There’s a fine line between AJ and Aaron.

As Seth Emerson reminds us.

Since Aaron Murray has been the quarterback, three of his offensive linemen have gone on to be drafted: Ben Jones, Clint Boling and Cordy Glenn. None of them were first-rounders. Alabama had two in the top 10 last year alone.

The one consistent, long-term shortcoming of Richt’s tenure has been offensive line recruiting.  Which, when you think about it, makes last year’s showing on offense pretty remarkable.

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55 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

55 responses to “There’s a fine line between AJ and Aaron.

  1. OL and Defense has been UGAs biggest weakness in the past 5 years. Murray is so far down the list of issues (though he has plenty). AJ sucked. Straight up sucked against VT, yet his team played DEF.

  2. sniffer

    What’s confusing to me regarding this years O-line rotation is there IS a rotation. An MIT grad would have a hard time figuring out our 1-2 deeps. I understand identifying the best fit for each position, but that should have happening the first week of camp. Doesn’t seem as though any one was able to practice at one spot and stay there.

  3. Debby Balcer

    We have been decimated at OL with injuries and that has hurt recruiting people want to go where they see others get drafted so we fall short when recruiting OL. I hope they make adjustments and find their rhythm this week.

    • Minnesota Dawg

      Meh. With all due respect, that’s a lame excuse…because on the flip side people also want to go where they can play and showcase their talent in order to be drafted. Our lack of numbers, injuries on the OL certainly provides a good, young player that opportunity.

  4. Hogbody Spradlin

    Would it be a recruiting failure or coaching failure? How have our offensive line recruits scored over the years vs. the average? Seems like we get most (I didn’t say all) of the guys we want.

    • During the Callaway years, Georgia tended to get the guys it wanted. It’s just that SEC schools didn’t want most of the guys Callaway wanted. He’s a good line coach and a terrible talent evaluator. Giving him free rein to recruit o-linemen was Richt’s first big mistake.

      If you think about it, there have been a lot of whiffs over the years.

      • Only position group in which they fail with so much consistency.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          I dunno. Did you see the UGA DBs tackling last week?

          • Joe Schmoe

            The failure with the DBs was that we waited a year too late to bring in a big crop. You could see the hole in the roster coming but we failed to address it until a year late. So we are playing green as grass freshmen instead of sophomores who have a couple of years in the program and some playing experience. We seem to do this a lot actually – wait to the last second to deal with roster issues and the recruit a ton of players in one class and then have to play guys who are really too young.

            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              I dunno. Conner Norman is a senior.

            • mp

              Don’t forget that two DB’s who would be juniors were dismissed

            • Barstool

              The DB hole is due to the massive exodus we had two years ago of guys transferring, getting the boot, etc.. (i.e. the Nick Marshall year). That was supposed to be a position of strength heading into the summer. By the time fall camp started, we were razor thin again.

              We’ve replugged relatively fine since then….just taking a while to get up to speed for some, while the regular churn of injuries/transfers takes its toll as normal (not the freak pace we had that year).

      • I don’t think it ended with Callaway. We seem to consistently let other teams raid our state for o-lineman that we often haven’t seemed to go after too hard. I don’t know if Friend or whomever picks out his own targets or if it’s partly the Rodney Garner situation of the past few years where kids claim they hardly or very late even were recruited by UGA. I hope whomever the new recruiting guy is can change this. It certainly didn’t help that they put all their eggs in one basket with Tunsil last year only to have him get a better “offer” from Ole Miss.

        It also does seem that they can’t decide if they want to be a power running team or finesse passing team from game to game. The types of guys you need for either can’t always do both.

  5. Normaltown Mike

    I still like my nifty factoid: number of times an opponent scores over 30 points.

    Beginning with it’s run in 2008, Alabama has let a team score over 30 on 3 occasions (UF 08, Utah 08, USCe 10).

    Georgia yields over 30 so often that it’s not worth recounting.

    • uglydawg

      Normaltown..I’m afraid that’s what we’re seeing in South Carolina.. “You win first with defense”.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      You have put your finger on the problem NM. How is any team supposed to win titles when its D consistently gives up 30+ points in a game? We got rid of Willie because of this and the cure is certainly not better and may be worse than the disease.

  6. uglydawg

    If you watched the VT/Bama game, it was more of a game than the score indicates. Alabama scored on defense and a couple of times on kick runbacks. We got to see what AJ looks like when his line is blocking like AM’s line…and AM handles it better.

  7. Ghost of Dawgs Past

    UGA will become relevant again when the powers that be understand that football games are won and lost on the line of scrimmage (LOS). That is why Bama, LSU, and Florida are always a tough game. USCe has figured that out as well. I hope Dawg fans don’t think Conner Shaw is beating us? Nope, the game is won on the line of scrimmage and for at least the last five years we have been getting our asses kicked on the LOS.

    • Well said GoDP. Is it just a recruiting probem, or is it S&C, technique, or fundamentals?

      • It is all of those things but mostly S&C.

