UGA’s “Dream Team” recruiting pitch gets mixed reviews from state’s top football prospects — Is it a dream? Or reality?

Georgia’s “Dream Team” recruiting approach is getting mixed reviews from the state’s top uncommitted football prospects.

Is UGA's "Dream Team" approach working with the state's football prospects?

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The “Dream Team” is the phrase borrowed by Georgia coach Mark Richt for his in-state recruiting efforts. It will be another strong year for talent among the state’s top rising high school seniors, with more than 200 expected to sign major-college scholarships in February.

Richt and his assistant have been using the “Dream Team” sales pitch since early spring, telling the state’s elite that if they join together and sign with Georgia next February, the Bulldogs will contend for future SEC and national championships.

“Georgia has a dream in recruiting, but it may not be my dream, too,” said Thomas County Central defensive tackle Ray Drew, who is considering the Bulldogs among his 27 scholarship offers.

“I’m not saying that for people to read too much into it, either way. It’s just that the dream of [Carver-Columbus tailback] Isaiah Crowell may be different than Georgia’s dream, or the same thing with Valdosta [tight end] Jay Rome.

“What I’m saying is that, in the end, I have to do what’s best for me and my family, like every recruit. If I sign with Georgia, it would be because it was the best fit for me … and not to be part of the ‘Dream Team.’”

Georgia has 11 early commitments for its 2011 recruiting class, including 10 from the state. East Hall defensive end Sterling Bailey, North Clayton linebacker Amarlo Herrera and Mitchell County wide receiver Justin Scott-Wesley are considered among the state’s best prospects at their respective positions.

Bailey said he is using the “Dream Team” approach with several uncommitted prospects, including Crowell and Dalton offensive lineman Watts Dantzler, who will announce between Georgia and Auburn on Sunday.

Mark Richt (left) has 11 UGA commitments, including 10 from state (AJC)

Mark Richt (left) has 11 UGA commitments for 2011 recruiting class, including 10 from state (AJC)

“When I talked to other guys, I am like come on and hop aboard the ‘Dream Team’ — we’re going to make this the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation,” Bailey said. “This is going to be the class that gets Georgia back up to the top where it needs to be.”

When Bailey was asked if the “Dream Team” idea lured him to the Bulldogs, he said, “I committed to Georgia because it was best for me. It was close to home, and then Coach Richt and [defensive coordinator Todd Grantham] said some things that made everything very clear to me.

“I like the ‘Dream Team’ thing, though. It’s a cool name. Besides, who wouldn’t want to be part of a ‘Dream Team?’”

The “Dream Team” concept is nothing new in recruiting, where every school tries to develop an innovative sales pitch. Drew has heard most of them during his travels.

“Auburn talks about family, that’s what they use to try to get their players,” he said. “With Florida, they have a pretty good record at home. They talked about ‘Protect this house, protect this house.’ Everybody has their own little slogan that they try to sell you on.”

Dantzler said he first learned about the “Dream Team” when Georgia’s coaches visited his school in the spring. They pulled out big piece of paper that had the map of Georgia on it, with around 10 stars denoting the team’s top targets. Monroe Area defensive end Stephon Tuitt, who lists Georgia Tech and Miami as his favorites, said Georgia coaches “showed me around 10 or 12 guys on iPad.”

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However, neither Dantzler nor Truitt, along with Bailey and Drew, could remember all the prospects on the “Dream Team.” NCAA rules prevent Georgia from commenting on prospective-student athletes.

The Bulldogs could land two more in-state prospects this week who said they were told they were on Georgia’s “Dream Team” — Dantzler and Tucker linebacker James Vaughters. Vaughters will choose between Georgia and Georgia Tech, among three others, at 11 a.m. Thursday.

“James likes what he has heard about it the ‘Dream Team’ and I think it positively affects his decision,” said his father, Jonathan Vaughters. “But I don’t know if it is the sole criteria he uses when evaluating his top five schools and, ultimately, his final one.”

UPDATE: Dantzler committed to UGA, while Vaughters selected Stanford

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  • 160 comments Add your comment

    cattle dawg

    June 16th, 2010
    7:27 pm

    cattle dawg

    June 16th, 2010
    7:29 pm

    I havent been first in a while. Maybe my luck is changing

    Herschel Talker

    June 16th, 2010
    7:53 pm

    Winning SEC titles would speak for itself. How ’bout we get back to that and stop with the fluff. Blackouts. Dream Teams. It’s all baloney without the wins.

    dawg mane

    June 16th, 2010
    7:56 pm

    first, down south.. dawgs will destroy florida or anyone else, sick of losing, tired of willie martinez and his excuses, all the issues are in the past. The dawgs will be the best team in the SEC for years to come. screw ga tech.

    PeachJam

    June 16th, 2010
    7:57 pm

    The Dantzler family is a class act. Hopefully Watts will follow in the steps of his father, Danny.

    Tech Phd '85

    June 16th, 2010
    7:59 pm

    IT IS JUST A DREAM. Vaughters and Rome (Clemson) are going elsewhere. Keep dreaming, unlike Georgia Tech, the 2009 ACC Champions! Where is your BCS ring, pups? lololol

    RedandBlack

    June 16th, 2010
    7:59 pm

    It sounds like there is a little more bite in the bark of the Georgia Bulldogs right now. Go Dogs go. Get ‘em one game at a time. Go Dogs!!

    GTax

    June 16th, 2010
    8:01 pm

    Meh…I think it’s little league and ultimately holds as much water as a thimble when being evaluated by a recruit. When growing up and playing 11-12 baseball we called ourselves a “dream team” but that was when I was a kid.

    Something like family and protecting the house is much more mature.

    It still isn’t going to have any effect on a recruit though. If it does, then that recruit is either a) naive or b) immature.

    But hey, what else does UGA have to pitch this year? Sucking hind tit to the Gators and going to the weed whacker bowl? Not very promising.

    DDPO

    June 16th, 2010
    8:02 pm

    For once, I agree with H. Talker.

    2 Conference Titles in 28 years does not constitute any kind of dynasty.

    poopdawg

    June 16th, 2010
    8:02 pm

    What career is James Vaughters planning on after football? You know a kid that smart has some ideas.

    Spike

    June 16th, 2010
    8:04 pm

    Herschel Talker is right. Enough of this dream team stuff already. We need to beat the Gators and at least get to the SEC championship game before we start woofin’. More action, less talk.

    What??

    June 16th, 2010
    8:05 pm

    Dream Team is a reality!!

    If the top GA kids were to stay home, Bama, Fla, Aub, and LSU would not stand a chance!

    What??

    June 16th, 2010
    8:06 pm

    Spike

    You are an idiot!

    Spike

    June 16th, 2010
    8:08 pm

    TechPhD.. Don’t forget. UGA-30. ACC Champs-24. Eight out of nine and counting. We own you.

    GTax

    June 16th, 2010
    8:09 pm

    What?? You’re an idiot if you think Florida doesn’t have recruits as good as Georgia. Go look at your last years class and notice how many players CMR got/was trying to get out of Florida.

    Hunkerdown

    June 16th, 2010
    8:10 pm

    Certainly hope James chooses the Dawgs tomorrow. Yep, Danzler and Vaughters would be huge if they jumped aboard this week. Best wishes to both no matter how it winds up.

    Preston

    June 16th, 2010
    8:13 pm

    OK tech dud 85, UGA plays in a REAL league where, when we win it, we really did something special. Your bugs win the ACC for the first time in ages and you guys get an automatic bid to a BCS game. Pretty slack. Especially considering that you can’t win a bowl game to save your lives! Like I’ve said many times, be very glad you’re in the ACC where you can feel like something special because, in a real league, you’re mediocre at best and NEVER in a BCS bowl. LOLOLOLOL!!! Oh yeah….who played in the ACC CG game last year? That’s right, two teams that were beaten by their in state rivals from the SEC the week before. LOLOLOL!!!!!

    Pacer

    June 16th, 2010
    8:15 pm

    Using anything with a “team” concept is smart, because that’s what it takes to win a championship. This will turn off Terrell Owens “me” types, but will appeal to “we” oriented players.

    I’d say if you recruit the guys that put team/we 1st “team”, AND have a lot of talent and are from the state of Georgia and playing for Georgia is their “dream”, like Pollack & Green, then yes, you’ll have a better chance to win a championship.

    It’s important to recruit from the state of Georgia. All SEC Championships for georgia have been led by QB’s form the state of Georgia, like Green.

    When playing for Georgia fulfills a players dream, and that player has better than average talent, great head coach, and if they’re team oriented, good combo.

    Guys from out of state arn’t loyal and don’t care as much about Georgia (Stafford.Moreno).

    Look at DJ, loyal to the end, NFL level talent, sitting the bench, but stayed, to fulfill HIS dream.

    Dawg '94

    June 16th, 2010
    8:16 pm

    I see the nerds have to get on here because their recruiting news is so poor. The Dawgs are ACC Champs & would have beat Iowa by 14 points. I sure hope the BIG OT picks Georgia over
    Auburnt Sunday. 30-24!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Preston

    June 16th, 2010
    8:16 pm

    BTW, UGA has a few shiny BCS bowl rings compared to that one you got last year for losing to a sorry ass Iowa team. UGA in an off year beats their ass! LMAO at you losers!!! WE OWN THIS STATE!

    What??

    June 16th, 2010
    8:17 pm

    Spike

    Are you UGA??

    If not, go away, now!

    Hmmmmmmmm!

    June 16th, 2010
    8:20 pm

    the real dream is that who ever they recruit would finally stay out of trouble.

    Thus…….The Dream Team

    wiley

    June 16th, 2010
    8:23 pm

    I’m indifferent for once.

    Spike

    June 16th, 2010
    8:26 pm

    What?? It seemed perfect for you. Yes, you boob, I see that each school has a pitch. All I am saying is we need to start winning big games more than we have lately. Have you seen any of the Gator games the last twenty years? How abou the last two years? And if this dream team doesn’t manage to get it done in the next couple of years, all this talk will make us look really stupid.

    Pacer

    June 16th, 2010
    8:27 pm

    Really critical that your core leaders/players (Green/Pollack) are from the state of Georgia.

    this year, Aaron Murray, from Florida, having a passion for Georgia? Don’t see it.

    DJ & Green were both from the state of Georgia.

    Hersel Walker grew up in Georgia.

    Johnny DangerDawg

    June 16th, 2010
    8:28 pm

    The “Dream Team” is a silly gimmick, yes. But there are a few players out there who will be swayed by gimmicks. There’s more than one school with great facilities, a great fan base, and the possibility of championships. So sometimes a stupid gimmick is the deciding factor. Look, we all saw how Lane Kiffin’s trash-talking comments grabbed lots of media attention and, ultimately, helped him get some big names to commit to Tennessee. The “Dream Team” sales pitch is a gimmick too, but it’s not going to pi$$ off other coaches or the SEC commissioner. If even one talented 18-year-old is swayed by this gimmick, it’s worth it.

    Adonisdaking

    June 16th, 2010
    8:33 pm

    Whomever Posted This Article Must Be A UGA Hater Because U Dont See Major Newspapers Bashing Football Programs The Thing Is If It Works To Get ELITE Prospects To Georgia Then Go For It…Its Really A DREAM TEAM Look At All The Talent That Is Brought Up In Georgia and How Many Actually Stay ? I Say Whatever UGA Wants To Use To Get Kids To Stay In-State Use It! The State Of Georgia Is HOUNDED Every Year For Its Prospects and It Hurts Georgia That It Borders The States Of Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee The Biggest Of Our Rivals…If UGA Gets and Keeps Kids In State They Will Win A NC…Eric Berry (UT), Jermain Cunningham (UF), Jabari Davis (UT)….Lorenzo Washington (UA)….Jamal Lewis…(UT)….Greg Reid (FSU)…We Have BEEFED UP Our IN-STATE RECRUITING and ARE GOING AFTER THE BEST ASSISTANTS AVAILABLE AS WELL AS THE BEST RECRUITS…What CMR Has Brought Is A INCREASE IN OUT OF STATE RECRUITS THO…AJ GREEN (SC)…MATTHEW STAFFORD(TX)….
    KNOWSHOWN MORENO (NJ)..MOHAMED MASSAQUOI (NC) MAX JEAN-GILES(MIAMI, FLA)…Just To Name A FEW……

    Dixie Clear

    June 16th, 2010
    8:39 pm

    Doc

    June 16th, 2010
    8:39 pm

    Florida is recruiting a player at ML King and no other SEC school has contacted the player,

    kerryb

    June 16th, 2010
    8:52 pm

    Tech people have a dream too. A dream of being relevant.

    YellerSkeeters are PeterEaters!

    June 16th, 2010
    8:53 pm

    UGA’s DREAM is always going to be a nightmare for the North Ave. Nancy Boys!!

