You know, if Metchie and Williams hadn’t gotten hurt, Georgia would’ve won G-Day. Or something…
Daily Archives: March 15, 2022
Your reigning national champs take to the practice field today, Dawg fans. Marc Weiszer lists five topics to follow between now and G-Day:
- Replacing Walker, Davis and Wyatt on the d-line
- The new faces on the coaching staff
- The battle for QB2
- Replacing Dean, Tindall and Walker at ILB
- Open spots on the offense and secondary
Given the way Georgia has recruited, I’m not sure I’d label any of those outright concerns, although I’d say the first and fourth of those come closest. Regarding number three, that’s what we invented G-Day QBR for, amirite?
Two and five are the most intriguing to me, at least in the narrow sense of seeing what Searels does with the offensive line, although at least one key piece to the puzzle, Tate Ratledge, is still recovering from his lisfranc injury. Well, that plus seeing if Darnell Washington finally gets a bigger role to play on offense and, of course, if Arik Gilbert is ready to play any role on offense.
UPDATE: Well, shit.
So much for finding out about that bigger role to play thing…
Ari Wasserman, in today’s mailbag ($$), answers a question with a question.
I understand that at high-level programs, recruiting is mostly about convincing elite prospects to sign with you. Meanwhile, at low-level programs, it’s about evaluating which of the thousands of two- and three-star prospects are diamonds in the rough. My question: Which program reflects the tipping point where the job description requires equal amounts of both persuasion and evaluation? — Nick B.
Let’s begin this answer with a little bit of pushback. Though you’re generally right that high-level programs are far more reliant on convincing no-doubt-about-it type athletes to come to their school, it’s probably not fair to dismiss what those programs do from an evaluation standpoint. Yes, Georgia had more five-star prospects on its roster last year than the entire Pac-12 conference, but who isn’t giving Kirby Smart credit for identifying a certain three-star prospect named Jordan Davis?
I presume that’s a rhetorical question. Everybody knows Kirby Smart can’t develop talent, Ari.
Bill Connelly’s updated his 2022 returning production stats from last month and amazingly, somehow, Georgia Tech has managed to drop from their earlier lofty 109th ranking to this:
It sure is a good thing that Coach 404 has picked this season to switch his focus from branding to coaching.
Spring practice for first-year coaches is about teaching the fundamentals and building relationships. It seemed at times last season like the team quit on Mullen, and if Napier is going to weather the storms at Florida, he needs to get off on the right foot with his players. Chasing down Georgia requires urgency, and UF has enough talent to be a threat in the SEC East in 2022. Getting everyone on the same page must be the priority this spring, though.
It’s important also that the Gators put on an attractive production during their April 16 spring game. Building a strong 2023 recruiting class will be key to Napier’s efforts at running down the Dawgs. The energy and message conveyed through the spring game can play a role in making that happen, especially for a first-year coach attempting to establish a brand on the national stage for the first time. Napier brings a reputation as an excellent recruiter to his new position. Mullen’s lack of affinity for that aspect of the job is part of what hastened his demise.
Sounds like a giant case of if you can’t beat them by being a smug arse, join ’em by copying the Alabama/Georgia blueprint.
As for how that’s going to play in 2022, well…
So, Gators fans, buckle up and get ready for a run-pass split that may more closely resemble what Florida did in 2018 with Lamical Perine, Jordan Scarlett and Dameon Pierce at running back (as opposed to what it did in 2020 while airing it out with Kyle Trask at quarterback behind a shaky run-blocking unit).
“Certainly, we all understand that, in this league, and certainly to be a national championship contender, you’ve got to be really strong on the line of scrimmage,” Napier said during his introductory press conference. “I would like to think that rushing the ball and stopping the run has a significant effect on winning the game.”
All well and good, but Pierce (who was criminally underused by the offensive genius, by the way) is gone, Florida’s leading returning rusher is recovering from a broken leg and they’re left hoping the Clemson transfer who only played in four games last season can turn himself into ‘da man. Sounds like a plan to close that gap, alright.
Isn’t it ironic that the Georgia Bulldogs are now responsible for the departure of UF’s last two major head coaches?
Dan Mullen was fired because Florida wants a football coach like Georgia’s.
Mike White bolted because Georgia wants a basketball coach like Florida’s.
That’s what I call getting Dawged.
I hate to admit it, but that’s close to being Lexicon-worthy.