The Georgia Bulldogs cemented their spot atop the 2024 recruiting class rankings by inking several elite prospects during college football’s early signing period this week. Kirby Smart and his staff secured letters of intent from 16 verbal commits on Wednesday, headlined by five-star cornerback Ellis Robinson IV.
Bulldogs Flip Robinson from Alabama on Signing Day
The Bulldogs pulled off a last-minute flip of Robinson, a coveted defensive back from IMG Academy in Florida who had been committed to Alabama since July. The 6-foot, 190-pound speedster is ranked as the nation’s No. 12 overall recruit per 247Sports and will help reload a Georgia secondary that could lose standouts Kelee Ringo and Christopher Smith to the NFL draft.
Robinson thanked God, his family and coaches in a note posted to Twitter, writing that his decision came down to “finding the right path for me.”
|No. 12 overall
The flip gives Georgia five five-star commits in its 2024 haul. The class ratings lead over Ohio State and LSU grew from nearly 100 points to over 150 points following Robinson’s signature, per 247Sports.
The elite corner recalled his official visit to Athens earlier this month, telling DawgNation: “Georgia just felt like home, more than any other place.” He built a strong bond with defensive backs coach Fran Brown that ultimately tilted his decision.
Robinson will have a chance to contribute immediately in Georgia’s defensive backfield next season. Ringo and Smith both project as early-round picks, while senior Javon Bullard may also consider entering the NFL draft if he finishes strongly.
In-State Targets Stay Home
Smart reinforced the borders of talent-rich Georgia by securing commitments from seven rising seniors within the Peach State. That group includes defensive linemen Stephiylan Green and Nasir Johnson.
The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Green is a versatile prospect capable of lining up inside or outside. Meanwhile, Johnson possesses an explosive first step at 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds that helped him rack up 102 tackles as a junior.
Other noteworthy in-state pledges are offensive linemen Daniel Calhoun and Malachi Toliver. Calhoun played on both sides of the ball for powerhouse Buford High School, while Toliver will add mass to Georgia’s front at 6-foot-6, 330 pounds.
Georgia enjoyed recent success with Peach State products Brock Bowers and Christopher Smith, both of whom developed into elite college players. Dawgs fans hope Green, Johnson and several other homegrown commits can replicate that success between the hedges.
Backup Quarterback Added; RB, WR Groups Bolstered
While defense marked a priority in Georgia’s 2024 class, Smart also replenished weapons surrounding returning quarterback Carson Beck. Running back Dwight Phillips Jr. and wide receivers Sacovie White and Tyler Williams give the offense more firepower.
Phillips accumulated over 1,600 yards from scrimmage and scored 16 total touchdowns as a junior in Florida. White compiled 787 receiving yards last season for quarterback Dylan Lonergan, a 2024 Georgia commit. Tyler Williams adds speed after running track in Alabama.
Georgia did not sign a quarterback with JT Daniels transferring and Stetson Bennett exhausting eligibility. But 2023 signee Dylan Raiola, ranked No. 7 overall in his class, will push Beck for the starting job next year.
Smart also swiped Palm Beach Central kicker Allan Castaneda from Miami on signing day. Castaneda converted 7-of-9 field goals as a junior, with a long of 50 yards.
Focus Shifts to Final Targets
While Georgia met most of its needs Wednesday, Smart will continue pursuing additional difference-makers over the next two months leading up to the traditional signing period in February.
The most intriguing uncommitted target left on the board is five-star running back Jerrick Gibson out of IMG Academy. The 6-foot, 210-pound Gibson rushed for 650 yards and seven scores through eight games as a junior before suffering a season-ending foot injury.
Gibson recently named Georgia his leader over Tennessee and Colorado. The Bulldogs hope to pair him with Phillips Jr. to create a dynamic one-two punch.
Smart is also looking to add another receiver to replace the soon-to-depart Ladd McConkey. Top options include Florida State pledge Vandrevius Jacobs and Ohio State verbal commit Bryson Rodgers. Georgia remains firmly in the mix for both four-star pass-catchers.
On defense, the Dawgs staff continues working to flip four-star linebacker Adarius Hayes from LSU. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Hayes could contribute immediately as an edge rusher if he flips his commitment.
Back-to-Back Titles Build Recruiting Momentum
Georgia is coming off back-to-back national championships and has won 16 straight games entering next month’s College Football Playoff. The program’s sustained success has caught the attention of elite recruits like Robinson who want to compete for titles.
Smart should have no trouble landing more blue-chip commitments once recruits visit Athens in January. The Dawgs expect to host Hayes, Jacobs, Rodgers and several others next month.
In addition, Georgia continues gathering commitments from talented sophomores and juniors like quarterback Julian Lewis in the 2025 class. That group already ranks among the top five in the country.
If Georgia claims another national title this year, Smart and his staff will hold all the momentum on the recruiting trail heading into 2024 and beyond. The opportunity to win big every season while developing for the NFL should keep this Georgia dynasty running strong.
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