“I’d like it to be the boringest day there is.”

(AP photo)

Mark Richt didn’t get his wish.  Woodrow Clemons has his fifteen minutes of fame.  Ultimately, I expect this to be a tempest in a teapot.  The kid sounds like he’s coming to Athens and as long as that’s how he feels, that’s where he’ll wind up – the NLI isn’t a requirement to play for a school on a scholarship, so he can come even if grampa never signs on the dotted line.

Aside from the drama, here are a few observations:

  • There’s a lot to like about this class.  Grantham cleaned up on candidates for the defensive line and outside linebacker and sounds very happy about it.  Marshall and Gurley shore up the tailback slot.  The Dawgs didn’t screw around on the kicking spots, either.  As far as signing for need, mission accomplished.
  • If you want to pick nits, it would have to be over the class size.  I do think that there was an intent all along not to offer every available scholarship to this year’s class, based on the quality and size of the 2013 talent pool, but the reality is that Chester Brown’s slot wasn’t filled after it unfortunately came open.  Signing only three offensive linemen – even though at least two of the three look to be immediate contributors – is the kind of move that you fear comes back to bite this program in the butt two or three years down the road.  (It’s not like that hasn’t happened before.)  Not signing Avery Young was by far the biggest disappointment of the day.
  • Richt thinks the hot seat talk had an effect“I think ‘the noise’ probably hurt us a little on the front end. But once we had the season that we had, we did something we hadn’t done since the early 1980s, winning 10 in a row, and returning a lot of players and all that. I think maybe some of the guys in a wait-and-see decided they were very comfortable with where Georgia is now and where Coach Richt and the staff are. I think that had a little something to do with it.”  Maybe so, but you’d have to think that was the case the year before as well and that didn’t slow the staff down.

At the risk of being accused of sunshine pumping, I’m a little surprised at how much disappointment has been expressed over the class of 2012 on message boards and comment threads.  Admittedly, you can knock the numbers a bit, but the quality is excellent, both from an absolute standpoint and in terms of meeting needs.  And I don’t think you can pass final judgment on Richt’s overall 2012 recruiting strategy until the hay is in the barn on next year’s bunch.  If Georgia gets aggressive enough, signing a class approaching 30 with a number of early entries, then there would seem to be little to be concerned about in future years.

And while I’m on the subject of the virtual Dawgnation, I’m not sure there’s anything funnier than reading the whining about recruiting rankings coming from the same people who spend the rest of the year knocking the recruiting services and how so many kids with lots of stars never work out.

Your thoughts?

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44 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

44 responses to ““I’d like it to be the boringest day there is.”

  1. dean

    I agree Senator. The lack of o-linemen concerns me more than the lack of overall numbers. I think the staff probably got in on some kids “late” after scholarships opened up due to “attrition”.

  2. Dave

    The class is very, very good. signing Avery would have made it amazing. We’re 1-2 OL short of an absolutely awesome class. I expect 5-7 next year including maybe a JUCO who is ready to play. Really good class here.

    • ChicagoDawg

      Missing out on AY was a nut punch to be sure. However, next year the state of GA is loaded at OL with quality and quantity. They will likely sign at least 5 really good prospects from the state and still lose out or not offer on kids they would otherwise take any other year.

    • UGA70

      Atkins, in this class, is a possibility to move to OL and I understand a respectable walk-on OL’men from my home town Moultrie/Colquitt Co is also in the works. Plus next year we should be able to fill our needs in any gaps that exist.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I like this class–a lot. Quality players.

  3. TennesseeDawg

    Atkins maybe a better OG than a DT anyway and may wind up there. Young was probably the biggest “need” loss. Losing the 2 WR doesn’t really matter from a need or depth standpoint. The OL class for 2013 is extremely strong in Georgia and Richt needs to clean up.

  4. The ATH

    Agreed on the quality – especially if clemons is part of it. As for the quantity concerns, take a look at the chart in this link: http://mobile.al.com/advbirm/pm_111003/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=eRvgMmK4
    It’s tough to beat LSU and Bama – for more than a half anyway – when they consistently bring in 4-5 more guys each year. I’m glad Richt doesn’t oversign and revoke commitments, but leaving 6+ scholarships on the table…
    Lacking depth at o line in particular has become regular as the sunrise. Still a great group though.

    • Bevo

      I agree with this summary. We addresssed immediate needs and got a quality class. We’re an OL or two and a DB away from having a great class. However, we didn’t do enough to build depth, which is on of the key differences between us and the elite.

      Bama/LSU bring in five recruiting classes for every four we sign. I’m not asking that we oversign like those two, but at least we could put an end to the undersigning.

  5. fuelk2

    I am a full fledged, sunshine pumping Disney Dawg, but I can do more than pick nits with this class. I love the guys who signed (and hopefully the one who will sign), but I think the better way of phrasing it is that this class addresses all of the “immediate” needs.

    My hope is that one day we don’t look to the freshman class to address many, if any, immediate needs. There was still a gaping hole in this class (maybe more than one) in addressing future needs. Look at the situation at ILB for 2013. If Tree leaves (which I have to think is likely), Herrera, Wilson, and Burrows will be our only ILBs who aren’t freshmen on the roster. I, for one, did not enjoy being forced to choose between Herrera and Sulek against Boise State.

