‘We should be entitled because they’re our kids.’

Here’s an interesting story.

Jamyest Williams sat down with University of Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker and got a first-hand glimpse of how the Bulldogs program is changing.

New coaching staff, new way of doing things, and that was part of Tucker’s sell to Williams — one of the best players in the state of Georgia’s Class of 2017.

“Me and Coach Tucker were watching film when Coach (Mark) Richt was the head coach, we were seeing how they would pursue and then jog through the cone a little bit,” Williams said. “Now they sprint full speed, and that’s what they were missing. Just little things to build that program.”

That would be Georgia, negatively recruiting against itself.  Which isn’t to say I don’t see the point.  You’re hearing things like this regularly from recruits this year:

“It’s a different environment (at Georgia),” Williams said. “I talked to some of the players too and they feel a big difference also.”

I wonder if this is the other thing to keep an ear out for as the season progresses:

Consider Smart in a kind of probationary period. He’s shiny, and his program has a new aura about it, but that only lasts until the games start. Part of that is enough for an early recruiting boon, but we’ve seen that before at other programs. It’s what happens in the fall that determines the longevity of that recruiting success.

Williams, and a lot of other prospects are waiting. They sense a change at Georgia, and want to see what it means on the field.

“I know this year will be a building year, but they have a lot of great commits,” Williams said. “I want to see how the season plays out and evaluate it.”

On the recruiting front, will it be more about wins and losses for Smart, or simply being able to convince recruits that it’s not the same old, same old anymore?

58 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

58 responses to “‘We should be entitled because they’re our kids.’

  1. watcher16

    I’m seeing more and more of these quotes every day from recruits:

    “There is just something new and great that they are building at Georgia. … Georgia has stepped up. Auburn was way up there for me. Then other schools started coming. Then Georgia started getting after it. Georgia has stepped up, man. Stepped way up. When Georgia wants to recruit you now, they come hard. They come real hard.”

    https://www.dawgnation.com/football/recruiting/4-star-with-blinding-speed-has-uga-and-another-sec-rival-in-his-top-2

  2. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Well, well. Turns out that it’s not just the crazy fan base that wants to win. It’s also the potential recruits. We don’t necessarily want to win at all costs (Hugh Freeze, I’m looking at you), but wins matter, dammit, and not just the gimme wins that end up tasting like stale cupcakes.

  3. Jared S.

    Stale cupcakes with store-bought frosting.

  4. Tommy

    Are we recruiting against ourselves, or Alabama’s current DC?

  5. PTC DAWG

    Get the best 85 guys you can get…not 68 and a bunch of walk ons.

  6. I think the honeymoon lasts a little longer for recruits, I think Kirby will have a strong class next year regardless of results this fall. But I think that 2nd year is the key to continuing recruiting momentum. Just as an example, Saban had a poor first year but still recruited very well that year – and the on field results in that 2nd year propelled the recruiting from that point forward. But a 2nd year of 6-8 wins probably would have lost a lot of momentum.

    • 3rdandGrantham

      I recall Saban getting ripped on quite a bit during and after his first season. You might recall the stories that Saban ‘was paid almost a million dollars per win’ in ’07. Of course that loss at home to La Monroe was the absolute nadir that year too. Even my Bama friends were somewhat doubting the hire and questioned whether Saban would end up with the same mediocre record at Bama that he had at Miami. One in particular was yearning for the days of Shula again.

      However, if I recall, Bama signed the #1 class that off-season, and suddenly there was a certain buzz that things were different with good things to come. Going into that opener in ’08 in the GA Dome against what was supposed to be Tommy Bowden’s best Clemson team, Bama was an underdog but utterly destroyed Clemson while playing many players from that top ranked class. That set the tone and the rest was pretty much history from that point forward.

    • DawgPhan

      Sure Kirby might have a strong class regardless of how the team does this season. That doesnt seem unreasonable. But what is a strong class? Is it a top 5 class? Is it a top 3 class? Is it a #1 class?

      We always have strong classes, can Kirby get us to a #1 class? That is where we need to be.

      For all the talk of recruiting and momentum and building a wall and all that non sense…we still sit @ #7 in the recruiting rankings(three spots behind miami…lol)

      No 5 star kids have committed. I believe that there is only 1 current 5 star player that has UGA in their top 5.

