Mark Richt’s Dream Team a major victory for UGA

John Jenkins will be a Dog! (File)

John Jenkins will be a Dog! (File)

It’s been a roller-coaster week in the Bulldog Nation.

From the still exhilarating high of Isaiah Crowell topping off a terrific National Signing Day for the Dogs (good work, Mike Bobo!), we dipped down with the unexpected departure of inside linebackers coach Warren Belin (apparently prompting a reshuffling of the defensive staff), plunged a bit with the quick death of another young mascot (R.I.P, Bruce) and then soared again today with the announcement from badly needed nose guard John Jenkins that he’s signing with UGA.

Jenkins may not be as highly rated in terms of stars by his name as some of his brethren in this Bulldogs recruiting class, but at 6-foot-4 and 340 pounds he looks to be one of the key pieces as the lack of a big nose guard who can command two blockers was the central weakness of Todd Grantham’s debut UGA defense.

Yes, it remains to be seen whether all these guys who signed on with the Dogs will pan out, but there’s no way to overemphasize how important this recruiting class was to the psyche of the Bulldog Nation.

It won’t count in the record book, but Wednesday saw the first victory of the season for UGA, and a mighty big one at that. Just a month ago things were looking pretty bleak, as the Dogs had turned in an excruciatingly bad bowl performance, whiffed on a couple of all star recruits and been dumped on verbally by a big-name football alum.

Then the Dream Team thing got back on track with Jay Rome and Malcolm Mitchell and picked up momentum with Ray Drew, and before you knew it the Dogs were a preseason ESPN Top 20 team and fans had something good to hold them over until the revamped team takes the field.

The offseason turnaround is a biggie for Mark Richt because after a losing season that ended in dismal fashion he was starting to lose even his dwindling hard-core supporters in the fan base. Richt and his staff still have to coach ’em up and somehow put an end to the off-field discipline troubles that have plagued the program, and his job likely still will be on the line this fall. But at least the fan base won’t have been damaged by eight months of nonstop moaning.

As the Sporting News’ Dave Curtis put it after Crowell’s signing, “Georgia enjoyed its best football day since its 2008 Sugar Bowl blitzing of Hawaii.”

The glass-half-empty crowd can note such a statement actually is a backhanded indictment of how bad things have been since that Sugar Bowl team finished No. 2 in the country and Georgia entered the next season atop the rankings, only to disappoint.

The rest of us will enjoy the good feeling engendered by the Dream Team and hope that Richt really does prove to be the next Comeback Kid.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

171 comments Add your comment

Gordon

February 5th, 2011
3:34 pm

I haven’t seen UGA fans this excited since just before the Alabama game in 2008.

Gordon

February 5th, 2011
3:35 pm

“Richt and his staff still have to coach ’em up and somehow put an end to the off-field discipline troubles that have plagued the program…”

Minor details.

Steve Superior

February 5th, 2011
3:59 pm

guy needs to hit the weight room and work off the baby fat…. just saying

Ed (The Original)

February 5th, 2011
4:13 pm

Awesome – now let’s find someone who can coach them up. I see big things for UGA beginning in 2012 if we find the right head coach. Hopefully McGarrity will be ready to move aggressively on this after the Tech game. Go Dawgs!

oledawg

February 5th, 2011
4:31 pm

Which is it? Saw his weight at 300 yesterday and days before. Then yesterday saw 340 for first time. Now there is no mention of 300. That’s a big difference in lbs and athleticism.

Since he is JUCO what’s to keep him from joining us now? S&C and training table won’t hurt for this year going into the summer. He won’t lose any elegibility by transfering and he could get acclimated to UGA ahead of fall.

Needless to say, WELCOME JJ!!

