Good post but I do not think I am being cynical when I go ahead and believe that investigative journalist who says that 100% of 5-star prospects take bribes in some form or fashion from bagmen, and 80% of 4 star prospects do the same.This won't be the All-Academic Bowl on Saturday. The academics at GS have greatly improved over the years, and they now have the only fully accredited engineering program available south of Atlanta. I don't think that any of the football players at GS have declared that major. The average freshman SAT is higher at GS than at Georgia State, but not quite as high as GT and UGA. The GS number is getting higher every year, and they do have a variety of recognized programs on a nationwide basis. Without question the major sticking point for GT attracting the top high school football talent is the academics and limited degree offerings. There are a number of "smart" schools out there that attract the top talent, but they also offer degree programs that are attractive to a larger number of those four and five star kids.
Clearly a kid has to be interested in Tech to begin with to ever have a chance to land him as a commit and so the restriction of all degrees to being Bachelors of Science degrees (wish I could just use the abbreviation but I can't ) and more rigorous standards as well as having to attend real classes are obstacles. But the sleazy reality below the surface of college recruiting also works strongly against Tech.
If a kid has 5 star talent, is going to be given 100-200K in under the table payola to school X and fully believes they will be drafted in 3 years then Tech's best selling point of a degree that will give them a comfortable means of making a living even after a possible pro career fades a good deal. These kids (like that UGA player who talked of football as his "livelihood") at no point consider themselves "students." They are in "career prep" not "college prep" mode in high school and see themselves as having started their professional careers after graduating high school. And why not if they are getting paid to play (plus room and board, medical care, etc)? Tech's same pitch to the high 3 stars and 20% of 4 stars that are not influenced by bribery has a chance at success.
That Bagmen article has definitively changed my expectations so far as recruiting is concerned, and it lurks behind even the "offseason" issue raised in this thread by Foxy about the football culture at Southern vs. that at Tech.