Of the many sins being laid at Mark Richt’s feet in the last day or two, the one I’m amused about is the discovery by some of the fan base that the staff failed to sign UCF’s two-time C-USA defensive player of the year Bruce Miller out of high school even though – omigawd! - he grew up a Dawg fan. Nevermind that no other SEC school saw the diamond in the rough that Miller obviously was, somehow it’s a fatal flaw for Garner and Company to have missed on him. (Ironically, some of the same people waxing indignant about that now would have bitched then about the ding Georgia’s recruiting rankings at the time would have taken by signing an unheralded player like Miller.)
This stuff isn’t an exact science. In many ways, it’s a crapshoot. Schools try to move the odds in their favor by signing as many high-profile recruits as they can, but there are always going to be outliers, both good and bad.
And this doesn’t make the evaluation process easier.
“I grew up in Atlanta and I had good coaches, but a lot of them told me just to be myself and be athletic and do whatever I had to do to get the ball,” said Smith, who played for Douglass High in Atlanta. “I wasn’t really taught a lot of fundamentals – it was mostly natural ability. I had a lot of heart, and I’ll fight all day and I’ll do whatever I have to do to win. That’s my mentality. But fundamentals – that’s what I’ve got to work on.”
which of these comments will resonate more with us?
There’s the athletic director looking back:
“If you look at the 12 [regular-season] games we played this year, I don’t think there is one of those 12 games you could say we didn’t give a great effort,” McGarity said. “I don’t think there is any question we took a little step backward [in the bowl] in our effort and our performance, and obviously it isn’t something we’re accustomed to seeing.
“If we [also] had an effort like that during the regular season, I think there would be a greater concern. But that is not what we saw for 12 games this year. I think those of us who saw our football team play for 12 games saw tremendous effort and saw fight. I think we had a lot of shortcomings [Friday].”
And the head coach looking ahead:
“There’s reasons why we ended up the way we did,” Richt said. “We’ve got to make changes. We’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen again in the future.
“When you start saying ‘change,’ that doesn’t necessarily mean personnel. … It’s more of how we go about our business. We’re going to improve. We’re going to get Georgia where it belongs.”
Man, I hope some school takes a flyer on Mike Leach.
… Leach was fired Dec. 30, 2009, and in January, he sued Texas Tech for wrongful termination. Leach filed a libel and defamation lawsuit against ESPN in November, claiming its coverage of the story was willfully negligent and damaging to Leach’s reputation.
One of Leach’s attorneys, Paul Dobrowski, said Thursday in a telephone interview that no school, including Maryland, demanded that Leach drop his lawsuits against Texas Tech and ESPN as a prerequisite to hiring him as its head football coach. Dobrowski also said Leach would “absolutely not” drop either lawsuit, should he be hired by a school before the resolution of either case.
If nothing else, it would be entertaining watching the WWL juggle Mike Patrick’s broadcast assignments.