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February 5, 2010

After thinking about recruiting for a few days....

My opinion is more mixed and baffled by this class than it originally was. On the one hand, I'm a big fan of this defensive class. I think we addressed needs, and there are kids who are more ideally suited for the 3-4 than the 4-3.

I'm also not all concerned with most of the kids who got away. More on that later. Regardless, I'm happier with the defense than most because I think it's an elite group.

What I don't get is the offensive in state recruits from this class. How do you miss out on the top QB, RB, WR and OT in state all in the same year? Kolton Houston (OG) is the only top player at his position we inked. How is that possible? I've been following UGA recruiting pretty closely since the 1997 season, and I don't even remember a class so shallow when it comes to in state offensive talent.

The crazy thing to me....all the coaching instability was on the defensive side of the ball. We were entrenched and solid on the offensive side...and the puzzling stuff is all isolated to one side of the ball where we had the most margin for error. Granted there is some territorial / geographic overlap from offense to defense, but still. It's mystifying.

The good news. This is the only UGA recruiting class under Richt that has been such a train wreck, and it's also the only 5 loss season. If Murray/Mett and Grantham improve their respective roles vs. last year's struggles, we'll should be back on the right track in recruiting and organizational momentum.

But I still can't fathom what went happened with this class offensively in state.

For a good read on what went wrong, check out Legge's Recruiting Manifesto. I don't agree with all the causality in his post, but I do think he makes some very legit points about the 2011 class.

*Update: I will say this after being challenged on the issue. It's very hard for me to say who was better at QB in this class in state than Mason. It was a very thin year for QBs in state.



Anonymous said...

1) I am not sold that not having a DC had anything to do with losing the OFFENSIVE players.
2) Richt says Samuels is moving to LB.

Anonymous said...

We have 10 returning starters on offense - you think that was part of the problem in getting the elite offensive recruits?

Richard said...

Here’s what I think. First of all, Georgia fans (particularly ones from Atlanta - not talking about you PWD as you are one of my Dawg fan heros) whine and bitch more that I would like.

We’ve had a couple of outstanding (top 5) recruiting classes before this one. People forget that 83% of our points last year were scored by Freshmen or Sophomores. Recruiting didn’t finish strong this year but the guys we got are solid. We are a little too picky and Richt doesn’t run off players to free up scholarships like Saban does so we really only had 20 to 22 spots. We got 2 fantastic safeties, two solid DTs, a slew of tall/fast DE/OLB types, a decent North/South running back, a very good QB (set the all time single season yardage record in GA 4AAA history). I like all 3 OL recruits. We only got one CB and one WR so that’s where we hurt ourselves. 2011 recruiting needs RB, OL, CB, WRs as a big priority.

Samuel, who was a 5 star guy, is moving to LB – the position he played in HS and the position he wanted to play when he showed up in Athens. That’s like getting a new 5 star recruit. And, we get three key players back from injury - Bruce Figgins (devastating blocking tight end – we didn’t have any TEs last year who were strong blockers), Kris Durham (tall, solid possession receiver), and Trinton Sturdivant (arguably our best lineman)

Most importantly, we have now have a defensive coordinator who understands how to consistently get pressure on the QB, how do deal with play action, and how to make sure RBs/TEs are accounted for in pass coverage. As a result, we will create more turnovers next year – no question.

I like our schedule if we can come out of Cackolacky with the win. Not sure I can take another early September day game in Columbia. I just started sweating thinking that heat from the 08 game ... praying for a night game.

Go Dawgs!

Anonymous said...

Someone tell us about what happened with Jawuan James. I think most of us are familiar with the Mack Brown situation and all of us know about Rogers. Where did we go wrong with James?

Ben Dukes said...

I can give you a couple of reasons for what we "lost out on" on the offensive side of the ball.

1) QB - Richt made it clear for a long time that he wasn't going to take a QB in this class. That means, many prime quarterbacks no longer looked at UGA. When Richt finally said, "we're gonna need a quarterback," many decisions had already been made (mentally, if not publicly). But Hutson Mason, always a Dawg fan, was immediately interested. The guy was a record breaker and a winner. I don't know the level of competition, and when I saw him in the North-South game I didn't know what to think. He didn't amaze me, but he kept plays alive, and he had very little practice time. Anyway, that's QB.

