Category Archives: Recruiting

The curious case of Bo Davis’ departure

I made the assumption from the initial whispering that Davis was shown the door because of some serious violation on the recruiting front.  I assumed serious because Davis was a coach that Saban liked enough to bring back to Alabama a second time and you don’t give the boot to someone you obviously value without some real justification.  I also assumed serious because, as Barrett Sallee mentioned, when Trooper Taylor and Curtis Luper became the subjects of a NCAA probe, they were merely pulled off the recruiting trail as a starter.

Sounds bad, right?  However, Kevin Scarbinsky suggests another possibility.

The departure of Davis would be curious enough if it weren’t preceded by a Thursday evening report from TideSports.com that Davis was headed out the door “over an inquiry into possible recruiting violations.”

A person familiar with the situation told AL.com it did concern a potential recruiting violation, which may not have been serious in nature, but Davis was not cooperative with the school when questioned about it. It appears that lack of cooperation led to his departure.

You don’t suggest to Nick Saban that you don’t have time for his shit and live to tell about it, in other words.

Now, sure, the possibility exists that the two aren’t mutually exclusive events, but as Scarbinsky hints that whatever recruiting faux pas Davis committed wasn’t a capital offense, it’s hard to say that’s the case.

I only mention this because it’s only natural to think Smart thinks highly of Davis, and if there isn’t any baggage coming along, well…

6 Comments

Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting

If Paul Johnson really were a genius…

… he’d be on the phone to Kirby Smart suggesting something similar to this.

Let’s face it – it’s not as if the schools are chasing the same talent on offense.  And Tech could make a good living off of Georgia’s leftovers.

The hard part is selling Kirby on what’s in it for him.  Free passes to Dragon*Con maybe?

8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Recruiting

Together, at last!

Days like today I sincerely regret never polishing my mad Photoshop skillz, ’cause this story is just begging for a buddy movie poster.

Hours after the NCAA rescinded a ban on satellite camps Thursday, both UGA coach Kirby Smart and Michigan’s Jim Harbaughagreed to deal to work together at a camp in the Atlanta area on June 2. They’ll be coaching and evaluating high school kids on the same field.

It’s an interesting arrangement after Harbaugh fired a shot “at the Georgia coach” about satellite camps a few months ago on Twitter.

Cedar Grove High School coach Jimmy Smith, the host of the June camp, explained to DawgNation on Thursday night about how it all went down.

“Once I found out the NCAA changed the rule, I called (Smart) and he said, ‘I’m down with coming,’” Smith said.

“Coach Harbaugh had told me from the beginning that it was my camp … so he didn’t care who else came. I didn’t know how to handle that, because it is my camp. But it is Coach Harbaugh.

“So I contacted him. I felt like it was out of respect that I let him know that I wanted Georgia to come to camp also. Coach Harbaugh said, ‘Yes, that’s fine. Let’s all work the camp, and let’s coach these kids up.’”

Will Harbaugh and Smart be able to get along on the same field for one day? Smith, who was aware of the backstory between the two coaches, just laughed when asked.

“I don’t know,” Smith said. “I guess they get along. We’ll see when they get here. I hope they are friends. If they’re not, I’ll get them each some football pads and let them go from there.”

It’s a smart move on both coaches’ part.  Kirby’s presence nullifies to some extent Harbaugh’s novelty, while Harbaugh gets to use the camp as another occasion to paint the SEC and every other conference that originally voted for the satellite camp ban as a bunch of ninnies who overreacted (not that he’s wrong about that).  My bet is that both of them are shrewd enough to manage to paint themselves as coaches above the fray, or at least whatever the media will try to paint as a fray.

“That whole thing got so overblown,” Smart said. “Because he and I, he and staff members from his staff had communicated. That’s a big deal to the media, big deal to you guys. But in the coaching profession we’re a bit more lighthearted about it.”

But the attention for the camp itself is great.  My bet is Jimmy Smith is pinching himself this morning over his good fortune.  And I hope that good fortune spreads to a few kids who get more exposure than they were expecting.

Anyhoo, this is the only poster I got.

