Category Archives: Recruiting

‘Well, we’re getting a lot of pressure from LSU.’

There’s closing the borders and then there’s Coach O doing what it takes to keep the out-of-state coaching hordes out of Louisiana.

Two sources with knowledge of the discussions told ESPN.com that LSU threatened to never again schedule Southeastern Louisiana for a nonconference game in the future if the Lions conducted the camp with those out-of-state schools present. That constitutes a massive financial hit for schools that need the money; LSU is paying Southeastern Louisiana $500,000 to play in Death Valley in 2018. (By comparison, the Tigers are paying Nicholls State $575,000, McNeese State $600,000 and Louisiana Tech $1.15 million for future nonconference games.)

There was also pressure put on Southeastern Louisiana officials from state legislators, the sources said.

Perhaps this is another good reason for Georgia agreeing to schedule cupcake games against in-state programs, as it certainly ups the leverage.  If you’re Kirby Smart, you’d think that might lead to a better use of state legislators’ power than a 90-day Open Records period.

When informing the disinvited schools of the change in plans, Southeastern coach Ron Roberts explained that “somebody else told him ‘If you do [camps with out-of-state schools], you’re going to get us all f—ing fired,” the source said.

Yeah, that might do it.

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Filed under Coach O Needs Another Red Bull, Political Wankery, Recruiting

Making Georgia football great again

Kirby Smart wasn’t buying that “but we’re Georgia, damn it!” stuff when he was hired.

“When we got here I knew,” Smart said. “I coached against the University of Georgia. I recruited against the University of Georgia. I pretty much knew what was here.”

And then this critical sentence Kirby said that no one else would dare say in front of a podium over the last few years – and very few people would write or say out loud.

“I knew the level of expectation didn’t necessarily meet the quality of players that were here.”

Ouch.

Now there are two things to say in response to that, assuming, of course, that you take it at face value.  One, no surprise, roster management did in Mark Richt.  There was a dry stretch in recruiting, culminating in the disaster of 2013, that lasted until the 2015 class, from which the program is still recovering.  You don’t have to have coached or recruited against Georgia to realize that.

Two, despite that, it’s only fair to note that Mark Richt won 19 games in 2014 and 2015.  You can bitch, moan and qualify that all you want based on the level of opposition, the losses to Florida and whatever else tickles your fancy, but purely on a wins and losses basis, Richt did a good job coaching the talent he left himself.  (If you don’t believe that, go count the number of football teams that managed that many wins over that two-year period.)  Certainly, he got better results than Smart achieved last season.

I mention this not to support or attack either coach, but rather to analyze McGarity’s stated rationale for changing head coaches.  If Georgia football had plateaued, I would argue that it was because of the way Richt had gone about accumulating talent.  Smart has clearly upgraded the program in that department.

As Legge notes, though, even under Richt, that flaw had begun a correction course.

It must be pointed out that since Mark Richt’s final recruiting class, the 2015 class, things started to pick up. In that class a slew of very gifted players were signed and have been solid players ever since… Terry Godwin, Roquan Smith, Trent Thompson, Natrez Patrick, Jonathon Ledbetter.

Richt would have brought in a good 2016 class, too, had he lasted.  That’s water under the bridge at this point, but bringing all the talent in the world to Athens means little in the long run if you can’t coach ’em up.  The jury is still out on Smart as to that.  In that regard, history says that Georgia coaches tend to improve their teams’ won-loss records significantly in their second seasons.  Let’s hope that plays out again this year.  Otherwise, all McGarity’s done is trade one plateau for another.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

“This is definitely the biggest kid I’ve seen at that age.”

Kiyaunta Goodwin is not like most middle school football players. Goodwin stands 6-foot-6, weighs in at 345 pounds and is just 13 years old.”

I didn’t know there’s such a thing as an Under Armour middle school All-American, but evidently Goodwin is one.  Hell, judging by this picture, he could be the entire middle school All-American list all by himself.

Only reason I bring this up is that, yes, Georgia has offered this kid.

He’s got room to grow, too.

Goodwin said doctors have told him he could grow to as tall at 7-foot-6.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he passed 7 foot,” Vaughn said. “At that point, we’ll just teach him how to dunk a basketball.”

It sounds like Mark Fox needs to make the next recruiting trip.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

BREAKING: Former Georgia Tech player isn’t impressed with Georgia.

Shorter Tom Luginbill:  Mark Richt’s failure to sign Carl Lawson or Raekwon McMillan proves that Kirby Smart is overrated.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Recruiting

“So much for the old-dog-new-tricks cliché.”

And here I thought that a recruiting post about how “(t)he Miami Mark Richt and the Georgia Mark Richt are completely different beasts” and that “the Hurricanes’ second-year head coach has changed everything … including the results” meant that Richt was no longer hoarding offers and roster spots like they were the Crown Jewels of England.

Nah.

This is the new era of Miami recruiting and the new era of Mark Richt – an era where every advantage is played up to the thousandth degree and every opportunity is seized. Even at the ACC Kickoff event in Charlotte last week, Richt was selling his program. He arrived at the event donning an extremely on-the-nose tan suit, complete with a “U” lapel pin, and carefully cultivated facial stubble that would pass for cool in a South Beach club. He made sure to refer to Miami as “paradise” in his opening statement and even gave a public shutout to the high school players in the South Florida area.

It just sounds like he’s updated his look for South Beach.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Wednesday morning buffet

Dig in.

  • Has Smart had a change of heart about Georgia’s running game?  Count me in the I’ll-believe-it-when-I-see-it camp.
  • One thing I don’t get about 2017 win projections is why there’s a general assumption about how the Georgia-Auburn game is going to play out.  After all, “Auburn hasn’t hit over 8.5 wins since going 12-2 in 2013 and has only done so three times since 2007. Georgia, on the other hand, has gone over 8.5 wins four times since 2011, including a 12-2 mark in 2012 and back-to-back years of 10-3 in 2014 and 2015.”
  • Screw signing days, says Bob Bowlsby, who likes the idea of signing periods.
  • Speaking of Bowlsby, is there a dumber idea in college football than a championship game for a conference that plays a round-robin schedule?  It will serve the Big 12 right if that game screws it out of a playoff spot.
  • Seth Emerson asks a good question about Georgia’s defense.  The timing sure would be nice.
  • And here’s another good question, in this case, about Title IX in the context of colleges paying athletes.  It’s about time somebody asked.
  • Way to go, Tom Herman.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Big 12 Football, Georgia Football, Political Wankery, Recruiting, Strategery And Mechanics, Texas Is Just Better Than You Are.

It’s a good recruiting start. That’s all.

Before you get too irrationally exuberant about Georgia’s 2017 recruiting class — one of the best overall in the program’s history — make sure you first measure it in the context of the program Kirby Smart is chasing.

Beginning with the 2008 class, which was Saban’s first full recruiting cycle, Alabama has concluded National Signing Day with an average ranking of 1.7 in the 247Sports.com composite.

Since 2011, the Crimson Tide have finished with the nation’s top recruiting class every single season. In 2017 alone, Alabama signed six five-star recruits. To compare, Georgia has signed seven five-star prospects combined over the past three seasons…

… Of late, Smart has done the greatest job competing with Alabama on the recruiting trail. Smart helped Georgia finish with the nation’s No. 3 recruiting class this past February, although it was still roughly 20 points behind Alabama’s, according to the 247Sports.com formula.

You got it.  Over the last decade, Alabama’s average recruiting ranking is better than Georgia’s 2017 ranking.

That talent gap isn’t going to be erased overnight, peeps.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting