It started with Todd Grantham’s arrival in Athens.
… Coaching at a school with a fertile recruiting base like Georgia and its bordering states was a big attraction to Grantham.
“I think you can be better than Florida, you can be better than Texas and you can be better than Southern Cal, if those players came to the University of Georgia,” Grantham said.
Mark Richt latched on to the concept of selling the in state school hard to top in state recruits, referring to the class he’s trying to assemble as a “Dream Team” capable of chasing national titles.
… The “Dream Team” is the phrase borrowed by Georgia coach Mark Richt for his in-state recruiting efforts. It will be another strong year for talent among the state’s top rising high school seniors, with more than 200 expected to sign major-college scholarships in February.
Richt and his assistant have been using the “Dream Team” sales pitch since early spring, telling the state’s elite that if they join together and sign with Georgia next February, the Bulldogs will contend for future SEC and national championships.
Most recruits see the pitch for what it is – a marketing tool used to distinguish Georgia from other elite schools chasing elite talent. Just ask one of Georgia’s top targets, Ray Drew:
… The “Dream Team” concept is nothing new in recruiting, where every school tries to develop an innovative sales pitch. Drew has heard most of them during his travels.
“Auburn talks about family, that’s what they use to try to get their players,” he said. “With Florida, they have a pretty good record at home. They talked about ‘Protect this house, protect this house.’ Everybody has their own little slogan that they try to sell you on.”
Yet Sporting News’ Michael Tunison sees it as evidence of something else:
… most recruits want to see that a school is getting the best talent available, not simply appealing to a sense of localized pride to keep in-state talent from straying elsewhere. Georgia is going to get recruits no matter how inspired its sales pitch is, but for those on the fence, the school is going to have to try a little harder than that.
On one level, that’s such a tautological statement that it hardly bears being made in the first place. But if Tunison intends for us to glean something insightful from that, all I can take from it is an accusation that Georgia isn’t working recruits like Drew hard enough.
That seems like a silly complaint, given that Georgia’s getting consideration or has already gotten commitments from all but six of the top thirty in state high school players on the ESPN 150 list and all but two of the top fourteen on Rivals’ list. Given roster restraints and the reality that there are always going to be other reasons, such as legacies at other schools or wanderlust, for kids to commit to out-of-state schools, how many kids going to places other than Athens makes Richt’s “Dream Team” pitch a flop?