Category Archives: Recruiting

Today, in bidness decisions

Tennessee football, don’t ever change.

I’m sure the prospect of Booch managing Smith’s future made an enormous difference, big enough that this was merely an irrelevant coincidence.

In the summer Tennessee hired Ashley Smith, Trey’s sister, to work in the football program with the title of executive assistant to the head coach.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Blowing Smoke, Recruiting

Rapid response

I continue to be impressed as hell with the staff’s prowess on the recruiting trail.  Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.  Shortly after Tom Herman took over at Texas, he turned his sights on a Georgia commit out of that state, running back Toneil Carter, and convinced Carter to take an official visit to UT.

Smart’s response?  Not gonna happen.

That’s not exactly convincing an in state kid to turn down an invite to see Paul Johnson.  Herman’s an excellent recruiter who learned his trade from one of the best in Urban Meyer, has plenty of contacts in the state of Texas and is playing on his home turf.  And yet Smart was able to move fast and shut that approach down cold.

Not bad.  Not bad at all.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

“It’s too early.”

Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but it sure sounds like Booch knows he’ll be making changes with some of his assistant coaches this offseason — “Contracts for three assistant coaches are set to expire at the end of February, retirement could be an option for a couple…” — but doesn’t plan on announcing anything decisive immediately while he’s recruiting.

I wonder what he’s telling recruits or, perhaps more accurately, what he’s allowing his assistants to tell them.  “Forget about me, young fella.  Doesn’t hearing ‘Rocky Top’ incessantly send chills up and down your back?”

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Recruiting

“He’s got the ability to step in right away.”

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”.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

“Kirby Smart has his own way of doing things at Georgia.”

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.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Making a bad situation worse

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.

43 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Recruiting, Strategery And Mechanics

I have seen the future.

If you’re looking for one legitimate reason to be excited about Georgia football right now, Bud Elliott hangs one out there for you.

Speaking of the SEC East, Georgia had a bad opening season under Kirby Smart, but the Bulldogs have 13 blue chip commitments, and the rest of the SEC East has 18 combined.

If there’s one unequivocal area of success in Smart’s first year on the job, it’s what he’s done on the recruiting trail.  And given the mess that is the current SEC East, if he can create the kind of talent gap Elliott suggests with that information*, that would go a long way towards getting Georgia back on the road to Atlanta on a consistent basis, learning curves and buying in notwithstanding.

*the standard it’s not February yet caveat applying, of course.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting