“Georgia never gave up on him.”

Marc Weiszer hits on something about Georgia’s 2012 recruiting that’s struck me as well.

Georgia’s remaining targets include more than its usual share of recruits already on commitment lists at other schools — Sandy Creek receiver JaQuay Williams pledged to Auburn, Tucker defensive end/outside linebacker Josh Dawson to Vanderbilt, Cedar Grove offensive lineman Brandon Greene to Alabama, Martin Luther King linebacker Kenderius Whitehead to N.C. State and Memphis defensive back Sheldon Dawson to Memphis.

Now, not every recruit Richt is trying to run down in the next two days has given a verbal commitment elsewhere, but it does seem like Georgia is trying to change more minds down the stretch that I’ve been accustomed to seeing.

I’m not really sure if this is a one-off thing – situations like Chester Brown’s don’t come down the turnpike every day, admittedly – or if there’s some structural adjustment in how Georgia is approaching recruiting.  If it’s the latter, I wonder if that’s in response to the oft-heard criticism that Richt is slower to offer than other coaches, or if there’s some change in his approach due to the new SEC signing rules.

I don’t have a damned clue, in other words.  Anybody out there got some thoughts on this?

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34 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

34 responses to ““Georgia never gave up on him.”

  1. William

    I know specifically with regards to one of the Dawson boys, they were waiting to see how grades would pan out. The player came out strong in his academics, and thus UGA offered. Other schools had already offered him by that point, and so we are fighting off some schools. I don’t know if that is a reason that extends beyond that specific recruit, but I can see Richt thinking along those lines in other situations.

  2. Could this be a byproduct of kids committing earlier and earlier these days? Especially the Dawson/Memphis situation, and just the general status these days where a kid commits to lock up a spot while still looking around and weighing their options with others.

    I still recall Rodney Garner telling me about a decade ago that when a kid commits, that’s “when the real recruiting begins”, in that those who didn’t really want a kid fall off, while those that do make their best push and all the negative recruiters know exactly where to put the bullseye.

  3. Lowdawg

    I think this is the byproduct of Richt’s tenuous status as head coach coming into this year. Becuase of that we could not get as many early commitents as we usually do, thus this last minute push.

    • DawgPhan

      lulz…2009 called and they want their post back.

    • Bevo

      I thought the same. The uncertainty hanging over the program wasn’t really lifted until we won the Cocktail Party. As a result, we missed on some of the guys who committed early (eg, ILB prospects) and we had to make up ground late on others once Richt’s job was secure.

      So we started a few steps behind the competition this season. Hence the late push. Makes me a little nervous going into signing day with such a large void in the class, but we have a chance to close pretty strong.

  4. Puffdawg

    I don’t really understand the timing of offers being a big deal. It always bothers me to hear the late timing of his offer being the reason a recruit didn’t want to go to a certain school. Isn’t that a bit egomaniacal? Would you rather get an early offer from a coach who is a proven oversigner (and thus a serial cutter) or a later offer from a coach who has proven to be much more loyal to the kids he signs?

    • Dawgwalker07

      You know I used to think that then I thought about how if a school doesn’t offer a scholarship they may not be spending as mch time with a recruit as someone who has extended an offer. Therefore the kid develops relationships with one coaching staff and feels more comfortable with them, even if they had wanted to go to the first school in the first place.

  5. DawgPhan

    I hope we flip a bunch of these kids on Wednesday. We need some able bodies sending in faxes on Wednesday.

  6. Newt

    Also, in some of those cases, the schools they’re committed to are going through coordinator changes. What’s never reported is how often a kid’s coach might quietly call a school (like UGA) and say, “my guy is having second thoughts now that Coach X isn’t there anymore. He might still end up there, but he’d like to look around again now that the situation’s changed.”

  7. The biggest reason for all this has to do with all the negative press about his job status. The negative recruiting was probably worse than most years and Richt not adjusting to the situation. Richt has a certain way of doing things in regards to recruiting and he is not going to change come hell or high water. Can you imagine all the lies that were poured to them with the likes of scumbadg Smart and Saban, low life gene and trooper, Spurrier now doing anything possible to maintain his legacy and remaining a legend in his own mind. Wow that had to be an experience.