      UGA has an uphill battle to get into the top spots in recruiting and losing more than 3 games is probably going to hurt those efforts.

      • 3rdandGrantham

        If you look back at our recruiting classes over the past 7-8 years, we really haven’t had consistently strong classes in terms of their overall rankings. I typically compare UGA to the rest of the SEC, and for most years we basically were middle of the pack overall. For example, our ’10 was ranked the 6th best in the SEC, ’11 and ’12 the 4th best, ’13 the 7th best, and ’14 basically a 3 way tie for 5th best (you could rank UGA 5th, 6th, or 7th), and ’15 the 3rd best (with 2 others just a few points behind us). Sure enough, these rankings pretty much mirror where we’ve finished overall in the SEC at the end of the year on average. In terms of sending talent to the NFL, we’ve been quite poor overall with getting players drafted in the early rounds.

        IMO, finishing in the middle of the pack in the SEC consistently in recruiting simply won’t get the job done. Smart needs to elevate us to the top 3 in the SEC yearly in rankings; if he does this we’ll be in good shape. Bama will be Bama until Saban retires, and LSU/UF always have loads of talent as well. With that said, neither UF or LSU should ever out recruit us…same for UT, SCU, etc.

        • DawgPhan

          eyeroll

          http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2016/2/4/10914710/college-football-recruiting-improvement-tcu-baylor

          http://www.sbnation.com/college-football-recruiting/2015/2/6/7987571/recruiting-rankings-ratings-2015-college-football-teams

          3rd in the SEC over almost any period you want to look at.

          Which I would consider strong recruiting. I also know it wasnt good enough. I also know it will be very difficult for Smart to get us much higher on the list without closing extremely strong and flipping more than he gets flipped on signing day, something he did not accomplish in his first class.

          As for putting players early in the draft…another point you are wrong on.

          it’s alright, you have some ideas that you desperately what to be true, but they simply arent. 3 of the last 4 drafts UGA has had a first round pick.

          http://drafthistory.com/colleges/g.html#Georgia

          • 3rdandGrantham

            I simply provided the Rivals.com recruiting rankings going back to ’10; nothing more or less. If you look at other recruiting services such 247, you’ll find that we actually fared slightly worse overall in their rankings. And don’t forget we’ve had quite a number of these recruits leave/kicked out,etc. in recent years as well, including (I believe) the ’13 class which which utterly decimated in the end.

            In terms of placing talent in the top rounds of the NFL draft, prior to this year, since way back in ’09 when Stafford/Moreno turned pro, we’ve only had 2 players drafted in the top 15 of the NFL draft, with 4 total overall over a 6 year period. Heck, the Washington Huskies had 3 players drafted in the first round of the ’15 draft alone; never mind mentioning the success Alabama and OSU type programs have had.

            More so, again going way back to ’09, we’ve only had 1 player drafted in the 2nd round, and that was Cordy Glenn taken in the middle part of that round back in ’12, with the vast majority of our draftees going in the latter rounds. Thus, over a 6 year period, we’ve only had 5 players total drafted in the first 2 rounds. Yet somehow this is something you’re actually proud of and using to justify your argument.

            • DawgPhan

              it’s cool, bro. You can just admit that you are wrong and we can both let it go. I dont think any less of you.

              Early rounds becomes top 15.

              Middle of the pack in the SEC consistently becomes I just posted the information.

              UGA has recruited top talent, just not good enough, but better than almost every team in the country.

              UGA has put players in the draft, better than most every team in the country, but also not good enough.

              I hope Smart is able to continue to improve the recruiting.

              • 3rdandGrantham

                Nothing for me to admit I’m wrong to, and please feel free to correct the statistics I provided. I also didn’t just slyly include those who went in the top 15 but also mentioned the total overall number (4) over those years. And on a year by year basis, UGA has been in the middle of the pack in recruiting rankings in the SEC, and again I used the Rivals.com rankings which are more favorable to UGA than 247, which for a few select years ranked UGA several spots lower.

