The Fabris-zation of Georgia’s roster

Heckuva challenge you’ve got there, Markie.

According to an announcement Thursday by Mark Richt, Georgia redshirt sophomore inside linebacker Brandon Burrows has decided to transfer in a quest to find more playing time…

Burrows departure leaves the Bulldogs with 74 players on scholarship, which includes five former walk-ons who were granted scholarships last year.

That’s an understated way of saying that Georgia’s scholarship numbers for offered players is closer to FCS standards than D-1′s.

Now Burrows’ departure (no offense) by itself may not be a huge loss – he came out of high school recovering from a serious injury and had yet to see the field for Georgia – but on top of the attrition and the undersigning that’s been part of the program for the past two or three seasons, it leaves the program in a rather dicey place.  That’s somewhat offset by Georgia coming off its first injury-free offseason under Richt, but who expects his luck on that front to hold up throughout the grind of an SEC season?

You’d have to think this is going to have a serious impact on how Richt goes about his business this season.  For instance,

  • How much contact does Georgia allow in fall practice and in weekly in-season practices?
  • How hard does Georgia try to put away its weaker opposition early on to clear the bench as soon as it can in the second half?
  • Outside of Aaron Murray, is there anyone on the roster who doesn’t play on special teams?
  • When do we hear about the final details on the suspensions of Rambo, Ogletree and Smith?

In other words, it’s not so much that all is lost, as it is that this season is going to put a premium on roster management.  And prayers for continued good health.

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54 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

54 responses to “The Fabris-zation of Georgia’s roster

  1. fuelk2

    Special teams aside, I think you’re right that Burrows’ departure doesn’t hurt much for this year….but check out the potential 2-deep (if you can make one) at ILB next year. We had four guys get heavy playing time at that position last year (Tree, Gilliard, C-Rob, and Herrera). The only guys I’m spotting on the roster for 2013 who should be ready to play are Herrera and Ramik Wilson. We NEED Foster.

  2. Mayor of Dawgtown

    The only silver lining to this cloud may be that finally THIS will wake up CMR about his undersigning practices. Forget oversigning–just use all the scholarships you have instead of self-imposing what amounts to NCAA sanctions on your own program year, after year, after year, after year, after year……….

    • DawgPhan

      What makes everyone think that signing more players is the solution to our number problem? Signing more players might just mean that we end up with more dismissals and transfers.

      If we had signed 20 more players over then last 5 years, we would probably have 10-15 more transfers and dismissals and maybe 5 more scholarship players who we didnt want in the first place? Is that really improving the situation?

      We already tried to recruit UGA players what happens when you expand the pool to start filling slots and have to take kids that weren’t in your first cut?.

      Again, everyone wants to be tough on crime, but no one wants to pay the taxes to build a new jail.

      Crowell is a great example…if his case gets reduced to a 1st offenders plea for a misdemeanor concealed weapon(which seems likely unless something else happens with the gun), we booted a great player over a misdemeanor.

      • Crowell is a great example…if his case gets reduced to a 1st offenders plea for a misdemeanor concealed weapon(which seems likely unless something else happens with the gun), we booted a great player over a misdemeanor.

        No. IC was dismissed because he became too big a distraction for Richt to manage.

        • DawgPhan

          Because CMR thought that when he signed the #1 RB in the country the guy was going to be as quiet as a church mouse?

          This doesnt change my point that signing more players isn’t a solution. If you are suggesting the CMR is booting players he can’t deal with, bringing in more players isnt going to make him better at managing players..he can’t handle the 65 he has now, what would he do with 30% more players?

          • Because CMR thought that when he signed the #1 RB in the country the guy was going to be as quiet as a church mouse?

            No, because he didn’t sign on for annual suspension soap operas. You really think that’s part of the package?

