‘Package deals’ make and break Dogs’ recruiting

Zander and Alec Ogletree both ended up signing with UGA. A package deal? (Jason Getz / AJC)

Zander and Alec Ogletree both ended up signing with UGA. A package deal? (Jason Getz / AJC)

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?

197 comments Add your comment

Are package deals good?

February 16th, 2010
11:15 am

jesse james

February 16th, 2010
11:21 am

Reggie Ball

February 16th, 2010
11:21 am

3rd!!! I mean 4th!!

Gratefuldawghead

February 16th, 2010
11:24 am

Wasn’t MO Mass and Joe Cox a package deal? Nance would have never played QB at Georgia (We are Loaded) and I hope they let him QB at Tennessee against the DAWGS! Maybe Nance’s dad can BUY him a spot! HAHA

TommyP

February 16th, 2010
11:24 am

Can’t make package deals when the lesser player is a QB.

Buddy

February 16th, 2010
11:26 am

Package deals are a real thing. You want to need both players though. We didn’t really need Da Rick;s QB little friend. We did need a great tackler in Alex’s bro. But yeah, sometimes you get a guy to open up a pipeline for the future. Nothing wrong with that.

dawg26

February 16th, 2010
11:28 am

DO it, do whatever it takes to get the guys we need.

Bulldog Bry

February 16th, 2010
11:29 am

Coaches probably knew they couldn’t do anything with Nance, whereas Ogletree shows more promise. Outlaw, too.

How2fish

February 16th, 2010
11:31 am

Bill wasn’t Alex committed to UGA ,months before we offered Zander?

CJJScout

February 16th, 2010
11:35 am

When you have offers to burn, why not?

Buddy

February 16th, 2010
11:39 am

Outlaw has great size and talent and the timing is about right for when Outlaw finished Jr. college for 2 years when the new QB Quez gets here.

Cox and Massoq, Gray & Aaron, Murray and Charles. You’re looking a t a main guy, then another guy on that team impresses you so you offer both. And you figure they work well together so why not?

Dawg Nation

February 16th, 2010
11:44 am

Nobody wants to deal with Nance’s and his dad. Who cares about soft Da’soft Rogers. We only want Real DAWGS!!!!!!!!!

Without-a-clue

February 16th, 2010
11:53 am

Package deals can be great but Nance was not worth the scholarship it would have taken to keep Rogers.

McDawg

February 16th, 2010
11:57 am

i don’t believe the Murray/Charles analogy works here

Brewdawg

February 16th, 2010
12:01 pm

I wonder what kind of new car the Nance family bought for poor little Da’Rick

dixiedawg

February 16th, 2010
12:08 pm

Is there anyone we can get in a package that will bring Ray Drew in 2011?

Dawgs97

February 16th, 2010
12:09 pm

TommyP’s point was an excellent one – harder to offer the “package” deal when the LESSER player is the Quarterback. That’s really the one spot on a roster you can least afford to waste/miss on.

I’m completely ok with a package deal each year if it’s a situation like the Ogletrees – where the 2nd offer (Zander) isn’t a Quarterback and the other brother (Alec) is arguably one of the best safeties in the country,. Alec is so good, there’s a decent chance CTG may get him out there as a true freshman. (especially with some of the departures we had this year).

Dawgs97

February 16th, 2010
12:12 pm

And just to follow up on my point, it does seem that Nash Nance is seen as an average talent, plus, clearly has a Craig James-like dad to deal with. No thanks when the son is no more than an average QB.

I’m also not all that heartbroken about Da’Rick Rogers – seems a “me first” kinda player, big mouth, not the AJ Green type who’s much better and lets his talent do the talking, plus, we really do have a lot of talent back at receiver this year, especially with Kris Durham back healthy and joining Green, Wooten, Marlon Brown et all.

And we have two BEASTS at tight end in Aron White and Orson Charles who are as athletic as most receivers – they both look like mini Antonio Gates/Visanthe Schiancoe’s out there.

