Always be roster managing

This is interesting, on several levels:

Georgia may soon be getting its next version of Isaiah McKenzie from the junior college ranks.

Ahkil Crumpton, a wide receiver out of Los Angeles Valley College, stands at 5-foot-8 and posts a 4.49 40-yard dash time. He has proven to be a weapon both on special teams and with the wide receiver corps. On Tuesday, Crumpton announced he plans to join the Georgia football program after receiving an offer over a month ago on June 5.

… Crumpton collected 690 kickoff return yards and three touchdowns in 2016 on 16 opportunities. The 43.1 yards-per-return average on kickoffs in culmination with the 314 punt return yards gives the Los Angeles-area specialist the top return mark in college football regardless of level, according to Clayborne.

Prior to landing in the junior college ranks, Crumpton, who attended West Catholic High School in Philadelphia, committed to Temple in 2015.

He’s got some skills, then, although I’m not sure what Georgia’s interest says about Smart’s confidence in his current options in the return game.  (Then, again, if you’re all about competition making everyone better, the more, the merrier.)

The other intriguing part of the offer is what it says about Georgia’s roster plans.  Note that the header to Butt’s story is posed as a question.  Here’s why:

It is possible for Georgia to blueshirt Crumpton and use the scholarship toward the 2018 class, according to Los Angeles Valley College recruiting coordinator CJ Clayborne. The same practice was used on National Signing Day when East Mecklenburg (NC) place-kicker David Marvin announced he was accepting a scholarship to UGA.

“If Georgia doesn’t trip him, go out to see him or all of that jazz, they can blueshirt him as soon as he gets on campus,” Clayborne said. “They can send that scholarship over to the next class. It’s a common practice.”

Clayborne said Crumpton will report to Georgia on July 30 after his final class needed to earn his associate’s degree is sent over to Georgia from Los Angeles Valley. The Bulldogs are tentatively set to begin their preseason practice on July 31, according to a report by The Advocate.

Clayborne indicated the pledge to Georgia has been a completed deal for nearly a month but that Crumpton opted to hold the announcement until he knew his final summer course would be finalized.

That clearly sounds to me like Smart is still counting numbers in a tight game to 85.  The reason for that?  Weiszer suggests a possibility with this quote:

“I don’t know if they’re going to blueshirt him or they have a number now but he’s on scholarship,” Los Angeles Valley recruiting coordinator C.J. Clayborne said. “He had a bunch of offers on the West Coast. He ain’t going to turn down money to go walk-on yet.”

Clayborne said he had not talked to Georgia wide receivers coach James Coley for a few days.

“There might have been an issue with another player maybe not making grades or whatever they’re doing on that end of it,” head coach Matt White said. “It was a good fit for him.”

This sounds like a matter of when, not if, then.  If someone from the 2017 class doesn’t make the grades — and, remember, Smart is still sweating it down to the wire on two signees — then he’s got a slot to fill.  However, should both make it in, then Crumpton gets blueshirted and still gets in the door now.

Anyway you look at it, Smart deserves credit for squeezing every drop out of his roster that he can manage.  We’ve come a long way from the days of being under 70 players on scholarship, baby.

By the way, is it too soon to make a Beyond Crumpton joke?

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29 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

29 responses to “Always be roster managing

  1. These are the roster management stories I want to hear. Good for Kirby.

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  2. ApalachDawg

    Kirby workin it.
    Gentlemen, the old ways of roster mismanagement are over

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  3. TXBaller

    Wish it was a 6-5, 325 DL instead……

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    • Macallanlover

      I see your point, we are definitely looking thin for DL in 2018, but after watching highlights of the 2016 season I am not going to be against having an Imac type player available this year. McKenzie was involved in a surprising number of our big plays. What a year he had!

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  4. Rampdawg

    The roster management story is good. The kids return stat line story is Techmo Bowl worthy. Can he do it in the SEC? I sure hope so.

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  5. Scorpio Jones, III

    See the need, meet the need.

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  6. Looks like he likes to hit too. The video that I watched shows him blasting some folks.

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  7. Bulldog Joe

    Good to see the support staff paying off again with more post-signing-day additions to the team.

    It’s an informative article on ‘blueshirting’. Before today, it was the term we used for ‘kicking a criminal off the team’.

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  8. 3rdandGrantham

    I remember year after year only having around 67 on scholly, then read that CMR awarded 3-4 schollys to walk-ons during fall camp to bring that number up to around 70. At the same time, Saban and others were desperately trying to get down to 85 from 88-89, and we all sat there saying that this is not a good sign for us at all, as we are at a huge disadvantage.

    So yea, this story certainly is refreshing, and it’s good to know that we are no longer bringing a knife to a gun fight.

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    • Southernlawyer11

      Agreed. What chaps me in hindsight is how so many (myself even partially) bought in to the narrative of the roster mismanagement being a result of taking the moral high road. There is nothing wrong with guarding the 85 fully paid scholarships to UGA like the coveted, precious asset that they are. Attending UGA in any capacity is a privilege, not a right. If a kid (1) doesn’t feel comfortable being on the proverbial “wait list” for a scholarship or (2) needs more time than UGA may have available to determine if he would like to accept a UGA scholarship, then he is free to choose another university. His life will not be less complete. Nobody will die. It’s not even wrong.