    Johnny DangerDawg

    June 16th, 2010
    8:53 pm

    Pacer,
    Charley Trippi (of Pennsylvanis), Frank Sinkwich (of Pennsylvania), and Richard Seymour (of South Carolina) are examples of guys who gave Georgia everything they had. I’d rather not bash the prima donnas FROM the state of Georgia who cared more about themselves than about the team.
    Would AJ Green be playing harder if he’d stayed in his home state of South Carolina? No, he CHOSE to be a Dawg.

    Pacer

    June 16th, 2010
    8:53 pm

    Rather have a whole team of 3 star Georgia guys who have dreamed of playing for Georgia.

    In basketball, you see some coaches selling the dream team concept, get the best 5 players, start immediatey, then go pro.

    You get a lot of turnover with that approach, and little loyalty. But, you do get the best talent.

    Pacer

    June 16th, 2010
    8:54 pm

    AJ won;t stick around his senior year, watch and see.

    Pacer

    June 16th, 2010
    8:56 pm

    Name 1 QB for Georgia, in the history of Georgia football, who won an SEC Champ[ionship for Georgia, and didn’t play high school football in the state of Georgia.

    None.

    Mays Ride

    June 16th, 2010
    8:58 pm

    I have yet to see a article on brian randolph who just committed to tennesee

    BD

    June 16th, 2010
    9:03 pm

    Dream Team?

    One final desperate try at staying with Florida, Alabama, and LSU.

    Those teams don’t hae to use gimmicks to win.

    DrewDawg

    June 16th, 2010
    9:05 pm

    Enter your comments here

    Johnny DangerDawg

    June 16th, 2010
    9:05 pm

    Pacer,
    Oh and by the way, Herschel Walker, the greatest Dawg of all time, left UGA with a year of eligibility remaining. He also ran track at UGA and competed in karate tournaments on Sundays, despite Vince Dooley’s fear that Herschel might become severely fatigued or injured. Was that because he didn’t care about Georgia football? Or was that because Herschel was constantly in search of the next challenge and wanted to push himself to work as hard as he could to win at the highest level?

    Pacer

    June 16th, 2010
    9:06 pm

    If Richt’s selling a National Championship dream, ain’t nobody buying that, considering his track record at Georgia, no cred there, at all. Bunch of hot air.

    That would be a better one for Urban Meyer to pitch.

    Richt should be selling the LONG TERM dream:
    1)playing in the NFL
    2)winning a lot of games
    3)QB mentoring
    4)Graduation/academics getting ready for post college career back up plan

    Richt’s consistently the best coach in the SEC around in those areas.

    DrewDawg

    June 16th, 2010
    9:07 pm

    These recruits are stupid they don’t understand what the Dream Team means maybe CMR and his staff needs to explain it better b/c there seems to be some confusion!

    Delbert D.

    June 16th, 2010
    9:17 pm

    Pitch it as “Dreamality.” That’ll get ‘em.

    Johnny DangerDawg

    June 16th, 2010
    9:18 pm

    Pacer,
    In the old days, UGA didn’t use true quarterbacks, but Trippi and Sinkwich (both halfbacks) threw the ball and were leaders. Both attended high school in Pennsylvania. If you want to talk about more recent teams, Quincy Carter was from the state of Georgia, and that’s all I need to say about Quincy.
    You say that AJ will leave early, and that’s probably true. But you’re the one who brought up Herschel as the right kind of Dawg, and HERSCHEL BOLTED for the pros.

    Delbert D.

    June 16th, 2010
    9:20 pm

    Zeke Bratkowski?

    Delbert D.

    June 16th, 2010
    9:29 pm

    Wrong again, not Zeke.

    Jonnie 5

    June 16th, 2010
    9:30 pm

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAAH …. Dream Team turns in always mediocre team. Good luck with being irrelavent in football Georgia.

    JoD

    June 16th, 2010
    9:31 pm

    Green is gone this year, aint no question about it.

    Vol1

    June 16th, 2010
    9:38 pm

    Dream Team is appropriate – they’re definitely dreaming!! It’s encouraging to see that not everybody is falling for this stupid line.

    Vol1

    June 16th, 2010
    9:40 pm

    Dream Team is appropriate – they’re definitely dreaming!! It’s encouraging to see that not all their recruiting targets are falling for this stupid line.

    NSWR Eagles

    June 16th, 2010
    9:42 pm

    Look at some Georgia best football player,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_Y9vrxeg3Y