February 7, 2011 · 8:07 AM
It’s entirely possible that, come September, I’ll have to admit I read way too much into the early returns from NSD, but at least right now it sounds very much as if the staff intends to buck tradition and play many more true freshmen than we’re accustomed to seeing. Some of this comes across like Grantham’s identify-your-fifty-best-and-get-them-on-the-field approach (and we sure have heard a lot from Grantham in the past few days, haven’t we?).
But some of this sounds like a head coach who realizes he can’t be too complacent this coming season. When have you heard – more to the point, when have you believed you would hear – something like this from Richt?
“We quite frankly didn’t have a great Plan B this year,” Richt said Sunday on WSB radio. “We just said we’re going for it. … The great majority of them came, so it was an awesome finish.”
We’ve come a long way from that early field goal in the Liberty Bowl, baby.
February 7, 2011 · 6:52 AM
You can almost hear the pleasure in Rogers Redding’s voice as he said this:
“Previously, it was treated as a dead-ball foul regardless of where it happened,” he said. “Now, if a player is about to score, and around the 6- or 7-yard line, he goes into a strut or turns around and (taunts) an opponent that will be a live-ball foul and will be called as a live-ball foul.”
Only Redding’s people are allowed to strut during a game.
February 7, 2011 · 6:46 AM
There are times when I wonder if Nick Saban bitches for the sheer pleasure of doing it. How else to explain this crap?
… Alabama coach Nick Saban said Wednesday that he’s growing sick of his fellow SEC coaches taking aim at players who make early public commitments to member schools while not claiming complete innocence on his part.
Though he never mentioned any specific offender, Saban’s rant followed a question about the signing of Russellville’s Brent Calloway. The running back/linebacker committed to Alabama as a high school sophomore before suddenly trading allegiances to Auburn early last month. In the end, he honored the original commitment and signed with the Tide.
Calloway never publically said Auburn coaches planted negative thoughts in his mind about the Tide.
That wasn’t the point, Saban said.
“In the Southeastern Conference when a guy commits, that just makes them a target,” Saban said. “It isn’t like that everywhere in the country. It’s really not, but it is that way here, so we expect it. We are not really upset about it when it happens. We just try to manage it.”
Alabama, though, has landed at least one recruit in the past two years who had committed elsewhere first.
“We got a couple of guys too,” Saban said. “So I’m not saying we’re squeaky clean because there are a couple of guys that we got that were committed to someone else, but they decommitted from those places and they were interested in Alabama.”
He’s not upset about it… but he still rages about it to the media.
His guys commit, which makes them targets… but his program isn’t “squeaky clean”, either.
It’s like Paul Johnson, minus the principle.
The sad thing is that the SEC feels a need to take this under advisement.
February 7, 2011 · 6:37 AM
Here’s a story that illustrates the emergence of another Richt persona:
… That next morning Mark Richt — the coach who takes stoicism to new frontiers, the one so criticized for his lack of sideline showmanship — staged an elaborate production for Crowell’s benefit.
The 18-year-old and his family were shown to Richt’s new office, overlooking the recently completed indoor practice facility. As they visited, the Crowells noticed activity down below. Players began filing onto the practice field.
“We got up and looked out,” said Debbie Crowell, Isaiah’s mother. “I didn’t know what was going on, but Isaiah could tell that they were getting into formation. And there wasn’t a tailback.”
The stage was set. Richt escorted the family down to the field. Crowell was handed a Georgia jersey — No. 1 on the back — and a helmet and asked if he wanted to take that empty spot in the backfield. Debbie Crowell remembers Richt painting the scene of next season’s opener against Boise State, asking her son if he could see himself in that jersey and helmet, behind that offensive line, starting his career in the din of the Georgia Dome.
“Yes, sir, I can,” Isaiah said.
“My baby was excited. He was ready to go,” Debbie said.
Hummer goes on to make a misleading comparison of Richt to P. T. Barnum – unfair because there’s little doubt that Richt is sincere about giving Crowell every opportunity to come in and play in 2011 – but it’s clear we’re seeing that the old dog does indeed have a few new tricks up his sleeve.
February 7, 2011 · 6:30 AM
Bo Pelini shows us there’s more than one questionable way to skin the recruiting cat.
I keep saying it’s not oversigning per se that bugs me. It’s the out-and-out misleading of kids that does.