                You said I was wrong on UGA not placing many in the early rounds of the draft. From my perspective, for a program of UGA’s caliber and with our fertile recruiting ground, our early rounds NFL draft placements since the Stafford/Moreno days have been awful. Oh, and our ’06-08 drafts were equally terrible, with only 1 player taken in the first 2 rounds for all three years combined. Lastly, David Pollack is our last OL or DL taken in the first round…way back in ’05. Since then, again we’re hanging our hat on Cordy Glenn’s 2nd round selection; that’s it.

                • DawgPhan

                  you are aggregating the entire SEC and comparing that to UGA.
                  I guess you can do it, but the analysis is pretty meaningless. It’s your analysis that is wrong.

                  UGA hasnt finished middle of the pack in recruiting over the last 2-4-5-6 years.

                  Not when you look at the recruiting in total over that period for each school.

                  But again, regardless of what you think of the previous classes, the current classes have to be better. For Smart’s first class, the results were not better. Next year could be better, but currently we are a little behind.

              • CB

                Both of you are making the mistake of reading too much into recruiting rankings. Georgia’s two classes under Pruitt were two of the deepest classes we signed under Richt, most of the highly ranked classes under Bobo were top heavy.

                • RandallPinkFloyd

                  ^^This. 2010-13 classes really set us back. Attrition, lack of development, busts, etc.

                  For a ‘phan’, you’re a pretty aggressive dude.

  7. @gatriguy

    It’s interesting to me that essentially everyone acknowledges that attention to detail is what has been missing in Athens, yet even with the infusion of Pruitt, the culture didn’t change all that much. It takes a long time to turn a battleship I suppose.

  8. Uglydawg

    For many, many years I have lamented the “Team Culture” that seemed to persist at UGA through at least a couple of Head Coach’s tenures. It seemed that under Donnan and CMR the team often played to the level of the opponent. The team would be up for one game and flat for another.
    CMR once actually made the statement that he didn’t think playing with emotion was that big of a deal. Then, he turned around and sent the whole team on the field to celebrate the TD against UF.. inconsistent…I don’t think CMR ever really developed the “killer instinct” in his teams. In my opinion, that is the root of his failure to take Georgia to the next and highest level. (I do acknowledge that at times we saw giimpses of it..such as hanging 50+ on the nerds one year..and there are other examples..but more examples of “playing down”, IMHO).
    It looks like that is finally changing. I believe it is.
    (BTW..Does anyone else remember the “Last play of the World” phrase?)

    I remember watching Saban freak out when his second team defense allowed a late score by another team’s first offense in a game that was already a blow-out for ‘Bama. I thought, “This is the difference”.

    CKS understands that this and has bought it to Georgia.

    • JCDAWG83

      I’ve talked with a few players who played for Richt over the years and the ones who played for him in the first 5 years of his tenure talk about how intense he was and how much of a perfectionist he was. The ones who played in the later years admit to a “country club” culture around the program. Richt was all about being a “friend” and everyone enjoying themselves and the team being a big, happy family.

      I remember the Clemson game at Clemson in 2003. The temperature at kickoff was around 100 degrees. At the half, when Richt was leaving the field a reporter asked about a mistake by one of the players and if the heat might be a reason to let it slide. Richt looked at her and said “no, not in a game”. Compare that to a few years later when Richt gave the famous “humidity is high” in Jax excuse.

      I feel like Kirby has definitely brought a new attitude to Athens. Now, I want to see it translate into wins on the field that actually accomplish something. Beating 3 cupcakes, tech, the weak SEC East teams and a mediocre bowl opponent for 10 wins got old a long time ago.

  9. CB

    These quotes sound a lot like wide eyed HS kids regurgitating stories of a great revolution in Athens because that’s the narrative that’s being spun on their recruiting visits. Are we really to believe that these teenagers are so perceptive that they can pick up o these supposed cultural climate shifts? Or is that just what is being hammered into their brains while they’re on campus? Even Sony Michel said there’s no real difference between the work and preparation. If it helps us get kids then I’m all for it, but it seems like a lot of smoke is being blown.

    • Jared S.

      I’m definitely in the “taking all this with a huge grain of salt” crowd.