25 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Heard About Harbaugh?, Recruiting

Sankey’s gonna Sankey.

Oh, puh-leeze.

The SEC reacted to Thursday’s news by releasing a statement in which commissioner Greg Sankey both re-affirmed the conference’s position and the fact that its schools would now be free to join in the satellite camps.

“While we are disappointed with the NCAA governance process result, we respect the Board of Directors’ decision and are confident SEC football programs will continue to be highly effective in their recruiting efforts,” Sankey said. “We continue to believe football recruiting is primarily an activity best-focused in high schools during the established recruiting calendar, which has provided opportunities for football prospective student-athletes from all across the country to obtain broad national access and exposure but with appropriate guidance from high school coaches, teachers and advisors that focuses on both their academic and athletic opportunities as they decide where they will play college football.

“SEC coaches will be allowed to engage in summer camps as a result of Conference legislation approved during the 2015 SEC Spring Meetings.”

If you really believe your approach to satellite camps is best for all concerned, then why lift the ban?

That was a rhetorical question, in case you’re wondering.

3 Comments

Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, Recruiting, SEC Football

Chaos!

Department of Justice 1, SEC 0.

Guess Kirby’d better get his satellite camp plans dusted off.  You know Bert’s raring to go.

Oh, and I hope Hugh Freeze posts his teary farewell to his family as he hits the road to do his job.  Oh, the humanity!

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UPDATE:  The SEC prepares to unleash itself upon an unsuspecting world.

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UPDATE #2:  Of course…

I’d love to hear somebody in the media ask Greg Sankey about that.

21 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, The NCAA

“One thing they can’t teach him to be is 6-7 and 340.”

I’ll say it again:  one thing I love about Smart’s new approach at Georgia is how aggressive he is about beefing up the walk-on program.

Smart is targeting the best available players in the state not only to bring on board on scholarship but to get the best ones remaining as walk-ons.

“I’ve always thought Georgia should have the best walk-on program in the country,” he said. “Why not? You’ve got the HOPE (scholarship). You’ve got great high school football. Every kid in the state dreams of coming to Georgia. So why shouldn’t you have the best walk-on program in the country? Because a lot of those kids develop to be special teams players, to be starters.”

Can’t argue with that one bit.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Six degrees of Bert

It turns out that the idea of aggressively pursuing satellite camping didn’t spring unbidden from the mind of Jim Harbaugh like some sort of college football Athena.  Nah, there was a lot of begettin’ before he got started.

No one voting on the ban apparently thought of the potential consequences for recruits if Group of Five coaches weren’t allowed to work Power 5 camps—something both groups want—so it would not be the least bit shocking if the ban gets tossed. The leagues that want a ban would then be asked to go back and write a more carefully worded rule.

If that happens, the coaches who were planning satellite camps will probably reinstate those plans. That includes Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, who planned to have coaches work camps at Florida International, Rutgers and a few other schools. The Razorbacks also had preliminary plans to hold a camp at Cowboys Stadium. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is an Arkansas alumnus. “I was shocked by [the ruling] the other day,” Bielema told Jack Arute and me Friday on SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation. “We were ready to rock ‘n’ roll. I was kind of in favor of them.”

Bielema also provided a little backstory for how the satellite camp issue has evolved. If you’ve been reading this space, you already know the first Power 5 staff to think of teaming with a lower-level school in a recruit-rich state was Oklahoma State’s, which partnered with Division III power Mary Hardin-Baylor to work camps in Texas. It was Bielema who took brochures from those camps to the SEC’s spring meetings in Destin, Fla., a few years ago to let conference coaches know about the practice. (Given Arkansas’s location, Bielema’s intent was likely to convince the SEC to change its rule so Razorbacks coaches could fan out.) At the time, James Franklin was the coach at Vanderbilt. The next year, he had moved to Penn State. Franklin’s Nittany Lions staff began working camps in Georgia and Florida. When Jim Harbaugh arrived at Michigan, he saw what the Penn State coaches were doing and decided to build on it.

And here we are.

Yep.

3 Comments

Filed under Bert... uh... Bret Bielema, Recruiting, SEC Football, The NCAA