemson in the semifinals in 2019 before crushing Clemson in the 2020 semifinal — then falling to Alabama, 52-24, in the finale.
Eason, on the other hand, wound up at Washington, where he started during the 2019 season, guiding the Huskies to an 8-4 campaign and a 38-7 win over Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Two other members of the Bulldogs’ top 5 (Nolan Smith and Kelee Ringo) have declared for the 2023 NFL Draft after playing key roles in Georgia’s consecutive CFP titles.
Running back Zamir White excelled in Athens, gaining more than 2,000 yards on the ground and parlaying that success into a fourth-round selection by the Raiders in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Mecole Hardman and Tyson Campbell were selected in the second rounds of the 2019 and 2021 drafts. Lorenzo Carter was taken in the third round in 2018 and Jamaree Salyer was picked by the Chargers in the sixth round of the 2022 draft.
Average Recruiting Class Ranking Since 2014
Where Georgia’s Top 10 Recruits Rank Overall
Given the Bulldogs' run of success of late, it’s no surprise they also have fared well on the recruiting trail.
Georgia ranks behind Alabama (.99746) out of the five programs surveyed, based on average recruiting rankings, with the Bulldogs sitting at .99615.
The Bulldogs beat out Ohio State (.99369), Florida (.98765) and Texas (.98641) by that metric, showing how far the program has come under Smart’s tutelage.
Georgia will have its shot at becoming the first program in almost 90 years to win three straight titles in the fall.
For now, Bulldogs fans can safely say their program is winnings its fair share of battles on the recruiting trail as well.