    Maybe that is a nit. Maybe JHC trains at ILB. But it’s still an issue that we need to improve on in the future. I think it’s okay to be disappointed by that, and I’m sure the coaches are as well.

    • Gravidy

      Well, UGA certainly is loaded at OLB right now. They can’t all play OLB. I suspect there will be at least one or two who find themselves at ILB.

      • fuelk2

        I agree on that. Not sure who moves, but I think it’s likely that someone will – or at least cross train. Problem is that many of our OLB’s don’t seem to fit the mold of an ILB at all.

  6. Spike

    It’s all good. Getting Avery would have been great, but you can’t get them all.

  7. Biggen

    What’s the benefit of leaving 6 scholarships unsigned? Isn’t something better than nothing at all? Wouldn’t even a 1-2 star player be better than no player?

    Or is it so that we can save some for walkons? Although 6 sounds like too many scholarships just for walkons…

    • Wouldn’t even a 1-2 star player be better than no player?

      It depends if you can get 2013 EEs to fill those slots. If you can, then it’s worth waiting.

    • It’s a “four-year” deal for Richt (in that he is not going to “manage” a player off the team unless he gets into trouble). So, no, a four-year commitment to a 1-2 star player is not better than the potential of signing extra players in 2013 when the talent crop is deeper. Don’t waste a scholly on a player that won’t see the two-deep, much less the field. Get that player in as a preferred walk-on and save the schollies for early entries next year.

      • Normaltown Mike

        Truth be told, it’s a 5 year commitment with CMR.

        He redshirts too many guys, which adds to our molasses in January roster turn over.

        In this era, redshirting should be used for O Lineman, QB’s and injured players.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          Agreed. Limit redshirts to those positions you mentioned ONLY. If a RB or wideout is redshirted that is like throwing away a year. The good ones leave for the NFL after their junior year academically anyway. See: Moreno, Knowshon.

    • signees out of 25 is the wrong number to look at. We don’t sign to 25 every year, we sign to the 85 total limit. I still need to look at the numbers, but to say we left 6 scholarships on the table is Saban math and inaccurate.

      • JT

        Sorry but that’s incorrect. If everyone is still around in August, we will have 7 scholarships not being used (I don’t count walk-ons getting a scholarship as “using” the scholarship).

        This undersigning wouldn’t be a big deal if this was a one year aberration but it’s not.

        • Dawgaholic

          Wrong, 3 will be unused. Faloughi earned a full ride-he was not given a ship because we had extras. Granted there may be more attrition by August but right now we are 3 short. Considering the players we have lost in the last 18 months there may not be much more attrition.

  8. DawgPhan

    I am willing to wait for the 2013 class to make a judgement on this class, but right now I am not super thrilled about this class number/OL wise.

    Right now I am just hoping that we have a couple of guys from this class step in an contribute in a big way and we have a couple guys from the 2011 class who red-shirted step up. That will provide a lot of the needed depth.

    • Rocketdawg

      All of you complaining about OL (not directed at you specifically Dawg Phan) do realize that we have 14 scholorship OL now right? Most teams are 2 deep at the OL position. We’ll be fine for the next couple of years but we really need to load the hopper with 4-5 OL next class.

  9. Rocketdawg

    I think that there was a strategic purpose in leaving the 6 spots on the table this year (although to be fair I think the intent was more like 2-3 and having Patterson and Young pull their shenanigans added two more) in order to sign more players out of the 2013 class (which is arguably one of the strongest in recent memory). This class was strong in the quality of recruit if not the numbers. I would rather have a large class next year out of a deeper talent pool. The Dream Team will be RSoph/Juniors when the 2013 class gets on campus so there shouldn’t be a drop off in quality between the two.

    As for the grumbling, I have had enough of it. It has gotten to the point that short of a MNC nothing is good enough. Bunch of spoiled brat/Bama wannabes are making us all look bad.

    • Cojones

      Not only that, they should kick their own whiney butts for helping create the early season atmosphere that contributed to a low number.

  10. Silver Creek Dawg

    I want to say I heard that the staff is planning for at least 3 EE’s in 2013.

  11. Macallanlover

    Dead on, Senator. There are many who whine about every single target that we don’t sign, or anyone from Georgia HS that we don’t sign. In other words, UGA must have the top class and land every top recruit or you can expect to here grumbling from some. This is an excellent class, had 3-5 of those we signed yesterday waited until Feb. 1 to announce, the mood would be entirely different today. Getting “just” JHC and Dawson in at the last moment looked worse than if Beard, Theus, Marshall, and Gurley had put off their decision until the last moment.

    I think losing Young is the only significant miss of the class, and the situation with Chester Brown was unfortunate and unanticipated. How much time did that leave the staff to pull in another two quality OL recruits, and were they to anticipate that? Had they both come, would there be any legitimate complaints? Young’s decision is very puzzling, but those weird choices happen. He chose Auburn who is unlikely to sniff Atlanta during his time there. They have several good OL prospects in place, a new OC, mediocre skill players on offense, and look to be the 4th or 5th best team in the West. He could have played early at UGA, and been a part of a team that is the top pick in the East this year. He even had the morning yesterday to see the distance between the AubieCanes and Bama widen. Like Calvin Johnson, he simply made a bad decision.on what looked to be a no-brainer flop hand.