GeoffDawg

February 16th, 2010
12:14 pm

They absolutely did the right thing in not offering Nance. Would’ve been a total waste of a scholly to let him ride the pine for four years knowing upfront that it’s unlikely he could compete for a starting position. With other players, you can afford to do that occassionally because even if they don’t work out as intended, they can still be plugged in for depth or moved around (o-line to d-line, TE to LB, etc.)or put on special teams to help them contribute. Logan Gray’s punt returning not withstanding, most QBs aren’t going to do much but run scout team plays if they can’t hack it as the #1 or #2 guy.

ComplyDawg

February 16th, 2010
12:16 pm

DaRick will not qualify even if he passes the ACT or SAT the NCAA clearinghouse is looking into his the validity of his grades. His teachers were handpicked (both at Darlington & Calhoun) because they were DaRick friendly & his course work was not always the same as his classmates. He may not even graduated because of this! The GHSA is looking at it too & could force both schools to forfeit games he played in. All that on top of the Mike Nance mess which the NCAA infractions committee & GHSA are looking into as well. All in all it worked out for UGA we don’t need DaMe & all the illegalness that comes with him. To me what hurt UGA more was losing out on Green & not even recruiting Ambles. Since DaRick was going to be a Juco anyway (with part of UGA’s the thought he could get away from the Nances & all the other stuff would have time to shake out) they replaced him with Outlaw. He has potential without all the aforementioned baggage & is related to a QB worthy of a package deal!

Old Dawg

February 16th, 2010
12:17 pm

I don’t mind package deals, if they’re for players a team really needs. The Mo Mass-Joe Cox thing worked well (as far as getting a great receiver) and the Ogletree twins are a good bet, or as good as any two recruits can be. As for Nance and Rogers, I not so sure. Rogers is reportedly struggling to get into school and Nance’s father is reportedly a typical little league parent. So there are some negative aspects to that package deal.

Also, the QB the Dawgs did sign in the class had an amazing senior year and Bobo liked his work in camp.

Like any recruiting issue, there are more factors to ponder than just the one player the staff really wants. And with limited scholarships, who can take too many chances?

Kluless

February 16th, 2010
12:20 pm

I am unemployed and sit in computers at libraries all day.

That’s why I have time to write these long posts, which nobody reads.

I am a loser.

Typing makes me feel productive as opoosed to working or applying for a job.

Truthfully, I am afraid Florida

will get killed in 2010 and

Meyer will quit this season or next,

and the offense will get worse again,

and new coaches won;’t help the defense,

and the new recruits won’t hel;p the 11 starters.

have nice day

Dr Griff

February 16th, 2010
12:20 pm

I thought the offer to Zander only was made after Jeff Luc signed with FSU, leaving us in need of a middle linebacker. He did have a good season for Newnan on both sides of the ball, and I’m curious to see how Grantham uses him since he has the stature of Zach Thomas who played a season with the Cowboys.

trackdawg

February 16th, 2010
12:39 pm

Dr Giff you are exactly right.
Has anyone seen Outlaw play? The guy can play some football.

Magic Man

February 16th, 2010
12:43 pm

I think the case of offering Zander was a smart one. I don’t necessarily think it was a “package deal.” Zander proved over the course of a season to be a pretty good football player in his own right. However, he wasn’t highly rated due to his size (5′9″) and speed (?). But, he has the chance to be a solid ILB in the 3-4, which is a need, or help out at FB, which is also a need. I don’t think UGA would have offered him if they didn’t end up with extra spots, due to defections (Butler, Robey, Rogers, and Rogers) and the unlikelihood of getting high-profile guys (Green and Boone). Did the fact that a Zander offer might shore up any doubts of Alec play into the offer? Sure. But, I don’t think it was the only reason.

As far as offering guys who don’t really belong in your program (i.e. Nance) to shore up five-star guys (i.e. Rogers), I think it is easier for other schools besides UGA to do so. Bama runs kids off every year so they can bring in fresh talent to replace the talent that they improperly evaluated. Florida, Ole Miss, Tennessee, and others do the same. UGA honors any and all scholarships. We never ask (tell) guys to transfer who will never play (i.e. Saban).

