Maybe you can teach an old Dawg some new tricks.

Two years ago, did you ever think you’d hear somebody say this about Georgia’s recruiting?

“I just think that Georgia is gonna do everything they can not to under-sign. They’ve got 29 commitments right now, 13 early enrolleees. But they’ve still got spots left,” Mansell said on Thursday…

Has Mark Richt been kidnapped by aliens and replaced by a pod person?

I think that for those of us who were skeptical that he had it in him to change the way he did business a small apology may be in order.  Mea culpa, Coach.  And keep it up.

(By the way, does anybody think Garner’s departure has had an effect on the way the staff is trying to close out this year’s class?  I don’t know anything… just wondering.)

62 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

62 responses to “Maybe you can teach an old Dawg some new tricks.

  1. Silver Creek Dawg

    I don’t think there’s any doubt Garner leaving has had an effect on this late push by our staff.

    For whatever reason, Rodney seemed to be half-assing it on the recruiting trail. Passing on Carl Lawson and Davin Bellamy looks pretty foolish right about now, especially if Davin ends up in Athens.

  2. Irishdawg

    Richt is no dummy; he’s seen that the only thing separating Georgia from LSU and Alabama is depth. The talent gap is neglible, it’s that those 2 schools have much more of it.

    • Dboy

      Irishdawg,

      You nailed it. Why Richt didn’t figure this out 10 years ago is anyone’s guess, but I wonder who was responsible for maintaing tight numbers via recruiting and keeping a full roster. It is somewhat the responsibility of all the staff, but i would think the main responsibilty woumd be b/w Garner (recruiting coordinator) and Richt. Given his reputation, I wonder if Garner was responsible for more problems than we realized in respect to chronically undersigning each year

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        What you said above might very well be the real reason behind Garner’s departure.

        • Will (the other one)

          Giving up literally 1,000 more yards rushing with the same personnel as 2011 probably didn’t help his cause.

      • Richt is no better or no worse than Saban or Miles or anyone else. Georgia fans have bought into the myth. Everything Saban does is viewed negatively and everything Richt does has been viewed positively. Georgia fans will continue to do this but it is what it is.

    • Charles

      Boom… goes the dynamite. Exactly

  3. Macallanlover

    I must not understand then, UGA isn’t oversigning based on what I read. No one is being promised a schollie that will require us to squeeze someone out and throw them to the curb. How is this so different? I think CMR has always tried to land the aircraft on the carrier deck with just the right number. Having a back-up plan is a great idea but you are going to fall short most years, we just don’t need to miss the mark by so much again. As long as you sign to the 85 number, everything is normal. You fall short because some aren’t going to make it in, or others leave. That is why I wish the NCAA would allow you to oversign by 2-3 without having to “cut” someone if the glass overflows a little. You simply adjust back the next year to the 85 level. Temporary edge that matters little, and better than what is going on now.

    I feel Emmert needs to devote some time to this issue and do it ASAP. The current system encourages bad behavior by some who have their personal priorities ahead of those of the young men they are charged with developing. Time to level the playing field, Little Nicky doesn’t need 7 mulligans a year to do well.

    • David K

      I agree, with the exception of last year where we clearly didn’t sign as many as we could. Looks like he’s making up for it this year with all the early enrolees. Perhaps there just weren’t enough kids out there he wanted last year. Still, we’ll enter Fall of 2013 with less than 85 kids that were offered scholarships out of high school on the squad. Some of next week’s signees won’t qualify, some others will bolt the team over the summer, etc. We’ll backfill with walk-ons, but the guys out there oversigning will have several players per year more of quality players on their team than we will.

      • Rocketdawg

        I’m sorry but that is a lame argument. Scholorships #80-85 have virtually no bearing on the field and quite honestly some of our kids who started as walk-ons had offers from other schools and chose to come here and play. I have no problem with 3-5 walk ons being awarded a scholorship each year if we have them due to attrition or disciplinary dismissals over the summer.

    • Normaltown Mike

      I’d say that CMR is more willing to cut loose players (for legitimate reasons) which allows him to sign more players in subsequent years.
      I’m not in favor of the mendacious and dishonest tactics of lying to HS kids and forcing them to grayshirt or deciding they aren’t good enough to play and effectively cutting them under the guise of medical reasons (hello SEC West). But I’m glad to see CMR be more realistic about separating the wheat from the chaff.
      Sure, we’ll always have some 5 year scholarships taken up by skinny lineman that never put on the weight, but there’s no reason to allow knuckle heads to hang around for several years and take up a spot in the fleeting hope that CMR will turn his life around with just one more shot.

    • Yeah, no real change here. The author is reaching and he grasped an uneducated assumption.

      • austintwo

        Pssst…we had fewer than 70 scholarship players last season; that will not be the case pending our haul on NSD…that is a “real change” Bro

        • Not how I see it. If UGA had 34-36 spots to fill in any year past, it would be the same story. Bro.

