I’ll have more to say about it after the bowl game when I do a 2016 postmortem, but Georgia’s problem this season wasn’t a lack of talent. The problem was failing to make the best use of the talent on hand.
Category Archives: Recruiting
There are a lot of things to point at in analyzing this frustrating 2016 season, but Seth Emerson breaks down one big one.
“Traditionally that’s the team that has 25 seniors, they got a pretty good football team because they’ve been in the program for a long time,” Smart said. “And when we have team meetings in here, I think we got 11 guys across the front row that are seniors.”
And as small as the group may be, they also didn’t exactly come together in traditional fashion.
There are three graduate transfers, two of whom will only be at Georgia one season: Nickel back Maurice Smith and left tackle Tyler Catalina. The other one, backup quarterback Greyson Lambert, transferred in last year.
There’s also one junior college transfer: backup linebacker Chuks Amaechi.
Right tackle Greg Pyke is the team’s only fifth-year senior.
The rest are six fourth-year seniors, survivors of the notorious 2013 class, which had 33 signees. (Eight players from that class redshirted and have one more left.
That’s out of 33 signees in 2013, by the way. Eight players redshirted and have one more year left. Five others had moved on to the pros or graduated prior to this year. The rest transferred or were dismissed from the team.
(And one member of the 2013 class will be playing for the other team on Saturday: J.J. Green, who transferred to Georgia Tech after his sophomore season.)
Eleven seniors, four of whom weren’t originally signed by Georgia. That’s it.
Blame the Florida game all you want for Mark Richt’s dismissal, but for me the root cause of him no longer being in Athens was his approach to roster management over the last five or six years of his term. The infamous 2013 class was a mad scramble to catch up the numbers and it blew up in his face. He wound up paying the ultimate price for that. Kirby Smart’s paying another price for it this season. Let’s just hope the check’s been settled by the time 2017 rolls around.
Quarterback of the future Jake Fromm has signed financial aid papers with Georgia.
Fromm has maintained throughout his recruitment that Eason being at Georgia has no bearing on his decision.
Apparently Georgia’s offensive line being at Georgia has no bearing on his decision, either.
We already know that one thing Kirby is selling about this mediocre season on the recruiting trail is the opportunity to play early. There’s something else he can offer, too.
Farrell expects Smart to be willing to play guys he recruited fast like he has this year.
“The good thing for him,” he said, “is the SEC East is awful so they’ve got an opportunity to turn it around maybe a little quicker than they would if they were in the Big Ten East or SEC West.”
Ain’t that the truth.
Let’s just say that any article warning the general population about the perils of an early signing date citing these two paragons of virtue…
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott and Sankey of the SEC are the two major conference commissioners against the legislation, united by the belief that academics and recruiting cultural issues aren’t being fully considered. “If you are just looking at it from the recruiting process, that’s not what should be driving our decision,” Scott said. “It should be rooted in values, academic priorities and principles and the long-term interest of the student athletes.”
… is an article I’m not going to take seriously. At all. Which is kind of shame, because if there’s anything those two guys are synonymous with, it’s values, academic priorities and principles and the long-term interest of the student athletes.
When it comes to a proposed early signing period, let no one say Corch’s heart isn’t in the right place.
“I hear the reasoning is because there’s so many de-commitments,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said in September about early signing periods before the Division I Council passed the oversight committee’s proposal in early October. “So because 17-year-olds are de-commiting, let’s give them a legal document so they can’t de-commit. That’s not very smart. Young people have a right to choose where they want to go to school. Period. Let them de-commit 100 times.”
Urbs may have heard that reasoning, but apparently he hasn’t heard the facts.
De-commitments and flip-flopping by highly touted recruits gets a lot of attention, but it is still relatively uncommon. The survey showed 82 percent of football signees verbally committed prior to signing. Of those, 90 percent signed where they committed.
Pesky things, those facts.
Of 55 NCAA sports, football is one of four that does not have an early signing period.
According to the NCAA, 25,316 Division I student-athletes signed a national letter of intent in 2015-16. Of those, 18,103 had the opportunity to sign early and about 66 percent did.
“Why are we treating football players different from all the other students that come to us?” Eichorst said. “There’s no good answer for that.”
Good question, but I’ve got a better one. If the NCAA is so concerned about transparency, why not give kids and their parents the right to consult with a legal advisor before signing a national letter of intent, so they might have the opportunity to know what they’re getting into before they sign?
Hey, maybe you can have too much transparency. Eh, maybe Corch and Saban are playing bad cop to the NCAA’s good cop here. I mean, let’s not forget this little drop: “And what we constantly hear from our coaches and others is often times I spend more time recruiting my next class than coaching my current.”
Then again, maybe it’s just about protecting the lazier recruiters.