Category Archives: Georgia Football

Redemption song

Interesting little note Marc Weiszer shares with us:

Smart, hired in December, did not sign a kicker in his first class, but did ink a punter in Marshall Long from South Rowan High in China Grove, N.C., who decommitted from Virginia Tech.

“The decision on a punter, in my history, I’ve found that you can find more quality kickers through the walk-on route than you can quality punters,” he said. “After sitting down, sharing ideas, talking to people in the NFL, people that even have experience on the college level, we felt like as a staff it was going to be harder to manufacture punting than it would be placekicking.”

So Georgia offered the 6-foot-2, 223-pound Long who averaged 46.5 yards per punt as a senior and knew special teams coach Shane Beamer when he was a Virginia Tech assistant.

Long is the No. 8 rated punter nationally by the 247Sports Composite.

Two in-state punters were higher-rated and signed elsewhere: No. 2 Blake Gillkin from Westminster School with Penn State and Anthony Lotti from West Hall with Wisconsin.

Georgia already has Brice Ramsey, a quarterback, who took over for scholarship punter Collin Barber last season.

“Brice Ramsey finished the season out punting, but (Smart) said he wanted him to play quarterback a little bit,” Long told the Salisbury (N.C.) Post. “He’d seen my tapes, and Coach (Shane) Beamer had talked to him about me. I guess he just felt good about it. I was glad they finally did pull the trigger.”

I don’t want to read too much into the tea leaves there, but it sure sounds like Richt was prepared for another season with Ramsey as the punter and that Smart has decided to put the kibosh on that.  Before we get all wrapped up with Eason as the 2016 starter, wouldn’t it be something if Chaney were able to salvage Brice Ramsey’s college career?

And before you dismiss that possibility out of hand, remember that Chaney is the man responsible for the creation of the Beyond Crompton meme.  He also made a functional quarterback out of Nathan Peterman last season.  If he’s capable of pulling those off, Ramsey’s got a chance.


Filed under Georgia Football

Still got some catching up to do

We’re justifiably excited that Georgia landed three five-star recruits in the 2016 class, but to keep things in perspective, consider that over the last four seasons, according to the 247 Sports Composite rankings, Alabama averaged at least three five-stars per class.


Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting

Give me just a little more time.

I’ve got a question for those of you bitching that Kirby Smart staying at Alabama to coach through the national title game cost Georgia on the recruiting trail with its 2016 class.

If you believe that had Smart spent the time chasing recruits for his new team instead of coaching his old one, he would have signed two or three more Dawgs, aren’t you implying that the 2017 class, which will be his focus for the next twelve months, should be significantly better?

Bonus question:  if so, logically, doesn’t that justify Smart’s decision to leave a few spots open now to use next year?


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

When it comes to Smart’s first class, maybe we’re making the wrong comparison.

In the short run, instead of pondering how it matches up with Richt’s work, perhaps we should be looking at how it’s matching up with Jim McElwain’s.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Recruiting

Unfinished business

I mentioned it in the comments today, but it bears repeating in a post.  Smart, in yesterday’s presser, made it clear that Georgia’s 2016 recruiting isn’t done.  The Dawgs are still in the hunt for Savannah’s Demetris Robertson and also extended an offer this week to an offensive lineman at Rhode Island who will be a graduate transfer in a couple of months.  (It’s easy to overlook that, but Jacob Eason hasn’t.)

Just another reason not to flip out about the size of this class – yet, anyway.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Off to a good start

Seth Emerson looks at Georgia’s newly minted 2016 signing class… and doesn’t see much of a change from went on before.

There may have been some subtle changes to how Georgia did its first signing day under Smart. But the final result – for now, pending one more big target – was about the same as it usually was under Mark Richt.

“Today, for me – for you guys it may be about stars and rankings – to me about it’s about new Bulldogs new members of the family,” Smart said.

For those who do care: Georgia ended the day ranked seventh nationally and fourth in the SEC in the 247Sports Composite, which takes into account the ratings of the four major recruiting outlets. That will change if five-star athlete Demetris Robertson, who remains uncommitted, signs up later.

Either way, there are a couple contexts in which to look at Smart’s first class.

Compared to almost any other first-year coach, it was an unusually strong class. Last year Florida finished 22nd nationally in Jim McElwain’s first year. Nick Saban’s first class at Alabama was 10th.

The caveat: Georgia was already on the way to a strong class when Richt was fired. It was ranked third nationally on the day he was fired. Smart ended up holding on to most of it – 11 of the 20 signees committed under Richt – and on Wednesday he signed defensive back-receiver Mecole Hardman, a five-star who was leaning heavily to Georgia before Richt’s firing.

First of all, he’s right to give Richt some credit there.  The old staff did lay the groundwork for much of this class, which isn’t to say that Smart and company didn’t have to do a lot of work to preserve their efforts, and that’s something we should appreciate.

But I was sort of curious about his “the more things change” point, so I decided to take a look at the 247Sports Composite to see where this year’s bunch sits in comparison to where all of Richt’s classes finished.  Here’s what I found:

2016     7        20  91.48
2015     5        30  89.73
2014     8        21  90.97
2013    12        34  88.51
2012     8        19   91.23
2011     6        26   90.03
2010    11        28   83.54
2009    5        21    91.43
2008    7        25   89.84
2007    9        24   87.69
2006    3        26   90.57
2005    6        17   90.64
2004    7        21    88.54
2003    9        24   86.15
2002    9        30   86.48
2001   10        27   74.16

(First thought:  sure looks like there’s been some grade inflation over the years, doesn’t it?)

More than superficially, there’s some justification for Seth’s point.  But there are a couple of nits to pick with it, too.  There’s an interesting correlation between class size and average recruit rankings:  Richt’s larger classes tended to have the lowest averages, which would indicate a certain amount of slot filling going on.  Sometimes that paid off spectacularly, as it did with his first class, and sometimes, as in 2013, it blew up in his face.

But what I can’t help but notice more than anything here is that in his first shot, with less than two months on the job, Smart’s average ranking betters every one of Richt’s fifteen and his national ranking ties for sixth best out of those sixteen years of classes.  I don’t see how you can’t be at least a little impressed by the results there.

Yes, the trick now is following up – keeping them in school, making them SEC-caliber players and finishing the next recruiting cycle even more strongly.  But as beginnings go, I’ll take it.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Why so mad, bro?

Of all the instant reactions of disappointment to Georgia signing a top ten class yesterday, this baby ranks as my favorite.

As I said yesterday, we have the best fans.


Filed under Georgia Football, Social Media Is The Devil's Playground