Daily Archives: February 2, 2012

Welcome to Georgia.

I bet if you asked ten SEC fans to name the state which produces the most conference signees, at least eight of ‘em would say Florida.

They would be wrong.  This year, Georgia produced 25 more kids who signed with SEC schools than did Florida.  In fact,

More SEC signees came from Georgia than South Carolina, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Ohio, California, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Kansas, Indiana, Arizona, New Jersey, Illinois, Michigan, Colorado and all of the other zero-signee states combined.

For all the grumbling about Georgia kids leaving the state, Richt’s program had the third-best in state retention rate in the conference, behind only LSU and Texas A&M.

Four SEC schools besides Georgia signed more players from our state than they did from their home states:  Tennessee, South Carolina (Spurrier signed more kids from Georgia than Richt did, believe it or not), Kentucky and Alabama.

Why is this happening?  I think much of  it’s the result of Georgia Tech’s in-state recruiting efforts becoming increasingly feeble under Johnson and the resurgence of Florida State and Miami, both of which pulled in outstanding 2012 classes.  As a numbers game, Georgia is a more inviting place now to chase highly rated high school players.

You can blame Richt and Garner for not making enough of an effort, if that makes you feel better.  But it seems pretty clear that they have an awful lot of ground to defend.

59 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football

Is the SEC’s new 25-man rule having an impact?, ctd.

John Pennington has a series of posts up at his site crunching this year’s recruiting class numbers.  Some of the results are startling.  First off, to answer the question in the header, you tell me:

Here’s how the total numbers for the league’s 14 members have changed overall from 2010 to 2011 to 2012:

2010 total signees: 359 or 25.6 per school

2011 total signees: 342 or 24.4 per school

2012 total signees: 305 or 21.8 per school

That’s almost three less per school in one year.  This year, only one school signed as many as 28 kids.  In 2011, three schools signed more than that.  Now year to year, that may not mean too much, but it will be interesting to see if the numbers stay at this year’s level.

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Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football

Thanks for having my back, coach.

Justin Taylor wasn’t the only kid who got bad news from Alabama yesterday.  Darius Philon, who verbally committed to the Tide last September and wore a UA hat to his Signing Day ceremony, was told at the last minute that the only way he could count on going to Tuscaloosa would be as a grayshirt.

That’s tough, but at least Philon still had other options (he later signed with Arkansas).  But there’s a truly sorry part to this story and that involves Philon’s high school coach.  Read this (h/t Jaybird) and shake your head:

… His coach, Kerry Stevenson, who should have been outraged over one of his players being jerked around like that, instead said he wasn’t sure when the offer was pulled and blamed the SEC’s new rule for putting UA in “a bind.”

Now that’s supporting your player.

You wonder how coaches like Saban are able to continue to sell their programs to recruits despite the negative publicity which accompanies aggressive roster management?  A high school coach offended by Saban’s inconvenience – there’s one answer for you.

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Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting

Our short national nightmare is over.

Woodrow Clemons capitulates and his grandson’s LOI is on its way to Athens.

“I spoke to my grandfather last night and told him, just so we would be on the same page,” Harvey-Clemons said Wednesday. “I talked about distance with my family, which is large, and I think they like Florida better because it is closer to home and easier to come to the games. But I had my mind made up, and it was a wrap after that.”

I think the next time we have one of those debates about moving the Florida game out of Jacksonville, I’m going to have to invoke Mr. Clemons’ name.  He’s got to be happy there’s at least one short drive a year.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

And while we’re on the subject of improving the game day experience…

Here’s a little detail Greg McGarity ought to turn his attention to, especially if it doesn’t cost the school anything.

Make it so, hoss.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Science Marches Onward

A (non-Dawg) signing day buffet

Just a few tidbits outside Athens that caught my eye:

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Filed under ACC Football, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Big Ten Football, Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Georgia Tech Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, Nick Saban Rules, Pac-12 Football, Recruiting

“I’d like it to be the boringest day there is.”

(AP photo)

Mark Richt didn’t get his wish.  Woodrow Clemons has his fifteen minutes of fame.  Ultimately, I expect this to be a tempest in a teapot.  The kid sounds like he’s coming to Athens and as long as that’s how he feels, that’s where he’ll wind up – the NLI isn’t a requirement to play for a school on a scholarship, so he can come even if grampa never signs on the dotted line.

Aside from the drama, here are a few observations:

  • There’s a lot to like about this class.  Grantham cleaned up on candidates for the defensive line and outside linebacker and sounds very happy about it.  Marshall and Gurley shore up the tailback slot.  The Dawgs didn’t screw around on the kicking spots, either.  As far as signing for need, mission accomplished.
  • If you want to pick nits, it would have to be over the class size.  I do think that there was an intent all along not to offer every available scholarship to this year’s class, based on the quality and size of the 2013 talent pool, but the reality is that Chester Brown’s slot wasn’t filled after it unfortunately came open.  Signing only three offensive linemen – even though at least two of the three look to be immediate contributors – is the kind of move that you fear comes back to bite this program in the butt two or three years down the road.  (It’s not like that hasn’t happened before.)  Not signing Avery Young was by far the biggest disappointment of the day.
  • Richt thinks the hot seat talk had an effect“I think ‘the noise’ probably hurt us a little on the front end. But once we had the season that we had, we did something we hadn’t done since the early 1980s, winning 10 in a row, and returning a lot of players and all that. I think maybe some of the guys in a wait-and-see decided they were very comfortable with where Georgia is now and where Coach Richt and the staff are. I think that had a little something to do with it.”  Maybe so, but you’d have to think that was the case the year before as well and that didn’t slow the staff down.

At the risk of being accused of sunshine pumping, I’m a little surprised at how much disappointment has been expressed over the class of 2012 on message boards and comment threads.  Admittedly, you can knock the numbers a bit, but the quality is excellent, both from an absolute standpoint and in terms of meeting needs.  And I don’t think you can pass final judgment on Richt’s overall 2012 recruiting strategy until the hay is in the barn on next year’s bunch.  If Georgia gets aggressive enough, signing a class approaching 30 with a number of early entries, then there would seem to be little to be concerned about in future years.

And while I’m on the subject of the virtual Dawgnation, I’m not sure there’s anything funnier than reading the whining about recruiting rankings coming from the same people who spend the rest of the year knocking the recruiting services and how so many kids with lots of stars never work out.

Your thoughts?

44 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting