Culture and The Process

I’ve seen some misgivings expressed in the comments section about Smart’s pursuit of Zachary Evans, the gifted running back recruit from Texas who’s had a couple of behavioral/discipline issues this season.  Seth Emerson ($$) makes a good point about that in his piece about Pickens’ role in Georgia’s Sugar Bowl win.

… Smart has shown he will take chances on players if they have a lot of ability. Zachary Evans, the five-star tailback who was suspended for his high school team’s Texas state championship game, is expected to announce for Georgia on Thursday. You can absorb a few high-maintenance kids if you have a good culture, and surround them with a structure of good teammates and authority figures.

Will Smart be right every time?  Human nature being what it is, that’s highly unlikely.  But kids like Pickens show it’s worth making the effort.

26 Comments

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26 responses to “Culture and The Process

  1. RangerRuss

    Discipline and rebellion displayed by young men are often simply indications of a strong mind and will. Quite often they become the best troops and real leaders who can be depended upon to perform tasks with little supervision.
    Sometimes they’re shitheads and are without redemption. Kirby’s ability to develop or differentiate the two is one skill that will separate him from good and great coaches.
    I’m optimistic.

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  2. HiAltDawg

    Except, Pickens got suspended for slamming a cock sucker into a wall for punching him in the face. Off the field, we ain’t heard anything like Evans’s act

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    • Greg

      exactly…..loved it when he said that Pickens liked to practice more tan any player he has ever been around. That should tell you a lot there..

      If you get down to it, any kid is going to be a risk.

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    • Sanford222view

      What have been the issues with Evans? I know he has been suspended twice with the most recent being his State Championship game. I think I read that was for breaking a team rule related to social media but haven’t read bout anything specific as to what he actually has done to get in trouble.

      Do you know any more details of the incidents that have resulted in him being suspended?

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    • Russ

      Pickens was also suspended for the first half of the Tech game for internal discipline.

      Evans was suspended twice this season, once early in the year for 2-3 games for some reason. Then, he was sent home from the state championship game for another violation of team rules. Neither reason was publically stated, so I’m not going into rumors.

      I hope Pickens can ignore the distractions in Athens. If so, he can be one of the great receivers out there. Haven’t seen enough of Evans to know, but wish him nothing but good luck, especially if he signs with us.

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      • The Dawg abides

        The second time was publicly stated. He wouldn’t hand over his phone at bed check the night before the championship game. It became a battle of wills between him and the coach, and he was sent home. Evans’ official statement said he was waiting for a call from a family member.
        This issue has sparked a generational debate between millennials/genZ’ers and boomers/X’ers over what was appropriate. Personally, I can see the point that the coach was overreaching on the phone issue, but I wouldn’t be willing to die on that hill and miss a state championship with my teammates.

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        • In the coach’s defense, teenagers will stay up all night yukking it up on their phones and be extremely difficult to deal with the next day.
          I have a 17 year old son, I can attest to this first hand.

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  3. 81Dog

    Taking risks on talented troublemakers is nothing new. Sometimes they turn out to be cam Newton. Sometimes they turn out to be Jeff George. High ridk/high reward, I guess

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  4. Otto

    If you’re at full scholarship levels you can more easily absorb the impact if you have to part ways and being in a position to compete for playing time does keep some kids out of trouble. I hope Pickens stays out of trouble, he is 2 seasons away from a big payday if he can stay on the field.

    Lots of talk of Evans being under a coach with unreasonable demands but few details. Who knows, hope it works and if not I hope Smart has another lined up to sign.

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  5. W Cobb Dawg

    Not knowing a lot about this, I’ll give Evans’s HS coach some credit for at least making real efforts to discipline the kid. If the cell phone suspension story is legit, it would appear that coach doesn’t tolerate many shenanigans – under any circumstances. So at least Evans will come in knowing there’s real consequences for misbehavior. A deep bench of RBs should help keep Evans in line too.

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  6. CEPH

    OR, he could turn out to be an Isaiah Crowell, which sounds more likely. Georgia should have put all their efforts to getting Demarkus Bowman who looked better than anyone else I have seen.. It seems as if Evans doesn’t like anyone telling him what to do.

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    • jrod1229

      Crowell should actually be seen as a success story of having a bad incident and turning your life around. He has a successful NFL career which most assumed wasn’t possible.

      Also, all the people who do recruiting says its Evans and then everyone else is on a different tier.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. ASEF

    I hear ya, but…

    All the Sugar Bowl suspensions. Cook arrest (and he played, which makes you wonder what the suspended guys were suspended for).

    And then Evans, a guy who got thrown off his high school team immediately prior to a state championship game. That takes some doing (his team won without him).

    So it’s kinda all 3 hitting at the same time that raises eyebrows.

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  8. The other Doug

    UGA can afford to take kids with behavior problems because of the locker room (Monte Rice nailed it in the article btw) and because Kirby has recruited so much depth that he can afford to push an elite kid off the team.

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  9. MGW

    All I know is the kid didn’t get injured in the state title game.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. practicaldawg

    Well last night showed you can never have too many RBs

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  11. Texas Dawg

    Living in Texas and hearing all the rumors about Evans has made me leery of him. Having a stud like Milton in the class makes taking a chance on Evans easier. With a deep backfield of White, McIntosh, Cook, and Milton, Kirby will not need to bend over backwards to accommodate Evans. He is an incredible physical talent, and if he can get his head screwed on straight, has the potential with Milton to be another Chubb/Michel pairing. We got spoiled with those two. They were two of the best backs on the field that CFB had seen in a while, BUT even more important, they were two of the classiest high character guys you could ever hope to have on your team and to top it off have them at the same time.

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  12. He’ll take chance, yes. He’ll also show them the door if they don’t get with the program. I give Smart fill credit here- he handles this stuff about as well as one could. You give people a chance to redeem themselves and they get it or they don’t.

    Of course you’re more willing to with highly recruited/rated guys but that’s kinda life. Everyone and everything has inherent risk.

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  13. I’m definitely not a zoomer and I still can’t wrap my mind around making such a big deal about a cellphone. The next Crowell? What?? Sure, anything is possible but I assume that about anyone.

    Even if he had no legitimate reason to oppose the rule he has much more to lose in college and I’m certain Smart is making that obvious. He’s also a kid who can and likely will change.

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  14. Texas Dawg

    And the drama round Evans continues
    “Five-star Georgia Bulldog recruiting target Zach Evans has pushed back his commitment time. Evans, a talented running back, was initially expected to commit during the Under Armor All-American Game.”

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  15. Classic City Canine

    I am skeptical of Evans, but I am fine with Kirby taking chances with guys like Evans and Pickens as long as he knows the difference between them and the Jonathan Taylor’s and JJ Holloman’s of the world.

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