Daily Archives: May 22, 2007

Sure, he can lift a keg. But can he carry a team?

Rival’s Olin Buchanan has a piece up about struggling with a true freshman quarterback. (Cool trivia: name the only college team that’s won a MNC starting a true freshman QB.)

There’s a lot in his article about Matthew Stafford and what he (and the Dawgs) went through last year.

… No quarterback on Georgia’s 2006 roster had significant playing experience, so the Bulldogs did not have the luxury of redshirting Stafford. Despite the ups-and-downs of his inaugural year, Stafford is glad he received on-the-job training.

“Personally, I was better served to go out and play,” Stafford said. “I learned by trial and error. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.”

Richt sees improvement:

“He is really good,” Richt said of Stafford during spring drills. “Even last year he understood things, but he did not understand the speed of the game, the speed of the athletes, when to sling that sucker out of bounds and how to manage the bad plays.

Associated Press

“Those little fundamental things are what gets you beat, but I think he understands it pretty well now.”

Stafford senses a difference, too.

“I think the hardest part is to come in as a freshman and lead the team off the bat,” Stafford said. “It’s tough to step in and play well enough to gain respect. Once you do, it’s a great feeling when the team is behind you. After the Auburn game everybody realized we can play well together.”

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Filed under Georgia Football

Those were the days, my friend.

**Sniff**. It’s always touching when a former player embraces the tradition of his alma mater.

Some cling to tradition

There’s no debating the issue for former Hurricanes receiver Lamar Thomas, who played for national championship teams at UM in 1989 and ’91.

If the Hurricanes leave the Orange Bowl, Thomas said it will be more evidence that college football is trading its traditional roots for the bottom line.

“When I think of UM football, I think of only one place and that’s the Orange Bowl,” said Thomas, who ranks second in UM history with 144 receptions and 23 touchdown catches. “It’s going to be very weird calling (Dolphin Stadium) home. When they leave the Orange Bowl, well, that’s going to be a sad day.”

And, let’s not forget, Thomas is a big believer in another tradition of the “U” – thuggery:

I am moved.

Some appropriate musical accompaniment for Thomas’ wistful memories here:

“We’d fight and never lose.” Indeed.

(h/t The Wizard of Odds)

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Filed under General Idiocy

Him likey; him no likey.

Looks like Nick Saban is returning to the scene of the crime, so to speak. He’s recruiting in South Florida.

So far, it sounds like the results are mixed.

Four months after his criticized departure from the Dolphins, Alabama coach Nick Saban received a celebrity-type reception at one school when he returned here for a recruiting trip last week. ”The faculty was excited,” Fort Lauderdale Dillard coach Keith Franklin said. Security guards and administrators requested pictures with Saban, and he obliged. ‘They said, `We love you here at Dillard,’ ” Franklin said.

Miami Northwestern defensive tackle Marcus Fortson and Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna linebacker Jordan Futch — two of the top junior prospects in South Florida — spoke with Saban and said he left a good impression. ”Good guy,” Futch said.

Saban also approached Northwestern offensive lineman Brandon Washington, a UM oral commitment. ‘He asked me if my heart was in Miami. I said, `No,’ ” Washington said, adding there’s a good chance he will sign with UM but wants to take other visits. Washington said the way Saban left the Dolphins ”bothered me” and ”was on my mind,” and he might not consider Alabama.

But Saban’s request to visit Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas was denied by coach George Smith, who noted it was nothing personal. After Mike Shula was fired, Smith sent a letter to Alabama’s athletic director and president stating Bama’s coaches weren’t welcome on his campus because of how Shula’s dismissal ”was handled.” Saban, who recruited South Florida well as Louisiana State’s coach, didn’t have a Dade or Broward player in his first Bama signing class.

Glad to hear it’s “nothing personal”. But I am curious. Why in the hell would a high school coach care about the way a college let a head coach go if it wasn’t personal?

Geez. It’s not like he called the guy a “coonass”.

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UPDATE: When I read the quotes from the recruits, I wondered about this myself.

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UPDATE #2:  A little more on Coach Smith here.

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Filed under Recruiting, Whoa, oh, Alabama