Head to head

One of the dumber things about the Chan Gailey regime was the head man’s apparent decision to downplay in state recruiting.  No doubt Richt and Garner made formidable opponents on the recruiting trail, but considering the amount of D-1 level talent that comes out of Georgia’s high schools every year, there’s more than enough to go around.  On top of that, Gailey had a gifted recruiter in Giff Smith.

Bottom line, you can’t be a credible state school program if you don’t make a serious effort to go after the better in state talent.

So I give credit to Paul Johnson for having enough sense to pull the program’s head out of its ass on this front.  And, as Michael Carvell notes in this post, it looks like Georgia and Georgia Tech may find themselves going after more of the same recruits as time goes on.

… It’s still early in recruiting for the 2010 prospects, but at least a dozen of the state’s top names sport dual offers from the rivals. Some of the headliners are M.L. King tailback Mack Brown, Booker T. Washington wide receiver Antonio Goodwin, Gainesville wide receiver Tai-ler Jones, North Gwinnett offensive lineman JaWuan James, Douglass defensive lineman Garrison Smith, South Paulding cornerback Ryan Ayers, Newnan safety Alec Ogletree, Warner Robins defensive tackle Jeffrey Whitaker, and Buford lineman Kolton Houston.

Now the reality is that given how different the offensive schemes run at the two schools are, there will always be a lot of kids that both programs won’t be seriously vying for.  But it will be interesting to see how things develop with regard to the battles over recruits who play defense.

By the way, Tech fans, does this mean that the academics excuse you’ve hidden behind for years is being exposed for the joke that it is?  Or have the high school kids in this state suddenly gotten a lot smarter?

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17 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Recruiting

17 responses to “Head to head

  1. NebraskaDawg

    Tech fans will say they suddenly got smarter. Why the hell does CPJ think that any top end reciever will come to Tech to block in the Wing T …. oops I meant the “spread option.”

  2. 81Dog

    Tech wont be able to get quality WRs to come block 60 or 70 times a game. They won’t get any TEs; heck, they ran off a good one in Colin Peek (to Alabama). They won’t get a QB with aspirations of playing NFL ball. Sure, there are some talented option guys around, but they’re limited passers who are one solid hit from a green jersey. And they get hit a lot.

    How many high quality OL with pro aspirations want to go to a place where pass blocking is kind of an afterthought?

    How many high quality defensive players are going to go to a place where the offense will limit their ability to recruit offensive talent, and thus, to win games?

    Paul Johnson’s cute little offense is like the Princeton offense in basketball. Yeah, you can beat more talented teams if your guys execute precisely. However, it works best when it’s seen least. PJ, to his credit, had a good year last year. However, he’s scrambling with the big boys now. The best defensive minds in college football will be getting ready for him weekly now. Someone will figure out what works, and then everyone else will go to school on that, and then his little gimmick offense will have to rely on talent to beat talent. That’s where the rubber is going to meet the road.

    There’s a reason the wishbone/veer/etc. was the hottest thing in America once, and then it suddenly disappeared. Pepper Rodgers had a really good first year at Tech, too. Everyone over there looooooooooved Pepper. He’d show that uppity crowd at UGA, by God. A few short years later, they fired him and he had to sue the cheap SOBs at Tech to get his contract paid off (you can look it up. GTAA v. Rodgers, Georgia Court of Appeals, about 1981-ish).

    Enjoy the win while it lasts, nerds.

    • 81, all true to a large extent. The flip side of the coin is that there are a lot of high schools in Georgia that utilize option running offenses that have talented kids looking for a place to play. Johnson would be stupid to ignore them.

    • Paul

      The best defensive minds in college football will be getting ready for him weekly now. Someone will figure out what works, and then everyone else will go to school on that, and then his little gimmick offense will have to rely on talent to beat talent…There’s a reason the wishbone/veer/etc. was the hottest thing in America once, and then it suddenly disappeared.

      The reason is because it is widely known how to stop the veer. “Assignment football” is the blanket term used. You think the defensive masterminds forgot how to stop it? I don’t.

      Unfortunately for most attacking modern defenses, defending the option is predicated on player reactions to what the offense does. It is hard to re-program defensive players in a week [hell, 2 weeks for UGA last year]. Except for the years we schedule Georgia Southern, it will be the only time we see it all season. Expect us to whoop Tech in the years we’ve already seen the option at full speed from GSU.

      81, while I agree with the overall level of NFL talent that PJ will be able to pull, I’m not sure we’re going to reel off another 7 year winning streak. I do think we should beat them the majority of the time, but I think it will be a heck of a lot tougher than it was under Gailey.

  3. Irishdawg

    Some Techie tried that admissions argument crap with me recently and I ripped his head off. One can simply recite the names Joe Hamilton or Reggie Ball and the argument should disappear completely.

    I could respect Tech fans slightly if they would just admit that maybe their program isn’t as attractive to recruits as playing for a quality SEC team is, but they can’t. Their inferiority complex is boundless, and their precious little egos can’t admit the obvious.

    • I don’t respect Tech fans and never will. They’ve gone 8-22 in the last 30 meetings with Georgia. Twenty-two of those years these are what Tech fans would say :
      (1) Our academics make it tougher to recruit top flight talent (i.e. We don’t allow the same dumb kids in you do)
      (2) I’m a true fan because at least I went to the school.
      (3) Mutts/rednecks/any derogatory term to describe poor, uneducated, country white male

      They win for the first time in this millenium and all of a sudden Paul Johnson is the greatest coach ever and their program is on the rise and Georgia better get used to the annual beating that’s going to be coming.