Tennessee has the luxury of offering Nance and turning Rogers. Then, when Nance doesn’t see the field after three years, they will encourage (force) him to transfer and use his scholarship on a blue-chip recruit. UGA doesn’t do that. Maybe they should, I don’t know.

Football Ken

February 16th, 2010
1:21 pm

I wish everbody would quit “hatin’ on Zander. This kid’s a player and UGA got a steal, he is more sound as a football player than Alec, ask the people around Newnan and the teams they played. The Dawgs will not regret this decision.

MoDawg

February 16th, 2010
1:21 pm

Let’s see….UT had 4 (not counting Crompton) QBs on the roster last year and signed 3 more in this class. That’s 7 QBs on their roster. You do the math. Nance was only offered to get Da’Rick. That’s a package deal. Alexander was offered months after his brother had committed. Was Alec waivering and the Dawgs offered his brother to shore that up, or did they see something on film that showed them that “Zander” could come in and help in an area of need? UT’s was definitely a package deal, UGA’s was not so cut and dried, but may have been.

In any event, I wish them all the best. One thing is or sure, UT has a plethora of QBs to choose from now. Why would anyone need 7 QBs on the roster? UGA will have 5 this year, consider that Hutson may redshirt that makes 4 active with 3 actually being in contention for the starting job.

Grandad

February 16th, 2010
1:28 pm

Zander will contribute this yr. Also Tree was coming anyway, no matter what! Also, Zander is gonna move to fb where there is a need after this year. If I remember correctly, Pollock was recruited as a fb.
After saying all this; the Dawgs didn’t need any part of the Nance debacle.

bank walker

February 16th, 2010
1:28 pm

Alex committed months before his brother was offered. Nancy was offered to get darick, end of story. Poor kid, tennesissee made Nancy look cheap, by using him to get darick, and I don’t even think nancy has a clue that they did it.

bank walker

February 16th, 2010
1:29 pm

Also, Zander had a few good scholly offers such as FSU etc..

Saint Richt

February 16th, 2010
1:38 pm

Nice picture of the “package deal” Ogletree twins with one grabbing his package.

Dale

February 16th, 2010
1:41 pm

Dawg97 – that’s precisely what came to mind: Craig James. Thought these kids couldn’t have agents.

AceDawg

February 16th, 2010
1:43 pm

Could be good could be bad. A program like UGA wouldn’t kill its recruiting depth to offer friends/relatives of top targets unless they had potential as well. Yeah I believe package deals happen and affect the decision-making, but a team will only do it if it thinks it to be worthwhile.

DawgFan24

February 16th, 2010
1:45 pm

Package deals are absolutely worth it. I realize this is a team sport, but there is no denying the immediate impact one standout player can make on a season (i.e. David Pollack, AJ Green, Herschel). It’s worth taking the risk to land that special player, plus the lesser known part of the package still has a good chance to develop into something nice as well!

BigNewt

February 16th, 2010
1:47 pm

Marshall will never sign with Georgia. FSU has had their hook in him for a couple of years. Granted Outlaw/Marshall are related, but that will not be a factor since Outlaw will attend JC. Outlaw could be one of those sleeper players if he can maintain the grade.

patrick M Sulley

February 16th, 2010
1:50 pm

kluless……….your name fits. Some people actually have office jobs and have plenty of time in a recession to post long winded comments. They also have plenty of time to flirt with other office personnel. They have time to email friends, they have time to google stats, they have time to play on facebook, they have time to start a fantasy league, they have time to do just about anything they want to do that does not require them to get up from their desk.

Now looking at how stupid you sound saying things that you know nothing about… I have a suggestion. Dont like what you read??? Dont log on.

Dumb & Obese

February 16th, 2010
1:51 pm

Supersize dat package!

ugaaccountant

February 16th, 2010
1:52 pm

Zander – He could easily see the field as a true freshman. He’s a legit player in his own right, he just didn’t have the size that Recruiting sites love. But he’s ready today to be a contributor as a backup LB. Fact is, if his brother wasn’t Alec I’d still want him. He was a really productive player and made a good team better. Perfect depth guy for our 4 lb positions.

