Category Archives: Recruiting

“It’s still Roll Tide.”

Alabama commit explains Alabama commitment.

“Alabama is very straight with you,” Davis said. “It’s straight football. I mean, I don’t want to go nowhere else where the basketball team is good, too. I want to go somewhere where it’s straight football, strictly football. And when you get down there, it’s straight business. Even the fans, you go to the restroom and the fans are talking about how the football team is. I really like the business part of it.”

See?  There’s your problem in a nutshell, Dawg fans.  ‘Bama folks talk about the football team in the bathroom.  We’re too wrapped up in the crappy state of our crappers to focus on the football team when we hit the head.  Selfish bastids…

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, Whoa, oh, Alabama

Stars in their eyes

Kirby Smart explains that Georgia’s recruiting pitch isn’t what it used to be.

The Bulldogs have a strong reputation for putting players in the NFL and it’s something Smart uses when trying to persuade the best prospects in the country to continue their football careers in Athens.

“It’s got a good draft history,” Smart said. “As far as number of NFL active players, I think every team, you always want to know that stat. It changes so much year to year. Georgia’s got great history of putting guys in the NFL, even undrafted guys had a lot of success. Seeing David (Andrews) back here today and the success he’s had, it helps. You try to market that part but so many kids now they want to know about the education and the playing time. They feel like they’ve got a chance at the NFL anywhere they go. I think the better you are as a program of putting them out, it helps.”  [Emphasis added.]

If you think you’re gonna shine regardless, it hardly matters what Georgia did to help three-star recruits make it to the next level.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Always be ‘crootin’, a continuing series

I’m not sure we’ve ever heard anything similar said about another Georgia coach:

On one of his days down in the Sunshine State to visit recruits before National Signing Day on Feb. 1, Coley was on a small plane heading into Jacksonville en route to Miami. According to Jeff Pond, the defensive coordinator at Mater Academy – Coley’s eventual destination to visit prospect Latavious Brini – the aircraft was shifted off target during descent.

It created a difficult situation for the pilot, having to suddenly pull up and restart the descent into Jacksonville. While it was a scary situation and could have resulted in a bad outcome for Coley, he didn’t let it deter him from his duties.

He and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker made their way to Hialeah, Florida and Coley began speaking in Haitian Creole to Brini, who is of Haitian descent. From then on, both Pond and Brini saw the dedication from the Bulldogs’ key recruiter and it was those final efforts that landed the Florida defensive back.

Recruiting is an area that has been boosted by the addition of head coach Kirby Smart and his staff to Georgia’s program. That has been the case, especially in his first full off-season in which the Bulldogs landed a top-three recruiting class in 2017. But Coley has played an equal role as Smart has on the recruiting trail as his background has essentially opened up a new pipeline.

Not only is Coley’s focus on his own position group, but he has used his experiences with high school coaches around the Miami area to enhance the program’s future at any position possible.

Haitian Creole and Miami.  As long as there’s major talent coming out of South Florida and Coley can tap into it, he’s good for Athens, regardless of how well we think he’s doing on the coaching side.  Speaking of which, it might be a good time to remind everyone that his immediate predecessor was new to the job.

It’s one thing for a coach to talk on the recruiting trail and give players promises for playing time and numerous other things, but Coley has shown that those assurances can be kept.

That has displayed through a former Georgia player who worked under the coaching styles of both Bryan McClendon and Coley. Isaiah McKenzie brought a skill set to Athens in his three seasons before opting to head to the NFL. In his junior campaign, he was used increasingly under the direction of Coley as 73.3 percent of his receptions came in his final season at Georgia, in which he produced as the team’s leading receiver.

McKenzie saw a difference in the two coaches, and believes Coley’s brought a different kind of benefit to the offensive success.

“Coach Coley brought a lot of energy and positivity to the program,” he said. “Those two traits turned the receiving corps around completely. He encouraged us to be to each other and to have a positive outlook on the game of football as well as life in general. He puts his heart into coaching and teaching us. the energy speaks for itself.”

Just like Coley, McClendon was a good recruiter, but I have to say he didn’t show much in his only season as Georgia’s receivers position coach.  Has Coley been an improvement?  It’s hard to say, coaching wise, as one year on the job is a little unfair to both in making that assessment.  But Haitian Creole and that South Florida pipeline…

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Don’t cry for me, Oxford.

