UGA’s McGarity not ‘caught up’ in recruiting hoopla

Greg McGarity points out that National Signing Day is just part of the process of turning things around at UGA. (Associated Press)

Greg McGarity points out that National Signing Day is just part of the process of turning things around at UGA. (Associated Press)

I’m not generally a recruitnik, but I’ll admit I’ve gotten a lot more wrapped up in the countdown to National Signing Day this year than in most seasons past.

It’s funny, because only a handful of the incoming freshmen who’ll sign with UGA Wednesday are likely to have a chance to make an immediate impact on the field this coming season. But two of the positions where that’s most likely just happen to be in areas of the game where the Dogs drastically need an upgrade — on the defensive line and in the running game.

So while I’m not one of those fans who subscribe to recruiting services and spend all year fretting or celebrating the utterances of 17- and 18-year-old kids, I’ve been thinking a lot about Mark Richt’s recruiting efforts of late and names like Isaiah Crowell and John Jenkins.

Georgia needs those guys to play right away. And beyond that, after the sorry way the 2010 season ended, Richt’s program needs some positive momentum, and until his team lines up against Boise State at the Georgia Dome, signing day is the only way to get that.

Still, like I said, this year is an exception for me. Generally, I think all the hoopla surrounding National Signing Day is a bit overdone. I’m like UGA athletic director Greg McGarity, who talked with the media, including The Gainesville Times, Monday prior to speaking to the Gainesville Rotary Club.

Asked about “all the hype” surrounding National Signing Day, McGarity said, “I’ve never really gotten caught up in it. You see all these accolades that are awarded to these young men and young women in all sports, so you really have to wait and see how that group does after Year 3 and 4. There’s a lot of things that have to happen to know if they’ve been successful in the classroom and on the field. The true test will come this fall and years down the road in football. It’s really hard to tell because some of your greatest athletes have been those that are the nonpublicized and really, really want to be at an institution and end up developing after a while. It’s kind of hard to know, but it’s the culture here in the South, but I don’t see Stanford, TCU and Boise State at the top of the food chain as far as recruiting goes. So it’s an inexact science to say the least, but something that, obviously, attracts a lot of attention.”

With Richt’s “Dream Team” recruiting campaign seemingly on a roll, McGarity did say, “We like how things have been with our coaches out on the road and we’ll see how things go this Wednesday.” But, he noted, “again, Wednesday is just a part of the process. It’s an important part of the process, but we’ll see how things go in the summer and in the spring before that. We start out the football season with two really tough games with Boise State and South Carolina.”

You’ve heard the arguments on both sides of the recruiting issue. Some folks like to point to the unheralded signees like David Pollack who didn’t sign with a bunch of stars next to their name but went on to become all-Americans. They also like to remind us that some coaches, like Ray Goff, have trouble translating recruiting success into wins on the field. Others point out that most of the time teams that recruit well beat teams that don’t recruit well, and championships tend to be won by teams that do well in the recruiting rankings.

Still, as McGarity said, it’s not an exact science. In a recent ranking of the 29 teams who have made Rivals.com’s Top 50 recruiting classes every year since 2002, the school with the highest average recruiting class rank over the period (USC with 3.7) had the second-best winning percentage. The schools with the second- and third-highest recruiting rankings (Florida with 7.0 and Georgia with 7.3), tied for seventh in winning percentage. Virginia Tech, which tied for 21st place in recruiting classes, had the sixth-best winning percentage. Richt’s string of Top 10 recruiting classes produced a string of Top 10 finishes, but no BCS title and just two SEC championships.

So this year even those of us who generally view National Signing Day skeptically are caught up in Richt’s efforts to sign a dream team, but beyond that, is too much made of the recruiting business? Once you get past the obvious five-star players, do those rankings of high school talent really mean that much?

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

92 comments Add your comment

edumacated

February 1st, 2011
3:21 pm

UGA Fan,

I agree. McGarity can’t make chicken salad out of chicken feathers. He couldn’t fire Richt after only months on the job. Next year will be his benchmark year.

jackson

February 1st, 2011
3:25 pm

Wow… The guy hasn’t even been in the position a full year and you are ripping on him… And we thought the leash on Head Coaches was short. Find someone to blame, find someone to blame… that is all we hear. I hate to say it but every team runs through cycles. Sometimes the stars align to allow you to become a national champion and sometimes they do not. I knocked the program for the lack of a consistent running program. The lack of a desire to move to a read option look. There can be blame put on S&C, O line, O line Coach, OC, HC…. there is plenty of blame to go around but there are some great things going on as well. Here is my take on the stars behind a players name. The more you have, the better off you are. Why, there will be busts just like the busts in the NFL draft. I mean, how can you not see a bust coming from a mile away when you have 2,3,and 4 years of college football to look at? My only point is if you have several 1st rounders, you might have some busts but you might have some dynamic players as well…. AJ was a 5 star stud after all. As for scheduling Boise State… I love it. The SEC is not the ACC and I believe this is once again an opportunity for us to show Boise State we are better than them. We are only a few years removed from dismantling that team. Its a great week for Dawg nation. We have great recruits so far and we can maybe get a few more. I’ll take it. Go Dawgs!

