This is how a good team gets really good fast.

They didn’t get near the hype that their immediate predecessors did, but last year’s recruiting class is getting something else – starting positions:

Out of 17 signees, nine are projected starters: Gurley, Jenkins, tackle Theus, safety Josh Harvey-Clemons, cornerback Sheldon Dawson, fullback Quayvon Hicks, outside linebacker James DeLoach, place-kicker Marshall Morgan and punter Collin Barber. And three have started or are verging on it this year: Marshall, defensive lineman John Taylor and tackle Mark Beard.

Add to that this…

By the way, the two players who signed in 2012 but didn’t qualify? They were Leonard Floyd and John Atkins. Both got academically eligible, signed a year later and are now factors on the defense. Floyd has been the talk of preseason practice.

… and that’s a pretty remarkable level of contribution from a relatively small class.  Somebody did a helluva job with talent evaluation last year.

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20 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

20 responses to “This is how a good team gets really good fast.

  1. fetch

    I have to say, it appears that the ring team has a workman like approach to the game. They aint in school to party and pat themselves on the back, they are there to kick ass and chew bubble gum.

  2. But, but, but…..that class was SMALL!

  3. I don’t know shit from chocolate, but Todd Grantham (or his staff) does seem to do a great job evaluating defensive talent, something which his predacessor didn’t seem to do particularly well, or at least I like to think didn’t do well. Maybe he just develops it much better. Either way, I like it.

    • Matt b.

      Then I’d say chances are, you’ve mistakenly eaten a lot of shit over the years.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I wasn’t there so I don’t really know, but I have suspected for some time that Willie Martinez recruited based on Rivals ratings rather than Georgia’s own evaluations. That’s the only explanation for signing some of the guys, particularly DBs, that were complete busts in years gone by. What’s worse, Willie would continue to play those same guys even after they had demonstrated ON THE FIELD that they couldn’t cut it. I think Willie just wouldn’t admit even to himself that he had made a mistake. So he continued to play inferior players over players with more ability just because of his own ego. That, as much as any other reason, lead to his departure IMHO. ( Not to mention outright bad coaching.)

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        I really don’t want to mention any names though, cough, (Bryan Evans), cough, cough.

      • Dboy

        Mayor, do you think that if Grantham and the current staff had been hired earlier, they wouldn’t have gotten better results with Willie’s players. I think there is 40% component of talent evaluation and a 60% or so component of training the players to be successful

        • RocketDawg

          If you will notice, the Willie Martinez/BVG defense only works when there is a dominating rush end and a couple of DT that can push the pocket back. When the WillieMo defense is forced to blitz to create pressure it doesn’t do so well. If you notice most of the time when BVG (rarely) blitzed he played zone behind it.

  4. I once sat in an office at Gainesville High School where Willie was quoted as saying “AJ Johnson doesn’t fit our defensive scheme at UGA”. I coached the kid for 4 years, and he is the type of kid that you MAKE YOUR SYSTEM fit. Now, while he’s garnering all kinds of awards at UT, he would have rather been a Bulldawg, per his own admission. Grantham just came in the picture a bit to late. I already knew it, but that confirmed for me what kind of coach Willie was.

  5. IveyLeaguer

    ["Somebody did a helluva job with talent evaluation last year."]

    Eval has been on the up since reconstruction began (with the firing of WM & Staff). It didn’t happen overnight, and the improvement had to happen on both sides of the ball.

    So it wasn’t all Willie, Bobo has improved as well. The record speaks for itself, and it was one of the key changes Richt made to save his program. We still miss, or compromise, on one or two here or there, but it’s much better.

    You can manage your roster with integrity, and in the way Richt likes to do it, and still win at this level. But you can’t afford many misses when it comes to recruiting.

    I believe Richt realized that, and that realization is behind our recent recruiting success.
    ~~~