    We have put ourselves in a slight hole with regard to the OL and I am confident the staff will put primary emphasis on this throughout the year and get an early start on those prospects. CTG clearly had a better day than CMB, but I prefer that to the reverse. With the talent we have on defense, we will be in every contest for the next few years, time for the offense to step their game up.

  12. heyberto

    I thought we had a great class as well. Maybe not terribly flashy like last year, and that’s the source of the whining.. but as you said, this was about addressing needs. I have to think the lack of urgency in going the JUCO route on OL tells me they’re comfortable with the stable of talent, and will probably work to shore that up next year even further. Either way, NSD is fun, but doesn’t amount to whole lot until we see how they do from here. Good job CMR and staff, with a special shout out to Grantham. He seemed to be the difference maker for quite a few of these guys.

  13. charlottedawg

    Oline and numbers are my biggest concern. I understand you may want to save space for 2013 EEs but are we really expecting 5-6 EEs and no attrition? When you sign 19 guys especially 3 olinemen when u wanted 5-6, you really have very very little margin for error especially when your 2010 class may be the worst class in Richt’s tenure and rivals like Alabama are effectively getting an extra recruiting class every 4 years. Now on the bright side many of the guys we signed look like they have the potential to be impact players so if they all develop as anticipated this is all moot. One final note CTG doesn’t look like a very good recruiter for an ex-NFL guy. He looks like a GREAT recruiter. period. It almost seems like we just sent the guy to every D prospect we targeted, grantham goes “this my scheme here’s where I wanna play you” and the recruit goes “forget what grandpa or anybody else thinks, where do i sign?”.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Call the Georgia General Assembly about our OL shortfall. Politics cost us 1 good kid.

    • Cojones

      I’m curious. Where does everyone think Coach Gardner has been in the last few frenetic weeks? Did he connect and with which player(s)? Haven’t seen too many with his name on them. Saw two go away after he closed with them. Has he lost his stalwart recruiting ability?

      • Macallanlover

        I think it has been a deliberate effort by CMR during his tenure to spread the responsibility from one main “point guy” to several coaches. We were so dependent on CRG in 2001 that had teams been successful in luring him away we would have been left with few contacts and would have seen a couple of years where we failed in the recruiting area. CMR and several coaches now can step up to minimize the damage should Rodney ever leave. Don’t get me wrong, he is still a damned good liaison with players, and plays a key role, but we had too many eggs in one basket in the early 00s.

        • Cojones

          Sometimes small things go unnoticed, but in this case they shouldn’t. I was horrified to see that I placed a “d” in his name and you used his initials rather than correct it. You must have a lot of friends and business associates that know and appreciate that about you.

  14. meansonny

    I think our numbers at OL are OK. We’ve got enough depth in 2012 to handle 1-2 guys going down during the course of the season and still be in better shape than we were in 2011.

    The “forgotten” position for me is DB. in 2010, we signed Marc Deas. We load up with about 6 good finds in 2011. And we finish 2012 with Sheldon Dawson.

    When we go into nickel, we need 5 guys (just like on the OL) to be ready to play and shut down top offenses. The reality is that we need about 2 (maybe 3) backups who can handle the occasional injury from a hammy or ACL.

    We’re fine at DB in 2012. But 2013 with the 8 roster spots we’ve signed the past 3 recruiting classes does not leave a lot of room for error in throwing kids out there to shut down spread offensive attacks.

  15. Athens own

    If we put up a fence around Ga. we will have a top 3 recruiting class for 2013. Arguably the top two players in the nation next year are in GA. We have to do a better job of keeping in state. That being said, this years class was good, but not great.

    • Cojones

      ESPN’s rankings disagrees with you.

    • Macallanlover

      I would say this class was “very good”, not great. We will not know for a few years as ‘crootin is a hard animal to get your hands around, but I like this class a lot. We will start 2012 stronger than we started 2011, imo.

  16. W Cobb Dawg

    I believe we signed some quality recruits. But twist it any way you wish, we still left 6+/- schollys unfilled. Those will go to walk-ons later this year who likely won’t contribute much, not to players we evaluate, recruit, sign and develop. And what about attrition? Mayes and Turene never enrolled from last year’s class (same with Fields and Outlaw the year before). If history is any indication, we’ll lose a couple before camp opens. Having said that, my bigger concern is about top GA players going to our sec opponents, like Dillon Lee, Alexander, Greene, Elder, Tomlinson, Williams, etc. We seemed to miss on a lot of these guys this year. I wouldn’t call it a trend, but it concerns me and shouldnt be dismissed out-of-hand. A few of these GA guys in our pipeline, instead of other sec schools, would have boosted this class considerably. Unless Marshall and/or Gurley turns out the be the RB we thought we had last year with Crowell, this class might end up being mediocre.