Daily Archives: January 29, 2011

You’ve got your pet peeves, I’ve got mine.

I respect the position of those who vehemently object to the practice of oversigning, even if I’m not as worked up about it as they are.

That’s not to say that there aren’t aspects to the present day recruiting scene that don’t offend the bejeezus out of me.  For one such current signing practice which really chaps my ass, turn north, my friends, to that fine academic institution in Knoxville, Tennessee for the story of one of its basketball signees who’s having a spot of trouble qualifying.

“I’m going to Brittain Academy in Charlotte,” Jones said, before discussing his reason for leaving Oak Ridge. “It was academic. … I talked to the coaches and we decided I should go somewhere I could get better grades. It’s not because of behavior or basketball-wise. I need to be able to better understand my work, and I can do that at Brittain Academy.”

The website for Brittain Academy touts a high school diploma program that allows those who register to graduate in 30 days or less. The program consists of one test, and those who fail can retest at no cost. The record time for completion of the program, according to the website, is 7 hours.

That sounds just like Choate.  And if you’re wondering how UT feels about the young man’s choice, fear not.  The Vols are down with it.

… Jones said that Tennessee is aware of his situation and supportive.

“I’ve been talking to them all week,” Jones said. “They told me it was a great choice because the way it was looking, it didn’t look good. But they said I’m making a good choice. … It just dawned on me. What am I playing basketball for if I’m not going to be cleared? I had to make a decision.”

SEC Dean’s List, here we come.

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Filed under Academics? Academics., Recruiting

Flaunt it, baby, flaunt it.

Texas will be paying its football coaching staff nearly $9 million this season.

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Filed under Big 12 Football

Thinking Dream(y) thoughts

In the wake of the buzz following Ray Drew’s announcement yesterday, Matt Hinton had a question for us.

On one level, I see his point.  It’s not like the 2011 class will be the first highly rated one that Richt has reeled in.  But context matters here.  Richt found himself selling a product that appeared a little torn and frayed around the edges after last season – and doing so in the face of aggressive competition which had the last two national championship trophies to waive at many of the same recruits whom Georgia targeted.

Call the Dream Team concept a marketing gimmick, if you’d like.  But if you do so, don’t forget to admit that it’s worked admirably.  And it’s done that on a number of levels.  It’s given the staff focus on the recruiting trail.  It’s given the in-state kids a theme to rally around.  It’s excited the fan base.  It’s also created the impression that maybe, just maybe, Richt isn’t ready to be buried in Athens just yet.

In the short run, that last factor is as important as anything, if you’re Richt.  The program needs to wash the taste of that 6-7 season out of its mouth, and quickly.  Positive momentum is a priority, and at this time of year there’s no more obvious way to generate that than with a flashy recruiting class.

Richt’s done a good job of managing it, too.  Compare the attitude directed towards the program from a month ago after Dickson and Bray signed with verballed to ‘Bama and Auburn to the electricity Georgia has now.  I can’t remember Georgia under Richt ever closing out a recruiting season the way 2011 appears to be playing out.  And I don’t think that’s happenstance.  So kudos to Richt – and let’s hope this is just a good first step on the road to SEC relevancy this season.

Someone else whom I suspect deserves some kudos for assembling this class is Todd Grantham.  The Dream Team concept has its roots in Grantham’s observation made early on in Athens that he believed he could field a national championship caliber defense without having to travel too far to assemble the talent.

And while he hasn’t had the high profile on the recruiting trail that Bobo’s (deservedly) had – although he’s been front and center on Jenkins like nobody’s business – it’s clear from comments like this from Drew (from an earlier version of Chip Towers’ post about his commitment)…

“I will be playing the same position that Justin Houston played this year. While it is the 3-4, the majority of the time it’s a 4-3 look where the outside linebacker plays on end with his hand on the ground and gets after the quarterback. That’s the way it is 60 to 70 percent of the time.”

… that Grantham’s been in the ear of these kids and they’ve been receptive to what he has to say.  He sounds like a coach who knows where he wants to go with this class.  It’ll be interesting to see how good a judge of talent he turns out to be in the next year or two.

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UPDATE: More Dream Team stuff from Seth Emerson here.

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Filed under Georgia Football