Aaaaand… they’re off!

Boy, that didn’t take long.

Coaches at two programs that I spoke with Monday morning said they had been contacted by Penn State players or people on their behalf previously about possibly transferring before the sanctions were announced.  [Emphasis added.]

Several programs CBSSports.com contacted Monday said they will be faxing over lists of names of Nittany Lions they are interested in recruiting…

The body hasn’t even had a chance to cool yet.

And, yes, it sounds like Mark Richt is ready to embark upon the national land rush to Happy Valley.  (Given the room Georgia has to accommodate transfers on its currently configured roster, there would have been complaints if Richt wouldn’t even admit at least to considering it.)

“A lot of colleges around the country certainly will be interested in some of those players,” Richt said, “and we’re one of those teams. It’s pretty well-documented that we’re under our 85 number right now. We’ll try to get in touch with some of these young men and see what their interest is.”

Two current Penn State players, defensive end Deion Barnes from Philadelphia and linebacker Khairi Fortt from Stamford, Conn, considered Georgia out of high school. Both took official visits to Athens, according to Rivals.com.

Two Penn State commitments—defensive end Garrett Sickels from Red Bank (N.J.) Regional and tight end Adam Breneman from Cedar Cliff (Pa.)—were offered scholarships by Georgia.

After the event, Richt admitted Georgia coaches had already looked at Penn State’s two-deep roster during their annual “hideaway meeting,” Monday.

“We took a little bit of time out of what we were going to do to talk about that a little bit and decide what we might want to do,” he said. “It may not be anybody. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but we’re at least going to explore.”

That may sound insensitive, but it’s the prudent thing to do.  You have to figure that there are a number of kids who won’t stay at Penn State.  You also have to figure that (former Penn State) new strength coach John Thomas is going to find himself being contacted by some of those kids.  It may not lead to anything, but Richt owes it to the program to find out.

I just hope that he warns any interested parties to stay away from scooters and alleys.

******************************************************************************

UPDATE:  Paul Myerberg goes into some of the details of the hunt.

41 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

41 responses to “Aaaaand… they’re off!

  1. Spike

    Is this a great country, or what?

  2. One thing that Richt may have going for him is our recent hire of the S&C coach who was at Penn State previously. Nice to know a familiar face when going someplace new.

  3. Boz

    Surely there is an offensive lineman worth reaching out to…

  4. Spence

    Could it be that evil Richt saw the writing on the wall, poached the s&c coach in advance, and is now hoping to benefit from the fallout? Is that possible?

    Nah…,

  5. Krautdawg

    Whomever we “poach,” I hope he’s responsible for the winning play against South Carolina.

    • Puffdawg

      Didn’t I read where a couple of coaches left SCU in the offseason to go to Penn St? Talk about a poor career decision.

  6. Glad to see Richt taking a very practical attitude here. There may be some tut-tutting from the scolds in the sportswriting community over this, but Penn State only has themselves to blame for their situation. This is not like when Ed Orgeron called all those Tulane players right after Katrina trying to get them to come to Ole Miss before the Ninth Ward had even dried out.

  7. Scorpio Jones, III

    In one picture I see buzzards circling a carcass….

    in another I see pretty good kids whose lives have been changed by something they had nothing to do with.

    I guess it is good that some of Penn State’s players may have other opportunities…why should you punish kids who drank the Penn State cool aid without full understanding of what they were getting into, right?

    Ok, helping these young people move on with their lives is a good thing.

    And maybe I will feel better if one of these kids, as Kraut suggests aboves, comes to Athens and helps beat South Carolina.

    But right now I am a little ambivalent about the whole process…buzzards make me nervous.

    • Cojones

      I share your ambivalence.

      • shane#1

        Me too, I expect to wake to Buzzards on the headboard any day now. Never say Buzzard to an old dude. I believe there was a red shirt freshman at PSU that had the Dawgs among his top five last year. That would be nice, four years to play and someone else already took the red shirt hit.

  8. dawgfan17

    I believe the starting center at Penn State is the only returning starter on their line and he is a senior. It is one of the most important positions and he would be competing with a true sophomore who has not started a game. I think he should be number one on the list as it could sure up the OL. Second if there are any secondary guys that could come provide depth it might not be a bad thing either. Also heard their RB is pretty good.

    • Dawgwood

      That would be good, but the kid is a senior. It will be hard to get a kid to leave who has spent the last 3-4 years working hard to become the starting center for Penn State. I see younger kids who haven’t played much as the ones jumping ship.

      • Cojones

        Besides, he has a life and a degree from PSU is not tainted. It is an advantage for some seniors and juniors to finish their degree.

        UGA should wait for the interest from the player. We don’t know what was in the minds of some who turned us down and chose PSU. Perhaps they wanted a degree from there, perhaps their rumor mill involved how long Richt would be here and it didn’t look so good when they chose PSU, perhaps…….. We don’t know which players want to change teams, also, we don’t know how they may feel toward each other as a team. There are many factors that call for waiting for the player to inquire. If the class of 2013 players open up their recruitment, then we should contact them. The ambivalance of team loyalty hasn’t struck them as deeply. They are still considered fair game. Lollipop thoughts of linemen should be taken in context with what’s still out there and still on our recruiting list. We are in the last 5-6 lists of many.

        Making or breaking our recruiting on the bones of a few dazed and confused players from PSU is not something that stirs the CFB spirit in me.

