Paul Johnson is a very good football coach, but if he truly believes what he’s shoveling with this comment, he’s dumber than I thought:
“The whole [recruiting] process has gone bonkers. You’re talking about kids who’ve never played a down yet. Nobody can pick who’s going to be the next great player. It’s all about how hard are you willing to work. There’s so many factors involved. I read somewhere that the Indianapolis Colts have one five-star recruit on the whole roster – Peyton Manning. They have 32 or 37 players who were 3-star or below. What does that tell you?”
Well, first of all, it tells me that Peyton Manning is one of the greatest players in NFL history. But I don’t think that’s what Johnson is fishing for there.
What he’s really trying to claim is that recruiting ratings are total bunk and don’t matter, because there’s a Super Bowl team that isn’t totally comprised of five-star recruits. That of course ignores the basic math (something you’d think a Tech man would be able to follow) behind the size of the talent pool.
Yes, there are a whopping 178 five-star recruits ranked so over the past five years. That works out to roughly 35 per year. There are 32 NFL teams. You do the division. (Tossing in the four-star players adds another ten or so per team each year, which still leaves you somewhat short of being able to field an NFL squad, Super Bowl-caliber or otherwise.)
Maybe I’m wrong here. Maybe what Johnson is trying to claim here is that he’s so smart and his system is so effective that the quality of his recruiting classes isn’t very relevant to Tech’s success. If so, I think Michael Elkon pretty much shreds that argument:
… The recruiting rankings tend to track the offers that a player receives. If Texas, Florida, and USC are all after the same player, then that player will get four or five stars. If the schools of the MAC are fighting for a player’s signature, then he won’t. If Schultz is right that the stars and rankings are meaningless, then he is adopting the position that the staffs at the elite programs do not know how to evaluate players. Care to defend the position that Urban Meyer doesn’t know the difference between a player and a poseur, Jeff?
And then Schultz’s crowing insult comes at the end, where he lists four players that Paul Johnson will have to replace this year: Derrick Morgan, Demaryius Thomas, Jonathan Dwyer and Morgan Burnett. Guess how many stars went next to Morgan’s, Dwyer’s, and Burnett’s names when they were recruits? Cue Moses Malone: fo, fo, fo. Guess how many stars went next to Josh Nesbitt’s name? The 2009 Georgia Tech team succeeded for a number of reasons. Good offensive coaching and good fortune come to mind immediately, as does Chan Gailey’s recruiting. The assumption that Paul Johnson can continue to win at the same level without recruiting at the same level is just dumb.
Like it or not, there’s a basic correlation between recruiting well and winning. If Johnson is either stupid enough or arrogant enough to think it doesn’t apply to his program, as a Georgia fan, all I can say is go dog go.
14 responses to “Except for Peyton Manning, Georgia Tech is just like the Indianapolis Colts.”
Senator, your logic is flawless as usual, but I submit that you have not considered an important reason in why CPJ is pushing this train of thought. He knows how hard it is to recruit at Tech, and I think he knows what you’re saying is true. Inspiring his team and having them believe is key to get them to play their best. I guess I’m saying this is a message for his players.. it’s a motivation tactic more than anything else.
As long as the AJC continues to praise Johnson and Tech for mediocrity because he’s exceeded a benchmark, it won’t really matter and any heat he may receive down the road for such mediocrity in recruiting, work on the field, etc. will be minimal because the fans claim the AJC won’t have fault with him.
you may be right, but i still hear in pj’s words a man who has an unwavering belief in his own genius. after all, he made a winner out of navy–proof-positive that pj’s so good he don’t need no stinkin’ talent. . . .
Good point, and I tend to feel the answer is ‘all of the above’ when it comes to his reasoning.. didn’t mean to imply my correlation is the only factor, just an aspect that I thought I had some merit.
Paul the Johnson: He can take his’n and beat your’n, then take your’n and beat his’n.
Except when he doesn’t care about beatin’ your’n with his’n but only cares about beatin’ their’n with his’n in the ACC Championship’n.
Our good coach’s comments provided various measures of spin, sour grapes, wisdom and just plain old-fashioned common sense.