            • DawgPhan

              When you sign the #1 RB in the country, probably. The other part of that is that we seem to love to suspend players. So if you combine, I dont want to deal with suspensions with I suspend everyone for the slightest transgression, where does that leave you?

              it leaves you with getting rid of your top 4 RBs in 2 years because you dont want to deal with it.

              Take a look at this list and see what you are dealing with when you recruit top RBs. Nearly everyone of those kids is either in trouble or at a different school.

              http://rivals.yahoo.com/footballrecruiting/football/recruiting/rankings/rank-rivalsrb/2011

              • DawgPhan

                clearly Crowell wasnt #1 on that list…but top RB’s come with drama.

              • fuelk2

                I hate to say it, but Crowell would’ve been better off going to Bama. Does anyone think Crowell is a worse kid than Dee Hart? I don’t. But Dee Hart is having his growing pains in a place like T-town while being buried on the depth chart. Because of the existing depth over there, Saban has the luxury of making the new guys prove themselves and toe the line in order to climb the depth chart. Eventually, we have to get back to having that kind of talent and competition on the roster. Being able to redshirt a guy like Knowshon is a beautiful thing; I don’t care what anyone says.

                • gastr1

                  You have a point there re: redshirting Knowshon despite the conventional wisdom.

                • SCDawg

                  Knowshon got redshirted because we had Brown, Lumpkin, and Ware in 2006. Was Michael Cooper still in school then?

                • Mayor of Dawgtown

                  Redshirting Knowshon Moreno effectively cost UGA one season of his services.

                  • Or had him better prepared for being the man for the next two seasons. There is really no way to know without being able to go back and change history. Maybe being redshirted motivated him to get better. Maybe we did waste a year that he would have been that good.

                    • gatriguy

                      Redshirting Knowshon most likely cost UGA it’s best chance at a National Title in 2007. No way we get away from Knowshon against USC had he played in 2006 and we realized what we had. Good RBs are usually gone after 3 years anyway; there’s no point in wasting one of those seasons with a redshirt. Redshirt lineman to get them physically ready, play skill positions from Day 1.

          • so you think we should stay at 1-AA scholarship #s? Yes, we should sign more players. Yes, we should look to be around 88 after that first Wed in February instead of 85. Yes, signing more players answers more questions than it create. You are right that 33-67% of the added signees won’t last a full 4-5 years, but you’ve increased the total amount so the losses aren’t as problematic. And who says these guys won’t contribute? Tim Jennings was a borderline, late offer. He contributed fine. Kenarious Gates is another, and he started as a freshman.

      • common sense Joe

        That’s ridiculous logic. There’s a reason why every other team in the FBS tries to use all 85 slots all the time. It makes no sense to continuously be 10-20 below all of the other teams.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          There’s also a reason why the NCAA punishes teams for misconduct by limiting the amount of scholarships that school can offer.

      • Macallanlover

        You have got to be kidding me. How much crap does it take to make you draw a line? I am sure you mean well and want to see UGA do well, but is there no limit to your bending over and taking one for the sake of winning? I have seen UT, UF, AU, FSU, tosu, and Miami fans act this way, but there is no way I can excuse the behavior of immature punks determined to show they can get away with anything because rules don’t apply to them.

        It doesn’t matter what this charge gets reduced to, the criminal justice system in this country is not the model to use for what behavior to tolerate .and that isn’t just for UGA scholarship players, it should start in the home, schools, and neighborhoods which breed this type of attitude. If you think this offense is why IC was dismissed immediately you have been asleep for the past 12 months. I am proud our program is led by people who have higher standards than what you and the other fans seem to have when it comes to excusing continual bad behavior.

        • DawgPhan

          Exactly….UGA fans lead the country in looking down their noses at glass footballs. I wonder if UGA and it’s fans aren’t the biggest barrier to winning the national title.

          You can’t complain about the numbers, but also be proud of kicking so many kids of the team. Kicking kids off is why we are in this situation with the numbers..Signing more players just means kicking more players off the team, which in turn leads to more AJC articles about out of control THUGA and more fans looking down their nose, saying well at least we arent Bama.

