Category Archives: Recruiting

Elite facilitatin’

Thought this was kind of interesting.

Back in January, before the All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas, participants in the game were asked to fill out a survey that asked them to name which school had the best athletic facilities. Ninety-four players anonymously filled out the survey and while some gave multiple answers and one refused, the results were revealing.

And the winner?  Glad you asked.

Sitting atop the list is Georgia, a program that’s won consecutive national championships and is the favorite to win a third in 2023. Georgia is looking to solidify its spot as college football’s next dynasty and have worked toward that goal with remarkable recruiting.

Crawford: “May 2022 marked the completion of Georgia’s $80 million upgrade, which included 136,300 square feet of new space including a locker room, a player’s lounge, a plunge pool, a nutrition bar, a barbershop, a sensory deprivation tank and a weight room with a double-sided video board. According to a press release by HOK, which helped design the facility per Dawgs247, the design creates three floors of high-performance training experiences for student-athletes and coaches. The modern, amenity-filled space will also support UGA’s efforts to continue to recruit and retain top talent.”

We’ve come a long way from that silly halfassed IPF Richt was saddled with, baby.  That’s one way to keep the recruits coming.



Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

The continuing adventures of ABC

Like rust, Georgia recruiting never sleeps.  Feast your eyes on what’s going on with the next signing class ($$).

… As we sit here today, Georgia is on pace to sign the greatest class of the recruiting rankings era, even better than Texas A&M’s from the 2022 cycle. The Bulldogs already have 10 commitments, including eight who rank in the top 100 nationally. Here’s the kicker: The state of Georgia is home to six five-star prospects and 10 other top-100 players. Only three of the Bulldogs’ 10 commitments are from the Peach State. There is a lot of room to stack this class with some elite in-state players. Scary.

Funny, I don’t feel scared.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

ABC ain’t cheap.

And Georgia doesn’t stint when it comes to recruiting.

Georgia football is recruiting at an elite level and its athletic department is sparing no expense for the two-time national champions.

The Bulldogs spent just over $4.5 million on football recruiting during the school’s 2022 fiscal year, according to an NCAA financial report the athletics department provided Wednesday to the Athens Banner-Herald in response to an open-records request.

No other program at a Power Five public school has come close to that number so far for 2022.

Texas A&M is No. 2 at $2.98 million and Tennessee is No. 3 at $2.92 million, followed by Texas at $2.44 million and Alabama at $2.32 million, according to documents obtained by the USA TODAY Network in partnership with the Knight-Newhouse Data project at Syracuse University.

That’s not a one year thing, either.

It started from the moment Smart set foot on campus.

Smart set the tone for his aggressive recruiting approach when Georgia spent $342,118 from Dec. 7, 2015 to Jan. 29, 2016 after he was hired on air and helicopter charters which have come to be known as the “Kirby Copter.”

Georgia staff members traveled on some 140 charter flights that totaled $850,610 through Georgia Jet and Atlanta Air Charter during fiscal year 2019 when the school spent nearly $3.7 million on football recruiting. Another $83,260 was spent on helicopters.

“Time spent going slow doesn’t work,” Smart said in 2016. “We had to get to a lot of places in a short amount of time. We want to use every advantage we can to try to get to see as many kids as you can. That was basically the goal there.”

Remember, McGarity made Richt fly commercial to visit Jacob Eason just two weeks before Kirby went whirlybird on him.  Boy, that must have been a real 180 for Greg.  Sure has paid off, though.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

“I think he (signed with Florida) along the lines of good faith, realized that good faith wasn’t quite as good as he thought…”

Hoo, boy, this story in The Athletic about Jaden Rashada’s NIL deal with Florida ($$) has a little something for everybody in it — a school desperate for a big score on the recruiting trail, a family clearly looking for a big financial score and a player caught in the middle who was overwhelmed.  Sounds like the perfect ingredients for a TV movie of the week.

You should read the whole thing, if you subscribe, but I’ll mention a couple of points here for context.  First, Mandel and Staples reviewed the contract Rashada signed with Gator Collective.  It’s pretty unbelievable.

It called for a $500,000 up-front payment. After that, his payments would increase from $250,000 a month as a freshman, to $291,666.66 a month as a sophomore, to $375,000 a month as a junior, rounded out with $195,833.33 monthly payments as a senior, so long as he fulfilled the following obligations:

  • Residence in Gainesville, Fla.
  • At least one branded Twitter post and one branded Instagram post per month.
  • Up to eight fan engagement events per year. These could include in-person appearances, social media engagements, video conferences or interviews. None would last longer than two hours.
  • Autograph up to 15 pieces of merchandise per year.

At least until you get to the fine print.

The contract also states that the collective can “in its sole and absolute discretion” terminate the agreement “without penalty or further obligation.”

That should have sent up a major flare to Rashada’s advisors about the confidence the collective had in carrying through its obligations.  That would be these guys:

Rashada, in switching from Miami to Florida, also swapped NIL advisers. The new representatives were Jackson Zager and Tommy Thomsen, founders of an agency called JTM Sports. Zager is a sophomore at SMU; Thomsen is a commercial real estate agent. The agency lists Heitner’s firm as its “affiliate law firm” and advertises that Heitner “assists JTM and our clients in all legal matters and dispute resolution.”

