Big picture needed when it comes to UGA’s recruiting

Richard Samuel's move to linebacker is welcome news. (Georgiadogs.com)

Richard Samuel's move to linebacker is welcome news. (Georgiadogs.com)

Some final thoughts on signing day.

First, you don’t shake up a program by getting rid of nearly half the coaches without expecting some fallout like this. Yes, it would have been great to add some depth at wide receiver and cornerback, but it’s not like the cupboard was exactly bare after those Top 10 recruiting classes Mark Richt has had in recent years. If the Dogs are going to suffer any from this subpar recruiting season, it’ll probably be a year or so down the road. And, who knows, if Richt bounces back in terms of recruiting next year, this hiccup might not matter much at all.

Secondly, this class might not be as impressive on first appearance as Richt’s others, but it’s not too shabby. Had Da’Rick Rogers not bolted, this likely would have been graded a Top 10 class by at least some of the recruiting analysts.

And as has been pointed out by MrSEC and others, if you average those much-hyped star ratings for the players, Georgia’s class actually ranks very nicely. Using Rivals.com’s numbers, with a point assigned for every star, Georgia finishes second in the SEC with an average of 3.68 points per player, behind only Florida’s 3.89.

Does that actually mean anything? Well, probably as much as the star ratings themselves. But those fans looking for a silver lining at least have something to latch onto.

One more point about Da’Rick. You hear a lot of whispers about what really went into his defection and off-field concerns about him, but in the wake of his putting on the orange cap, all that sounds like the same sort of sour grapes that emanated from the other side last year when Marlon Brown pulled a similar 180 and signed with the Dogs. Let’s not stoop to that level. The kid had a change of heart. Leave it at that.

Oh, and the Georgia players promising to make him pay on the playing field ought to have kept such thoughts among themselves. If he burns one of them on a long scoring play, those taunts are going to look pretty silly.

What else can we take from Wednesday? Well, he’s not a signee since he was already on the team, but a lot of fans think the Dogs’ defense got a big addition with the announcement that running back Richard Samuel is switching to linebacker, as had been rumored for months. Samuel, who played LB in high school, will bring a lot of speed to that position, something Georgia needed.

As for Logan Gray deciding to stick at quarterback for spring drills, that’s not really surprising, although I’m in the camp that feels he’s basically delaying the inevitable and probably would be better off if he went ahead and switched positions and got in more work there. Still, there’s something to be said for having at least one quarterback who actually has taken snaps in some games. And there’s always the chance that Gray will rise to the occasion and prove us naysayers wrong.

I wouldn’t lay any money on that, but the competition surely won’t hurt Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger and might prove a plus.

191 comments Add your comment

CvilleDawg

February 4th, 2010
2:10 pm

hey scoundrel, your the one on drugs obviously were gonna be alright at quarterback considering we have running game and a veteran o-line! only reshad jones, atkins, & owens were big losses. Now on the other hand for florida they’ve lost tebow, cooper, pounceys I think ? then haden, dunlap, cunningham, gagator care to add who else florida has lost ?

ga gator

February 4th, 2010
2:22 pm

CvilleDawg, only 1 pouncey, plus they get back the top 08 receiver who was hurt last year, starting left tackle (lost in the first game), plus a starting safety and LB from the 08 team who also were hurt last year. In addition with top 5 recruiting classes the last 4 years they have plenty of depth. Actually I’m not worried at all except for a difficult schedule. I think I would rather replace players from a great defense than replace players from a bad defense. just sayin……….

GMan

February 4th, 2010
2:30 pm

Bill your comment: “First, you don’t shake up a program by getting rid of nearly half the coaches without expecting some fallout like this” is funny considering UF had half of their staff taken away and they secured the #1 recruiting spot. How did they do that and UGA didn’t?

Bob Sacamano

February 4th, 2010
2:39 pm

Anybody who’s ever been in a huddle can see we’re on a downward spiral. Some people just keep drinking the cool-aid.