          Of course all of that wine and cheese mentality goes out the window when we lose the first game or some other team hoists the glass football. Then all that matters is winning.

          You know what FSU, UT, Bama, Auburn, tOSU, UF, and LSU have in common? probably 15-20 national championships since UGA even got a sniff of the championship game.

          Either be happy beating tech and holding a higher standard for your players or figure out that winning takes some flexibility. Tough on crime and no new taxes…can’t have it both ways.

          • common sense Joe

            “Kicking kids off is why we are in this situation with the numbers”

            That is partially true. However, undersigning is just as big of a reason (maybe bigger).

            But you make a good point regarding how strict we are. The other big time programs aren’t the same way. And if we’re going to hold our players to a higher standard, we cannot continuously undersign. It’s just insane. That’s 2 disadvantages instead of 1.

            • DawgPhan

              h/t to AirForceDawg on DawgRun but UGA has signed 108 players in the last 5 years. That means that we accounted for 23 players leaving the program early. So we didnt “undersign” based on the 85 cap. We signed more than enough players to fill the 85 slots. What we did was underestimate the number of players that couldnt hack it. We have lost 33 players in that time to reason other than graduation.

              We could have signed more players during that period, but most likely that would mean we would have 40 players leaving the team in that period instead of 33.

              We need to figure out how to keep retain players once we get them on campus. It also wouldnt hurt to bring in a few more bodies, but I dont think that the obvious solution is just to accept more LOIs in feb.

              • Sure, we’d have 40 players leave instead of 33, but you’d have another 10 still around. How hard is that to figure out? Yeah, we signed over 85 over the last 5 years, because kids go pro, fail out, etc. It happens. The problem is, we have been so morally entrenched in “oversigning is wrong” we fail to account for the fact that these kids WILL leave over the spring and summer so that targetting 85 or less on signing day leaves you severely short handed. Signing more doesn’t mean fewe leave, it means you are in a better position to handle their departure. Kids will leave, that’s just a fact of life when you are dealing with 18-22 yr old kids who are in a tumultuous environment growing up, and an extremely small % are actually qualified to academically be here (which is no different than every other school including GT).

              • common sense Joe

                Baloney. This year alone we left 6 of our 85 spots open on signing day (and we only signed 19, so we could have signed 6 more).

              • common sense Joe

                Actually, now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure we left more than 6 open. It’s that we could have “only” filled 6 of those spots due to the 25 limit.

          • Macallanlover

            First of all Phan who cares not about integrity, there is NO NC in D1 football. That is just a fact. There is a BCS champion in a contrived, polluted system. While you would sell your soul, and your first born, for a faux title, I would prefer to give up CFB at UGA than live my life with no principles. If you see that as a shortcoming, I feel for you as a person. Not saying you are alone, just lacking character if that is your choice. So you are also buy into the THUGU name calling from fans who aren’t smart enough to see that punishing players for misbehaving is way ahead of sweeping it under the carpet. Really? That BS bothers you? Come on man, all the ammo is on your side. You can surrender to that level of person if you want. Grow up, life is more important than the things you sell out for.

    • Haywood Jablome

      What makes you think that Burrow’s departure will be the defining moment that finally turns the light on inside Richt’s head? It never should have gotten to this point. But then again fixing problems before they become glaring weaknesses has never been one of Richt’s strengths.

  3. Kyle

    Well now I can finally get this off my chest: Burrows always seemed soft to me. Probably a great guy and sad to see him leave, but he just didn’t seem like SEC material.

    • 1honose

      This made me LOL. Glad you lifted that veil.

      You don’t know one dadgum thing about BB. Soft, hard, or otherwise.

  4. DawgByte

    Simply put the 2013 recruiting class will be the most important of Richt’s tenure at UGA. The cupboard has some cups and saucers, but that’s about it. This upcoming class needs to be broad and deep with tons of quality. Richt can no longer afford to offer HS players with serious injuries, as it rarely works out for that player or the team!