  8. Boz

    I think that each of the reasons play a factor… Kids were hesitant to commit early to UGA given the uncertainty of Richt’s job and may have made up their mind prior to letting the dust settle (i.e. the preseason meme of fire CMR, coupled by losing the first two games didn’t help). Winning 10 in a row, with all the upper classmen coming back built momentum (despite losing our last two games). With some shuffling of other school’s coaches doors were opened.

    I think that the momentum gained has allowed CMR and Co. to get a head start on the 2013 class and hopefully will pay off on NSD. If memory serves correct, there will be more room in next year’s class as well, so we should be able to bring in more players, which is great considering that next year’s class in Ga. is supposed to be better than normal

  9. Will Trane

    Seems the coaching staff was more focused on the season than on recruiting. The Dawgs keep more underclassmen on board than in the past. Plus, CMR finally realized you can not salvage every recruit / player. Best let some players go, because there are players who want to play in Sanford Stadium. Think CMR and staff have to make the game more fun. The AD, alums, supporters, and the University have to create an atmosphere of what football at UGA is. One that is at the top of the ladder and is electric. They certainly had an opportunity late, but they did not close it out and did not finish the drill. In 2012 the staff has to push it over the top. Has to be more than SEC championship. It has to be winning streaks…against UF, AU, USC, and etc. Win and win big. If you build it they will come to play in Sanford Stadium. Sanford Stadium can not sound like the name of building on campus. It has to sound and represent the best football not only in the SEC but all of D1 football.
    They have a solid core coming in regardless of the numbers. CMR is looking for championship minded players. Mature players right out of high school. He has some coming in but he wants more.

    • Cojones

      Good Will-Hunting. You and several others here have covered large grounds of reasoning well. You guys are good.

  10. Cousin Eddie

    How much was from late talent evaluations? Didn’t one of the talent evaluators or someone fairly high in the recruiting staff resign midway though the year? Don’t know if he wasn’t up to standards and was forced out or becuase he left and the staff got put behind due to transitioning a new staff person. I don’t know excatly how it works with talent evaluations/reviewing tapes/staging visits and etc but I doubt Garner does all of that along with his coaching duties.

  11. jadams

    CMR – “Tell me, Mr. McGarity, what difference do you see between the other schools and UGA?”
    GMcG – “The other guys are outworking you.”

    • WH

      Hmmm. Don’t think so.

      In some cases, the “other guys” (like Bama) have twice the recruiting staff UGA has. that falls on Mr. Mc-We-Pay-About-Average.

      Mcgarity has been great on a lot of things, and I wouldn’t trade him for Evans, but recruiting is not the place to be cheap. If you don’t have staff, you can’t review film and evaluate players.

      Late evaluation = late offer.

  12. Mean Machine in Red and Black

    I think you all have excellent points, and I’ll add my theory.With the addition of Coach Grantham and his staff, and our team seeming to adapt, as a whole, his mindset to football, that we simply have more to offer players than any time in recent memory. Committed or Not.

  13. Cojones

    I feel sheepish putting in my post after reading those before. I think the ajc intoning the loss of a player just because he is from Georgia has exascerbated the sense of loss with players going elsewhere. It doesn’t matter if the player is good or not for our team, they hit it as a negative and that should not be. We go after our needs no matter where they be. Earlier observations about next year’s players from Georgia being an extraordinary one when compared to this year’ pickings are valid. Much of ajc’s attention isn’t paid to location when good players come from other states. Don’t be too surprised if a great out-of-state player swings to us on signing day while we have our attention diverted watching and waiting for our Georgia players to sign. This red herring will not affect the future of our team to any great degree, only keep us from a self-imposed embarrassment promulgated by the ajc. Those players should be looked at as gravy, nothing more, nothing less.

    • Cojones

      Addition: If those players can’t see their future enhanced by coming aboard this team, I’m not too sure we want them. That isn’t a putdown on the players, only us holding our flag higher than others for shear opportunity.