YoungDawg

February 5th, 2011
4:32 pm

The Dream Team is a reality now Richt MUST WIN championships again with this class. If he can’t do that then he needs to step aside so we can bring in someone in that can lead us to the promise land! If you’re in the UGA administration & your goal for football is not 100% focus on competing for SEC Championships & NC’s then GET OUT! We have the recruiting base, basic facilities (we need to continue to upgrade & add on to them), support (from the BullDawg Nation) which supplies the money needed to WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS!!! NO MORE EXCUSES! We have everything needed to do what LSU, Bama, FL & Auburn have done! The BullDawg Nation needs to DEMAND that the football program is ran to the level that we support it!!! Finish the Drill with WINS!!! GATA! GO DAWGS!

johnny

February 5th, 2011
4:41 pm

I read JJ will finih this term at MGS and enroll in June.

oledawg

February 5th, 2011
4:44 pm

So much for Fran-the-Pan’s negative comments. He really stepped on his dick in my book. His late-chase-the-recruits-away remarks were ill-timed and ill-advised and shows that a big name has nothing to do with brain size. He and I are the same age, but he never seemed to be a fan after he left. We needed his comments like a hole in the head. Hope he is throuigh commenting on UGA and when Richt puts it all back together I hope he doesn’t show up for the good press.

Thanks for stepping into Richt’s hot seat, hotshot!

Dawg 39

February 5th, 2011
5:03 pm

Sorry Haters but Richt is no longer on the hot seat. Neither Is Bobo. The AD will wait to see how the new 3-4 progresses, how Murray progresses, & how the entire team progresses. They have assured the recruits that no major coaching changes are coming in the immediate future. Recruiting for 2012 is already under way. Now, for me, “It’s Great To Be A Georgia BullDawg”. GATA.

1eyedJack

February 5th, 2011
5:19 pm

Now let’s get ‘em all ready to eat lightning and crap thunder!

tell me again

February 5th, 2011
5:22 pm

Wow – a great top off to this class….went over to the Tech board to see what was happening over there – Geez, talk about recruiting envy – LOL It’s so sad that the Techies can only come back with how hard it is to get into Tech and how much smarter they are and how tough they play us with inferior talent yada yada yada….we’ve had a bit of a bad run the last two years, it’s true…..I think that streak is over…..don’t worry Techies – we WILL see you on the field next year….10 out of 11 anyone?

1eyedJack

February 5th, 2011
5:26 pm

Yeah, Tech is truly miserable. And now they can’t even brag about basketball.

Blackberry Cobbler

February 5th, 2011
5:45 pm

Ok, CMR now has his Dream Team. Let’s see what becomes of it.

UGA and CMR have had much bally-hooed recruiting classes before and have little to show for it.

CMR has his players now. If he and his staff don’t produce some major wins with this bunch, then CMR is toast. Frankly, I think we’re still delaying the inevitable. UGA’s had talent…. it’s not the talent, it’s the development and coaching.

McGarity's Son

February 5th, 2011
5:57 pm

@Blackberry- agreed,

VIningsDAWG

February 5th, 2011
6:05 pm

Too late in semester for Jenkins to join. Also I believe he has to graduate from JUCO.

The Dream Team is great but what would you call Alabama’s and Auburn’s. Both were ranked ahead of ours. I hope this gimmick does not come back and haunt us again.

kerryb

February 5th, 2011
6:10 pm

Why do we always have the sky is falling Dawg fans around?

kerryb

February 5th, 2011
6:12 pm

Bill, you make comments about this being Richts must win season but you have to know that his class gives CMR another 3-4 years. If he has not been successful when this class graduates then he will be gone.

Ga Alum 79

February 5th, 2011
7:29 pm

Please do CMR a favor and STOP comparing him to Bear Bryant…if and/or when his record starts approaching Bear’s, then you can maybe mention them in the same breath…also its 2 different eras, things are much different…

Ricky Grooms

February 5th, 2011
7:50 pm

It’s going to be interesting to see how CMR screws this bunch of recruits up. I can’t wait to find out!!!!!

ugab

February 5th, 2011
8:22 pm

Boise State will be ready this year. This is a very important offseason for MR. Get after it

Clowney-Come on down......

