“Besides, who wouldn’t want to be part of a ‘Dream Team?’”

It started with Todd Grantham’s arrival in Athens.

… Coaching at a school with a fertile recruiting base like Georgia and its bordering states was a big attraction to Grantham.

“I think you can be better than Florida, you can be better than Texas and you can be better than Southern Cal, if those players came to the University of Georgia,” Grantham said.

Mark Richt latched on to the concept of selling the in state school hard to top in state recruits, referring to the class he’s trying to assemble as a “Dream Team” capable of chasing national titles.

… The “Dream Team” is the phrase borrowed by Georgia coach Mark Richt for his in-state recruiting efforts. It will be another strong year for talent among the state’s top rising high school seniors, with more than 200 expected to sign major-college scholarships in February.

Richt and his assistant have been using the “Dream Team” sales pitch since early spring, telling the state’s elite that if they join together and sign with Georgia next February, the Bulldogs will contend for future SEC and national championships.

Most recruits see the pitch for what it is – a marketing tool used to distinguish Georgia from other elite schools chasing elite talent.  Just ask one of Georgia’s top targets, Ray Drew:

… The “Dream Team” concept is nothing new in recruiting, where every school tries to develop an innovative sales pitch. Drew has heard most of them during his travels.

“Auburn talks about family, that’s what they use to try to get their players,” he said. “With Florida, they have a pretty good record at home. They talked about ‘Protect this house, protect this house.’ Everybody has their own little slogan that they try to sell you on.”

Yet Sporting News’ Michael Tunison sees it as evidence of something else:

… most recruits want to see that a school is getting the best talent available, not simply appealing to a sense of localized pride to keep in-state talent from straying elsewhere. Georgia is going to get recruits no matter how inspired its sales pitch is, but for those on the fence, the school is going to have to try a little harder than that.

On one level, that’s such a tautological statement that it hardly bears being made in the first place.  But if Tunison intends for us to glean something insightful from that, all I can take from it is an accusation that Georgia isn’t working recruits like Drew hard enough.

That seems like a silly complaint, given that Georgia’s getting consideration or has already gotten commitments from all but six of the top thirty in state high school players on the ESPN 150 list and all but two of the top fourteen on Rivals’ list.  Given roster restraints and the reality that there are always going to be other reasons, such as legacies at other schools or wanderlust, for kids to commit to out-of-state schools, how many kids going to places other than Athens makes Richt’s “Dream Team” pitch a flop?

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14 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

14 responses to ““Besides, who wouldn’t want to be part of a ‘Dream Team?’”

  1. theTruth

    Between Swann, Crowell, Rome, Drew, Dantzler, Dickson, Ward, Wright. If UGA can pull 4 of those, the concept worked. I have high expectations for Dantzler and Swann to become dawgs already. To get Crowell, Drew, or Rome would be sick.

    Even Vaughters said he liked the concept of the dream team and it was a pull and that is coming from a kid that had his heart on going out of state.

    • JasonC

      Dantzler is expected to be a Dog. I think Swann is key also, because I think he might commit earlier than some of the other big names. Although, I think I read somewhere that Drew might commit fairly soon, and it we can get him and Swann, we are in great shape. I don’t think Crowell will commit til late, so he won’t help the Dream Team concept.

  2. TomReagan

    I’m from a small Georgia town that sent players to UGA, Bama, FSU, and Auburn while I was in junior high through high school. I went to UGA undergrad and to Bama for grad school.

    For any of you who have never spent any time in Alabama, I can tell you that there is absolutely no comparison between the pride that the black communities take in the state schools. I didn’t know any black kids who thought of Georgia the way I did. They may have liked the Dawgs, but for some other reason.

    It’s not like that in Alabama. Every kid in that state grows up an Auburn or Alabama fan. They may end up going to a different college–but that is in spite of their initial lean.

    I can’t speak for what it’s like in Carolina or Florida, but those states lose players routinely as well. Alabama’s really the only state that it’s almost impossible to pull a truly top flight recruit from, and I’ve convinced myself that this is a big reason why. And it’s not the type of loyalty that can be created over night.

    • Reptillicide

      That isn’t just black people…. that’s people in Alabama as a whole.

    • Scott

      LSU is pretty strong in-state too.

      • It is worth noting that LSU has no competition in state.

      • TomReagan

        I think it’s worth noting that Louisiana, like Alabama, is distinguishable from Georgia and Florida in that–while all 4 states have traditionally strong football programs–Louisiana and Alabama’s populations have generally strong and long-lasting ties to the state. But Georgia and Florida are putting out lots of players who are first or second generation Georgians or Floridians, which makes a big difference.

        I’m pretty sure that a kid from Laurens County who’s family has lived there forever is going to be a lot more receptive to the state pride angle than someone at Grayson who’s parents moved in from Ohio when he was 5.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          No pro football in Alabama has something to do with it, too. Kids grew up imbued with the Bama or Auburn spirit.

  3. Reptillicide

    Why are we drawing fire for the “dream team” when Florida is ripping off an UnderArmor mantra? “Protect this house?” Seriously? I wonder how Nike would feel about that.

  4. Remember what Spurrier said!

    Mark Richt has to be given all the credit for the recruiting classes during his tenure. But don’t forget what Steve Spurrier told Ray Goff. “He gets all those great players, but what’s he doing with them!”

    What’s Mark Richt been doing with them for the past five seasons? During that same period Mark Richt pocketed over 15 million dollars of Geogia’s money!

  5. Cojones

    Wouldn’t tauntological be a better word?

  6. The Dream Team concept is alive & well. However, If the team comes together as we all hope It will, there is still this to consider: No player from the 2011 class will come in & make an immediate impact on the Dawg’s team. There will be players already on campus that the new players will not be able to move ahead of on the depth chart. The Dawg’s are not lacking in talent but a lot of it is still young & inexperienced. This should mean a bright future for the Dawgs over the next 3/4 years.

  7. negative ?

    Dream Season ?

    No.

    Talk only of a dream team in recruiting when we’ve been ranked except for 2010 at the very top of the recruiting rankings every single solitary year about # 7 or so.