“It’s going to get real, now, up there in Athens.”

Here’s a story that illustrates the emergence of another Richt persona:

… That next morning Mark Richt — the coach who takes stoicism to new frontiers, the one so criticized for his lack of sideline showmanship — staged an elaborate production for Crowell’s benefit.

The 18-year-old and his family were shown to Richt’s new office, overlooking the recently completed indoor practice facility. As they visited, the Crowells noticed activity down below. Players began filing onto the practice field.

“We got up and looked out,” said Debbie Crowell, Isaiah’s mother. “I didn’t know what was going on, but Isaiah could tell that they were getting into formation. And there wasn’t a tailback.”

The stage was set. Richt escorted the family down to the field. Crowell was handed a Georgia jersey — No. 1 on the back — and a helmet and asked if he wanted to take that empty spot in the backfield. Debbie Crowell remembers Richt painting the scene of next season’s opener against Boise State, asking her son if he could see himself in that jersey and helmet, behind that offensive line, starting his career in the din of the Georgia Dome.

“Yes, sir, I can,” Isaiah said.

“My baby was excited. He was ready to go,” Debbie said.

Hummer goes on to make a misleading comparison of Richt to P. T. Barnum – unfair because there’s little doubt that Richt is sincere about giving Crowell every opportunity to come in and play in 2011 – but it’s clear we’re seeing that the old dog does indeed have a few new tricks up his sleeve.

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27 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

27 responses to ““It’s going to get real, now, up there in Athens.”

  1. TennesseeDawg

    Better hope Crowell comes in and works to win that starting job. Richt seems to have implied several times he will at least play a lot if not start.

    • Stoopnagle

      Given that either of the other two RB in competition for carries will likely be hurt or suspended…

      Here’s hoping he’s got a work ethic and wants to be better than just the starter for Georgia.

    • Howl&Woof

      I think that CMR is pissed about the lack of dedication and discipline from his running backs (if not his entire team). He is sending a message that they better get their asses in gear or waste the greatest chance of success that they will ever have!
      It may be CMR’s fault that the team underperformed, but anybody that has ever worked in the corporate world knows, s**t flows downhill. The surest way to get canned is to make your boss look bad.

  2. Stoopnagle

    Can’t you totally see Bobby Bowden doing that too?

    Still, I give it a small off-season fist-pump.

    Richt’s swag pad already paying dividends…

  3. TomReagan

    I thought the NCAA had made it illegal to print up jerseys for players?

    Maybe it was just the jumbo tron videos that Florida used to produce.

  4. That was probably an old jersey of Massaquoi or Braden. Cootie will make it because The Big Cork Jenkins will occasionally lead the way.

  5. Normaltown Mike

    Whatever works.

    I laughed about the Lane Kiffin “Wild Boys” stuff and Chizik’s limo, but then I’m a middle aged pencil pusher. If this is what it takes to excite a 17 yr old kid then so be it.

    Glad to know some kids really think about the process. I know of an athlete at Illinois that spent his ‘cruitin visit enjoying the delicious meals at Outback Steakhouse and hanging out at his hotel. When he enrolled he was shocked (SHOCKED!) at the pitiful cafeteria food and dorm room he would be staying in.

  6. Macallanlover

    I like the idea of having Crowell visualize being in that spot, the jersey is OK, etc., but it is troubling to act like the spot is empty….available sure, empty no. Also, I can see Crowell playing some against Boise, if he is as good as advertised, but I felt CMR’s comment about him getting the first handoff smacked of promising a start. That goes a little too far to me. Again, glad he signed with us, but he is a HS football player at this stage. (Don’t confuse this comment with Richt not deserving an “A” for this class, just don’t feel we need the perception of being on our knees for any recruit.)

    • Ben

      I’m afraid you might be forgetting what a true freshman did to us last year. If things break right, this kid is a difference maker out of the gates. Let’s just hope our “running game coordinator” is a bit more competent this year than last year’s edition.

      • Macallanlover

        Not at all, I have nothing against IC earning the start. My point was I hope he wasn’t promised that in return for a signatured fax. Play all the freshmen that are capable of contributing, but let’s not establish a depth chart until players prove they should move ahead of those who have a history at this level. I am still trying to figure out what the hell Vince and his staff were doing in August of 1980 to miss that new kid he landed at RB. No need for us to have to sweat that opener in Knoxville like we did.

    • Bulldog Bry

      This.

      Looking back on the God-Fearing Dude’s reign, he hasn’t really made a habit of having true freshmen make an impact in week one. In fact, it’s usually the highly recruited ones who, when asked about them in August, “have a little bit of work to do”, or “need to work on their technique”.

      • austintwo

        Look out for Crowell’s hamstring to be strained in Fall camp – I can’t remember a single frosh TB we’ve had under CMR who hasn’t missed lots of camp for that, which obviously sets them back for PT.

  7. Reptillicide

    Reminds me of the SportsCenter commercial where Les Miles is recruiting anchors for them.

    “Picture this….”

  8. SC Dawg

    It’s like taking a girl out to Bones on a first date. You know damn right well that you’re not going to be shelling out coin like that everytime, but damned if it doesn’t deserve a little commitment from the lady. I think Crowell gets (and deserves) his shot. I’m still on the younger side, so theatrics like that get my blood pumping. Probably just my naivete.

  9. WFdawg

    If motivation with King and Ealey wasn’t a problem already, I’ll bet “Isaiah Crowell, Heir Apparent” seals it. I just hope Crowell doesn’t turn out to be a bust because I’m wondering if anything can be salvaged from King-Ealey now.

    • HamDawg11

      If they’re worth their salt, they’ll get in the weight room, film room, and on the practice field and work their tails off. If they tuck their tails and sulk in the corner, then that’s probably where they belong. I hope Crowell pushes them all to become better players. To win consistently in the SEC we’ll need 3 or 4 solid backs to contribute. Look at SC this year. With Latti they were great, without him they were….well, SC. If Crowell comes in and has a major impact early on then gets sidelined for a while, I don’t think the talent drop-off is very drastic. King and Ealey still have a lot to give to this team and Thomas / Malcolm may have something to say about the gig as well…

  10. NM

    This isn’t an NCAA violation isn’t it? If coming through a tunnel to smoke (USC, right?) counts as “simulating the gameday experience,” throwing on a jersey and getting into formation sure sounds like it would, too…

    Whatever, Isaiah is worth a secondary vio…

  11. 69Dawg

    I think Ealey will compete but CK has been a sulker from day one. He could easily fall off the three deep. I’m just worried that IC will end up another Richard Samuel but then I still remember Jasper and that drama.

  12. DamnGoodDawg

    Isn’t that Branden Smith’s Jeresy number?

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