    • Macallanlover

      With our depth/talent issues on the OL I wouldn’t be too picky about what we can get from their roster since we have lots of room. Traditionally the running programs in the that conference require pretty decent OL play, I would roll the dice on us helping ourselves by adding a couple of their Big Uglies, experienced or not. We don’t need much help on the defensive front 7 but, again, we have room to take in a couple of their better players. We can be picky on defensive players, unfortunately their DBs are all inexperienced. I am confident our staff, with the help of the S&C coach, will evaluate what is there. Given the feeding frenzy from so many schools, and the tight time period, I would be surprised if we get more than two players, if that.

  9. DawgPhan

    I think that the picking of the carcass is going to be really good reading for the rest of the summer. I figure that there are a couple of players on the 2-deep that will stay, but I would think any underclassman on the 2-deep is long gone. if you have legitimate chance for the NFL, you probably should split, that doesnt leave many on their depth chart.

  10. What does this statement in the linked article mean? “Also, the Big Ten has stated that Penn State players will be able to transfer within conference without penalty.” I thought the whole idea was these guys could transfer anywhere without penalty. Is this like saying, “If you stay in the B1G, we won’t make you pay for your shoulder pads”?

    • HobnailedBoots

      They can transfer anywhere without penalty and be immediately eligible.

      • Right. Did my question not make sense? Why does the Big Ten mention that transferring within conference would have no penalty?

        • Scott W.

          I may be wrong but I heard that the Big 10 imposes an extra year of sitting out if a player transfers in conference.

  11. Bevo

    “It may not lead to anything, but Richt owes it to the program to find out.”

    Agree. This is, at the very least, a due diligence exercise for a program that is short of 85 by about 15 scholarship players.

  12. Irishdawg

    “There may be some tut-tutting from the scolds in the sportswriting community”

    And I say fuck them. There’s nothing wrong with what Richt’s doing. He’s helping his team, certainly, but the Penn State kids had nothing to do with Sandusky’s evil or Paterno’s cowardice; they deserve a chance to play without the stink of this wretched scandal hanging over them.

  13. MinnesotaDawg

    Given the geography and the twisted way in which these things typically play out, I’m guessing that Ohio State and Corch will be the immediate and long-term winners that emerge from this Penn State fiasco. The NCAA taketh away…and the NCAA giveth.

  14. fetch

    Since we left slots open looking forward to a big recruiting year in ’13, it wouldn’t hurt to get a few seniors from them. So what if they are only in Athens for a year. It would give us an opportunity to let some of our young ones have another year to grow and still have those slots open next signing day.

  15. Cosmic Dawg

    Kickers, too. Checking out our punts, kickoffs, and field goals is going to be one of the few things we’ll really learn about this team from the Buffalo game, maybe – though there won’t be a lot of punting going on from our side.

    I think the play of our two freshman kickers may have as much effect on our season as our OL…

  16. Ogeecheedawg

    This would not be the first time we have picked over a carcass. We had pretty good luck in 1992 when Long Beach State quit football, and we signed Terrell Davis, and, I believe, Jack Swan, and maybe one or two others.

    • Mudcat's Impala....

      We also got a coupla good players from SMU too back in ’87…..
      Mark Vincent who was a good player… came in and started at CB right away had 3 INT.’s to lead the team…

      Shelly Anderson was the other & started at guard..

  17. uglydawg

    There’s something bothering me about all of this. The NCAA is going to waive the scolarship limits for schools to admit these players. This throws a whole new shadow of potential skullduggery over the situation. Instead of just buzzards and crows your going to have jackels after the carcass. The usual, shady, win at all cost cast will be overpowering and overwhelming in their pursuit of these kids. I wonder who the NCAA had in mind when they waived the scholarship limits on this. I don’t believe it’s incidental. I bet I can make a pretty good guess as to who’s nest will get feathered. N…..D….. and that’s not North Dakota.

  18. watcher16

    I had completely forgotten about the S&C hire from Penn State! I do kinda like our chances then

    • Mudcat's Impala....

      Lakatos prolly had contact with a few of these upper classmen when he was at U Conn too… ;-)

  19. Chopdawg

    Wonder how a current player–especially an incoming recruit–would feel, if we imported a PSU player to play his position, when he thought he’d be the starter this season, or he chose us because he thought he had a good chance at immediate playing time.

  20. Will Trane

    Sounds like the usual stuff from the Dawg nation during recruiting time. There are some roster numbers available and a lot of needs. True the Dawgs are short, but then who ain’t.

    Now if my son was at PSU I remind him of this, especially if he was a junior or senior going into 2012. You are moving toward a degree in this field of study, how will that translate at another school. You have spent 2-3 years of your life committed to the Nittany Lions and they to you. Are you going to throw that down now. And remember there was no prohibition by the NCAA from you guys having wins, a conference title, or national ranking. [At least I did not hear that or see it reported]

    Perhaps incoming freshmen and sophomores may take that route.

    Cairo High School’s QB committed to the Nittany Lions, and as far as I know he had not moved prior to this announcement. If he did, I would think he would go else where in view of the crowded field at Georgia. If there is a movement it would be in these classes. But here you would look at positions, depth, and remaining years. For sure CMR would be aware of that. Plus I do not think there would be any prohibition if these underclassmen waited another year and moved. Also not aware of what the NCAA ruling is here. Would think the NCAA would give latitude for them at this late date. If that is the case then some of these young men will cherry pick. And they should.

    What have your heard about this Senator and the kid from Cairo High?