Diamond Dog's Parole Officer

February 4th, 2010
2:39 pm

Wow, Lake Oconee Dawg must be like Soloman. You know, from the bible. He appears to have all of the answers! CMR, get this guy down to Butts Hair PDQ! Or maybe you can fax/email said proof of inappropriate recruiting to the NCAA. If it turns out to be true, I bet Damon would give you some upper deck tickets (face value) to see the gym dogs and a free zax snax! Holla! Don’t worry about Urban and the boys, we’ve got the rings to go with the recruting title. NC rings baby!

And ToccoaDawg, I seem to remember another player with the heart of a lion. JoeT3. How’d that work out for you?

DawgBuzz

February 4th, 2010
2:45 pm

youwillliethis – Thanks for the results. Seems the 3 star guys are the ones you still hear about these days. The defensive needs were met and the OL got some bulk. Ogletree, Garrison Smith, T.J. Stripling, Brent Benedict and Thornton will all be impact players.

McDawg

February 4th, 2010
2:56 pm

Samuels has blazing speed-i hope that transition works out-another thing is Stripling is going to fit in great w/ the 3-4

the OL is where i thought we could have added another player and perhaps corner but by and large i think we are in good shape-just hope the injury bug doesn’t hit us again

Billy Jack could fight

February 4th, 2010
2:57 pm

Dorsey Hill ….ummm Saban is getting a statue…

McDawg

February 4th, 2010
2:57 pm

Da’rick just wanted to go to school w/ his girl friend Nancy

scoundrel

February 4th, 2010
2:59 pm

McDawg
and penalty bug!

dan

February 4th, 2010
3:07 pm

Bruce Thornton was a running back coming out of LaGrange High School, but he was moved to cornerback and excelled there. I don’t know if I would put Samuel at inside LB, but I can see him doing well as an outside LB. I mean the way I figure is that it can’t get any worse than last year’s production on defense.

UGA Natl Champs 2010 & 2011

February 4th, 2010
3:08 pm

UGA will not lose in 2010 or 2011.

Best Defensive Coordinator, the guy Saban wanted.

Best Offensive Genius, Richt, 28-32 points a game 2007-2009, 10 of 11 starters back, 6 Parade All American starters

Best punter/kicker combo

scoundrel

February 4th, 2010
3:13 pm

UGA Natl Champs 2010 & 2011 and loser to Zook 2 out of 3 years. Did Richt write that for you?

EisenDawg

February 4th, 2010
3:15 pm

GMan, the difference is perception. Florida won the SEC East, won the NC last year, and their coaches left for other jobs that were promotions. UGA, on the other hand, had a disappointing season for the second year in a row, plus they fired their coaches, many of which were the primary recruiters of the ones that left. That, plus a new defensive scheme, was alot to overcome. If we have a good year this year, and I believe we will, everything will be fine.

Florida Dawg

February 4th, 2010
3:26 pm

After looking over where our recruits rank compared to other recruits, let’s just hope recruiting the top rated players is either not important or over-blown.

Nick Rails

February 4th, 2010
3:26 pm

Coaching changes? Didn’t seem to affect USC,UT,UF,FSU, or ND ALL
of whom were ranked ahead of UGA. Why does CMR get a pass on this?

Bernie Matt

February 4th, 2010
3:40 pm

Switching Samuels to LB is bull. The kid should have been left on Offense. At LB he’s only going to rotate with Williams, who was ready to become a star in his own right. If anything they should have moved him to fullback and given the offense more firepower. Hell if Chapas had not been missing all those blocks early in the year, the kid would have looked a lot better than he did. I remember the year after Auburn showed everybody how to use 2 good backs together (Brown and Cadillac), UGA brought back Thomas Brown, Lumpkin and Moreno and all offseason CMR talked about using them together, but never did.
I’m telling ya’ll UGA’s problem is not the Defense, it’s the Offense, but nobody wants to accept that. Wonder who gets the blame next year after another subpar season.