          • Irwin R Fletcher

            Dear jhtanglewood-

            You don’t have 34-36 spots to fill under the new rules unless didn’t fill your spots in the year prior, Bro.

            Signed-

            Different Story (aka Math)

            • Exactly, but implying that Georgia has “change(d) the way they do business” – like Alabama – is completely off basis. Bro.

              Do you think UGA only offered 19 kids last year? Do you think that all of those open spots came about because of a small class last year? If so, you are being foolish/misinformed. Bro.

              There is no big change in operations, it’s a result of necessity. Bro.

              • Macallanlover

                Last year was an exception so while there are no changes to UGA’s, or CMR’s position, the big edge is given to the “cheatees” who oversign. The NCAA has to intervene because there are too many abusing this loophole who don’t have the dignity to self-regulate. Guess they don’t play the game of golf….honest golf anyway.

    • Always Someone Else's Fault

      I would love to see the NCAA allow schools to keep kids on scholarship even if they lose their roster spot. Give that kid unfettered transfer rights. Then, he can stay where he is and finish his education, or he can go play somewhere else to play immediately.

      This is also why I think the stink over medicals is nonsense. If you have 100 top athletes a year who want to play football for your school, and you also have an artificial 85 cap, then hanging on to a guy who has lost a step (but can still play) makes no football sense at all. Let him keep his scholarship and access to medical care.

      But no one is or should be guaranteed a coveted roster spot at one of the top 5 football programs in the country. It only becomes an issue when the roster spot is coupled to the education.

      • Hackerdog

        My problem with the roster management practices is the inequality. If Saban has 3 kids not performing, he can cut them loose and replace them immediately with new recruits. However, those kids can’t decide to transfer and play immediately. They have to sit out a year.

        If the kid has a mandatory obligation to the school, the school should have an equal obligation to the kid.

        • Always Someone Else's Fault

          No argument on that one. If a kid ends up in a position where the school won’t clear him medically (Jones) or just yanks the scholarship (Crowell), then let the kid transfer without penalty.

  4. Uglydawg

    An honest coach will run his program to the benefit of the kids he signs. He will not find a way to “run off” a kid who doesn’t pan out or who is injured to the point that his talent is diminished. Yes,a kid who can’t stay out of trouble or make decent grades or even keep team rules should be a candidate to lose his scholarship, but not a kid who is just unfortunate enough to get injured…or have lower than hoped for perfromance on the field. A cut-throat coach will trim and cut and adjust regardless of who it hurts or how mean it might be. I think we have both extremes in the SEC. I’m proud that CMR is the first extreme. I like to believe that most coaches fall on the honest side of this measure. If there ARE coaches on the ugly extreme, they need to be exposed….something the AJC COULD DO if it were not so busy trying to nit-pick everything they can at UGA. Their post-hoc reporting of the NCAA’s investigation and sanctions against GT still galls my ass. There’s another real story here (on oversigning and how it hurts kids) and the AJC needs to blow it open…..(maybe if there was a rumor that Georgia was oversigning they would get interested.)

    • sniffer

      “An honest coach will run his program to the benefit of the kids he signs. He will not find a way to “run off” a kid who doesn’t pan out or who is injured to the point that his talent is diminished”

      An honest coach will retain players that work hard, improve and show a desire to contribute. If the player doesn’t have these qualities, its not in the players or programs best interest to keep them on scholorship. Maybe I’m splitting hairs and maybe you would agree with my point, but we have kept players in the past who’s sole purpose was to pad statistics for the sake of winning. The program suffered as a result. Justin Houston comes to mind. If we keep “problems” for the sake of winning, doesn’t it follow that we should remove certain players for the sake of winning?

      • Uglydawg

        Behavioral problems, or attitudes that are detrimental to the team should be addressed and dismissed, as we have seen happen with Georgia. But my point is running off a kid because he doesn’t pan out or is injured, is wrong. If a kids trying, you should find a way to keep him.
        I think we’re on the same page.

      • Bobby

        Justin Houston was a “problem”? The dude liked his weed a little bit, but that’s not that bad. Are you proposing that players should be cut lose simply for failing 1 or 2 drug tests? As far as that is concerned, it has no bearing on his work ethic on the field or in the classroom. When we have a real problem (Isaiah Crowell), he gets the boot.

        Granted, if a player performs well on the field, he’ll get considerably more latitude. And if a player doesn’t perform, any screw-up can be grounds for getting his schollie revoked (Demetre Baker, and undersized linebacker who got a DUI one Saturday and was off the team by Monday); and I don’t think there’s anything hypocritical about that at all. If you’re not going to perform, you damn well be a model citizen; otherwise, you’re just not worth keeping around.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Noble thoughts for sure. “the way it suppose to be”. Sadly, the whole nature of college football is morphing into a semi-pro league. Aided by perfidious Little Nicky (h/t NMike), ESPN and the Slive, in another decade there won’t be much left of amateur college football. Sometimes it seems like CMR is one of the few remaining noble Samurai coaches and Little Nicky is showing him the power of gunpowder over the sword.