February 5th, 2011
8:22 pm

to Athens. I see where UGA is on your list of possibilities. Any defensive end who has more than 200 tackles and 30+ sacks for their junior and senior seasons……is also needed in Athens to help this ‘Dream Team’ become an ‘Nightmare Team’ for any opponent for the next 3-4 years.

Don’t you want to be part of quite possibly the best team in college football. Come on down……

ugab

February 5th, 2011
8:22 pm

No Swimming! Practice only! This is the SEC!

ugab

February 5th, 2011
8:27 pm

I am not too big on the blackouts, and dream teams. I just want to see the dawgs play hard, smash mouth football. No penalties. A strong running game, good special teams! It has been a long time.

ugab

February 5th, 2011
8:28 pm

There has been so many games that ga just beat theirselves.

Snoop Dawg

February 5th, 2011
8:45 pm

The recruits are in, but Richt is on probation…

bottom line

February 5th, 2011
8:45 pm

Can’t Believe all the Dream Team Talk !

With Richt as Coach developing the Dream Team all I can say is …..

Maybe Dan Mullen will be able to do something after we get rid of Richt’s Sorry A$$

drbasic1

February 5th, 2011
8:55 pm

VERY proud of our 2011 class….living here in Texas I go to A LOT of Texs High School football games, a lot of talent here. I am no guru of recruiting but speaking of the 2012 class. google this young man JONATHAN GRAY (ALEDO TEXAS) and see what a freak he is, has now listed his top 5 schools, OK, TX,Tx Tech, TCU…..I played against H. Walker in HS and was there at UGA during his playing years, so have seen this best…and GRAY does have the makings of another. He led the state in all classes in yards, TDs…..never played more than a half…..amazing young man with a lot of charactor…..what ya’ll think? Check his highlights out and trust me, whole game films are highlights!

kerryb

February 5th, 2011
8:57 pm

What I really hate is fair weather nimrods. Get it through your thick sculls, CMR is not going anywhere for 3-4 years and if then maybe. Now, after four years and if this class doesn’t produce the results that everyone thinks it will then he probably will be. Look at the video of the new Butts-Mehre building. The entrance has Mark Richt wallpapered all over the walls. That doesn’t look like a coach that has one foot out the door.

JB

February 5th, 2011
9:00 pm

I’m excited about this class. They gotta be reeling over at Tech. Paul Johnson just finished year three, and most new hires would have a program on the rise. Tech is anything but that. This year was dismal and this class didn’t have any wow or pop. Let him finish 6-6 or so with wins over the obvious and beat downs by BCS type top 25 teams, and you’ll hear more than grumbling next year on the flats. Great Class for Dawgs though.

Snoop Dawg

February 5th, 2011
9:03 pm

JB, if your litmus test is beating Georgia Tech, then get out of here. Woodward Academy could beat Georgia Tech these days. UGA’s targets are Florida, Alabama, Ohio State, and Texas.

well Mr. Goatman.....

February 5th, 2011
9:13 pm

Can you say …. Jasper Sanks?

Can you say …. Jasper Sanks?

Can you say …. Jasper Sanks?

Mr. SEC

February 5th, 2011
9:34 pm

Snoop Dawg–did you put Richt on probation? You are crazy as hell!
Hey Bottom Line–Learn all of your grammer rules if you are going to call somebody a “Sorry ASS:! Your ass must had been pretty sorry in school!
I have said many times, (and once more for you), you have got to give these guys 2 years, you can not expect and demand anybody to come in and win the SEC east their first year. It would be great if they did; but ya’ll are already calling for Richt’s head before the season starts.
I will trust the university’s evaluations way before yours! There is no way people in their right mind could put much thought in a want to be Probation Officer and a politician; (nobody listens to politicians anyway)!
Get a life!

THE CORK

February 5th, 2011
9:36 pm

I like to call John Jenkins “THE CORK” or “THE BIG CORK” as we sure hope that he plugs all those holes and leaks in the trenches. GO BIG CORK.