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      • 3rdandGrantham

        On top of that, we had a LOT of dead wood on many of those teams — guys who literally would put in marginal at best effort and just coast through all 4 years because, after all, CMR didn’t believe in pulling schollys unless you ran afoul of the law, etc.

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        • Macallanlover

          Not sure where you got mislead on this but you aren’t even in the zip code of the ball park on this issue. UGA had 67 scholarship players dressed for the 2012 SECCG, that was not the number of scholarship athletes on the football team. Injuries, dismissals, suspensions were all a part of the attrition that season. It was not EVER even close to the number of athletes we had as of NSD. Not that year, nor any other.

          Brought this up the other day when you mentioned it again. Look it up. There were a couple of scholarships not taken on NSD a couple of years but that was because we would not over sign the number of ships we had open and we were after players who did not choose us that first week in February. This was all discussed back then, over sign and have to cut, or play in the middle of the road.? That is the choice.

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          • Southernlawyer11

            August is what matters. That’s why it’s called roster “management” and is harder and requires more attention to detail than simply counting numbers in February. http://onlineathens.com/sports-football-college-sports/2012-08-20/scholarship-numbers-dwindling-georgias-confidence-remains

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            • Macallanlover

              The attrition that spring/summer was off the charts, and hardly representative. I understand you can try to “back fill” with JUCO’s or that rare late qualifier who became eligible late. But to think we started with a plan of 18 below the 85 is what some feel happened. Part of this was the Georgia Way discipline issues with has handcuffed UGA for many years.

              The point is do you consciously over sign in February? UGA chose not, and tried to get that stopped, it wasn’t just Richt. And many applauded it as the right way to do business. Once you make that decision, you will most certainly be short, just a matter of to what degree. The other option is to take lesser players that probably not contribute much, or save the scholarships and sign over 30 the next recruiting period. That would result in more of the “dead wood” some prefer we not stockpile because we give 4 year scholarships to most all recruits with offers. Some of the players who work hard get rewarded those available “unclaimed” scholarships but I think they are one year only. I always felt we should over sign by about 3-4 because it seemed we averaged losing that many every year.

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              • Southernlawyer11

                I totally understand your points. But the article does state that we were 10 short the previous August. I’m not sure what the annual cap is (I think there is one regardless of your shortage), but I think “oversigning” is a calculated risk you have to take…….and I don’t see anything wrong with it.

                Certainly they wouldn’t intentionally “plan” on being 18 short, but where Richt and Kirby differ (and where I don’t think there should be a moral hangup) is keeping running tabs on what current players may do. Have a better idea of who is unhappy and may transfer or who is probably not going to make grades based on past performances. Build in room for possible dismissals based on historical averages and know how many players are on thin ice. Richt either (i) operated with rose-colored glasses about the # of bodies that would make it from February to August (whether returnees or signees) or (ii) did not have his staff doing active due diligence with realistic predictions about how many would need to sign in February in order to fill out the 85 man roster.

                The good news is that the longer pro-active roster management (over-signing) occurs in the upper echelon of college football, the better a potential recruit understand the process. If he doesn’t like what the big boys are selling him, there’s always the Sun Belt.

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                • Macallanlover

                  I wouldn’t be too concerned about taking a little risk either, you knoiw there will be some attrition, even if slight. But the dilemma is when you have taken the position of asking the conference to ban the practice of over signing (which occurred primarily in the West), it is difficult if you then do so. And that is the position we were in. Bama, and others, were signing 32=33 guys for 20 projected openings knowing they would “boot” the excess by one of several methods available. UGA didn’t just “cut” players that were considered surplus in the last Spring, or summer period.

                  That was not just Richt, it was the way UGA ran their business. I always felt the NCAA should allow a set, but limited ability to over sign enough to insure you got close to the 85 cap, but not enough to drive the bloodbath of cuts that went on at come schools. Georgia could have/should have taken some leeway, imo, but were almost bound by the tough position they had taken, and that was made worse by our policy of suspending. or dismissing, players who broke rules that other programs overlooked. No matter now, things are certainly changing, we are very tight on schollies as we speak.

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      • South FL Dawg

        Guilty as charged. Richt was a hard guy to not like but he was maddeningly slow to adapt. It wasn’t just roster management but also recruiting offers and redshirting freshmen. The best thing that happened to Georgia in recent years was Jeremy Pruitt. He was the first guy that came to Athens who got it.. He made it easier for Kirby.

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  9. Otto

    Little guy has wheels, our group of friends call McKenzie “the Squirrel” as he was right at you and then 6 ft to other side.

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  10. The Dawg abides

    Maybe Cheney can go Beyond Crumpton?

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  11. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    I am not sure that this gives us a championship, but damn, it’s nice to see someone trying to find an edge. Like many, I got tired of CMR seeming kind lazy about this sort of thing. He didn’t start out that way, and I want to cut him a little slack, because his inattention to detail seems to me to have come at a time when his wife had cancer. But then she got better, and he didn’t seem to pick up much after that. Anyway, good job, Kirby! Now make it count on game day.

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  12. W Cobb Dawg

    Great news. The attention to detail speaks volumes.

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  13. Debby Balcer

    I guess McGarity changed his rules about signing JUCO players now.

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  14. DawgPhan

    any port in a storm.

    a specialist that was once committed to temple is now the piece that was always missing.

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