      “Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.”

  5. Mike, not Gator Mike

    Yeah, no coincidence that we are in play for some pretty good players now that Gardner is gone. I thought that we’d lose one or two because of his departure. Looks like we may actually pick up one or two. Nice to see us being aggressive. Although the aggressiveness seems to only be on one side of the ball. Not sure what that is about.

  6. Richt “changing his ways”? I don’t think so.

    It’s not like UGA has decided to start oversigning like Ole Miss or Alabama. Georgia, as you should probably already know, is well below the scholarship limit. They have spaces to fill, no one will be asked to leave, grayshirted (unless discussed with athelete before signing) and no one will be “medical redshirted”.

    This is not a change in the way UGA and Richt do business, but rather a direct result of not having a full squad… mainly due to NOT oversigning and natural attrition… but hey, if it makes you feel better, go with it.

    • Hackerdog

      You’re correct that Richt isn’t going to start routinely signing 35 kids like Saban or Spurrier. However, UGA currently has 29 commitments and is trying to increase that number. Last year, UGA signed 19 players. Since 2005, UGA has signed an average of 22.5 players. So 29 kids (if that is the final number) is almost one third more than the average of the last 8 years. That is a significant change.

      But hey, if it makes you feel better to discount it as random chance, go with it.

      • Random chance? No.
        A change in philosophy and operations? No.

        It is a change in numbers only, a result of necessity – not a change in how “business” is done.

        So what is this big change in Richt that is being spoken of?
        No change, just a different year and different needs.

        • AthensHomerDawg

          This is our first class in awhile without Coach Garner at the helm. Kind of a late adjustment for sure. So what would you define as a change? How should “business” be done to suit you as a positive step toward “change”?

        • Hackerdog

          It seems like it has to be one or the other. UGA has signed 22.5 players a year for the last 8 years. This year, UGA will sign around 29 players. That is obviously a change. You say it isn’t. You’re wrong. 29>22.5. That’s the change.

      • When’s the last time Saban signed 35?

        • Hackerdog

          He signed 32 in 2008. Is that close enough?

          • Hackerdog

            Really, though, I’m not arguing that Alabama has signed exactly 35 kids. They haven’t. I was using hyperbole.

            My point is that Alabama routinely oversigns and UGA doesn’t. That point isn’t arguable.

            From 2006-2012, Bama averaged signing 27.6 players. UGA averaged signing 23. UGA signed under the limit of 25 players in 5 of the 7 years. Bama undersigned once. UGA signed over the limit of 25 players twice. Bama oversigned 6 times. Bama’s largest class over that span was 32 players. UGA’s largest class was 28.

            See the pattern there?

            • Hyperbole just another word for lieing

              • Hackerdog

                To small minds, perhaps. If I say I was going a million miles a minute, would you take me literally? If I use the phrase a New York minute, would you believe that space-time actually behaves differently around NYC?

                I notice that you have nothing to say about the point of Bama vs. UGA on oversigning. Telling.

  7. W Cobb Dawg

    CMR and the whole staff are doing an outstanding job recruiting. Everything a Dawg fan could ask for – talent, numbers, addressing needs, plenty of early entrees, closing strong. This is the kind of effort that puts schools in position for championships.

    Regarding the past years when we left plenty of schollys unfilled, all I’ll say is that we seem to have learned from our mistakes – which is a great sign of improvement.

    I don’t want to trash Garner because he gave UGA plenty of years of service, but its starting to look like he was part of the problem, not part of the solution. So I’ll simply say our staff seems to be working like a well oiled machine, and leave it at that.

  8. Bevo

    I’ll reserve final observations on this signing class until after Signing Day.

    The 13 guys already on campus is a great start though. If we finish strong, our coaches could do the program a lot of good.

  9. I think it was a big deal that Garner stayed with UGA after Donnan left primarily from a recruiting standpoint. For the last several years he’s been like a Baptist preacher who overstayed his welcome (and I know ’cause I’m a Baptist!). Behind closed doors I think he deserved at least some of the blame for the ‘questionalble character’ guys we recruited in several past classes. Not to mention now Grantham has a complete defensive staff with his name stamped on it. That staff along with our defensive talent is why he’s staying put in Athens at least for the time being. Back to your point Senator, I think Garner going to AU has been a big plus for us, both coaching and recruitng.

  10. SCDawg

    I think the more interesting question, long term, is what Georgia does in response to the recruiting rule changes that let schools hire administrative staffs to do recruiting. What sort of staff will we hire, what tasks will the new staff perform, and what will the coaches continue to do and what new tasks will they perform? And what will Bama do? Anyone else suspect the unemployment rate will tick down a full percentage point in Alabama after Saban hires his staff?

    You think recruiting is outrageous now? Wait till next NSD.

  11. JD

    Tunsil just turned us down and is going to Ole Miss, FYI.

  12. Damn, could have used the top OL two years in a row.