P.O.A.J. 365/24/7

February 5th, 2011
9:42 pm

well Mr. Goatman….. : You never really know, do you? But a lot of schools (including yours, whichever it may be) were willing to take the chance. Life involves probabilities, not certainties, sport.

Jed Clampett

February 5th, 2011
10:49 pm

comparing mark richt to The Bear is a bit of a streatch

rightofcenter

February 5th, 2011
11:01 pm

Thanks for the laughs, Georgia fans. Once again, champions of the off-season. Truly pathetic.

OldFan

February 5th, 2011
11:07 pm

All signing this class means is that these players are here and not at some other school. There is absolutely nothing more that can be said. Will any of them make CMR an overnight football genius the way Cam and Fairley did for Chitzik? Right now all CMR has shown is that he’s a very good salesman. Only games played will tell us if he’s the next SEC philosopher-king.

BiggdawgK

February 6th, 2011
12:18 am

What’s the only thing more pathetic than the guy posting hater comments on a rival team’s blog?

The guy having sex with him.

Camden Mark

February 6th, 2011
12:28 am

We need more guys like Fran to stand up and hold our coachs feet to the fire.All this talent means nothing if they don’t get coached up.Richt flops again next season, we need to see some heads roll.
Look foward to seeing you on the field Big John!

Natureboy809

February 6th, 2011
1:17 am

“Georgia enjoyed its best football day since its 2008 Sugar Bowl blitzing of Hawaii.”
The guy who wrote that obviously wasn’t in Atlanta for the 330+ yards of rushing we put on GT.

dogdawg

February 6th, 2011
1:52 am

God i can’t wait for kickoff!!!!!!

bigdsel

February 6th, 2011
7:20 am

look out SEC, here come the DAWGS!!!!!!

collegeballfan

February 6th, 2011
7:51 am

UGA and suppoeters are calling the 2011 class a “dream team”. Per Scout.com the class has 2 Five Star and 11 Four Star recruits plus Jenkins. So lets call him a 5 Star which would give the class 3 Three Star recruits.

But the 2009 class had 4 Five Star and 10 Four Star recruits. That makes the 2009 class slightly better and more of a “dream team”.

Einstein

February 6th, 2011
8:41 am

collegeballfan: This may come as a shock to you, but not all classes or individual prospects turn out as well as hoped. Oh, this applies to your school, too. Better to have the highest rated players than not, and that is a fact. Don’t give me the Boise, TCU, etc. crap. Look at Vanderbilt, Old MS, MS. State, etc., vs. UGA, FL, Bama, Auburn, etc.

Steve Superior

February 6th, 2011
8:55 am

Saint Mark will really be on the hot seat after my chickens brings you mutt fans back to reality in Athens.

Corn Rolls and Bling

February 6th, 2011
9:00 am

Things should get back to normal this summer in Athens. Looks like UGA is primed for another run for the Fulmer Cup.

SickandTired

February 6th, 2011
9:18 am

He’s the key. This noseguard. He’s gonna put Georgia over the top. Mark Richt is a coaching god and Florida has no chance. I just hope to goodness that shipment of lithium gets to Athens before spring practice. There are some delusional people running around Athens.

Paddy

February 6th, 2011
9:32 am

Double D Double….Jenkins will not be in school in time for the spring practice. He must graduate from JC first. I look for him to be seen this summer around Athens. He will be hard too miss.

Jaydawg

February 6th, 2011
9:37 am

This is a great class, but when I come back to reality and remember that this is the same coaching staff that the last 2 years has went .500 overall and less than that in conference with multiple top10 recruiting classes it tempers my enthusiasm.” We saw Cam Newton as a tight end”?THAT IS SCARY!

10 to 6

February 6th, 2011
9:40 am

Just a friendly reminder that our records indicate that your football program is currently 30 years past due. Prompt attention is requested.