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February 3, 2014

The Dream Team: National Signing Day 2011

With NSD this week, I've been thinking about the energy expended on recruiting/whims of 18 year olds. Especially in light of the class booked by UGA in 2011. The Dream Team.

Now the more cynical among us could say they were a bust. In fact there are plenty of articles out there that work really hard to enforce that narrative. And they have been successful in doing what the authors wanted, which is get UGA fans to click on those links in great numbers.

While I'm not prepared to say The Dream Team has been everything we hoped, looking over the list, it is hard to say they are a bust. More importantly, that Class represented something more: Mark Richt's renewed philosophy and approach to coaching the Georgia Bulldogs.

I'll have a full player by player listing later this week, but it can't be over stated how important what Coach Richt did to get that group signed. We beat out Alabama and Florida, when beating out Florida was a thing, to get several key players, including Jay Rome and Malcolm Mitchell. More importantly, we booked the first full recruiting class we'd had in too many years. With mostly in-state guys.

Again the more cynical among you will say it was merely Richt doing enough to keep in front of the naysayers, but it can't be overstated how much keeping from falling that much more behind the Joneses has been important over this past couple of seasons. And it can't be quantified for the upcoming seasons.

Much like Coach Dooley had to remake his career after the down years of 1972-74 that saw Georgia play for a National Championship in 1976 as well as some other good stuff that happened in the years thereafter, the signing class for Feb 2011 represented the first tangible evidence that Mark Richt not only still wanted to coach the Georgia Bulldogs, but he still had what it takes to do so.



Hey berto said...

I really don't get into the weeds on recruiting.. but the hype of recruiting classes really is annoying, because they should only be graded retroactively when you see how these guys play out. It's a nice recognition when you pull in a lot of coveted guys, but it only matters when you see how they do, how the coaches are able to evaluate these players relative to the team needs, and how they coach them up once they're in. 'Dream Team' was a nice meme to build momentum for that year's class.. but it means very little now, in my view, even if it manages to play out.

TylerDawgden said...

Completely agree.

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