Georgia recruiting: Waiting on Isaiah Crowell (and normalcy)

The future of mankind tilts one way or the other, depending on if Isaiah Crowell plays for Georgia or Alabama. Or so it seems. (Jason Getz/AJC)

Georgia is a slight betting favorite (unofficial odds) to land running back Isaiah Crowell over Alabama. (Jason Getz)

In the interest of full disclosure, two weeks ago I set up a search column on Twitter via  my Tweetdeck to keep up on Internet rumors about where a certain high school football player might go to college. And I had I known almost 30 years ago that I would ever type that string of words, I would’ve told my father, “Yes, pops. I would love to sell insurance.”

Thursday is my favorite day of the year. That’s because it’s the day after national letter of intent day, when the creepiness of grown adults — OK, some not so grown — consumed with where 18-year-olds go to school moves back into the shadows.

I get why recruiting has grown to ridunkulous proportions. Our obsession with college football has mushroomed. It follows that the feeder system into college football has blown up with it. Technology like Twitter and Facebook just makes it easier to lurk. When it’s

"Why won't he take my calls? I'm Nick Saban!"

"Why won't Clowney take my calls? I'm Nick Saban!" (Jason Getz)

all over, I just want to take a shower.

There was a moment two weeks ago — right about the time I was setting up the search column for Isaiah Crowell — when I started feeling some animosity toward some of these high school players. It wasn’t a jealousy thing at all. It was more the thought of teenagers stringing this out on a public stage and in some cases (like Crowell) waiting until signing day to make an announcement.

Then I read this comment from Jadeveon Clowney, a defensive end from Rock Hill, S.C., and considered by most professional dart-throwers as the nation’s top recruit. Clowney, who still hasn’t made his decision, was remarking on the recruiting process when he said:  “At first, it’s a big thrill when coaches like Nick Saban and Steve Spurrier call. But by the middle of the year, that feeling wore off. Now I just let the calls go to voice mail.”

Once I stopped laughing over the thought of a groveling Nick Saban leaving a voice mail, I thought: Why wouldn’t these kids milk this for all its worth? The fawning is so extreme and protracted, it would be difficult for anybody to be immune — let alone a teenager.

But to Georgia fans, I’m going to ask you anyway: Are you irritated that Crowell, who’s possibly the biggest key to this recruiting class, has not announced his decision? Logic says he has made up his mind. Does he need to hold a 1:30 p.m. news conference on ESPNU at a Columbus community center on signing day — five to six hours after Georgia will announce most of its class? Just asking.

For what it’s worth, I’ve unofficially set the odds: Georgia is a 3-2 favorite over Alabama.

While you ponder the question, here’s the plan Wednesday:

Chip Towers and Michael Carvell will be blogging from recruiting central. At the end of the day, the rest of us will scoop up their ashes and donate them to the Smithsonian.

Tim Tucker and I will be in Athens. I will be Tweeting the names of the confirmed Bulldogs recruits as they become available. Georgia will only release them as it receives the signed letters, but here’s a link to the verbal commitments. If you follow me on Twitter at @JeffSchultzAJC, I’ll Tweet the confirmations. We’ll also get them posted as quickly as possible.

Via Chip’s blog, two of Georgia’s recruits will not be signing right away: As always, the grand majority of recruits will be signing with their respective schools tomorrow, and most will have done so by noon. But not everybody. Mitchell County wide receiver Justin Scott-Wesley is waiting until Thursday evening at 5:30 p.m. Nose guard John Jenkins of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College won’t sign until 1 p.m. Saturday so he can return home to Meriden, Conn., to be with his family at Maloney High School.

♦ In the morning, I’ll post a column on Georgia’s recruiting class and how coach Mark Richt still has his most important mission ahead: getting recruits to live up to their “stars.” That column will be updated later in the day after Crowell’s announcement and comments from Richt.

♦ I probably also will post a separate blog when Crowell makes his announcement. He’d be Georgia’s most important recruit because he can make an immediate impact at running back.

That’s it for now. The Georgia column will be posted next, unless word leaks out on Crowell’s decision or something less important, like world peace.

By Jeff Schultz

Earlier posts

As Braves get started, Fredi Gonzalez looks like Cox 2.0

Arthur Blank still hasn’t recovered from Falcons’ playoff exit

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

273 comments Add your comment

Herschel Talker

February 1st, 2011
3:47 pm

Schultzie:

This Dream Team will be a huge thing for our new coach in 2012.

HT

jarvis

February 1st, 2011
3:51 pm

I don’t care what these kids do as long as they are respectful. Throwing a hat in the trash or on the floor is a bit much, and I think their parents should put a stop to that crap.

Aside from that, if they want their 15 minutes, let them have it. For many of them, this recruiting process will be the highlight of their entire lives. Why spoil it for them?

npgator

February 1st, 2011
3:55 pm

Won’t help in 2012 because that is the year that Gators will win it all again!

Fish Bisch

February 1st, 2011
3:57 pm

You’re right.