Of course its in the eye of the beholder to determine whether CPJ thinks he got a good class and is truly miffed that that the “experts” rated his class where it is, or that he’s putting up a brave front to cover up a below-par recruiting effort. But when he says that the grade of this class won’t be known for some time, we all know he’s 100% right.
If he develops what we’ve already got, we’ll be fine.
Paul Johnson: Pepper Rodgers without the personality. I can’t wait to see how the Delicate Genius manages on defense next year after losing his three most talented (by far) players. If he keeps doing more and more with less and less, then I guess GTU fans can look forward to about 2013, when he’ll win a national championship with a bunch of middle school second stringers.
Despite my open derision of PJ and his monumental arrogance, I must admit that I loved him on “Little People, Big World.”
I know the AJC columnists are after hits on a page and thus these poorly thought out columns, but seriously, do you think it hurts in the new era of journalism to get out of bed and know that whatever you write, you are gonna get absolutely PWNED?
Johnson’s logic is flawed in many aspects.
1. Yes, many of those players were 3 star players – coming out of high school. Their grade AFTER college were much higher. Johnson isn’t recruiting a guy based on his “star” value after middle school, just like the NFL isn’t hiring players based on what they did in high school.
2. The Peyton Mannings are the big difference between winning and losing. I’d rather have avg players and great coaching with a couple of Tebows/APs/McCoys/Mannings than a team full of above avg players and mediocre coaching. Ask Meyer how good life has been with a superstar player. It’s also why fans get crazy this time of the year when AJ Green or Calvin Johnson or Julio Jones or CJ Spiller or Bryce Brown pick a school…those 5 star guys do make a difference, more often than not, year in and year out.
3. Teams that “win” the recruiting battles year in and year out? UF, Alabama, OU, Texas, USC, Ohio St, etc….yeah it’s been awful having top recruiting classes for those guys.
4. Like was mentioned, he needs to look in the mirror. Burnett, Morgan, Nesbitt, Dwyer were all 4 star players. D.Thomas was a borderline guy, 3 stars…but besides him those 4 have been their best players the past 2 years. And he didn’t recruit them.
He’s right in that he needs to go after the guys he feels will fit on his team, his scheme, personality, school, etc. He’s NOT right in the comparison to the Colts though.
Paul Johnson is an asshole. That is all.
Johnson will have GT almost totally devoid of bonafide Div 1’s before it’s all over. Think Annapolis South. Have you seen his incoming class on the field? I have seen several..ouch. Think there will be that many top notch OLs who relish the thought of chop blocking and illegal motion on every play? What about RBs who want to get a lot of experience catching the short passes that have become the sine qua non of the NPL…no pads league? How about a QB that can pass? Good luck with that one. Has a Johnson team ever played defense or excelled on special teams? GT is one high ankle sprain away from a total meltdown. They were not a top 20 team this past year and they certainly won’t be this year. Overrated and legends in their own minds. Was Iowa really that slow?But remember …GT owns Duke…for now. Obviously UGA is at a crossroad in the CMR era. This year will be critical to re-establish the success of the last few years or continue a slide into mediocrity. I’m betting on the former…but it’s going to take some philosophical adjustments as well…not just new coaches. Despite great players we have become somewhat of a coaching black hole. We are not recruiting this state nearly as well as we should…it really has been a problem since VD and it’s not rocket science. Go Dawgs!
His offense is less about talent, and more about execution. If he has three-star guys that can execute, then he will be reasonably successful. But execution can only take you so far. When you fail to execute perfectly (as talented defenses are apt to cause), you need talent to make up the difference. That’s where the recruiting comes in. He should be able to win 8-9 games in the ACC, but due to the talent gap, he won’t compete for anything on the national stage.
Fundamentally, his offense is unattractive to any player with NFL potential. Few, if any, QBs or WRs is going to be a high draft pick after spending 3-4 years in an offense that throws the ball less than a dozen times a game. Ditto OL who only cut block all game.
That basically puts you in 2- and 3-star land, recruiting-wise. Johnson evidently thinks he can make a living off of that in the ACC, and he’s probably not wrong. But if even a bad Georgia team can negate your schematic advantage, and even the raw talents of Nesbitt, Dwyer and Thomas can’t bail you out, then I don’t see Johnson holding serve in this rivalry over time.