  14. Scott

    Commitments have been barely trickling in since August. UGA has only 7 players commit in the past 6 months. I am not optimistic about any sudden influx of commitments, but I hope I am wrong.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      School ESPNU 150 Commits
      1. Alabama 12 27
      2. Texas 11 26
      3. Florida State 9 16
      4. Florida 8 21
      5. Georgia 5 16
      6. Ohio State 5 24
      7. Clemson 6 20
      8. Michigan 4 23
      9. Notre Dame 6 18
      10. Oklahoma 5 20
      View 2012 class rankings »

  15. W Cobb Dawg

    Dawgs will have a good batch of recruits even if we’re stuck at 16. In particular I like Jenkins, Taylor, Marshall, Gurley and Theus. And maybe we’ll get lucky and pluck a few away from other schools. Having said that, we shouldn’t be down to 16 commits this late – when we have a limit of 27. I believe there are plenty of good/acceptable recruits who’d love to sign with UGA, and who could contribute to the program. The questionable signing of Cootie Harrow last year turned out be a help on special teams. CMR refuses to consider the inevitable off-season attrition in recruiting calculations, and there’s no doubt it has hurt the program.

    • Erkine

      I continue to believe it makes no difference about the timing of recruiting commitments. The #1 priority for a recruit is early playing time. UGA has a load of retuning players, therefore this years recruits look elsewhere first.
      If we sign the players that have pledged to commit to Georgia, I will be happy. We will have signed the ones that want to be at UGA and have the character Coach Richt believes will take us to the next level. It is a waste of time to fret over the ones that get away.

  16. JasonC

    I read there are a few factors going into this year’s trend:

    1. Typically UGA has gotten a bunch of commitments early and is only filling out spots. That didn’t happen as much this year because of uncertainty and negative memes floating out there.
    2. Flipping in general has picked up this year. I read an article recently that stated the number of flips already this recruiting season and it is up from last year and we aren’t even done yet.
    3. Mostly importantly, UGA typically operates in a manner when a kids says I am 100% committed to being a “Redneck U Mercaneaglephant”, Richt & Co. respect that and back off (I believe that is what happened with Dillon Lee). However, if a kid leaves the door open, such as Dawson (either) they will continue to pursue.

  17. Reed this

    I’m thinking the coaches have done this for a long time and are “shooting for the stars” once again with this class. They are trying to get some guys they wouldn’t have had a prayer with a few years ago. And if they don’t get them they have backup plans. And if they don’t get those kids they have backup plans for their backup plans. Things will work out. We already have a great class and whoever we get in the next few days will be icing on the cake.

    • JasonC

      “They are trying to get some guys they wouldn’t have had a prayer with a few years ago.”

      Um, considering UGA has consistently field recruiting classes in the top 10 during Richt’s tenure, I don’t know if I agree with this statement. Granted, there have been a few years with hiccups, but Richt & Co. have had success getting top rated recruits.

      • Reed this

        I meant that more in terms of who the coaches were recruiting against more than whether or not they wanted to come play for us. Recruiting against UF a couple of years ago when they were still riding the Tebow/Meyer train and fresh off of 2 National titles in a 3 year span, or Bama after their NC and recent successes was/would be very hard to compete with…especially after our mediocre 2008-2010 campaigns.

  18. Atlchris

    The Jordan Jenkins commitment alone speaks volumes about the change in recruiting at Georgia.. The guy didn’t even Like UGA but he ended up in Athens…

  19. Keese

    Expect to see a few surprises on signing day in the Dawgs favor. I have a hunch there are several silent commits that the UGA coaches have conspired to let them have their moment on signing day and give UGA a splash on ESPN. I wouldn’t be surprised if Brandon Greene flipped from Bama.

  20. South FL Dawg

    Folks have already identified some good reasons and here are a few more.

    What if other schools just have more playing time to offer? For ex, we signed a bunch of DB’s last year.

    We lost 2 juco commits (Outlaw, Fields), the WR Curry and Chester Brown. Also we were holding a spot for Turene.

    Jaquay Williams had some grade or schoolwork issue and we went after him after he got his stuff in order.

    But here’s one other thing that I think might be what you’re looking for – in the past we offered kids that we thought would commit ahead of some that would be hard to get, but now the MO seems to be to go for the cream of the crop and stay on them. Ex: IIRC Chase Vasser got offered before Jarvis Jones ( no dis to Vasser but why….)

  21. WH

    There really are so many reasons. Pretty much everything that has been listed so far is about right (though I take exception to the “Richt just doesn’t work as hard” meme).

    I would also add: it’s just harder to get into Georgia than a lot of other schools. If grades look like a problem, Richt isn’t going to recruit that kid very hard and get his hopes up.

    As for why it’s happening so much this year: we have a shot with guys we could not have gotten 3 or 4 years ago, not because Richt figured out how to recruit this year, but because Georgia is more stable right now than most other programs in the SEC, especially in our division. .

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