MJ

February 1st, 2011
3:57 pm

two of Georgia’s recruits will not be signing right away: As always, the grand majority of recruits will be signing with their respective schools tomorrow, and most will have done so by noon. But not everybody. Mitchell County wide receiver Justin Scott-Wesley is waiting until Thursday evening at 5:30 p.m. Nose guard John Jenkins of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College won’t sign until 1 p.m. Saturday
Do you know something we don’t about Jenkins

Paul H

February 1st, 2011
3:59 pm

When I was in high school I would’ve soaked it all up, too if I was given the platform.

A lot of these guys know that the hooplah ends once they declare their decision, then it’s time to work. Milk it while they can.

Hankie Aron

February 1st, 2011
4:01 pm

HT are you a Dawg fan or not? Last I checked 2011 hasn’t been played yet and Mark Richt is rumored to be coaching the football team as of 2011

Hankie Aron

February 1st, 2011
4:02 pm

Or at least that’s what Greg Mcgarity is saying

Pepe

February 1st, 2011
4:03 pm

Looking forward to seeing how these players pan out…does anyone ever rate these classes 3-5 years down the road?

Joe Mayo

February 1st, 2011
4:04 pm

Jeff, you should put out a schedule of blogs all the time. The other writers should as well.

tonyb

February 1st, 2011
4:04 pm

Its all set up for him at UGA. He would have an immediate impact, and would be viewed by many as a savior type player for the program.

Of course, according to his mother he would be selling out to the Devil. And we all know what a devil Mark Richt is, right?

GO DAWGS

Herschel Talker

February 1st, 2011
4:04 pm

Hankie Aron:

Unfortunately Richt will be our coach in 2011, but the night is darkest just before the dawn, and he will leave our team loaded for our next coach in 2012.

HT

jarvis

February 1st, 2011
4:05 pm

Pepe, there is an article on how the 2007 class is doing on ESPNU.com.

hmmmmm......

February 1st, 2011
4:05 pm

Is Scott-Wesley waiting till thursday a bad thing? Any chance he ends up somewhere else?

I-DOG

February 1st, 2011
4:06 pm

I am encouraged that we are putting together a top notch recruiting class. There hasn’t been a lot of good news in Athens since the start of Spring practice about the Dawgs.

It would be great to get Crowell, but he MAY OR MAY not have all that much impact this coming season or ever. He might end up being more like Sanks or King, both just as highly recruited or he could be more like Moreno or Hearst. Even if in the latter category, he could tweak an ankle during the early part of Fall practice and not get the practice time he needs to play early and could redshirt. Again, better to get him than not to.

What do I call it if we get Crowell and Jenkins and everyone else that verbally committed? A good start… but that is all it is.

LADawg

February 1st, 2011
4:06 pm

Can’t wait for the season to begin. I was frustrated with this last season but am excited with the prospects of next season.

Preston

February 1st, 2011
4:07 pm

MJ, if he knew, he’d be writing about it and UGA’s recruiting ranking would be top 3 by now.

Mountain Dawg

February 1st, 2011
4:07 pm

Bring it on! Woof Woof !!

astrouga

February 1st, 2011
4:07 pm

Let these kids enjoy the spotlight. Many of them won’t play many downs in college and most will never play beyond this level.

Dawg_Mike

February 1st, 2011
4:07 pm

These recruits are all fine and good but first show us the good grades necessary to get into school and then stay there. Then show us the discipline to stay out of trouble. Then show us the results on the field.
Long way to go………..

Jamaica Dawg

February 1st, 2011
4:07 pm

Maximum respect is due to the recruits that did not wait until the last minute, it speaks volumes about their character. The AJC should do more coverage on the ones already in the bag and not just the big ones to come.

Hankie Aron

February 1st, 2011
4:07 pm

HT- I am intrigued by your comments. Would you rather see Mark Richt and UGA win the SEC Championship in 2011 or go 8-5 and Mark Richt fired for that 2012 coach you keep talking about to take over?

Dawg_Mike

February 1st, 2011
4:08 pm

Oh, and NO RED SHIRTING of the Dream team. If any of them get red shirted Mcgarity should drop the hammer right then and there. WIN NOW !!!

Mike

February 1st, 2011
4:09 pm

Talk to me in 3 years. A 17 year old kid taking on a 21 year old man seperates most. The playing field in high school is so uneven it is hard to judge. Carver Columbus did not see equal competition unitl the playoffs where they were handed their hat and Crowell was a non factor. The pressure that is placed on the kids unreal.

Bug Zapper

February 1st, 2011
4:11 pm

Hmmmmmm…….Scott-Wesley is waiting to sign because his mother won’t be in town to sign with him until then……Logisic issues…..He’s safe

PTC DAWG

February 1st, 2011
4:12 pm

We gave the kids a platform, and now some are peeved about it. They can’t win.

Larry

February 1st, 2011
4:12 pm

These are high school students, nearly all of whom have their education paid for through county property taxes. So why are they being allowed to be out of class in January to call a press conference in the middle of the day? Can’t these formal announcements wait until after school ends? Is 3:00 pm to difficult to wait for?

Perhaps our county school superintendents, high school principals–and PARENTS–could step in and hold these guys to the same rules and standards required of the other students…you know, more focus on education over a press conference in the middle of the school day?

