UGA recruiting coordinator talks about 2016 class

It’s only April, and UGA already has nine commitments for its 2016 class, including 5-star quarterback Jacob Eason and the state’s two top-rated offensive linemen, Ben Cleveland and E.J Price.

But UGA’s recruiting coordinator, Bryan McClendon, didn’t seem satisfied when talking to reporters this week.

Or he didn’t think nine was an unusually high number for this time of the year.

UGA RB coach Bryan McClendon (AJC)

UGA RB coach Bryan McClendon (AJC)

“Not in today’s recruiting,” McClendon said. “I just think that’s where recruiting has gotten, to be honest with you. It’s important. You like to get those commitments. Every piece counts. Every piece is important to the class. Obviously we’re happy to have them. But you’ve got to keep recruiting them all as if they’re not committed.”

McClendon also touched on UGA’s new recruiting strategy of trying to invite elite recruits to visit on different days so the Bulldog coaches can give them more personal attention. That’s a little different than the normal Junior Days, which can be chaotic with so many prospects and so few coaches.

“I think anytime you can get recruits on campus, it’s important,” McClendon said. “You try to do it, and obviously you’ve got a bunch of other schools are trying to do the exact same thing. It’s just huge. It gives you another opportunity to build on your relationships (with the recruits). It gives you another opportunity to kind of show off the Georgia brand. So you’ve got to take advantage of it.”

Another new thing UGA is trying to do is to evaluate and offer kids at an earlier age. The Bulldogs were traditionally conservative in this area until new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt arrived in January 2014.

“I think it’s where recruiting has gotten,” McClendon said. “You have to jump out there and really be a year ahead of the evaluation process (compared) to where things used to be. You get those evaluations … and there’s no reason to hold back. In doing that, you’ve got to be more sure on a guy as far as what you think he can be down the road, as far as growth potential. But I think it is where recruiting has gotten.”

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