Category Archives: Georgia Football

Quincy Vasser, or how HUNH has come to Georgia’s recruiting

Once upon a time, Mark Richt was known for a deliberate approach to his program’s recruiting.  Talent had to be properly evaluated.  Handing out offers like candy was an approach for other schools to take on the recruiting trail.  Thoughtfulness was the watchword.

“The biggest problem I see is trying to see the entire pool of athletes at any one position before you start targeting them. Let’s say there are ten out there at a certain position. You might have enough time to evaluate the first five and you think all those guys are worthy of an offer because you think they can all get the job done, but you haven’t seen the other five yet. Sometimes you can get a bunch of guys committed before you see the pool. When we do offer a young man this time of year, I’ll tell the staff let’s be certain that if we offer this young man and he commits that we are going to be excited about it.We are not throwing out as many offers as some other schools because we do want to see the pool. There are some guys who we feel strongly enough about to offer early. You don’t want to offer until you feel very confident that he is the type of player, person and student that you want.”

The problem for Richt became apparent over time:  for many schools, the shotgun approach worked and that meant Georgia was missing out on kids it was making offers to later in the game.  Richt adapted to the changing conditions by bringing more resources to play (better recruiters on the staff, bringing in Daryl Jones as director of on-campus recruiting, for example) which enabled him to pick up the pace on offering recruits.

But Georgia’s gone to warp speed with Quincy Vasser.

Quincy Vasser, a defensive end out of a Texas junior college, tweeted on Thursday night that he had committed to UGA. The news spread quickly on Twitter, and was reported by many recruiting websites.

There was some confusion because traditionally at UGA, recruits have to talk over the phone or meet with Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt first before the commitment is officially accepted. Vasser hasn’t talked to Richt, and the New York native has never been to Georgia.

That’s, um, fast.  Breakneck fast.  And you’d best be hoping Kevin Sherrer’s done his homework.

UGA’s courtship of Vasser, if it sticks, was fast and furious — and did not follow the same procedure of most other commitments under Richt. Vasser has never been to Georgia, has never talked to Richt on the phone, and has never met any Georgia coaches in person. There’s really not much of an existing relationship between Vasser and UGA, other than a few phone calls with Sherrer and defensive line coach Tracy Rocker.

At least he’s talked to somebody.

Taking my tongue out of my cheek, I’m not opposed to breaking out offers this rapidly, if – and it’s a big if – you’ve got a staff that’s very confident and accurate with its player evaluations.  Because your competitors are moving fast, too.

The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder said he committed to Georgia over an offer from Maryland, and also had interest from Pitt, Ole Miss, and Florida State. He said he got an email from Alabama on Thursday night within 30 minutes of his UGA tweet.

I’m guessing this is another lesson Pruitt and Sherrer learned and brought in with them.  It’s definitely a different way from how things were done in Athens. (Should I let out a McGarity-esque “time will tell” now?)

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“Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. I don’t know. If there’s something to announce, I’ll announce it.”

Mark Richt walks a mile in Dabo Swinney’s shoes.

Richt understands what Swinney endured Monday, when he announced the dismissal of sophomore quarterback Chad Kelly. Before the spring game on Saturday, Kelly battled for the starting role with senior Cole Stoudt and freshman Deshaun Watson. A series of regrettable offenses, including Kelly’s verbal lash to an assistant coach on the sideline Saturday, provoked Swinney’s decision.

Richt said he does not need to know all the private details to understand Swinney’s motivation — the fundamental responsibility to protect the long-term interests of the program.

“I don’t know how good Kelly is. I don’t know where he was in their mindset, and I don’t even know what happened,” Richt said, “but somewhere along the line, they were like, ‘We can’t have this and sustain this program the way we want to sustain it.’

Uneasy lies the head that wears a headset.

According to Georgia coach Mark Richt, few truly grasp the responsibility required of his position.

Few realize the breadth and depth with which difficult decisions must be weighed. Few understand the complex duty of managing the consequences of those decisions in public when many of the details provoking them must remain private.

“People are like ‘Why is he doing that’ or ‘What is he thinking?’” Richt said Wednesday evening before visiting fans at the TD Convention Center in Greenville, the second stop along the Bulldog Club Tour with Georgia men’s basketball coach Mark Fox.

“There have been times where I wish I could just explain to everybody what I know, so they’d understand,” Richt said. “Until you sit in the chair you really don’t know what that’s like.”

All of which may explain why he often appears coy discussing player discipline.

Georgia coach Mark Richt said he may not announce any discipline including possible suspensions for the four players who were arrested on the eve of spring practice before the Clemson opener.

“Every time I discipline a guy I don’t tell everybody what I do all the time,” Richt said. “Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.”

Or maybe that’s what comes of us not being in the arena.  It’s a fine line to walk between honest decency and patronizing the fan base.  Richt handles that about as well as we should probably expect from a head coach these days.

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Making Mason

One good thing to take away from spring practice is Mike Bobo’s unequivocal support for Hutson Mason’s work.

“I thought Hutson had an outstanding spring,” Bobo said after Georgia’s final practice on Thursday. “Really stepped up in the leadership department. Had great command of the offense. Was extremely accurate. Came every day prepared to get better. Even today was one of his better days, on the last days. He was extremely focused. I expect him to take that confident that he gained this spring and his leadership abilities and apply it to the summer.”

No, he doesn’t have Aaron Murray’s arm strength. But he’s worked on his mechanics, with good results.

Mason’s main goal for the offseason was to improve his footwork in the pocket, watching film of Tom Brady’s drop-backs and pocket presence. The verdict? Success, according to Bobo.

“From the first day to the last day you could tell there was more zip on the ball,” Bobo said. “I think he was using his lower body a lot better, and his throwing motion. He stayed more settled in the pocket, and kept his feet beneath him. And he still made plays with his feet running out of the pocket.”

And he got through spring scrimmage without turning the ball over.  If all of that carries over into the season, with his surrounding cast (assuming all the happy health news plays out), he’s got a decent chance to have a successful year.

If Mason needs any extra motivation, he can always pin this list from Athlon, which ranks him below a former FSU backup who Athlon admits may not even be Alabama’s opening day starter, on the wall.  Low praise, indeed.

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Should we bother to expect a post-spring depth chart?

Well, put it this way – even if Richt produces one, it doesn’t sound like we should put much stock in it.  Especially when it comes to the defense.

Sophomore outside linebacker Leonard Floyd, who led the Bulldogs with 6.5 sacks last year, seems sure to start, but Richt wouldn’t name any in the third week of April.

“I’m not going to sit here and say that for sure anybody on defense right now,” coach Mark Richt said. “I’m not 100 percent sure.”

If a depth chart does come out, Richt made it seem like it will be far from concrete.

“I’d be shocked to get a lineup anytime soon,” he said. “Even when camp starts, we’ll line them up but I would think it will move around before we settle on it.”

Ekeler won’t even commit to calling Wilson and Herrera starters.

Inside linebackers coach Mike Ekeler was asked about his presumed starters, first-team All-SEC pick Ramik Wilson, who had 133 tackles last season, and Amarlo Herrera, who had 112 tackles.

“No. 1, they’re not starters,” Ekeler said. “That’s jumping the gun right there.”

He said others are competing for starting jobs and the position will add incoming freshman Detric Dukes for preseason practices.

“Shoot, who knows?” he said. “It’s open competition. The culture around here, Coach Pruitt is going to get it exactly the way he wants it. Guys are going to play their tails off. They’re going to do it the right way and guys who want to do it are going to be a part of that are going to say, ‘Giddy-up, let’s roll.’”

It’s not much clearer on offense. Between the injuries, the uncertainty on the offensive line and the lack of separation at the backup quarterback spot, it’s no wonder that Bobo says, “I’m confident in one guy right now and that’s Hutson Mason.”