82Dawg

February 1st, 2011
4:13 pm

Herschel Talker…keep dreaming on the coaching change…not happening anytime soon. Now you can go back to your basement with your towel over your head and do your commentary for your self posted youtube videos…

Hankie Aron

February 1st, 2011
4:13 pm

You could very well be right on Richt being fired after next year

Tech Tard

February 1st, 2011
4:16 pm

Shouldn’t you be stirring the pot Jeffie Boy?

Hankie Aron

February 1st, 2011
4:17 pm

I’m just not sure if a lot of fans are True Dawg Fans or ” I’ll be happy when Mark Richt gets fired” fans

I bought aj green's jersey

February 1st, 2011
4:17 pm

It’s that time of year again when all the uga fans get delusional over signing day and the tons of fantastic recruits that come in.

Check back at the end of october when all the preseason hoopla fades and the whining becomes staggering. This happens EVERY single year.

secbama

February 1st, 2011
4:18 pm

Crowell to BAMA….Trent Richardson is counting on you, man!

Hankie Aron

February 1st, 2011
4:18 pm

I’m not dawging anyone, I just want to know their true opinion.

ATL Fan

February 1st, 2011
4:19 pm

What has me irritated (to answer Jeff Schultz’s question) isn’t the time Crowell is taking to announce his plans, it’s the lack of depth at running back that UGA has.
I’m not sold yet on Crowell; still I hope he goes to UGA and hope he’s a great football player on and off the field. Additionally I hope he is good student academically.
Time will tell.

Tampa Dawg

February 1st, 2011
4:19 pm

@Larry

Lighten up Francis. There is no harm in what they are doing. Be more concerned and up in arms about something a little more important.

Tech Tard

February 1st, 2011
4:20 pm

Richt isn’t going anywhere. Do the Dawg Nation a favor and go root for another team.

Bremen Dawg

February 1st, 2011
4:20 pm

Funny about Saban, but if he goes to Alabama, he might be one of those let go of recruits that broke team rules.

Hankie Aron

February 1st, 2011
4:20 pm

Forget it secbama- not happening. You must be blind to believe Crowell is coming to UA

Buckeye

February 1st, 2011
4:21 pm

Looking back to the orignal Olympic Dream Team, it consisted of accomplished ( repeat, accomplished) professional athletes lead by Michael Jordan no less. To liken 20 or so snotty nosed kids to as a “dream team” is silly at best. But, perhaps Herschel can join the class as well. At least he accomplished something.

UGA is a middle of the road program, the posters on this board lives off the coatails of the SEC, was unranked concluding the season at 6-7 and will be unranked heading into their first loss next season against Boise.

Get over yourselves – you aren’t that good. And, unless you are Auburn or Alabama or LSU who have actually accomplished something lately don’t give me any of that SEC crapola.

Ohio State, on the other hand, is a perrenial Top 5 football program who, by the way, also sits atop the NCAA Basketball world at the moment garnering 65 of 65 # 1 votes. Your program, although on the up swing, is last in the SEC East and like your hunkering football counterparts, are also unranked.

1-9. There. No need to remind……

Oh, for the rest of you…..”Fire Mark Richt” and “Bobo has to gogo”. Clever.

ncb34

February 1st, 2011
4:21 pm

just posted this in another blog,
alot of people are putting alot into this football recruiting class, including myself..
anybody know that chris johnson guy? the nfl running back with the 2,000 yard season on his record? he was rated a two star RB, and was recruited by western kentucky, Uconn, and eastern carolina.
and i believe kregg lumpkin was the 2nd highest rated RB IN THE NATION, behind only reggie bush.. just saying, we should know better by now.

Roll Tide

February 1st, 2011
4:22 pm

Crowell is all Crimson White and you mutts will suffer another 6-7 season losing to UCF

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Drew Williams, Jeff Schultz. Jeff Schultz said: Posted: Waiting on a decision from Isaiah Crowell (and a return to normalcy). #UGA #Dawgs #recruiting http://bit.ly/eTo68G [...]

Hankie Aron

February 1st, 2011
4:23 pm

Look up any recruiting site and NOBODY says Crowell goes to UA. Also look up Quintavious Harrow (Crowell’s best friend since kindergarten) and find out where he is going

Hankie Aron

February 1st, 2011
4:25 pm

Money where your mouth is Roll Tide or does it stay on your garbage posts only?

Tech Stinger

February 1st, 2011
4:25 pm

I hope Crowell stays away from the convict factory in athens

roll tide

February 1st, 2011
4:26 pm

is a moron. if crowell signs with Bama i will be shocked. Why go to bama and compete vs 2 other 5 star RBs when you can go to UGA and get more touches

Roll Tide

February 1st, 2011
4:28 pm

Why go to UGA and lose to teams like UCF and always lose to Florida when you can compete against real teams in the SEC West

Hankie Aron

February 1st, 2011
4:29 pm

Enter intelligent comments here only

Hankie Aron

February 1st, 2011
4:30 pm

Roll- you are on this blog why?