Judging from this, that remake of Georgia’s offensive line into a powerhouse is gonna take some time. And by “some time”, I mean “more time than we thought”.
Category Archives: Georgia Football
This tweet got a lot of attention yesterday.
As we all know, by agreement between the two schools, no hosting of recruits occurs at the Cocktail Party… which is stupid on Georgia’s part, but I digress.
The idea that bringing the Florida game home and away would pay dividends in recruiting sounds reasonable, until you consider this:
By my count, the Bulldogs hosted a total of four official visitors during the entire 2016 season. Georgia will have more than that this weekend and will have tripled that total after next weekend.
Smart wants to win games first. The staff would rather focus on 1-2 official visitors and their families at the most on Saturdays. That’s one specific season.
Recruiting is also a year-round sport and yet the reality is the weeks that will define the program start this weekend. This is recruiting season.
Given the quality of the 2017 class he’s putting together, I tend to give Smart the benefit of the doubt regarding his priorities. Regardless of your stance on where the Georgia-Florida series should be played, then, it doesn’t seem like recruiting is a factor.
For instance, see if this sounds familiar:
There are several areas in which Texas lags behind national powers that Herman would like to fix, as he expressed to Dan Patrick this week when discussing recruiting.
“We need to stay competitive with the elite teams in the country — the Alabamas, the Ohio States, the Clemsons of the world — in terms of our facilities and our resources and support staff and recruiting staff and all that,” Herman told Patrick.
The last two areas are the most important in the short term, as the lack of a large support staff and recruiting staff contributed, at least in some part, to Charlie Strong’s failed tenure in Austin.
And the failed tenure of Mack Brown before him.
In fact, Texas was one of the last two schools in the Big 12 to hire a Director of Player Personnel in 2013. At the press conference to create that position, Brown admitted that “we’ve kinda been mom and popping it around here for a long time.”
The ‘Horns also didn’t have a football-specific strength and conditioning coach or a nutritionist until that time. Mom and popping it indeed.
Under Strong, it was much of the same, though there were some reports that former athletic director Steve Patterson wasn’t always willing to give him the resources he needed.
It’s going to be interesting to watch and compare where Georgia and Texas go over the next few years. Sort of a massive controlled experiment.
Gotta love the consistency between this and this:
The cynic in me says most of that’s about making sure Georgia doesn’t play Miami.
At least we know McGarity has some priorities besides the reserve fund.
In the recent history of Georgia football, is there a bigger what-if than this?
1. Alabama 32, Georgia 28 (2012): Good luck finding many better games anywhere. This back-and-forth classic between No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia determined a spot in the BCS championship game. There were future NFL stars ( Todd Gurley , Amari Cooper and Eddie Lacy ). There was controversy ( Quinton Dial ‘s hit to the head of Aaron Murray ridiculously didn’t draw a flag). And there was late-game drama. Murray’s tipped pass with 15 seconds left was caught by Chris Conley at the 5-yard line, but the clock expired. Mark Richt was 5 yards away from playing — and likely beating — Notre Dame Fighting Irish for the national championship. Instead, Richt got fired three years later. That’s life in the SEC.
I can’t think of one. Discuss.
I hope Georgia Tech’s new AD doesn’t read this post, but it’s worth noting something MaconDawg wrote over at DawgSports yesterday.
From Clemson’s Deshaun Watson to current Bulldog commit Jake Fromm, to nationally ranked recruits like 2018 Cartersville quarterback Trevor Lawrence (and even younger players like Marietta freshman Harrison Bailey, recently offered by the Bulldogs) the state of Georgia has undergone a renaissance in high school quarterback play over the past few years. USA Today asked those who would know, including some of those top flight quarterbacks themselves, about what has changed.
Not to spoil the answers, but they generally focus on the rise of passer-friendly offenses, 7-on-7 tournaments, and the availability of elite private QB coaching. I think those all play a part. One overlooked answer however may be the rising tide that has lifted the number of elite recruits in the state at every position: an exploding population, especially in the metro Atlanta area. The fact is there are more, bigger high schools, many of which have vastly more athletic resources, than in the past.
But the population boom has been going on for decades. The evolution of high school offenses in the state has been a more recent development, and a rapid one at that. Of the eighteen Peach State high school quarterbacks with the most career passing yards, seventeen graduated in 2004 or after (the lone exception being Americus standout and FSU Seminole Fabian Walker). Only one of the top seventeen seasons in terms of touchdown passes occurred before 2009, the year Hutson Mason’s 54 touchdown passes blew past the record previously held by Charlton County’s Jeremy Privett.
To put it another way, gone are the days when football Friday nights in the Peach State are dominated by the power-I and the triple option (sorry, Tech fans). Not mentioned in the article is the fairly self-evident proposition that Georgia is in position to benefit disproportionately from this phenomenon.
Even given that, as Johnson himself admits, Tech’s recruiting in the era of the triple option has been shabby, this strikes me as a pretty big deal, at least in the near future. Quarterback, no matter what offensive system you run, is the most important position on the field, and if high school offenses are drifting away from running to passing schemes on a widespread basis, that’s going to make it ever harder for Tech to find in state quarterbacking.
It’s not just the one position, either, of course. Offensive linemen that train to block in offenses that throw the ball all over the place aren’t going to be ready to cut block like mad overnight. And some of those high school running backs are either going to find their skills deployed at other positions or running out of a lot of shotgun sets. Either way, that’s not a good trend for Paul Johnson.
What makes it worse is that it allows schools besides UGA that can attract the new blood being developed by Georgia high schools to make inroads there. And once you establish relationships with high school coaches for some of their offensive players, you can grow that to players in general. I don’t see how Tech can prosper ceding much of the talent in as rich a state as this one to out of state programs.
As MaconDawg concludes, though, it sure is a good thing for Kirby Smart.