GT51

February 4th, 2010
3:42 pm

uga fans are first class. talking bad about a kid they know nothing about. darlington is a private school that has academic requirements more stringent than many colleges and puts up with absolutely no behavior issues. none. the kid was good enough for uga before. now that he has changed his mind, he is worthless. he’s no different than many of other uga fans that have applauded cmr for yrs and then all of a sudden after a couple of bad yrs, decided that he needs to be fired.

tim

February 4th, 2010
3:43 pm

here’s a FLash from the Gators…new D coordinator leaves for the NFL Bills after 4 weeks on the job…won’t mean squat because Urban will promote from within this time probably Chuck Heater

scoundrel

February 4th, 2010
3:43 pm

Bernie Matt, I agree, the wrong coordinator got fired.

rob

February 4th, 2010
3:44 pm

Funny, everything is ALWAYS spun in the best light for the Dawgs. Every single time, bad news is met with ‘well it’s not THAT bad.’ I, for one, would like some honest journalism.

GT51

February 4th, 2010
3:52 pm

GT fired dc and lost recruiting cd. didn’t affect their class. actually picked up a couple of late recruits. uga always has an excuse. uga defense will be horrible next year. lost 6 starters, 3 from d line.

Mikey in the SAV

February 4th, 2010
4:05 pm

Why did Samuels switch to RB anyway?
Why did the Coaching staff allow it if he was a good LB?

AceDawg

February 4th, 2010
4:11 pm

Not sure about Gray – I had faith he would be good last year. The question is – did he look bad because he had so few snaps? Or did he look bad because he is? Shockley had a number of bad games, mixed with a few good ones, before he got a real shot as a senior.

Gray would be a great candidate for a slot receiver position though, and missing reps would be unfortunate if he is for sure going to lose out in the QB race. His “game experience” is FAR too minimal to matter.

Brucemac

February 4th, 2010
4:14 pm

Scoundrel, Bama started unknown QB, how did that work out? Murray and Mettenburg have been in the program for two years when they start and coaches are very confident. Go spread your pessimism elsewhere please. So you think we will be worse on defense, you are the one on drugs and I don’t want any of them.

scoundrel

February 4th, 2010
4:20 pm

Brucemac, you dont need drugs; you already drink Richts coolaid!

ga gator

February 4th, 2010
4:21 pm

You guys kill me; Richt will be fine and so will UGA.

The Egg Man

February 4th, 2010
4:38 pm

GT51: No, your class wasn’t effected by the loss of a couple of coaches, because it wasn’t that great to start with.

XXXVII

February 4th, 2010
4:40 pm

glad to hear Richard Samual is moving to linebacker. With the 3-4 coming it’ll nice to have some speed out there.

UGAallDway

February 4th, 2010
4:40 pm

‘Stars’ don’t mean everything. Neither do national high school rankings. Granted they give a general view as to what ‘could be’ as far as talent, a player’s collegiate success has TONS to do with their progress and improvement between the high school and collegiate transition. Coaching is also a huge influence to a player’s success. I can’t wait to see what kind of fire Grantham brings to this program.

SOS Dawg

February 4th, 2010
4:45 pm

PLEASE Quit using the excuse of firing coaches hurt UGA in recruiting. What about the musical chairs at Florida and at Tennessee? Boy those two schools didn’t miss a lick now did they. Sugar coat sugar coat sugar coat. The Big picture is a Big Bad perception with relates to fact. Fact is CMR’s record and product on the football field these last few years ain’t too impressive. Yep that includes the 2007 season too because of those two losses which are the blue print of the downward spiral of the football program .CMR was out smarted when it came to the recruitment process by an up and coming new coach and a old hand at….. ahem…. Florida. Wake up people ! The trend has been evident for 4 years now so quit kidding yourself because in two years there will be a lot of fans that are criticizing now will be saying ” I TOLD YA SO “.

