247Sports: Pair of Georgia football recruits given 5-star “new-era” designation

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College football fans can’t get enough of recruiting; it’s like a version of professional free agency and drafts. It’s become as much of a draw as the regular season, and there aren’t many better in the industry than Kirby Smart, who has consistently put together top recruiting classes since arriving in Athens. His success in that area is evident in a pair of Georgia football recruits who were given 5-star designations by 247sports.

247Sports changed its evaluation process recently and unveiled the 32 5-star recruits for the 2023 class, an expansion from the previous 15-player total. It doesn’t mean grades cannot fluctuate; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. The site described it as a “living, breathing ranking.”

“As a way to measure future success, the rankings of our 32 five-star players are reflective of the first round of the NFL Draft. This has always been the barometer,” said Adam Stanco, 247Sports vice president of content and executive producer. “However, our rankings team is now tasked with creating the 32 five-star prospects for the senior class at the start of the year, as opposed to slowly building the list of five-stars throughout the year.

Joenel Aguero of St. John’s Prep in Massachusetts is a safety, and the No. 32 ranked overall prospect for 247Sports. He’s described as a tone-setting safety who could drop down into the box. It seems he’s ideally suited physically to be an impact defender for Kirby Smart, given his versatile skillset. Nobody should be surprised if he gets significant playing time as a true freshman next season; his talent warrants it.

AJ Harris from Central in Alabama is the higher rated of two five-stars and also resides in the secondary. He’s 247Sports’ No. 23 overall ranked prospect and No. 2 cornerback in the country. He’s a long cover man but is projected by the site to be better suited as a nickel or safety, given his struggles in man coverage, something Smart’s defense runs regularly.

As it’s currently constructed, Georgia football’s 2023 recruiting class ranks No. 2 overall, behind Alabama. The Bulldogs continue to reload with the best of them.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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