A program’s gotta do what a program’s gotta do.

Marc Weiszer has a great post up about something that hasn’t gotten much attention – the number of top-rated JUCO signees in Georgia’s most recent recruiting class.

The late addition of defensive lineman Toby Johnson to Georgia’s signing class on Tuesday gave the Bulldogs four players ranked among Rivals.com’s top 25 junior college prospects, more than any other team in the nation.

Auburn has three and Ole Miss, Oklahoma and Kansas two each.

Johnson from Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College is ranked No. 8. Receiver Jonathon Rumph from Holmes (Miss.) Community College is No. 9, safety Shaquille Fluker from East Mississippi Community College is No. 22 and nose guard Chris Mayes from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College is No. 25. Georgia also signed safety Kennar Johnson from Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Georgia had only two junior college players on its roster last year—nose guard John Jenkins and offensive lineman Mark Beard.

The Bulldogs added just one junior college player in each of its four previous signing classes: Beard in 2012, Jenkins in 2011, safety Jakar Hamilton in 2010 and kicker Brandon Bogotay in 2009.

That’s obviously a big change in signing tactics.  And it’s made all the more interesting by something else Weiszer notes.

This wave of junior college players came after a clause was put in Richt’s contract last year saying that “the recruitment of junior college student-athletes will be kept to a minimum, as determined by Richt and the Athletic Director.”

Clearly, Richt and Greg McGarity determined that the Bulldogs needed to tap into help this time around from the junior college ranks.

That may be our first clear sign that Georgia football has entered a post-Michael Adams era.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

16 responses to “A program’s gotta do what a program’s gotta do.

  1. HVL Dawg

    Nice observation about post Adams.

    Would you rather have a brand new 20 year old four star junior who has been practicing the last two years on a dirt field or an 18 year old 5 star fresh out of today’s recruiting wars?


  2. W Cobb Dawg

    Leave it to Adams to turn his nose up at kids who started out in poor academic positions and attended JUCOs to improve their grades.

    We need help at some positions right away, and I’d assume the JUCOs can qualify easier than some HS’ers and acclimate better to college student-athlete life. Looks to me like we’ve done a good job targeting who we want and hauling them in – with less of the signing day histrionics. Dawgs have had some excellent JUCOs over the years, going back to players like Kendrell Bell and Jamie Henderson. I’m expecting good things from at least a couple of the 5 JUCOs we signed.


  3. I have not computed it, but considering the number of this year’s signees, the JUCO numbers are proportionally not that high.


  4. JaxDawg

    I wouldn’t want us to ever replicate the Auburn model which is to pick up everyone elses dregs, but as Cobb notes above, alot of these kids needed some time before making the leap to D-1 and have proven they can handle the academic and athletic demands. Good for them.

    I like to think of it as having these (hopefully) more mature young men join a program where they easily blend into our system and immediately contribute, both on and off the gridiron.


  5. “Post Michael Adams era”? I seriously doubt it. Still the same ultra-conservative, good ole boy system in place.


  6. Scott W.

    Was the clause included to preserve the prestige of the University? I was confused by the intent from the get go.


  7. SCDawg

    You could drive a truck through that contractual language, if reported accurately. Richt and the AD get to agree on what the term “minimum” means. This year it meant 5, next year it could mean 2, the next it could mean 10.


  8. GasGrill

    My guess is that it is not a change in overall recruiting philosophy as much a result of the small class signed last year. JUCO prospects generally are able to come in January and count towards last year. Thus, by pursuing them harder this year it allowed them to sign a larger class. I doubt it will be a trend.


    • Bobby

      It’s also a reflection of our lack of depth in the defensive secondary. 2 JUCO players are DBs. Chris Sanders and Nick Marshall really left us in a bind there. In that sense, they can be a bandaid. Hopefully, they’ll develop into terrific players. I’ve heard a great deal of internet chatter about Shaq Wiggins at safety.

      I’m really pumped about spring ball this year. If we start hearing about JHC excelling at SS, look out; we would be well on our way to reloading. As of right now, I think JHC is the most intriguing player on the roster; he could be a freak at one position, or he might fall into ‘tweener limbo. Listening to CTG talk about him, though, it seems pretty clear that he’s going to be playing a LOT this coming season. Can you imagine? A 6’5″ safety who was recruited as both a linebacker and a wide receiver?

      Out of the players coming in, we should be able to find a good FS. We’ve got 2 solid starting corners, but we still need a nickel.

      As for nose, JUCO players are always going to be a viable option (or perhaps necessity). On the current roster (not counting the most recent signees), only Jonathan Taylor looks filled out enough to hold down that spot; he’s about 325 or 330. Hopefully, he’ll be in good enough condition to be able to play 3rd-and-shorts and in the 4th quarter consistently.