WIN WITH RICHT

February 1st, 2011
3:27 pm

McGarity needs to support Richt all the way. The signing of the Dream Team is the first step on the way back to SEC supremacy.

Mobile Dawg

February 1st, 2011
4:01 pm

I will say it again, wow. The lack of intelligence of many on these blogs is truly amazing. Eric, Joey, Rip, Smith.

“Richt’s program needs some positive momentum, and until his team lines up against Boise State at the Georgia Dome, signing day is the only way to get that.”

Bill, only thing I would truly disagree with you on is your above statement. I honestly think that if we can land a “Ralph Friedgen” or equivalent as an OC, and shift the responsibility of the others as previously mentioned on previous blogs, optimism in Athens could reach the “landslide” proportion.

Bama Mike

February 1st, 2011
4:02 pm

Is it just me or does he resemble Stan Laurel of the old comedy team laurel & Hardy.

Mobile Dawg

February 1st, 2011
4:06 pm

Nah Mike, he’s got the face of a Lawyer from Newnan Georgia some of you might know. I will however keep his name anonymous.

Dawg Fud

February 1st, 2011
4:13 pm

Lots of idiots on this blog.

McGarity plainly stated sevreal months ago that he wanted to observe and digest one complete cycle of football. Pre-season, season, recruiting and Spring practice/game.

He is still putting otgether all of the pieces.

If you guys are so smart why aren’t you an AD somewhere??

Mobile Dawg

February 1st, 2011
4:15 pm

Dawg Fud, these people have no clue what they’re talking about. They just like wasting good oxygen. Anyone with “relevant and knowledgeable” input knows this.

Twitt

February 1st, 2011
4:59 pm

Sure wish McGarity would DO something besides blow hot air. Like getting AJ’s suspension reduced from 4 games, like Sabana’s AD got Darius’ reduced from 4 games to 2.

Hot air McGarity just likes to yap his jaws, don’t never DO nothing, just likes to TALK.

All talk, no do.

Quick Nick

February 1st, 2011
5:03 pm

Really, McGarity should have had a first class facility for these young men to strengthen and condition themselves for football. Working out of mobiles, from what I understand, is not what the other top SEC football programs are doing. My goodness, it’s actually embarrassing how poorly the players were, wish McGarity would have solved this problem last season. Cost Richt a bunch of games.

Quick Nick

February 1st, 2011
5:07 pm

AD McGarity hurt the teams’ sense of confidence and security by trying to act all “tough guy”, and hold back from saying anything good about Mark Richt until the end of the season.

Looks like AD McGarity didn’t learn anything from the 6-7 season, that approach flopped like a big bellied pig in a kiddie pool, but AD McGarity’s still doing it, from the looks of this article.

Some people NEVER learn.

Better Dawgs

February 1st, 2011
5:16 pm

Funny how fans from other schools troll the GREAT UGA. I would never consider spending 1 second reading an article and blogging about another schools program.

cmac

February 1st, 2011
6:05 pm

How many true freshmen come in & make a difference in the SEC (or any conference). All you UGH fans pinning your hopes on 18 year olds “saving” the program better start getting ready for a reality check come September. Just remember that all these great recruits still have to be coached by the same coaches who have taken the program to where it is today!

Sonny

February 1st, 2011
6:32 pm

gREG mCgARITY SAYING YOU HAVE TO WAIT 3 OR 4 YEARS SHOWS ME HE DOESN’T KNOW HOW FOOTBALL HAS CHANGED.

AUBURN GOT CAM AND FAIRLEY FROM JR. COLLEGE, AND IN 1 YEAR, BAM, NATL CHAMPSHIP.

SC GOT LATTIMORE AND WON THE SEC EAST.

GREG MCGARITY SEEMS TO BE LOST IN A BY-GONE ERA.

1eyedJack

February 1st, 2011
6:35 pm

At this time of year recruitin’ is all we got, Bill.

