How much of this class makes an impact in 2016?
Impacts can be made on different levels, but I think over half this class plays this fall. Javon Wims could be key in the offense and who knows, Jacob Eason may be the leader at quarterback. Plenty of guys in this class will have some sort of impact.
2. Who is the best overall player - no matter the position - who could wind up in this class?
I would have to say Mecole Hardman, Jr. He is just so dynamic and he is a big play waiting to happen. If he plays corner, it will take him some time to learn the position, but whenever he touches the ball, UGA fans will likely stand up with excitement. Georgia is the favorite.
3. What is the strangest/most unique Signing Day story you have covered?
Josh Harvey-Clemons is one. Just a few years ago, his grandfather took off without signing the letter of intent after Harvey-Clemons committed to Georgia live on ESPN. Also, Alex Collins -- his mother wouldn't sign the LOI. She took off with it and it wasn't resolved for three days. She wanted him at Miami, Alex has been a star at Arkansas. Demetris Robertson is starting to get up there, so we will see how that one plays out in the coming weeks.
4. How will Kirby’s focus on a particular number of 2016 players pay off or hurt on Signing Day?
He has the players in mind that he wants at UGA. He is not going to offer a kid to fill a class and I think that is a good thing. He wants to get guys he feels can help UGA win a championship. I think it pays off more than it hurts. He knows exactly what type of players it takes to win titles, and those are the only ones he's going to sign at Georgia.
5. How will Kirby’s focus on a the class of 2017 players pay off next Signing Day?
It is already laying off. Richard LeCounte is an elite prospect and he will be a leader in the 2017 class. Breon Dixon is a guy Kirby offered at Alabama, and he has since been offered by Georgia, and is now a Bulldog. Kirby Smart knows what he wants and he will likely get it in 2017. He has seen a lot of young guys the last three weeks and I expect it to be an active spring and summer.
6. Everyone is a recruiting expert these days. What is the No. 1 misconception about recruiting for those not on the inside?
That everyone is an expert. To be an expert, you have to be truly dialed in, connected, and not too many can truly say that. Many now take others work and call it their own, so there is a lot of misconception of you who the expert is. Opinions and thoughts are nice, but it's the facts that set people apart. The recruiting industry is very healthy, especially in the south, and that is a good thing, but there are not as many experts out there as some may think looking in from the outside.
7. Which particular recruit in the 2016 class has Kirby/UGA done the best job with so far?
Where has he had to mend fences? Hard to say, but he has had to put some work in. Maybe even more than I expected, but when there is change, you learn a lot more in that transition, so there has been some fences mended by Smart and the new UGA staff. As far as who he's done the best job with, I would have to say Auburn commit David Marshall. He was never targeted by the former Georgia staff, but Alabama and Auburn fought over him for two years. Smart made him a priority as soon as he took over and Marshall has now visited Athens the last two weekends.
8. Folks always, for whatever reason, want to know about Signing Day surprises. Should we expect someone?
There is always that chance, but I would be surprised, very surprised if it is someone that has not been talked about in some capacity on The Porch. I think Kirby knows who he wants, he and the staff are focused on their guys, but there could still be a new offer or two late. I don't see a shocker on signing day at this time.
9. Covering Demetris Robertson has to have been one of the most unique journeys over the last few recruiting cycles. Is there any way to really understand where his recruiting is heading?
No. It has been all over the place and there is so much there on so many levels. I've heard so many different stories behind the scenes on his recruitment and they don't always match up to what he says. It is a very unique case, and it looks to still be far from over. Right now it looks like Georgia Tech, Georgia and maybe Alabama will receive visits before his decision.
10. What is your Signing Day Eve routine?
Just to check in and stay in touch with all my sources. You think by the evening, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect on signing day. This signing day is a little different than the last few years due to the number of top prospects announcing their decisions. It will be a pretty crazy day trying to keep up with who goes where. I've worked hard for 18-24 months tracking the top guys in this class, so that work makes these last few days a little easier. At least I hope it does. Signing day eve will be about working the phones, checking in with people, and making sure I'm not blindsided on signing day.