Carlos Dunlap and a growth industry

I think this is my last post on ESPN’s broadcast of the Florida spring football scrimmage. I didn’t expect to blog as much on the event as I did, but it’s been such a target rich environment that I haven’t been able to help myself.

Anyway, I’m inspired by this post over at Orange and Blue Hue, one of my favorite blogs. It’s a fan’s perspective of the positives being generated in the program as it goes from spring to fall, and, as such, it’s a good read. If you’re a fan of the program and you can’t get excited about your team’s prospects in a blog post, what’s the point?

But here are the quotes that caught my eye and made me think a bit:

… The front four, led by Carlos Dunlap, pressured Tim Tebow and Cam Newton all day…

… On defense, a front four led by Dunlap, a vastly improved secondary and two hard-hitting safeties in Hill and right, and now a linebacking corps led by the vastly improved Spikes? More and more, this team is starting to look just as good, maybe even better, then the ‘06 national championship team…

As a highly regarded (five star recruit, babee!) freshman, Carlos Dunlap played in twelve games last year. He had a whopping total of seven tackles in that time. Now, based on a scrimmage, going up against an offensive line that played for both teams all day, he’s already a leader of the defense.

Sure, every fan watching a spring game gets pumped up about a player emerging unexpectedly (just think about all the Dawg All Stars from previous G-Day games). But it’s one thing for you or me to chatter excitedly on the way out to the parking lot with fellow fans about how a kid looked. Or even for someone like Vince or me to do it on a football blog. It’s quite another to hear Chris, Kirk and Lee gush about the same thing to a national TV audience.

How much media impact is that likely to have? You’ll know the fix is in if Dunlap’s name crops up on preseason All-SEC lists – not first team, of course, but even honorable mention would be a stretch based on the kid’s credentials to date.

The main thing here, though, is what a gift this turns out to be for Urban Meyer and his recruiting. He can walk into any recruit’s house and say “you can play for Coach X and maybe they’ll know your name in a few years, or you can come to Florida and hear Herbstreit and Corso praise your name in a spring game before your sophomore season!” Now that may not work all the time, but it will work.

That’s not a question of right or wrong, by the way. It’s a resource. Meyer would be foolish to waste it. And he’s not stupid. The thing is, neither are his competitors. Guys like Saban, Fulmer, Spurrier and, yes, Richt are going to see this for the advantage it is and demand to be cut in on the deal, too.

Which means more product for the sports channels. Which they won’t turn down. In other words, look for a proliferation of broadcasts of spring scrimmage games in your near future. The customer is always right.

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14 Comments

Filed under College Football, Recruiting

14 responses to “Carlos Dunlap and a growth industry

  1. GatorSkeptic

    My favorite quotes from the article were:
    1. Anointing Percy Harvin (I assume that is who he was referencing at least) as the best receiver in the nation
    2. His comments on “Greg” Laurinaitis (I think he was thinking of James)

    What an idiot.

  2. Well, in his defense, I don’t know that I’d say Harvin is the best receiver in the country, but I do know Harvin’s the single player in the SEC I fear most as a Georgia fan.

    At least before his surgery.

  3. CL

    IIRC, South Carolina’s spring game was on ESPN last year.

  4. Kit

    I think the annointing of Carlos Dunlap is really just the overlooking of their Offensive Line troubles. UM simply has no one to protect Tim Tebow right now and we all know what happens when Tebow is under fire…

    Defense wins championships, Offense wins games. But if you don’t have anyone in the trenches on EITHER side of the ball…well, you’re just…Vandy.

  5. JasonC

    Senator, I agree with you on these spring games. I posted more of my thoughts (on these recruitment ads) over on PWD’s site.

  6. Hobnail_Boot

    Senator-

    Rennie’s got Harvin. As for most-feared player in the SEC, I’d have to go with Eric Berry. Egads, that kid is good.

  7. AceG8tr

    Skeptic:

    Have you *seen* Harvin? If he’s not the best receiver in the nation, I don’t know who is.

    [head bowed] Please God, let him bounce back quickly from surgery.

    Kit:

    Not sure why UM would have any desire to protect Tebow. :-) BTW, our O-line will be the best we’ve had since 1996. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

    sdl

  8. Chuck

    Ace, how about Michael Crabtree?

    Harvin had 4TDs receiving last year?
    Crabtree had 18 receiving TDs.

    Harvin wasn’t even first-team All-SEC last year at WR, right?

  9. LT

    You can’t really tell how florida’s offense and deffense really are from that game. Urban decided to have a spring game draft instead of playing number 1 offense vs the 1 defense

  10. dean

    “Guys like Saban, Fulmer, Spurrier and, yes, Richt are going to see this for the advantage it is and demand to be cut in on the deal, too.” My sentiments exactly, Senator.

    I actually read an interesting and good article (in the Greenville news I think ) on Clem[p]son’s spring game in which Tammy boy suggested having a scrimmage against another team versus the intra-squad scrimmages. Interestingly he mentioned scrimmaging UGA. Anyway he makes valid points (hard to believe I know) about the benefits for both teams and the donation of the proceeds to charity. If this ever were to happen (not likely in my lifetime) could you imagine the media attention?

  11. My biggest question about playing a spring game against another school: who gets to host it?

  12. Kit

    Dean,

    I could imagine the media attention that a team (especially a national contender) would get if one of their players got hurt and was lost for the year. Tell me honestly that there is no coach in the NCAA that wouldn’t say to one of his D-linemen, “Go ahead and forget he’s wearing a green jersey for one play. Make that QB know you’re there.”

  13. dean

    Kit,
    First, you take a chance of a kid getting hurt in any spring game or practice for that matter regardless of the competition . Furthermore these scrimmages would be much like the current spring games in the first string probably plays 1 or 2 series. Second I honestly don’t think any coach, D-1 or lower, would instruct a player to “cheap shot” another in a meaningless spring game. There are some scum bag coaches out there but to risk a kids future for the sake of winning a scrimmage (or any game), I’d have to say not likely. A kid may take it upon himself to do something like that to get his name out but there’s not much anybody can do to prevent that.

    Senator,
    That’s a very good question. Maybe it could be a home -n- home deal or a neutral site set up. The Dome would be perfect for UGA vs CU.

  14. KG

    Kit,

    Where do these rumors that Florida has “offensive line troubles” come from? This year the Gators will have one of their deepest lines in almost a decade and FAR better to the serviceable line they had in 06. I wouldn’t be surprised if half of this current two-deep at OL end up playing in the NFL. Last year UF had a very good offensive line but very little depth. This year’s squad will return 3 starters and have much more depth behind it.

    The defensive line is a definite question mark but my gosh . . . how is it that people get these two squads confused??? It seems like if any Joe Blow makes a comment on a message board somewhere that it continuously gets repeated as fact.

    Here’s one then . . . Southern Cal is in big trouble at running back. They didn’t even have a 1000 yard rusher last year!!! Now go forth and diseminate.