Sonny

February 1st, 2011
6:36 pm

UH, GREG MCGARITY, 1979 UGA WENT 6-7, IN 1980, GOT HESRCHEL WALKER AND WENT 13-0. WAIT 3 OR 4 YEARS? COME ON MAN, LEARN SOME UGA HISTORY IF YOU’RE GONNA BE THE UGA AD.

1 GUY, CAN TAKE YOU FROM 6-7 TO NATIONAL CHAMPION IN 1 SEASON.

Sonny

February 1st, 2011
6:37 pm

LAST TIME I CHECKED, MT CODY HELPED ALABAMA GO FROM 7-6 IN 2007 TO 13-1 IN 2008.

1 GUY CAN TURN THE TIDE IN 1 SEASON.

Sonny

February 1st, 2011
6:38 pm

URBAN MEYER WON 2 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS WITH PERCY HARVIN.

Hedges

February 1st, 2011
6:46 pm

If you look back at recent SEC success, recruiting that 1 special player has made all the difference. It’s usually either a defensive lineman to shut the running game down, or a running quarterback or running back or slot guy to get those running yards. And when you address those three positions, and get it right, it’s instant success the next year. But it’s all about the run, on offense, and defense. That’s the DNA of SEC football. Georgia wasn’t good in either in 2010 but if you plug those holes, 2011 can be really special.

Hedges

February 1st, 2011
6:49 pm

2010- Auburn had #1 rush offense, and #1 rush defense
2009- Alabama had #1 rush defense, and #2 rush offense
2008- Florida had #1 rush offense, and #4 rush defense

BiggdawgK

February 1st, 2011
6:50 pm

It never ceases to amaze me the number of UGA fans on AJC msg boards that seemingly hate the Bulldogs.

I would think these are really fans of other programs if it were not for the fact that someone would have to be a really sad desperate pathetic loser with a life filled with failure to do something like that.

Hedges

February 1st, 2011
6:55 pm

Auburn had the #5 rush offense in the country against WINNING TEAMS.
#6 rush defense against WINNING TEAMS.

UGA?
97th rush offense against WINNING TEAMS
60th rush defense against WINNING TEAMS

AltamahaDawg

February 1st, 2011
6:55 pm

Crowell may not be able to pick up the blitz, but he can sure puts some pressure on the guys ahead of him that can.

Dooley Guy

February 1st, 2011
7:21 pm

Dooley never taught Herschel how to passblock, Dooley was too busy handing the ball off ot Herschel.

ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME

February 1st, 2011
8:02 pm

BE RIGHT BACK WITH SOME RIVETING STATS, ALL IN CAPS.

HS Coach

February 1st, 2011
8:05 pm

My school played against a Lee County wide reciever Named Seay who made and average Lee County QB look like an all american. Can’t cover the kid and he catches everything thrown his way. He will turn heads at Ga. Watch for him in the fall, I think he can’t miss. A great find for Coach Richt.

ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME

February 1st, 2011
8:06 pm

Hedges: Wow, profound. Auburn was 13-0, UGA was 6-7. UGA stunk last year. We knew that. AND THANKS FOR NOT USING ALL CAPS.

bardawg

February 1st, 2011
8:21 pm

All things considered , it is kinda amazing how we hang our hopes on these juveniles to act like grown men ,which we know they won’t. Yet they still keep us glued to our chairs in anticipation . They’re the ones having fun with the process & laughing their A$$es off at the whole thing.

Dawg89

February 1st, 2011
8:34 pm

Recruiting hype is mostly BS. All you got to do is go to rivals and pull down the list for the last few years and see how many top rated guys actually turned into productive football players.

Columbus

February 1st, 2011
8:48 pm

Virginia Tech and schools in weaker conferences can have lower ranked recruiting classes and finish higher due to weaker competition. The same with USC, weak competition. So when you play in the SEC, it is easy to have great recruting classes and finish lower. If USC played in the SEC, it would finish lower than it’s recruiting class most years. Same with Boise State, Stanford Etc. A very important but not addressed point by McGarrity. The level of competition is the primary factor. Great point on Goff having great recruitinbg classes but minimal results. Good job Richt, the next 10 years will be GREAT YEARS! Go Dawgs!

AltamahaDawg

February 1st, 2011
9:13 pm

I liked that Seay kid too. Some folks in here were actually criticising coach for signing him because of the list of schools recruiting him. Talk about grown men buying into hype..they didn’t even bother to read up the guys GHSA accomplishments. Just didn’t see Nick Saban calling him and that was all they needed to know.

gadawgfan0711

February 1st, 2011
9:15 pm

Ask any coach in america and he would rather have the number 1 ranked class instead of the number 20th ranked class. It is very true that a lot of 5* players end up on the bench and 2* players become number 1 picks. But all coaches want the amazing atheletes. No matter what number is put in front of that star, they have to be willing to come in and work hard in the weight room, pratice field, film room, and class room to become great. I like the class richt is putting together this year and can’t wait for the season to start. GO DAWGS!!!