2) RB - First off, Ken Malcome is a 4-star recruit, the same as the two Georgia running backs rated above him who went to Miami and FL. His rating is an "81" while theirs is an "83". What's the difference? I certainly don't know. It could be as simple as a 40 time. Now, how can we "let" these players get away? Well, we certainly weren't going to take three running backs. Storm Johnson, the highest ranked back of the bunch, wasn't even offered by the SEC. He signed with Miami after looking at Michigan State, Penn State, Oregon and UNC. His 40 time is 4.54, so I'm guessing the SEC schools thought he was too slow. OR, they decided that he won't perform well against the top defensive talent in this conference. He likes to run east-west a great deal...something not great against a speed defense.
As for Mack Brown, he was offered by UGA, FL, OU and AL...just like Ken Malcome. We got one, FL got the other. Sorry if I don't feel terrible about the loss.

3)WR - Da'Rick Rogers was the guy. I think that story has been beat to death. I've seen many comments saying he's a slacker, he gives up on plays, he's all flash and has attitude problems, etc. I don't know about any of that. I know the guy was stuck hip-to-hip with his QB, and when TN knew they could get a top WR by offering a weak QB, they did it. Personally, I'm glad UGA didn't take that approach.

4)OT - Let's look at where Ju'Wuan James (83) ended up - Tennessee. The 2009 UT team had two kinds of tackles, Seniors and Freshmen. The Seniors are gone. The Freshmen are sophomores. James has 4-year starter potential, and there's not a long list of experienced players in front of him. If he's the guy who wants to play NOW, UT is a better choice. UGA has a much more experienced roster at tackle, and a 2010 OT coming in knows he's probably headed for a redshirt. That may not have sat well with James, but it was apparently ok with Brent Benedict, another top 150 recruit.

Anonymous said...

Exactly anon 1214. We have 2 redshirt freshmen who will compete for starting QB. We have a sophomore RB who will rush for 1000+ this year, and a slew of young talent who never saw the field behind the starting O line.

The top WR in the state this year just happened to be a d-bag.

Nest year we have 25+ scholarships, and will go after the top offensive talent.

Chris S said...

Sam, I don't think it's that simple. Somebody had to go see Ogletree, Thornton, etc to keep/recruit them. Rodney Garner couldn't manage all the defensive recruiting himself, so the offensive coaches and Mark Richt had to spend time on that, and that meant less time to spend recruiting on offense.

Three of our four de-commits were on the defensive side of the ball. You can argue that we didn't really want those kids, but the bottom line is the coaching staff wanted them enough to make them offers.

peacedog said...

It was a strange year, no question.

There's just not much UGA could have done with Da'Rick Rodgers, I think. I've read all the rumor and innuendo. At the end of the day, we lost that one due to the gods of 18 year old kids being fickle.

The OT was painful, no question. I think we're getting a quality guy in Gates and Benedict is a blue chipper who may be better than all the guys in state (assuming he comes back from injury). But we would have liked to get James, no doubt.

Dubbayoo said...

I just can't understand how we continually miss on so many top RBs, considering our history of getting backs in the NFL.

WFdawg said...

Legge's article is good. And I think it captures the urgency we need to have moving forward. This next season will tell a lot about whether complacency has set in in Athens. We're teetering on the brink of losing what took nearly a decade to build. Carpe diem, Dawgs.

Anonymous said...

This recruiting class is indicative of the sad state of our UGA football program. First we are 8-5, lose to a KY team, and are a least a year late, if not two, on firing the defensive staff.
Secondly, our AD and associated school strength (ticket and influence pull)could not get us a better bowl.
Third, we get on 4 of the top 40 players in the state. Auburn comes in and gets 7 of the top 100 and we get only 9. I know that we have more great players in Ga. tham we can recruit, but give me a break. JUST MORE EXCUSES!
Unfortunatley, our view of who we are does not match the reality of our performance on any scale.

confused dawg said...

A train wreck? I guess I know where to stop expecting level-headed analysis from...

Unknown said...


Offensively I do think it's a train wreck. If Benedict recovers from his devastating knee injury, I'll feel much better about it.

But who was the last HS player with a monstrous HS senior year injury to pan out for us?