John

February 4th, 2010
4:53 pm

Starting Gray? Another one-and-done quarterback that is basically starting because of seniority? How many times do you need to be hit in the head before you move away from the source? Put the BEST quarterback on the field reguardless of class.

Samuel was a RB with a LB mentality, he would run seeking contact. Moreno & Ealey run where the holes are, only seeking contact when needed. A natural RB can sense where the hole will be, before they open. Samuel would simply run up the back of a offensive lineman and fall down.

Bobo is the problem at Georgia, how many 3 and outs (due to bad play-calling)did Bobo have in the big games against Tenn., Ala. and Florida did Georgia have until the defense was too tired to stop anyone? Yes Georgia ran up points against lesser opponents, but how is Bobo playcalling against the Big 3? Georgia has been a field goal kickers
paradise since Bobo has been at Georgia, each year the field goal kicker has lead the team, SEC or the nation in scoring. (Billy Bennett lead nation in scoring, Coutu lead the SEC, now Walsh is on pace to top both) Should’nt we be scoring more touchdowns?

Pass the kool aid

February 4th, 2010
4:58 pm

sos….. you are so right about the excuse about firing the coaches. I mean look what happened at Tennessee and with Urbans flip flop health concerns and losing his defensive coordinator. Those two schools have come out of the gates once again and smell like roses. Plus they have handed UGA’s @ss on a silver platter the last few years

Tom

February 4th, 2010
5:07 pm

Yeah, a big picture is needed (and small words woudn’t hurt).

Funny how Richt and staff were trying all the way up to NSD to sway TECH commits like Morgan Bailey and BJ Bostic.

They tried TWICE to get Bailey before finally giving up and having to settle for Gates on Wednesday.

On the other hand, when TJ Stripling showed up at GT a couple of weeks ago for a visit with his HAND out, he was sent PACKING by CPJ!

Too funny.

jddawg

February 4th, 2010
5:14 pm

Maybe Richt needs to bring these five star prima donna players in by limo greeted by hot looking hostesses. Seems to do the trick at the other schools. Not Richt’s syle. If you don’t bleed red and black then go elsewhere!!

bama

February 4th, 2010
5:26 pm

Georgia is irrelevant in SEC football. get use to it. georgia won’t win until they get rid of richt.

Bama in Atlanta

February 4th, 2010
5:29 pm

As I have mentioned before, don’t get too caught up in the star rating…..two years ago Mark Ingram was a 3-star runningback.

There’s quite a few “5-star” players that think they are better than they actually are. Like my high school football coach used to say “If I could buy him for what he’s worth and sell him for what he thinks he’s worth I could retire today”!

GTFan1

February 4th, 2010
5:53 pm

tim

February 4th, 2010
6:14 pm

ofcourse national signing day is overrated if your school ended up with a…say UGA or GT class. Hey puppies we’ll see how “ovrtrated” the Gators are the next 4 or 10 years because the irrelevent puppies won’t win in Jax in the next decade

Todd

February 4th, 2010
6:24 pm

Your a complete moron if you deny this fact about the outcome of this recruiting class.

Todd Grantham flat out talked in his first presser about “signing kids within a 5 hr. radius of Athens…”

And looked what the hell happened! Take a look at the Ga’s Top 25 and see how many bolted.

It’s not that Da’Rick pulled a switch, it’s Ga and MR and Bobo and his dip sitting around and getting schooled by Tenn. a huge SEC EAst rival.

How can they sit there knowing that Nash Nance needed to be offered to close the deal. Should Richt and Bobo de-committed to Da’Rick and gone after the kld at G;ville High for example?

They flat out got worked this yr. in recruiting and there not even mentioned at the level of Florida, USC, Texas, Alabama….

Little ole boyish Derick Dooley worked them over.

They do have a window of opportunity on the field this Fall. If Richt and Bobo can’t figure out how to beat Tenn and UF in the same season, when in the hell is it ever going to happen?

