Those of you who’ve read me around college football recruiting time are familiar with my feelings about it. I’ve mostly mocked it — not because I think it’s not important but because the importance is so often overstated
We’ve seen enough in college football to know that it’s less important how highly a player — or entire recruiting class — is ranked by DraftSuperGeek.com than it is what happens to that player when he arrives on campus. Most significant is whether players are coached up, down or not at all.
How many top 10 recruiting classes you think TCU has pulled in the last 100 years? I’ll speculate: zero.
OK, that said, the fortunes of Georgia next season — and, it follows, coach Mark Richt — could swing on the potential recruitment of one player. I know. I’m contradicting myself. But by all accounts, running back Isaiah Crowell of Carver High School in Columbus, Ga., is that special of a player and, most importantly, he plays the right position.
The Dogs need to improve in a lot of areas but mostly they need a running back they can count on from week to week, on and off the field (read: not Caleb King).
What did Marcus Lattimore do for South Carolina this season? What did a guy named Herschel Walker do for Georgia?
Nobody can guarantee Crowell will be in that category as a freshman, but most seem to believe he’s a game-changer. Richt’s issue is he may not have the luxury of time so he needs an immediate-impact player in 2011. Crowell would pair nicely with quarterback Aaron Murray. The expected loss of A.J. Green will hurt the offense but Murray is good enough — his Liberty Bowl performance notwithstanding — that the Dogs should still have a solid passing attack.
Our recruiting monster, Chip Towers, is down in Florida at the high school All-American game at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. Here’s a link to his latest blog about recruits saying they’re not spooked by Georgia’s 6-7 record this year. Here’s an excerpt, which quotes Crowell:
The general consensus among some of the state’s highest-profile college football prospects is that Georgia’s 6-7 record this past season is not necessarily a deal-killer with regard to their recruitment. Most notably, that is the opinion of Carver-Columbus running back Isaiah Crowell. He is generally considered Georgia’s highest-ranked recruit and is, quite clearly, the Bulldogs’ No. 1 target from the Class of 2011.
“Really, I don’t how they’re going to be when I get there,” Crowell said, speaking metaphorically of the possibility of enrolling at UGA before next season. “I try not to think about it like that. One year South Carolina’s down, then Marcus Lattimore went there and the program’s up. So you never know how it will be when you get there. And I feel like I’ll be a difference maker wherever I go.”
Hey, he stole the Lattimore example from me.
For what it’s worth, Georgia’s in a recruiting battle with Alabama and Auburn for Crowell.
So what do you think? Can one player like Crowell make that big of a difference?
This might help you make your decision. It’s a near four-minute highlight video of Crowell from Scout.com, via YouTube. (Sorry, no audio. But you can provide your own screaming.)