One little catch there:  Heitner also advises Gator Collective.

“I was retained by (Gator Collective CEO) Eddie Rojas back in 2021,” Heitner said. “From time to time, I’ve been asked questions relating to the NCAA rules and Florida state law with regard to what can or shouldn’t be done. I was not asked in this instance to provide any legal advice, diligence or guidance in any respect with regard to this transaction.”

Hair, meet split.

Heitner seems happier about the deal than Rashada.

Anyway, as you can probably guess, Gator Collective never actually got around to getting any payment guarantees from donors for the deal.  They terminated the arrangement two days after the first payment was due.

Rashada’s got a scholarship at Arizona State.  Florida’s got a lot of egg all over its snout.  Seems fair.


UPDATE:  Good point here.

Florida might become the first target of the new “NIL presumption”.

Dave Chappelle Snl GIF by Saturday Night Live


Filed under Gators, Gators..., It's Just Bidness, Recruiting

There’s a fine line between hypocrisy and re-invention

How it started.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban provided harsh criticism of recruiting efforts by Texas A&M and coach Jimbo Fisher versus those of the Crimson Tide. While speaking at an event celebrating the 50-day countdown to the World Games in Birmingham, Saban reportedly claimed that Texas A&M “bought every player on their team” with NIL deals.

“I know the consequence is going to be difficult for the people who are spending tons of money to get players,” Saban said via “You read about it, you know who they are. We were second in recruiting last year. A&M was first. A&M bought every player on their team. Made a deal for name, image and likeness.

How it’s going.

Yea Alabama has launched as the NIL collective for Crimson Tide athletics, with the backing of football coach Nick Saban and athletic director Greg Byrne.

… Yea Alabama will have a three-pronged approach. Individuals who want to make tax-deductible contributions can contribute to Walk of Champions, a registered 501(c)3.

Fans will be able to join as subscribers, ranging from $18 to $150 monthly options. On the entity’s website it states 100% of Yea Alabama subscriptions will go to the athletes.

Tuscaloosa businesses will also be given the opportunity to join the cause, as Yea Alabama plans to help facilitate endorsement deals with athletes.

“I have always believed that our players should have the chance to benefit from their name, image and likeness,” Saban said in a statement. “Yea Alabama is an exciting new resource to help Crimson Tide student-athletes create value for themselves through a variety of NIL opportunities.

“The Alabama brand is one of the most powerful in sports, and our partnership with Yea Alabama provides exposure for our athletes that is unmatched in college athletics.”

To quote a head coach who once railed similarly about no-huddle offenses, “I just think there’s got to be some sense of fairness in terms of asking is this what we want football to be?”

I guess Saban just answered his own question.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting

Class of ’23

If you’re looking for a down and dirty signing class summary by conference, here you go.

One funky note:  “The Big Ten signed none of the top 34 overall recruits and only two top-50 prospects.”  Playoff expansion can’t come soon enough for those guys.


Filed under Recruiting

“If you’re not playing, you’re leaving.”

These are pretty staggering numbers ($$).

The Athletic studied the careers of the top 50 high school quarterbacks who signed with FBS programs in the recruiting classes of 2017 through 2020. More than 70 percent have transferred during their time in college.

… Based on these recent classes, if a top-50 QB signee doesn’t start one game in his first two years on campus, there’s an 87 percent chance he’ll end up leaving the program. But among the quarterbacks who did earn a start in their first two years, more than 60 percent still ended up transferring during their careers.

A crapshoot that makes the $13 million offer to Rashada by Gator Collective look even more insane, but what do I know?

Oh, by the way…

In fact, Georgia’s Carson Beck is the only quarterback on this list of 168 who did not start a game in his first three years and has not transferred. He’s hoping to succeed Stetson Bennett, win the job and lead the defending national champs as a redshirt junior in 2023. And if that doesn’t work out? There are plenty of other schools where he can play.


Filed under Recruiting


I tell you what — there’s gonna have to be a whole hell of a lot of coaching up those three stars stories to make up for that particular gap.


Filed under Alabama, Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football

“Now, obviously there’s a lot of others out there we’d like to have too …” Napier said.


Barring another signing day shocker next week, Florida’s Big Three will hit a new low for in-state recruiting — at least by one measure.

The Gators, Seminoles and Hurricanes are on track to sign only three Florida natives who are ranked among the nation’s top 100 prospects, according to the 247Sports composite. That’s the lowest number of the modern recruiting era; they landed four in three of the past four cycles.


Another concerning figure: Georgia will end up signing more of the state’s top recruits (six) than the Big Three combined.

Looks like we run that state, too.


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

The next step in recruiting rankings

I have no idea what their methodology is in reporting this, but if you’re curious,’s team rankings include average NIL $.  Georgia is one of five teams with an average in excess of $100,000.


Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Recruiting