SI.com asks the musical question, “How will the NCAA’s investigation into Ole Miss affect the Rebels’ recruiting?”.  Rather than just answer with a simple “bigly”, I think instead I’ll refer you to what the author proposes as a light at the end of the tunnel for the program’s message to recruits:

For now, coaches from other programs can continue to use the looming threat of a crushing blow from the NCAA to persuade prospects that they shouldn’t seriously consider Ole Miss. The Rebels can try to counter that strategy by claiming that they at least have a vague timeline for the end of the case and that they’re on the road to putting this whole thing behind them.

“Son, never mind what that prick says.  Rest assured, before you leave school, Ole Miss will be eligible to play in Shreveport again.”  Yeah, that’ll work.

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Filed under Freeze!, Recruiting

“Georgia is looking to move towards dual threats.”

If this report is to be believed, Jacob Eason isn’t the only quarterback whom Smart wants running the ball.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, Strategery And Mechanics

Recruiting the recruiters

If Jim McElwain’s two most recent coaching hires live up to their reps, in state Florida recruiting is gonna be more brutal than ever, especially when you think about the new coaches at the mid-major programs there.

Mark Richt had better step up and do his job in South Florida.  Hurting the Gators’ recruiting efforts is good for both Miami and Georgia.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Recruiting

What never was and what could be

David Wunderlich offers a tale about Georgia’s in-state recruiting since the 2002 season that provides an interesting contrast between Richt’s final years and Smart’s first two.

We’ve all lamented the disintegration of the 2013 class, but David notes that the class was a disaster not just because of who came and went, but also because of who never made it in the first place.

It didn’t have the lowest percentage on the chart, but the 2013 cycle was the nadir for Richt and in-state recruiting.

The top seven prospects in Georgia went out of state. Robert Nkemdiche, the nation’s top recruit, went to Ole Miss; to be fair, his brother already being in Oxford played a role there. Richt lost out on a pair of defensive linemen after that in Carl Lawson and Montravius Adams, guys who anchored Auburn’s defensive renaissance in 2016.

Fourth was Vonn Bell, who went on to star at Ohio State. Fifth and sixth were Alvin Kamara and Tyren Jones, a couple of guys who went to Alabama but didn’t stay long. Kamara eventually ended up a big contributor for Tennessee. Seventh was Demarcus Robinson, who became one of Florida’s top receivers in 2014 and 2015.

Georgia took a quarterback in 2013 with Brice Ramsey. He ended up a better punter than signal caller. Ramsey’s inability to fulfill his 4-star rating is why Georgia got the Greyson Lambert experience after Hutson Mason graduated. Another quarterback from Georgia who came out of high school that year was Alpharetta’s Joshua Dobbs. If 247 Sports has it right, UGA didn’t even offer Dobbs a scholarship.

Further down the list, UGA offered but couldn’t land Loganville’s 4-star running back Wayne Gallman. He and the next year’s 4-star Georgia product Deshaun Watson were obviously a huge part of Clemson’s amazing run the past couple of years.

That’s a lot of whiffing for one class.  Granted, the lack of success at running back can be partially attributed to Georgia’s giant haul in 2012 with Gurley and Marshall, but given their history with injuries and suspension, a top-flight back in the 2013 class sure would have been a big help.

Meanwhile, check out Smart’s trend line.

uga-ga-bc-pct

It’s not at Richt’s peak, but it’s certainly headed in the right direction.

That being said, it’s worth pointing out that, as the overall talent pool in this state has grown significantly over the last decade, it’s going to be nearly impossible for Smart to match Richt’s highest percentage levels, as they’re aren’t any more scholarships to offer.  What’s going to matter more, anyway, is if Smart can eliminate the dramatic swings that you can see beginning with the 2005 class.

Plateaus can be beautiful things.  Especially when they represent two gifts in one.

Even so, UGA secured 11 of the top 16 players within its home territory. Even better, the Bulldogs boxed out a lot of their direct competitors. Rival Auburn had signed 14 combined Peach State blue chips in the previous three cycles, but it only got one this time around. Florida nabbed two blue chips in 2016 but was shut out in 2017. Tennessee had signed at least one Georgia blue chip every year since Lane Kiffin arrived in Knoxville in 2009, but the Vols too came up empty.

Can Smart keep up that level of production?  That’s what we’ll have to wait and see.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting