Build that fence, Mr. Head Coach!

Interesting quote here ($$):

“Georgia right now is going to get the pick of the litter in the state of Georgia,” said Lorenzo Ward, the former South Carolina defensive coordinator who now holds the same position at Chattanooga. “When (former Georgia coach) Mark Richt was there, it was totally different. They went outside the state first to get guys, and it frustrated a lot of the high school coaches in Georgia. They would go recruit outside the state first and think they could come back in later and get the in-state kids they wanted.

“(Current Georgia coach Kirby Smart) came in and totally did away with that and recruited the in-state kids first. That’s what the high school coaches wanted. A lot of the high school coaches didn’t like Georgia because of the way Richt recruited when he was there, giving late offers. Now, they attack the state and right now they get all the top players they want in the state of Georgia.”

I was under the impression that Richt was slow in making offers not so much because he took in state recruits for granted as he was generally stubborn about not making too many offers, as other schools were doing.

Maybe it’s tone, more than anything, because Smart’s certainly had no problem chasing out of state kids.

44 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

44 responses to “Build that fence, Mr. Head Coach!

  1. Greg

    Same here….it also seems that the in state numbers are slowly dwindling. Maybe smart likes kids from other states better.

    Just hope it doesn’t end up biting us in the ass.

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  2. MDDawg

    Some juicy Smart vs. Richt comparisons? This could be a fun comment section.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. gospeldawg

    I find myself believing the quote to be true without needing additional verification. It makes me wonder about how Richt survived as long as he did. Perhaps that is more of an indictment on BM about profit being the preeminent standard and the myopia regarding winning.

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    • Otto

      Profit was a lead factor further…. Richt wasn’t riding that area between fired and great. He beat Auburn, UT, and GT. WLOCP started to rebound and then decline.

      I still believe the OT game against Ga Southern was the icing on the cake to get some of the Richt loyalists to jump on making the move to hire Smart before the Chickens at which point the buy out would go up substantially to get Smart (against $$$).

      Whatever the case, it is good to see a HC in Athens who put UGA on a level playing field recruiting against SEC title contenders. Also CMR had some well ranked recruiting classes but Smart recruits needs and builds depth on the lines in a line of scrimmage league. Class rankings looks at stars overall not needs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff Sanchez

        All that is well and good, but the bottom line is we’re in about the same place we were. No nattys given for top recruiting finishes. One may follow the other, but it’s not a given.

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        • Normaltown Mike

          I just can’t seem to recall CMR playing for the national title.

          Strange

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          • Jeff Sanchez

            Do you think he would have if he played in the 4 team playoff era?

            I’ll wait…

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            • 3rdandGrantham

              Two points I’ll make on CMR:. 1. He had a 13-29 record against ranked opponents I’m his final 9 years at UGA. That’s pathetic, and is what you would expect from MSU or UK.

              CMR never went undefeated in the SECE in his 15 years at the helm. Smart? He hasn’t lost an SECE game since ’16 and is favored to make it three straight undefeated seasons in the SECE.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Gene Simmons

                Apples and Oranges. I am more than happy with Kirby, but the jury is still out on him long-term. Keep in mind that he isn’t coaching against the likes of Fulmer, Spurrier, and Urban in order to win the east. Arguably this is the weakest the SECe has been in recent memory. What is his record against any coach that has actually won a MNC?

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            • Mike Cooley

              So since you think it would have happened that means Kirby having actually done it is no better than Richt? That’s brilliant.

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    • I yearn for the day when we as a fanbase can quit discussing all the evils Mark Richt did to the program. Such as: 2 SEC titles, the first of which broke a two decade long drought, national relevance almost annually, consistently beat three of our four biggest rivals, etc.

      I too am glad CKS is now the head coach, but the anti-Richt sentiment is a little odd at this point.

      You say, “lasted as long as he did”… he was 2 and half years removed from being the second best team in the country, back to back SECCG appearances in 11-12, had a 3 game win streak vs Florida 11-13; 10 wins in the year he was fired (admittedly 9 while he was still employed). Hell, it still took Awbarn 2 years to fire Chizik after his national championship. Can’t we just give it up at this point and be happy Kirby is here without constantly needing to drag the guy through the mud like he’s Ray Goff 2.0?

      Liked by 3 people

      • Macallanlover

        Amen. All fan bases have some strange fans, UGA has more that eat their own (coaches and fans) than any I have observed. This is particularly true since the internet allowed an anonymous voice to anyone with a couple hundred dollars in their pocket. I say that because I never hear anyone viciously attack Richt, or our players, in normal conversation face to face like they do these days. And they shouldn’t, it is a rare exception when any of them do not do the best they can and make maximum effort.

        Things aren’t as civil anywhere in this country so that is a factor, we just aren’t as well behaved anywhere in the past 10 years, imo. I believe Richt’s recruiting was generally pretty good, obviously weak in the trenches, and felt the players brought in from out of state were usually top notch, as good, or better, than what was available within the borders of Georgia. Never saw any agenda against home grown players. In the early years there was generally a feeling he had closed the borders to poachers….as much as you can. As noted by the Senator, he did play recruiting numbers strictly by the book and was too conservative since there was always attrition.

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  4. Normaltown Mike

    This goes contrary to what CMR said all the time so…ok.

    A better way to look at CMR vs CKS is that CMR would not offer as many kids, would not typically pull offers, would not blue shirt and definitely not “process” players.

    Kirby is more of the big data mindset where you have to get as many top kids as possible in order to separate the wheat from the chaff and that requires tough choices sometimes.

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    • Otto

      You also have to get in the hunt with the 5 stars early but that goes for good in state kids too.

      Bama does a good job of recruiting in state but also signing top rated kids from pretty much anywhere. Smart was a top recruiter for Bama. I’ll trust him. Yes I will acknowledge the counter argument that Bama in state holds a bit of an edge UGA does not have in state especially with metro kids who are children of parents that have out of state loyalties.

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      • dawgfan1995

        Of course, UGA signed the top 2 players from the State of Alabama last year, so everything’s subject to change.

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  5. Reverend Whitewall

    I’d be curious to see a comparison of the roster composition (maybe Richt’s last 4 years compared to Kirby’s first 4). If anything, it seems to me like we are signing MORE out of state kids now. I haven’t researched it tho.

    This could be one of those “perception is reality” things for the high school coaches, and maybe Kirby is better at managing the perception.

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    • Greg

      I have not taken the time either. But after a quick glance, this year so far there have been 4 from Georgia and 12 from other states committed. Last year, we signed 6 from Georgia, the other 18 were from out of state.

      Historically, we have been 70% plus for Georgia boys. Seems like there are fewer and fewer

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    • Biggus Rickus

      As a percentage, they’re almost identical. 57 of Smart’s 99 signees so far are from Georgia. 62 of Richt’s 104 from 2012 to 2015 were from Georgia. Without digging, I’m sure the overall quality of the Georgia recruits are better under Smart, but that’s also probably true of out-of-state recruits, too.

      Basically, I think this is a perception thing, as suggested by the Senator. Or the guy being quoted is full of shit.

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    • Otto

      You would have to add in the recruiting rankings for out vs in state. It is often easier to back fill with lower rated in state talent if you pursued a highly rated player that flip. Tae Crowder was last second grab who was committed to Ga Southern after a highly rated out of state RB flipped opening the spot.

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  6. Bright Idea

    Kirby is recruiting the absolute cream of the crop according to his staff’s evaluation regardless of where they come from. He also has the tenacity and budget to recruit nationwide. He will certainly get complaints from Georgia coaches but they aren’t his constituency. Richt lost Georgia kids because he was slow on the draw and me thinks Ward is clueless.

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  7. Donald

    Its pretty satisfying that the left is so pathetic now that they have to latch onto using the term “fence” and think thats a win. BP said we needed a 30ft see-through fence, so thats what we get. As if Im supposed to be unhappy with that? Winning. KAG 2020

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  8. more spinners

    Coach Richt is gone…4 years…move on.
    Many like the man and the coach.
    Whatever issue you may or others have with him, he begin to move the Dawgs out of that hell hole that others had dugs us into.
    Tired of the Dawgs playing former player and coaches.
    This weekend should be the end of that, and looking forward to the ’19 roster beating the freaking hell out of everybody else on the schedule!!!
    Enjoy your weekend folks and the game.
    Stay save.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I think Ward has a point … about QBs. The recruiting of Deshaun Watson is exhibit A.

    Otherwise, he’s FOS.

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  10. These high school coaches gossip like a church sewing circle, so who really knows.

    There was clearly something going on in Gwinnett towards the end of Richt’s tenure. Those coaches had essentially frozen him out.

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    • Bright Idea

      Agreed, there’s no grapevine like any HS coach’s contact list.

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    • McTyre

      It’s possible for two things to be true at the same time here: for Kirby to continue to pull OOS talent over instate at select positions while Ga HS to feel as if they and their players are getting UGA attention. Recruiting still seems to be about relationships to a large extent and Kirby and staff seem very focused on being in front of Ga HS coaches and players whenever possible – from camps to drop-ins. Some HS coaches feel snubbed and can be vindictive in how that impacts their guidance to their seniors. While we can’t take all the 4-5-star Ga talent, treating people the right way wins not just in the short term but in the long run in the people biz.

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  11. Dubyadee

    Surprised I have not seen someone else mention this, but I doubt CKS is recruiting in-state first, or out of state first. He is however, spending so much money on recruiters, evaluators, travel, etc., that I strongly suspect that anyone watching (from even a short distance away) can only assume the CKS is totally focused on what that person sees to the exclusion of everything else. Ask a coach who recruited against Georgia for a California kid and he would likely say that Georgia has obviously committed to national recruiting.

    I would also suspect that the Georgia staff can credibly (and somewhat misleadingly) tell every recruiting target that they are a top target. All the recruit knows is that no one else is giving them as much attention as Georgia is.

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  12. artful codger

    CKS tries to plug needs with Top100 recruits ….with little regard to home address.

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    • I think you’ve hit the nailhead…..

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    • Macallanlover

      Absolutely, and I think he does a pretty good job at that. You will never score a perfect bulls-eye at all positions, in all cycles. I would rather be ranked a little lower than go for higher ranked recruits but leave gaps at certain positions because we fell short with the very best we were pursuing. I don’t really understand how the best kickers and punters are all relegated to being 3 stars and below by the rating services. And I don’t care where the imaginary lines of states are drawn, get the best talent available that have the character to work hard while in Athens.

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