One of the many criticisms I’ve seen bandied about as a root cause for Georgia’s problems this season is that the staff has slipped on the recruiting front and that the team simply isn’t as talented as we were led to expect. I’ve watched every game so far this season and have yet to see one where I thought the Dawgs were the less talented team on the field (not the same thing as saying they were the better team) and this detailed article from David Ching does nothing to lessen my conviction about that. Here’s his conclusion:
… If you did the same thing with the two-deeps from Alabama or Florida, I’d wager their rosters’ list of offers would be more impressive. If you look at this kind of list for Arkansas or Auburn, and I think they’re faring relatively well this year, it’s probably less daunting. What I think this list clearly shows is Georgia has more than enough talent – if you buy what Rivals is selling – to play with most anyone, SEC or otherwise. [Emphasis added.] It’s a matter of taking the talent you have and doing something with it, and there are a lot of guys on Georgia’s roster who were supposed to be better than they’ve played thus far. That happens everywhere. I don’t know whether it happens any more frequently at UGA than at other top-tier programs, but I suppose it could.
That doesn’t read like a Rodney Garner problem. You can complain that Richt should have been more proactive with offers in dealing with the attrition the program has faced over the last three or four years (that’s a somewhat valid critique), you can acknowledge some bad luck and you can certainly point to the developmental wasteland that we’ve seen occur at defensive end, linebacker and secondary over that time. But I don’t get the argument that Garner has suddenly become a bad evaluator of talent. If he has, a lot of other reputable programs are guilty of the same thing, it seems.