Golston in 2002? Maybe you could say Caleb, but a broken leg is nothing like what Benedict had happen to him.

Injured HS OL typically don't pan out for UGA.

Anonymous said...

A lot of national powers wanted Malcome and I'll use that to judge his ability more than some random rating thrown out by some recruiting service. He committed early, King(SO) and Ealey(FR) blossomed and Carlton Thomas and Dontavious Jackson were FR as well. Not exactly a recipe for early playing time for any other hot shot RB recruits. Malcome is a bruiser and should compliment our existing cast well.

Chris S said...

On an unrelated recruiting note, it looks like Lane Kiffin has just signed a seventh grader to USC's 2015 class:,217861

Is he just doing this to get a feel for what recruiting is like when there's actually a meaningful age difference between him and the recruits? Or is he figuring, given USC's upcoming penalties, it's the next class he actually has scholarship offers for?

C. Paul said...

Nice write up PWD. Ny favorite injured OL examples are Trey Chandler and Tommy Ganious.

The Dean Legge article is fantastic and explains clearly and rationally how things snowball in recruiting.

Sam, Dawg Fan said...

Chris, good points. I think some of the defensive losses can also be chalked up to a change to the 3-4.

JaxDawg said...

Living in Jax, I can tell you that we don't get a lot of Bolles kids b/c we're 1 hour from Hoggtowne, even if they are the Bolles "Bulldogs". I'm sure you and most on here are aware of Bolles' reputation and record for football (and all sports) success. Those kids are disciplined and motivated. Signing one of the best OL to come from that school is a big win for us in that it:

(1) strengthens a relationship with Bolles coach Corky Rogers.
(2) strengthens the pipeline to their talent pool, as well as the NE FL talent pool, which is deep as hell.

Benedict will have had 2 years to recoup from the injury and he will be fine. Trinton's rehad went well and all, but a big ass Lineman cannot completely heal in 12 months from that injury. If you recall, it took Lumpkin 2 full seasons to look like his pre-injury self ---- same with Caleb King. And those guys carry 215, not 315.

Everyone seems to forget that Florida signed a sub-par class 2 years ago b/c they were f*cking stocked from top to bottom. Who the hell wants to wait 2 years to play? Not these prima-donnas.


Anonymous said...

Not sure what is so surprising:

- Missing out on top OL is the norm, and we got a higher ranked OT in Benedict (injury notwithstanding)
- we got our top Rb in state in Malcome
- we got our top qb in state in Mason
- everyone knows how we were screwed by the Nances regarding DR

HounDog said...

Do you think any of these top ranked instate RBs are even close to Crowell? We have two RBs now that none of these recruits would seriously compete with, so with an eye to the future, I believe we are getting our future RB next year. We have to land Crowell. Also a QB since the selection will be much better next year. I love that Richt didn't reach for inferior talent just because they were the best in a weak class. WR and OL should have been helped more, but I don't see any glaring holes for the future. The sky is not falling. WR is the easiest position to come in and play as a frosh. We'll get em next year.

lawdawg1919 said...

Chapas missed his entire senior year with a torn ACL.

Mickey McCale said...

Dear chicken littles,

The sky is not falling. We as fans base all of our information from numbers and stars assigned to them by third party agencies. Do you really think our coaches take those into account? I'd like to think they do their own scouting, find the guys that they want, and go after them. After all, that is what they get paid to do, right? They're not paid to go get the kids we think they should get or the ones that rivals, scout, and the WWL think they should get.

Personally, I'm excited about this class and its potential, but then again, it seems that I'm one of the rare glass-half full Dawg fans. Either way, I'm convinced that our success in 2010 will ride much more on the head and shoulders of Murray/Mettenberger than it will on who we inked this past week.....

Anonymous said...

Asher Allen turned out pretty well and he blew his knee out. Actually that might have been his junior year...can't remember.

Murray missed at least half of his senior year with a broken leg and people are already anointing him as a future Heisman winner.

Unknown said...

a) depth chart
b) maybe they watched the Tennessee game, that'd be enough to make any fan of offense hate UGA

Chris said...

QB is the position where a major leg injury is the least disconcerting. No one is expecting Murray to do a lot of running--if he is, we have bigger problems. (Though when a guy misses significant playing time two years in a row with injuries, it does start to worry me a bit.)

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