The Georgia Bulldogs Spend Over $2.5 Million on Football Recruiting — Is It Worth It?

Even in a season of uncertainty, the SEC still reigns supreme as college football’s top conference. Alabama has been the dominant team in the conference. But others have been title winners and contenders too. One of those teams is the Georgia Bulldogs. Georgia spends a pretty penny on football recruiting and has produced great players in recent years.

So what kind of return on their investment are they getting? Let’s take a closer look at the overall state of the program, how they’ve fared in the recruiting department, and how much they spend on recruiting. 

The Georgia Bulldogs’ performance in recent years

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As of games played the weekend of October 24, 2020, the Bulldogs are 3-1 this season. According to Sports Reference, they’ve compiled impressive records in recent years. From 2014-19, they’ve won at least 10 games in all but one year. They’ve finished in the AP Poll top-10 in each of the past three seasons.

In 2017-18, they made a national championship game appearance, losing a thrilling contest to Alabama after defeating Oklahoma in the opening round. Last season, they didn’t qualify for the college football playoff but did defeat Baylor in the Sugar Bowl. 

Georgia may not have been able to win a title in recent years, but they’ve continually knocked on the door. To see the program’s current state, it helps to look forward to the recruiting class they’ve assembled for next season. If the early forecast is any indication, it seems like they’ve put together an impressive group of talent ready to challenge the SEC’s best.

How have the Georgia Bulldogs’ recruiting classes stacked up?

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Georgia’s a top program, but how is their recruiting looking for the immediate future? Well, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is they’ve attracted plenty of elite talent. The bad news? So has their top SEC rival.

According to USA Today, Georgia has the fourth-ranked recruiting class in the nation heading into 2021. The Bulldogs were able to nab a single five-star recruit, seven four-star recruits, and one three-star recruit in commitments thus far. The players have an average rating of 94.08. 

The only team with recruits holding higher player ratings is the dreaded Alabama Crimson Tide. It’s clear that Georgia’s recruiting efforts are paying off. But just how much financial resources have they sunk into it? 

How much does the University of Georgia spend on recruiting? 

Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs
Coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs on the sidelines | Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Yahoo recently compiled the top 55 universities in the nation, ranking them in terms of how much they spend on college football recruiting. The number one ranked team was none other than Georgia. Here were the figures they amassed: 

  • Recruiting total for football: $2, 626,622 
  • Recruiting for all athletics: $3,990,422
  • Percentage of recruiting expenses dedicated to the football program: 65.82%

To put that in perspective, most of the school’s sports take up only 35% of the recruiting budget while one dominates the funding battle. 

So has Georgia gotten a good return on their investment? It’s hard to say. They’ve certainly been one of the nation’s top teams in recent years, even if they haven’t been able to win a national title. Being in the SEC, however, it’s very difficult to emerge from the conference.

With perennial powerhouses like Alabama and LSU constantly challenging them, Georgia can’t count on a title every year. It could just be that spending exorbitant amounts of money is just the cost of doing business for SEC teams.