Does this not make sense Bill?

As a Ga grad and former letterman, MR is a man of character, he also got worked over by Ron Zook.

Not sure what to support in Athens anymore.

Beat UF and Tenn in the same yr. and just see where that gets you Ga!

.

February 4th, 2010
7:06 pm

UGA fired DC Willie M! Now he’s gone from out-house to Big Time OU. Get fired and move up, way to go Willie.

Whats wrong with this picture….maybe it wasn’t Willie’s fault.

IF A FROG HAD WINGS!

February 4th, 2010
7:24 pm

I personally think this is the best class in a long time.
I wanted defense , defense wins championships!

TNBulldog

February 4th, 2010
7:35 pm

Knowsohn was a 4 Star Recruit, Brandon Miller was a 5 star, Clint Boling was a 3 Star, Washaun Ealey 4 Stars, finally anyone remeber Jasper Sanks… Remember these are 17-19 year old high school kids. 5 Stars does not guarentee a championship

GatorNation

February 4th, 2010
7:47 pm

In response to some of the questions on here about Urban Meyer. Sorry, he is not going anywhere soon and will be coaching spring ball after taking a little time off, which he is taking now. He will probably take some time off during the summer as well rather than doing the rubber chicken circuit and be back for various events like “Saturday Night Lights” and of course fall practice in August. You guys like to perpetuate your silly little rumors just like you did with the Notre Dame stuff because you realize in your hearts that that’s the only way you might turn the table on the Gators. I wouldn’t count on it though, even the Zooker had a winning record against the dawgs.

UGA Realist

February 4th, 2010
7:51 pm

UGA sucks, The End

70 Dawg

February 4th, 2010
7:54 pm

I think I figured out why the GT dog haters spend so much time on our
blog. It’s the only way they can feel like they can beat UGA. They
sure as he– can’t do it on the field. Truth is they can’t do it
here either.They continue to try to convince everyone that we are a
program in decline after one rebuilding year. Do you bumbling bees
realize how many programs would love to have 90 wins in 9 years?
Wher’s the Raid or better yet a fly swatter?

GatorNation

February 4th, 2010
8:00 pm

Also love the rationalization on here about recruiting. I don’t know about any other program, but having top recruiting classes has worked very well in Gainesville. The 1996 NC team was made up primarily of senior players from Spurriers #1 recruiting class of 1992, in fact their motto was “we came in #1 and we’re going out #1″. The 2006 NC team was primarily from Ron Zooks #1 rated class of 2003. And the 2008 NC came out of that #2 rated Meyer class that included Tebow and Harvin. Bodes well for the future I would think…

boog

February 4th, 2010
8:13 pm

comparing Marlon to Rogers is a joke. Marlon never committed to anyone when he chose UGA. There was never a defection…get your facts straight before you make such a bold comparison.

UGA Realist

February 4th, 2010
8:17 pm

look at the poster child of your Dumb Puppy Nation in the picture at the top of this blog….that furbucket is your figurehead….wow…of course you are proud….pigs feet and boiled pee nuts, yee haw…cracker morons….whatever….funny thing is, you show your paranoia towards Tech and insecurity about being so stupid ass by ASSuming I’m a Jacket fan…which I am not. I’m just not a fan of hysterical knee jerk lunatic fringe southern stereotypical tool boxes, cause I’m a native Southerner, and I’m prouder than to be a piece of David Allen Coe’s spent jerky, but UGA people….that’s as good as it gets. Woof…wuff…poof, you are a fart in the wind.

dawgish

February 4th, 2010
8:21 pm

Of course the recruiting rankings are no guarantee, but they are a good guide…a 5-star recruit is ten times more likely to become All-American than the average player, and a 4-star recruit is three times more likely. Florida got over twice as many 4-start+ recruits than we did. But one-year isn’t a deal breaker. We had a really good defensive recruiting class and we’ll have some additional scholarships to use next year. As long as next year is a stellar class all will be fine.