You know that recruiting class that Georgia has been lauded for nationally and stirred Bulldog fans into a collective frenzy (or at least as much as that’s possible in February)? The individual getting the most credit is also the Dogs’ most maligned assistant coach: offensive coordinator Mike Bobo.
First, a few thoughts about Bobo: I’ve long believed some of the criticism directed at him has been unjustified. He deserves some credit for Aaron Murray’s rapid development last season. Georgia’s offense has been inconsistent at times. But that may stem less from design than it does having average running backs (no amplification needed), a weak line and the lack of a physical and emotional presence. Remember, too, that Bobo is running the offense that coach Mark Richt wants.
OK, back to the recruiting honors. ESPN and Rivals both have named Bobo one of the top 25 recruiters for 2011. If you’re going to give credence to those gaudy national class rankings — and Georgia was ranked fifth to seventh by most — then the commendations from ESPN and Rivals are noteworthy.
Here’s what Rivals wrote about Bobo in its annual list of the top 25 recruiters:
Georgia pushed to the top five in recruiting this year largely behind the efforts of Bobo, who was credited with many of the top commitments. He landed five-star defensive end Ray Drew as well as four-stars Christian Lemay, Nick Marshall, Malcolm Mitchell, Jay Rome and Justin Scott-Wesley. Bobo had a hand in signing 10 of Georgia’s 26 commitments in what is easily the most important recruiting cycle of his and head coach Mark Richt’s career. Talk about clutch.
The rest of Rivals’ top 25: Recruiter of the year, Frank Wilson (LSU). Others: Tony Alford (Notre Dame), Joe Barry (USC), Tim Beck (Nebraska), Lawrence Dawsey (Florida State), Luke Fickell (Ohio State), Odell Haggins (Florida State), Clint Hurtt (Louisville), Adrian Klemm (SMU), Tosh Lupoi (California), G.A. Mangus (South Carolina), Tee Martin (Kentucky), Jim McElwain (Alabama), Ed Orgeron (USC), Don Pellum (Oregon), Sam Pittman (North Carolina), Anthony Poindexter (Virginia), Robert Prunty (Texas Tech), Joe Rudolph (Wisconsin), Brad Scott (Clemson), Sal Sunseri (Alabama), Trooper Taylor (Auburn), Tommy Thigpen (Auburn), Darrell Wilson (Iowa).
Here’s what ESPN’s Jamie Newberg and Corey Long wrote in their top 25 list:
It was a great year for the Bulldogs in the Peach State, especially in southern Georgia. This is an area very familiar to Bobo, as he played his high school ball in Thomasville, Ga. Rome, Mitchell, Drew, OT Xzavier Ward (Moultrie, Ga./Colquitt) and QB Nick Marshall (Rochelle, Ga./Wilcox County) were all southern Georgia standouts. Bobo was also a key figure for Georgia in landing LeMay from North Carolina.
The rest of ESPN’ top 25: Jarrett Anderson (TCU), Charlie Baggett (Tennessee), Tim Beck (Nebraska), Lawrence Dawsey (Florida State), Luke Fickell (Ohio State), Eddie Gran (Florida State), Tim Horton (Arkansas), Clint Hurtt (Louisville), David Kelly (Central Florida), Tosh Lupoi (California), G.A. Mangus (South Carolina), Chuck Martin (Notre Dame), Derek Mason (Stanford), Ed Orgeron (USC), Don Pellum (Oregon), Sam Pittman (North Carolina), Anthony Poindexter (Virginia), Robert Prunty (Texas Tech), Joe Rudolph (Wisconsin), Jeff Scott (Clemson), Sal Sunseri (Alabama), Trooper Taylor (Auburn), Tommy Thigpen (Auburn), Frank Wilson (LSU).
OK, just throwing it out there: Where do you stand on Bobo, both as a coach and a recruiter?
By Jeff Schultz