      That being said, I don’t find it hard to believe that there has been a radical culture shift from CMR to CKS. Putting aside what we are being told or what we’ve heard through the rumor mill, we know that nearly all the coaches are brand-spanking-new to the program, and that there’s been a significant increase in support staff. We also know that CKS has done nothing so far for anyone to question his legendary reputation as a recruiter. And we know that he convinced 93K fans to turn out for a friggin’ Spring Game.

      • CB

        I’m sure there are differences, I’m just skeptical as to whether or not there are glaring improvements. The 17 class is looking great, and I think CKS did as well as he could with the 16 class, but we probably would have signed a better group overall with Richt. 93k day was great, but if we don’t win games it’ll become a running punchline.

        • JCDAWG83

          Curious, who would Richt have brought into the ’16 class that Kirby missed on? I’m not one who follows recruiting much so you can enlighten me on who went elsewhere that Richt would have gotten to make the ’16 class better.

          • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

            ‘zackly. “…Probably would have signed a better group overall…” is the perfect meme because even though there is no evidence to support it, there is also no way to disprove it.

            • JCDAWG83

              The man love for Richt is strong.

            • CB

              There’s plenty of evidence to support it. Kids were committed and then decommitted when Richt left. One of them even said he would be at Georgia if Richt was still there, yet another followed him to Miami. Scroll down and get educated, I laid it all out for you real simple like.

          • DawgPhan

            EJ Price. 4 star tackle from Archer.

            I mean it is like some of you dont even follow UGA football other than to complain about the coach that isnt here any more.

            https://www.dawgnation.com/football/recruiting/ej-price-sets-the-record-straight-about-why-he-did-not-choose-uga

            • JCDAWG83

              Again, I don’t follow recruiting much but I guess getting one 4 star tackle would have made a major difference in the strength and ranking of the class? Did we get any other player that picked Georgia because of Kirby or was the only result of Kirby being hired our losing a 4 star tackle? I do remember the wailing and gnashing of teeth over how firing Richt and hiring Kirby was going to ruin our recruiting class. That didn’t seem to pan out at all from what I see.

              • DawgPhan

                classic internet logic….

                I dont follow recruiting, but I have some strong opinions about how well we recruit.

                Smart took a class ranked #3 and turned it into a class ranked #7. He didnt close strong. UGA didnt flip as many players as they had flipped from them.

                and yes adding a 4 star tackle to your class improves your class ranking and strength.

                • JCDAWG83

                  You will have to show where I said anything about how well we recruit. I’ve always thought Richt recruited well enough except for his obvious lack of interest in offensive linemen, something he admitted to in an interview years ago.

                  I’d say it would be expected to lose some kids who had committed to a coaching staff that was no longer there but the hand wringing over recruiting and how terrible it would be if Richt were fired seems to have been unwarranted. We’ll see next year how Kirby’s recruiting really is. So far, I like the attention to detail, the follow up and the attitude that’s been reported.

                  No matter how recruiting goes or how the season goes next year it will be refreshing to not wonder if every game is the bed crapping game and to not expect to be blown out by every opponent who is good.

                  • Puffdawg

                    I’ve tried to steer clear of the Richt debate as (A) I was a huge fan and hated to see him go but (B) I have embraced Kirby as our new coach and hope he does well. I am a fan of UGA first.

                    That said, your comments are downright stupid. How do you know for certain the next “bed crapping” game isn’t right around the corner? EVERY team craps the bed occasionally. To pretend Richt’s teams are the only ones is short sighted and narrative shaping. Did you see Kirby against Utah in the Sugar? Or Oklahoma? Or Ohio St? Or Clemson where his defense couldn’t slow down Clemson? Or Auburn in 2010 when their four touchdown lead evaporated? I’m excited to have Kirby, but to pretend bed crapping is limited to UGA is just revisionist history.

            • @gatriguy

              Yes, because if there was one thing Richt could be counted on, it was closing on offensive linemen.

              I wouldn’t choose an example of a OL recruit flipping as something that never would have happened under Richt. YMMV of course.

          • CB

            4 * OT EJ Price went to USCw, but said publicly he would have been at Georgia if Richt were there. 4* RB Devwah Whaley, 3* DB Malek Young, 3* WR Darion Anderson, 3* OG Aaron Dowdell and 3* WR Randrecous Davis also decommitted. Davis was underrated as a 3* from the film I’ve seen of him. There was also the outside possibility of signing the #1 player in the state, DT Derrick Brown, who ended up at Auburn, but there’s no real indication that would have ended up differently if Richt was still in Athens.

