The issue of “package deals” in college football recruiting was raised again in Michael Carvell’s excellent piece about Georgia’s recruiting interest in Wilcox County’s Nick Marshall, the top-rated high school quarterback in the state.
No one at UGA is going to admit that the Dogs gave a last-minute scholarship offer this year to little-known wide receiver Lonnie Outlaw, despite the fact he was short of credits and would have to go to junior college first, simply because he’s related to Marshall. Georgia did, in fact, need another wide receiver in the pipeline, especially after a certain recruit’s defection to Big Orange land. But even if it wasn’t the primary factor in the signing of Outlaw, his blood connection to Marshall no doubt was mentioned.
The wisdom of offering package deals has been debated by recruitniks for a long time, but the discussion seems particularly pertinent to UGA’s situation after UT apparently helped its case for luring Da’Rick Rogers away by also enticing his quarterback best friend, Nash Nance, to switch from Vanderbilt. Georgia originally had told Nash it wasn’t going to sign a QB this year, and then changed its mind and went for Hutson Mason, which reportedly didn’t sit well with the Nance family.
The question raised was a fair one: If Georgia was going to switch course and sign a quaterback, why didn’t they go after Nance to shore up the deal with Rogers? Surely they knew the connection between the two players. And surely, also, they knew UT was sniffing around Rogers, trying to pry him away from UGA.
It’s not as if package deals aren’t offered by Georgia. Just this year, the Dogs signed linebacker Alexander Ogletree, who was not highly sought by other major schools, in the same class as his twin brother, the highly recruited safety Alec Ogletree. Yeah, the Dogs need linebackers, but does it beg belief to think that “Zander” got that scholarship all on his own?
(People also like to point out that Georgia signed the quarterback-receiver tandem of Aaron Murray and Orson Charles out of Florida last year, but since both were highly recruited players, I don’t think that can really be considered a package deal. The Dogs were happy to get either one of them; getting both was gravy.)
Anyway, the appearance, at least, is that the Dogs might have been trying to lure Marshall with the Outlaw signing. Since Marshall has a sophomore half-brother, Quez Mahoganey, and their mother would like to see them play together in college, the package could get even larger down the road.
So what do you think about these package deals? Is it worth spending a scholarship on a player you might not otherwise take — or even, possibly, two scholarships — in order to lock up a potential star you badly want? And did the Dogs’ recruiters just flat-out blow it in not offering Nance?