    • DawgPhan

      and this season probably matters more for that recruiting class than any other. UGA wins a bunch of games and plays for an SEC Title, we can swing a bunch of recruits…we lose 4-5 games and sit at home for the championship game, play a mid December bowl game and the recruiting class goes bye bye.

  5. MF Adams

    Last year’s walk-on scholarships were good for only one year. As of now, we have to expense 69.

  6. durrtydogg

    The logic is simple. UGA is a not an easy school to get into and it’s strict policies lead to a lot of early attrition. In the past, this coaching staff treated getting an offer from UGA as a privilege and that led to a lot of the low numbers we are seeing now. They didn’t believe in tossing scholarships out to any and everyone because of how they viewed our University. This year though, they have offered more than in the past simply because we are losing more than we previously have. Maybe Richt and company’s idea of what they thought about our University and the reality of the college football scene with its over signing practices didn’t quite match up. I dont have any remorse for kids leaving or being asked to leave. If you can’t cut it, you have to go. I do want to win but not at the cost of having a program full of wanna be thugs and border line criminals.

    • UGA is just as hard to get in to as everyone else in the SEC. We all have the same NCAA level requirements, even the smart guys at Tech.

      • shane#1

        The NCAA requirements are the same, however Richt used to send some guys to Croom when he knew they wouldn’t meet UGA’s requirements. MFA has set standards at UGA higher than the NCAA’s.

    • Boz

      “I do want to win but not at the cost of having a program full of wanna be thugs and border line criminals.”

      The unfortunate reality is that we’re not winning and it appears we’re stocked full of wanna be thugs and border line criminals.

  7. Slaw Dawg

    All I can say is I’m slowly starting to warm up to this year’s soft schedule.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Stop sayin’ that. The schedule ain’t soft. It’s virtually the same schedule as South Carolina except for one damn game. Regarding the historical rival from the West side, UGA plays Auburn every year and USCe plays Arkansas every year. For almost the entire time that Arky and USCe have been in the SEC Auburn has been a tougher out than Arky. Hell, Auburn won the national championship 2 years ago and went undefeated in 2004. Arky’s NEVER done that. Arky is in disarray this year and Auburn is going to be better than everybody thinks, too. Don’t buy into that snowjob BS that SOS id selling. It’s just an excuse for him when they lose the SEC East.

      • Slaw Dawg

        My, my, rather sensitive to my little jest, Mayor. Well, if you’re gonna take it seriously, in my book, 3 cupcake games (plus missing last year’s 2 best teams in the West) does indeed = a soft schedule IN COMPARISON TO PAST GEORGIA SCHEDULES, regardless of what other, sissier teams are doing. MY team, the great, storied, Georgia Bulldawgs, have NOT historically played 3 cupcake games. In fact, in some of our best years, we didn’t even play 2, and sometimes none. I want to see good, hard hitting games against good opponents. I don’t particularly care to see us run up the score on teams that even Georgia Tech or Kentucky could clobber. If you do enjoy such games, then more power to you, my friend–somebody needs to buy the tickets–but it ain’t my cup of bourbon laced java.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          My point was, and remains, that the soft-schedule BS is a canard being used by one of our rivals to work on the SEC and pollsters to UGA’s disadvantage. SOS thought it up for that very purpose. I heard some South Carolina asshole on the radio today repeating it. Just don’t give aid and comfort to our enemies, man. And if it was a joke–great. It just didn’t sound like you were joking and your post above sure doesn’t sound like it either.

  8. Joe Schmoe

    To say that recruiting more players is not a solution is totally idiotic. By having more numbers, you give yourself flexibility to miss on recruits and deal with problem players without destroying your depth. UGA has basically been recruiting like every player they are getting is a sure thing – which obviously hasn’t been the case. We have left ourselves no margin for error – missed player evaluations (something that we clearly do), injuries, suspensions and expulsions.