            Dowdell and Anderson weren’t significant losses, as they ended up at UCF and GA Southern respectively. Whaley ended up at Arkansas and could have really bolstered our depleted backfield, Young followed Richt to Miami, and Davis went with B Mac to USCe.

            Smart for his part was able to flip 3* DE David Marshall from Auburn, and 3* WR Tyler Simmons from Bama. Marshall looks fairly underrated on film. He physically dominated competition in HS. From watching him live, Simmons appears to have good speed, but is probably a downgrade from Davis when it comes to play making ability. The biggest take was 4* WR Riley Ridley from USCe. He looks like he could be a playmaker early.

            In summation we lost two 4* recruits, four 3 * recruits, and there was a chance at a 5*, but we gained one 4*, and two 3*.

            The most impressive part of Smart’s early recruiting was his ability to get 5* talent on campus. We didn’t get any of those players, but we ended up in the top 2-3 for many of them which is saying something considering that they weren’t even looking at UGA before CKS came. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really translate to anything tangible.

            • ugafish

              Most of those guys we “lost” were actually Kirby Smart and Company choices to part ways. We chose to save those spots for the 2017 class if we didnt deem anyone worthy of a UGA offer.

              • CB

                That was definitely the case with Dowdell and Anderson, but we needed Price and Whaley in a bad way given depth issues on the O-line and at RB. Losing Davis is the reason we were scrambling to get Ridley and Simmons. Probably could have used Young as well.

        • PTC DAWG

          We haven’t won squat in 10 years….time to look for another date..glad GMac pulled ths string.

      • CB

        Furthermore all recruiting rankings should be taken with a grain of salt, there is a reason coaches don’t pay any attention to Rivals and 247.

  10. AusDawg85

    Every Halloween, the trees are filled with underwear. Every spring, the toilets explode.

    And every off season…happy talk

    • JCDAWG83

      LOL; it’s the same every year, “everyone is participating in the off season workouts, the seniors are really showing leadership, everyone is buying into the program, there’s a different feeling around the program, etc., etc..

    • HVL Dawg

      I tip my hat to you.

  11. W Cobb Dawg

    Well, for one thing it’s May. First thing I wonder about is how active we were with recruiting at this time of year in the past. This recruit, and I imagine many others, are getting meaningful time with our staff. The recruit is from Gwinnett County – our back yard, where I’d argue we’ve done a mediocre job of recruiting in recent years.

    We won’t know how the games turn out until they’re played. But stories like this, along with the PWO’s, G-Day success, etc., are examples that show me we’ve set higher goals and more importantly are following through with the daily work needed to achieve those goals.

  12. CB

    Another important nugget is that Pruitt wasn’t too high on Jamyest because he’s 5’9. He might be getting a little more love from this new coaching staff if they’re willing to overlook his vertical challengement, and a little attention can go a long way with a HS athlete.

  13. Ginny

    Didn’t we also just have current players who have seen both regimes say that things really haven’t changed much? I feel like they would know way better than a recruit.

  14. adam

    “Consider Smart in a kind of probationary period. He’s shiny, and his program has a new aura about it, but that only lasts until the games start.”

    Butch Jones has been selling that shit at Tennessee for since the day he was hired. I don’t think the new wears off after the first game.

    • JCDAWG83

      Regarding Butch; he’s built up a situation where if he doesn’t win the East this season, he might be shown the door. His shtick has bought him a few seasons of mediocrity but I have to think the toothless, inbred orange horde is ready for some results or they might get out the torches and pitchforks.

      • Uglydawg

        “….the toothless, inbred orange horde..” Dickens couldn’t have described them better, and…”they might get out the torches and pitchforks” is a word picture that made me laugh. Thanks, 83 !

  15. Same same same old. At every school with a new coach. The revolution has begun.

  16. Jamyest Williams…….5’9″ and a 4.52 40 yard dash and what is worse from the school that brought us all the Nkemdechie brothers. Kirby is going to have to learn Coach Richt’s “energy vampire” lesson all on his own I suppose