At least there’s one.

Any doubt this staff appreciates that new NCAA guideline where there are eight mandatory hours each week of strength and conditioning this summer, and that can also include film study?  Or that it will milk those hours for all they’re worth?

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UPDATE:  However

Friend said he has six to seven players “that I know for sure that I can get ready to play a game with right now.”

Center David Andrews, tackles Theus and Houston and right guard Greg Pyke are in position to start. Others in the mix are backup tackles Mark Beard and Watts Danztler and Kublanow, a guard.

Theus could play left or right tackle and Houston right tackle or left guard.

“We’ve just got to figure out the best five,” Friend said.

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“Georgia knows what they are doing…”

Maybe this is the next step:

“Now it’s not the same excitement as if Georgia would’ve offered Jordan a long time ago, but we understand; It is what it is,” Colbert said. “Georgia knows what they are doing, and I like how they are doing it. They’ve got his cousin, Owens. They’ve offered his classmates, Fuller and Willis. And if they hire (DeVoursney), that would make a big, big difference.”

Steve DeVoursney, who resigned as Griffin’s coach last week, may apply for a quality control position at UGA, according to a couple of players.

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One tough cookie

Well, if this isn’t the capper:

He [Denny Murray, Aaron’s dad] also told me that Murray was hurt a lot worse than people thought in that 2010 game against Auburn in which Nick Fairley was allowed to unleash a personal assault. Murray actually left that game with a broken sternum, in addition to shoulder and knee injuries. [Emphasis added.]

It’s impressive that Aaron was able to finish the game.  I’m not sure what adjective applies to Fairley being able to finish the game.

Oh… and seriously, this?  Sure.

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Lose weight – fast!

I missed this little note from Weiszer yesterday, but it’s interesting:

It’s not just the big guys. Pruitt mentioned senior cornerback Damian Swann as one of those guys who needs to get in better shape.

Ain’t nobody escaping the man’s public disapproval.

Well, except for the S&C coach: “Fatigue makes a coward out of everybody. We’ve got to get in shape as a football team. We’re nowhere where we need to be. We’ve got to improve on that. Coach T (strength coach Joe Tereshinski) will do that this summer.”  (Cue the doubters.)

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Time will tell.

I know I’m whaling away on a certain deceased thoroughbred again, but damn if they don’t keep pulling me back in.

I doubt Fox was shy in letting B-M know that his recruiting was tied to his contract situation, so what was the point of McGarity’s Hamlet act, exactly?  Maybe recruiting isn’t that important to him?  Yeah, that must be it.  Oh, wait.

“We need to recruit at a very high level, because you have to continually kind of restock every year,” McGarity said. “That’s a very important point, and we did talk about that as well as other things. But needless to say sometimes that is the elephant in the room. We realize what needs to be done.”

Riiiight.  I have no idea what’s going on there.  I doubt I will if the time ever comes when something needs to be done about the head football coach, either.

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Next time you’re in Athens…

Andy Staples speculates on what schools could bring to the training table now that the NCAA isn’t holding anyone back on what they can fill the feeding troughs with.

He’s sure got Athens nailed.

Georgia: While Latin food isn’t the first thing that comes to mind in Athens, the crew at Cali N Tito’s could walk ample quantities of skirt steak and fried plantains to the nearby Butts-Mehre football complex. Also, with service inside the building, Mark Richt wouldn’t have to worry about his players getting tempted by the beer from the gas station next door, or distracted by the sundresses on the premises of Cali N Titos…

Sounds like a man who’s been to the Classic City more than a few times.

I’ll know who to blame if the line at Cali’s is longer the next time I’m there.

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Is it something he said?

I have no idea what Tray Matthews is complaining about here…

… but I sure hope it isn’t about this.

“There’s something going on. He’s probably got to take some more ownership too. … He might need to spend a little more time with flexibility stuff in the offseason than maybe another guy might have to.”

Accountability can be a bitch sometimes.

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