        • AlphaDawg

          Recruiting plays as much here as S&C. Last year we only signed 3 OL, missed on Tunsil and had a 4th not Qualify. I mentioned this on a board and the response I got was there 10 O-Linemen on Scholly. But what people don’t grasp is the guys we recruit last year will contribute in 3 years. Miss on quality guys in one year it has a downhill affect on your talent. Factor in grades/suspensions/NCAA, etc and it takes a few years to dig yourself out from the hole you dug by signing on 16/18 players for a few years.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      And on Defense, particularly on the D-line.

  8. There has been a lot of attrition with regard to our offensive line classes over CMR’s tenure, and the OL will forever be the Achilles’ Heel of his career at UGA (or at least has been thus far). Arguably his best unit was inherited for Donnan.

  9. MikeInValdosta

    Saturday night’s 500+ was also fairly remarkable.

    A botched field goal snap and 2 missed tackles against the #8 team at home…. #WeakestLink

  10. At the risk of threadjacking, I did this writeup on whether UGA under-recruits or under-develops offensive linemen last year. I need to update it with the results of this past draft, and promise to do so soon. Bama’s recriuting/draft this last year will probably blow this whole analysis out of the water. Like everything Bama does, it makes all other prorgams look inferior. I hate Bama.

    http://dawgred.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/does-uga-under-recruit-or-under-develop-offensive-linemen/

    UGA has recruited so many offensive linemen in the past years it’s insane, and we don’t totally suck at getting them drafted either. I don’t know what the deal is, but they seem to suck here.

    And, if you want to flame my statistical method, by all means do, just do so constructively so I can improve it. This was the best I could come up with.

    • gastr1

      I agree re: comparing to Alabama. In OLs in particular, they’ve been crazy, and have clearly emphasized that over other areas (such as skill positions). I think being compared to other programs such as Florida, SC, Texas, LSU, Ohio State would allow a more realistic picture.

    • Dog in Fla

      “I don’t know what the deal is, but they seem to suck here.”

      It all started 1 year after college football was invented in Hogtown –

      “So after Spurrier and the Gators whupped the Bulldogs 45–13 in 1991, he asked the following hypothetical question.

      ‘Why is it that during recruiting season they sign all the great players, but when it comes time to play the game, we have all the great players? I don’t understand that. What happens to them?’

      A dig at an entire program’s infrastructure. Cold.”

      http://www.lostlettermen.com/slideshow/steve-spurrier-top-5-georgia-jokes/#dgWzWL4ZtzZR0XW8.99

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Frankly I am tired of all the piling on post losing by three to a top ten team. But I will admit that your post has a sense of style to it that has been absent here at GTP for these past few days.

  11. WillTrane

    Another season and another first game implosion. The slope of the tangent line can be found by using implicit differnentiation…folium of Descartes. The slope of the Dawgs “offensive line” can be found by using the detergent to wash the QB’s uniform from being sacked consistently…aka “the coaches indifference to schemes”. The Mark Richt coaching school of “you need to just a few good linemen”. And every high school coach worth his salt will tell you if you run the “I” you had better have a stable full of above average stud linemen. Now here comes Clowney, and remember that Auburn D lineman of Murray’s first season. Old coaches saying “if you keep making the same mistake on that play, guess what, you get the same damn mistake…so stop!”

    • Sanford222View

      Since when is a 3 point loss on the road to a Top Ten team an “implosion?” Now last year in Columbia…that was an implosion.

    • D.N. Nation

      “Now here comes Clowney, and remember that Auburn D lineman of Murray’s first season.”

      How dare Georgia’s OL not block for Murray’s behind after plays were over.

      Seriously, you’re *defending* Fairley?

  12. From AJC article about Bama getting top recruit in country today:
    “The 6-foot-5, 330-pounder is Alabama’s sixth commitment on the offensive line for this year’s recruiting class, which is ranked No. 1 in the nation yet again.”

    Awesome.

  13. Joe Schmoe

    I just wish that we could field a competent offensive line – not incredible, but competent. That seems to be too much for UGA.

  14. sniffer

    This……..”We’re not going to do anything different. We’re just going to do what we do. We’re Georgia. We have a powerful offense and we’re going to do what we do. We’re not going to run away from this player or that player. We’re just going to do what we do and be a powerful offense and be explosive and work hard.”..
    ….is scary!

    • Would you feel better if they said, “yeah, we’re just going to run to the opposite side of [insert player here]. Then we’re going to pass to opposite side of [insert player here]?”

      • Joe Schmoe

        I would prefer they say something like “We have looked at what they like to do on defense and their personnel and have come up with a plan to exploit that based on our strengths. However, we have to be able to adapt based on how the game evolves.”

      • sniffer

        If what he said is coming from his coaches, I’m very afraid. And it sounded very much like that. So, no, I wouldn’t rather him say they are scared and will run away. I would prefer to hear, “We got our asses handed to us by Clemson and the coaches are making us puke till we get it right”.

  15. Hogbody Spradlin

    When using Bama as an example, you may assume they juice like the East German Olympic teams.

  16. Mike

    Actually, the results of the last two years have been more about UGA’s favorable scheduling than the quality of the lineman.