ATHENS - Such is the life of a college football program: Even as they're months from the start of their next season, the Georgia Bulldogs on Tuesday were already looking ahead to the following one.
It was impossible not to notice the tall, somewhat lanky figure standing near Georgia's quarterbacks at spring practice: Jacob Eason, the five-star quarterback from Washington State who has committed to the Bulldogs.
But he wasn't alone, as the practice field was dotted with high school prospects wearing nametags. Some were committed to Georgia's 2016 class, some were not, but they're all still being recruited.
"You've just gotta keep recruiting them all like they're not committed," receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Bryan McClendon said after practice.
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Georgia already has eight commitments for the 2016 class, which is less a sign of jumping the gun than simply dealing with the reality of the sport. The Bulldogs are extending more early offers than they ever have.
"You have to jump out there and really be a year ahead in the evaluation process, (than) the way used to be," McClendon said. "(Once) you get those guys past the evaluation (process), there's no reason to hold back. But in doing that, you've got to be a lot more sure on a guy, as far as what you think he can be, and what he can be down the road."
One reason Georgia has been able to push ahead the recruiting timetable: More staff. While McClendon is officially the recruiting coordinator, and every assistant coach takes an active role, there is a team of people off the field who are critical in the process. They take care of administrative duties associated with recruiting.
"All that stuff helps," McClendon said. "Everybody has roles in recruiting. But that definitely does help."
Here's the list of Georgia's committed recruits for the 2016 class. The star rankings are according to the 247Sports Composite:
QB Jacob Eason .... 6-5 .... 205 .... 5 stars.
Lake Stevens Senior High School, Lake Stevens, Wash.
OT Ben Cleveland ... 6-7 .... 322 .... 5 stars.
Stephens County High School, Toccoa.
DE Chauncey Manac ... 6-3 .... 220 .... 4 stars.
Clinch County High School, Homerville.
OT E.J. Price ...... 6-6 ..... 311 .... 4 stars.
Archer High School, Lawrenceville.
WR Darion Anderson ... 6-1 .... 170 .... 3 stars.
Houston County High School, Warner-Robins.
G Aaron Dowdell ...... 6-4 .... 290 .... 3 stars.
Creekside High School, Fairburn.
CB Malek Young ...... 5-10 .... 175 .... 3 stars.
Coconut Creek High School, Pompano Beach, Fla.
CB Tyrique McGhee .... 5-10 .... 168 ... 3 stars.
Peach County High School, Fort Valley.