  9. bulldogbry

    I have a ? I’m not a recruitnik. I’m wondering who the guys are that we supposedly left at the dance to not have full classes?

    • shane#1

      It’s not so much who UGa left at the dance, since almost the entire defense came back the Dawgs had room for only about twenty players. Andre Young was supposed to be a lock for the Dawgs but at the last minute signed with AU. Two more guys failed to qualify immediately and may not be admitted. When you add in the guys kicked off the team, academic problems and the transfers you are left short of warm bodies. Richt will not sign a man unless he has an open scholly. UGa does not oversign. So career ending injuries, off field problems and academic failures often leave them undermanned.

  10. 69Dawg

    One of our big problems is that we like to think of ourselves as being on the same level as ALA , LSU, and UF. News flash we are not. Between them they have owned the BCS, we have only sniffed it. We recruit the same guys but we have no plan B when we don’t get the guys. Our plan B is to reward walk-on’s, while this is great for the morale of the walk-on’s it is killing us, slowly at first but now the snowball is headed down hill. We are looking at 2013 to save us and once again it’s wait until next year. The NCAA needs to stop the recruitment of underclassman in high school. Alabama offers everybody and his brother knowing that they can fix it in the end. We offer and if a kid commits we are actually trusting enough to place a scholarship aside for the kid. Works well if the kid has some integrity but of late it’s not working so well. We end up with too many unfilled scholarships. We will lose at least 4 games this year because we don’t have a quality bench, self imposed probations work that way.

    • How many of those teams got a shot at the title with 1 (and in LSU’s case 2 losses). The only difference between Richt and those guy’s was their 1 loss seasons they got forgiven for the losses. In Richt’s he did not. His 2 loss season was no different than LSU’s 2 loss season except that LSU played in a division that no other team was close enough for the 2 losses to matter.

      I do agree that we have put ourselves on a self inflicted probation and this is a problem that Richt has to correct and never let happen again. Falling to 82-84 scholarship players is one thing. Falling to any less than 80 is not acceptable. Fix it, don’t let it happen again.

  11. Will Trane

    What hurts the roster? Other than having to dismiss players for rules violations. Academics. Does not seem to be too many casualties there. It seems CMR and company can not sell the prorgram and University like they should. There are some very fine colleges and degrees available. But there are some bad profs on campus as there were some players. Crowell was an issue the time he came on campus. In subsequent seasons there will be many TBs at UGA who will eclipse him.
    What CMR and staff need is for a team to be very hard nosed, play with a pedigree like no other team has ever played, win games on the road in convincing style and against top teams in the same manner. The last good game the Dawgs had was in the Sugar Bowl. From that point to now has been a trend of not being as good as they could be. Coaching? Yes. Roster players? Yes. Changes in pre-game and game plans? Yes.
    You come out of spring thinking you have your running game in gear for awhile. Nope. Made a bad decision in a recruit. MIsjudged him. Talented, but not productive or motivated. A player who came out of a program a long way from being a D1 player. When Carver was eliminated and Crowell was shut down in a play off game and he threw his temper tantrum should have been a fair warning. But talent can be shut down with a motivated, good roster and coaching. He could not take the hits against good competition. And he was never proactive in being a player for Georgia.
    What he did was burn a roster spot for a season. Now the remaining roster and coaches will have to work harder to get ready for game one. And now they are in July. And fall camp is just a few wakeups away.
    CMR has a few openings for young men who want to play. And as bad as it was in ’10 it was better in ’11. At least we know if the QB can protect the ball this remaining roster knows how to win. And they did not get their asses ran out of a BCS bowl like Clemson did. Now what did that score say about a roster and coaching. 77 points.

  12. Will Trane

    One good think for the players going into fall camp. If you are on the roster, well, you are probably on the travel squad, too. Good deal.