Outlaw – When this news came out, it made perfect sense before I even heard about Marshall. We had an extra scholarship at WR, there was a guy with great potential that wasn’t eligible yet. So put him in Juco for 2 years and if he lives up to the character/work ethic requirements to get through school, you figure he’ll be improving as a player as well. Low risk, high reward signing mentioning nothing of Marshall. At the absolute worst, he would be a tall target to throw to a few times a year for 3 years.

Nance – Dead Scholarship for 5 years. Plus his dad is a character issue, which may or may not reflect the same in Rogers and/or Nance.

Cox/Mass, Murray/Charles, White/Gray – none of these were true package deals. Every one was a legit recruit for us regardless of the other. It was reasonably hard to tell in HS which one would wind up better of each pair.

patrick M Sulley

February 16th, 2010
1:53 pm

The reason UGA didnt buy into that package deal for Da’rick is probably because of his showing against real competition in the championship/playoff game. If memory serves me correct he was shut down. His success came against 1a schools with farmer john covering him. He just was not worth it.

ThomsonDawg

February 16th, 2010
1:59 pm

UGA has learned from the mistake they made a few years ago with the Brinley brothers from Thomson.

Tech

February 16th, 2010
1:59 pm

Nance is one or the worst Div II Qb prospects I have seen. Oh sorry I know he went to a Div I school. He doesn’t have the arm strength. He is some what retarted, and probaly should have decided to stay home to learn the carpet business!

ThomsonDawg

February 16th, 2010
1:59 pm

UGA has learned from the mistake they made a few years ago with the Brinkley brothers from Thomson.

Duck a Fawg

February 16th, 2010
2:03 pm

ugaaccountant…amazing…you prove once again that a fan of any team can justify anything …you would have been the first to criticize FL or GT

kauai dawg

February 16th, 2010
2:05 pm

I saw Mr. Zander in a few games on line. He was like a clone of an undersized backer we just lost to the NFL. Mr. Rennie Curran and that worked out well. I think it was a great idea to offer the little guy and you call it what you will. Glad they are both DAWGS!

I am glad the Nancy/Da Mess dating scene is headed to bring down Rocky Top. Just wish ole kiffie would have hung around. Not the same with a Dooley at the helm. Go DAWGS!

Vick=Dog killing thug

February 16th, 2010
2:08 pm

The brothers tree will both pan out for my dawgs.. I just got that good feeling

hammerhead

February 16th, 2010
2:20 pm

The Nash Nance situation went to hell when Georgia offered Hutson Mason. Until then, Richt had kept his word not to offer a QB in 2010… That move PO’d the Nance’s and UT stepped in and did exactly what we would’ve done in the same situation. Offer a package deal. Nance will work with the scout team and keep the team overall GPA up, while Rogers makes all SEC and ends up a millionaire.

Bright Idea

February 16th, 2010
2:20 pm

I’ll bet little Ogletree makes a bunch of tackles covering punts and kickoffs if he never starts a game at LBer.

Coach Johnsons Paul

February 16th, 2010
2:22 pm

“Package Deals” this is nothing new. Logan Gray and Aaron White could qualify. UGA promised a little known RB out of Johnson County so they could get his older sister to run track. Men’s BB gave a guy named Dominique a scholly so they could get his nephew Gerald years later.
I for one would love a “package Deal” whereby Schultz and Bradley were sent to Siberia for Boris and Ivan!!!

Darlington Fan

February 16th, 2010
2:26 pm

Why does UGA owe any answer/permission to sign a QB from a kid/Dad that wasn’t, for good reason, on their radar. Are the Nances delusional or just that arrogant that UGA had to OK it with them to make an offer to a QB? If that is how UGA works, then they would be making hundreds of calls before they made it far enough down the list to call Nance.

If Da’Rick’s Sugar Daddy’s son was 5-2 120lb left tackle, UT would have made that offer as well and had as much success as they will get from Nance

BG

February 16th, 2010
2:26 pm

Nance sucks !!!!!!!