Of the many sins being laid at Mark Richt’s feet in the last day or two, the one I’m amused about is the discovery by some of the fan base that the staff failed to sign UCF’s two-time C-USA defensive player of the year Bruce Miller out of high school even though – omigawd! – he grew up a Dawg fan. Nevermind that no other SEC school saw the diamond in the rough that Miller obviously was, somehow it’s a fatal flaw for Garner and Company to have missed on him. (Ironically, some of the same people waxing indignant about that now would have bitched then about the ding Georgia’s recruiting rankings at the time would have taken by signing an unheralded player like Miller.)
This stuff isn’t an exact science. In many ways, it’s a crapshoot. Schools try to move the odds in their favor by signing as many high-profile recruits as they can, but there are always going to be outliers, both good and bad.
And this doesn’t make the evaluation process easier.
“I grew up in Atlanta and I had good coaches, but a lot of them told me just to be myself and be athletic and do whatever I had to do to get the ball,” said Smith, who played for Douglass High in Atlanta. “I wasn’t really taught a lot of fundamentals – it was mostly natural ability. I had a lot of heart, and I’ll fight all day and I’ll do whatever I have to do to win. That’s my mentality. But fundamentals – that’s what I’ve got to work on.”