      For all the smarts that Techies claim to possess, they sure seem to conveniently ignore history.

  4. The Realist

    The option, particularly the flexbone that Tech runs, will churn out 9 wins a season. I can see them being like the Diet version of Nebraska circa 2003. Run the ball like mad, pass occasionally with mediocre success. They will likely beat up on the average teams to the tune of 9 or so wins per season, particularly in the ACC which sports exactly zero elite teams at this point. That’s not too shabby. It beats the hell out of the 7 that Gailey churned out like clockwork.

    Since Georgia Tech is recruiting against Georgia, Tennessee, Auburn, and Florida, they won’t have the same success bringing in top notch, option-ready talent like Nebraska who basically had the entire state at their disposal, but Georgia has more D1 talent by a longshot than Nebraska did, too.

    I just hope we figure out how to stop the option relatively soon. This year would be nice.

  5. G.O.B.

    81Dog: “The best defensive minds in college football will be getting ready for him weekly now.”

    Except for the last week of the season.

  6. Melinda

    Georgia Southern does not run the option now. They run the spread.

    All defensive coordinators know “how” to stop the option… getting your players to execute assignment ball when they spend 95% of the their practice time being ball hounds is another thing altogether. They have to go against the instincts they have been honing most of their playing careers. Good defenses stop offenses, no matter what system they run.

    Why is the option considered a “gimmick” and the spread and pro-style are not?

  7. 81Dog

    Senator, I agree that there are many option attacks in Georgia high school football, and no doubt PJ will be able to put them to good use at Tech. My point about them going “head to head” for talent with us is that UGA is generally chasing players for our pro-style offense, not option players, so the head to head thing shouldn’t be so productive for Tech given their system’s limitations.

    I also agree that the key to stopping the option in general is defensive discipline, which UGA obviously didn’t do a great job with in 08. However, as it specifically applies to Tech, PJ was quite mouthy about how they’ve “seen it all,” so whatever you do in the first half, he knows the response. Every DC in the ACC (and I guess, the Southern Conference, or the Big South) will see “if we do this, he does that” after a while. First step in stopping it is recognizing what they’re doing. Certainly, the next step is having the discipline to stick with your defensive assignment.

    I disagree with the concept that Tech is a lock to win 9 games a year. That would be much more likely if their QB wasn’t getting hit by BCS level linebackers and safeties 25 or 30 times a game. At some point, the dings add up. It may be more turnovers. It may be injuries. It may be hampered speed. Nesbitt was out for the Gardner Webb game, at Tech, and they were lucky to hang on for a win.

    I’m not saying Paul Johnson can’t coach. I’m not saying we’ll never lose to Tech again. I’m just saying that any Tech fan who thinks he’s going to turn them into an unstoppable football powerhouse who will beat UGA a lot more than they lose to UGA is kidding himself.

    and by the way, their defense sucked this year, and loses many of their best players. If they have to hang 45 on us to win every year, I wouldnt count on that happening too often.

  8. bill

    Senator,

    It is good to see you talking about the Jackets again … it has been awhile. Just a few points:

    1) At Tech, it has not been about admitting athletes in (we give passes like everyone else), it is about keeping them in school. That is where we differ from the football factories. We can’t place them in crip majors like Socialogy or Criminal Justice. We have one jock major – Industrial Management. And it is not an easy path.

    2) Re stopping CPJ’s offense: He has been running the same offense for a long long time (GSU, Navy and Tech). Don’t you think in all of these seasons one D-coordinator would have come up with the “secret recipe” to stop it. And then every other coach would be using that “trick.” CPJ has seen every type of D and he just tweaks the offense to take advantage of what the D gives him. There is only one way for Tech’s offense to be stopped and that is turnovers. In all 4 losses, the offense fumbled away scoring chances and fumbled inside their own 20.

    3) Re recruiting, Tech doesn’t need to beat UGA for offensive players … they don’t need to. Tech just needs kids to fit their system. Tech does need to win some head to heads vs UGA on defense.

    • Sparrow

      Just to speak to point 1. As someone who was friends with Tech football players (I can’t help it if guys I went to high school with made bad decisions), any liberal arts major at Tech is a joke. This was a few years back, but I saw the work they were doing and there’s no way you can tell me it was tough. Also, from what they said, about half the students in every History and International Affairs class were football players, so they can’t all be Industrial Managment majors.

      For what it’s worth, this blanket explanation/cop-out about academics is bunk at every school. I also had buddies play for Rice and Stanford. They were and still are not the brightest guys.

      As for your second point, there is a secret recipe: making your reads and assignments. Who knew?

  9. Dog in Fla

    It’s boring when we play Tech and don’t try to tackle their running backs.

    It’s not boring when Percy allegedly tests +ve for weed (not that there’s anything wrong with that) except that it’s right before the NFL draft and may have been a contributing factor in Percy’s standout low double digit score on the Wonderlic multiple guess final exam.

    Percy, didn’t Coarch teach you anything?

    Go Gator!

  10. Bobafet7

    There’s enough smart and talented players in this state for both UGA and Tech, I don’t see why it can’t be a #1 vs.#2 on thanksgiving every 3 years or so.