What?

February 1st, 2011
9:41 pm

Eric…McGarity knows what’s going on. If you believe all the recruiting hype, you are the one without a clue.

Dawg Fud…a lot of sense. Altruism to you, too, sir.

woebegong

February 2nd, 2011
6:06 am

I sure hope I am wrong but I am thinking although, Crowell, is a great athelete, from what I have read and seen on videos and TV, and after the game with Calhoun, I am not sure he is going to be a fit for the dream team. The main reason I think is simply, there is no “I” in team, but there is one in attitude and immaturity. For sure, I do not see him coming in and making a difference immediately for any team without maturing and growing up pretty fast.
I sure hope he proves me wrong, but having spent a good portion of my life, training and managing youngsters in the service and civilian jobs, I am afraid this young man, would bring out my caution sign, if he were under my supervision.
Let the negative comments begin!!!!!!
GO DAWGS

Sloan

February 2nd, 2011
7:07 am

Those of you criticizing McGarity’s first year as AD are about as uninformed and ignorant as someone could be. He hasn’t even been on the job for a full year. McGarity didn’t have anything to do with the poor performance of UGA’s football program the past three seasons. That is all on Mark Richt and his staff and his players. Now, I have been a vocal proponent of replacing Richt after this past season and I do think had McGarity been here for the past two or three years that Richt would be gone now. But the dye is cast for next year so we shall see where McGarity leads us after the 2011 season.

UGASlobberknocker

February 2nd, 2011
8:30 am

Bill, While I am just as hot on CMR’s rear as anyone, I dont think it is fair to say he has won “just “2 SEC titles. I wish it had been more. But “just” 2 titles is not to be sneezed at when you consider the prior three coaches had not produced one in 20yrs.

Thugs R Us

February 2nd, 2011
10:03 am

I’ve never understood how anyone – even an alumnus – could support and take pride in UGA’s football team. When you look at their history for the past forty years, how can anyone ignore Jan Kemp and the “remedial studies” scam, the Jim Harrick fiasco, the DUIs in the athletic office, the DUIs and other arrests of players, the #1 party school tag (i.e., the most drunk students), the suspensions and outright dismissals, the Fulmer Cup, and on and on?

As disgraceful and humiliating as it is, I don’t see many alums and fans demanding an end to this sordid activity. It sets UGA apart as the kind of school most people abhor, and it’s become an embarrassment to the whole state of Georgia.

Will it never end? Apparently not while Mark Richt is at UGA. Richt is perhaps the biggest hypocrite in the United States. But even with all the cheating and lawlessness that he ignores, he still can’t win the SEC.

So you’re paying him to be BCS champions, but he can’t even win his SEC division. So why do you pay him millions of dollars a year?

Just asking.

UGA, THE CESSPOOL OF THE SOUTH

LakeHardingDawg

February 2nd, 2011
10:24 am

Our season tickets are behind the Georgia bench. Looking in the bench area, all you see is players in Georgia jerseys who were the best player at their respective high schools. Recuiting is important, but the game is different at the college level. Take a 275 lb. high school lineman, put 30lb’s of bulk on him, and he’s not the same player he was in high school. Some can take the extra weight and muscle, some can’t. Every year the coaches find the players who can take the extra and training and put them on the field, regardless of how many stars they had coming out of high school.

UGADawg83

February 2nd, 2011
11:17 am

Here is how I look at recruiting classes. The stars given a player and the rankings mean nothing. I look at what other schools want that player. If we land a recruit that Auburn, ‘Bama, LSU or Florida wanted that’s impressive. If we land a recruit and our competition was Duke, Wake Forest and Vanderbilt then that is less impressive.

ATLSportsNation!!!

February 2nd, 2011
12:28 pm

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We have team forums for the Falcons, Bulldogs, Hawks, Braves, Yellow Jackets, Thrashers, etc. Please register and post! Be apart of a huge site in the early days of existence. See ya there!

GaDawg

February 2nd, 2011
2:28 pm

Please allow me to reiterate:

RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN THE DAMN BALL!!!!!

Big D Dawg

February 3rd, 2011
12:15 am

the only way to tell how good a recruiting class is = how many wins that class has in the junior and senior years. can someone do that analysis and tell the world where UGA ranks? Or is it already being done?