Let’s answer some Junkyard Mail …
JerryDawg writes: After all the build-up, I’m getting awfully concerned that Isaiah Crowell is going to be another tailback bust for the Dawgs. I’ve heard and read all kinds of reports that he showed up in Athens with an attitude, skipped some workouts and had to have some of his teammates sit him down and try to get his head on straight. Are you worried, Bill?
I think Mark Richt said it best: “We don’t expect Isaiah to save the program. We don’t expect Isaiah to put the team on his back. We expect Isaiah to learn what to do and to do things the Georgia way and to try to do anything he can to help the team win as a freshman. We’ll see how far that goes.”
As for the rumors, I don’t put that much stock in anonymous reports on the Internet. But more importantly, can we let the kid have his first official practice as a Georgia Bulldog before we start worrying about his attitude or work ethic? That’s one of the downsides of today’s 24/7 media environment: Players are constantly being scrutinized. Can you imagine what it would have been like had the blogosphere and social media existed when Herschel Walker first hit Athens? He didn’t exactly tear it up in preseason practice his freshman year, with Vince Dooley famously fretting that he was concerned No. 34 was going to wind up being just another “big, stiff fullback.” We found out differently once it was for real.
I’m not saying that Crowell will be the next Herschel Walker. Or even the next Knowshon Moreno. Heck, after the past couple of seasons, I’d settle for him being the next Musa Smith.
(And, by the way, if you haven’t yet watched the trailer for the upcoming ESPNU “Storied” documentary on Herschel, check it out. As a friend said, it’ll give you chill bumps.)
Thomas Vaiden writes: Do you know what number Isaiah Crowell will be wearing this season? Thanks. !GO DAWGS!
After the G-Day game, Richt said Crowell will wear No. 1, the same jersey number worn by cornerback (and occasional offensive player) Branden Smith. “We’ve just got to make sure they’re not in the game at the same time,” Richt said.
Garrett Kee writes: Hey Bill, this is Garrett Kee from Columbus, Ga., hope you’re doing well. I just wanted to get your thoughts on the new Nike Pro-Combat uniforms Georgia will be wearing against Boise in the opener. I have seen these combat unis on Florida, Oregon, LSU, Virginia Tech, etc. and have to admit I’m a little worried. They seem to change the uniforms with “radical” color schemes and crazy helmets (look at LSU and Boise). Are you worried that our good ole traditional red jerseys, red helmets and silver britches are going to be altered much? I know I am tired of these uniform “outfits” we have sported the last couple of years and just want to see hard-nosed football being played without worrying how good we look. Yet, I know that we have a pretty big contract with Nike and are almost obliged to do this sooner or later. Go Dawgs!
Garrett, I haven’t been a big fan of Nike’s special uniforms up to now, but I thought the ones they trotted out during bowl season were a slight improvement. I’ve no idea how drastic a reworking it will be, though again we’ve got lots of supposedly insider reports circulating. Take your pick: I’ve heard the helmets will be red. Or silver. Or white with a red stripe. The one thing we do know is that the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game folks say Georgia will be wearing red jerseys and Boise State will be wearing blue. There’s a lot of speculation Georgia might wear red britches as well, but that’s all it is — speculation. Still, it’s only for one game and both teams will be wearing the Pro Combats and the players are excited, so I don’t see any real harm in it. If anything, the uniforms contribute to the feeling of this being a special game.
By the way, Patrick Garbin’s always interesting historical blog has a nice overview of Georgia’s football uniforms.
Ron Sweat writes: DOES ANYONE THINK THAT RECRUITING AT UGA IS HANDLED OR DIRECTED LIKE IT SHOULD? Bill, how do we handle recruiting at UGA? Do we call all the recruits for the next 4 years every day or once a week or month and does an assistant make the call or a coach or [recruiting coordinator Rodney] Garner?
Ron, I gather you aren’t entirely satisfied with the way recruiting is being handled at UGA. Let me say up front, I’m not a recruitnik and don’t follow it that closely until we get closer to signing day. I will admit I was disappointed by some recruiting trends in recent years in Athens (such as the now abandoned reliance on fast but short cornerbacks), but I find it difficult to condemn a recruiting program that could produce this year’s Dream Team.
Anyway, I put your question to our recruiting blogger, Michael Carvell, and here’s what he said: “If they are asking about the quality of UGA’s recruiting efforts, you can only base on it on the finished efforts of last year, which was the ‘Dream Team.’ We’re still a long way from National Signing Day 2012. As far as how recruiting is handled, I’m sure the appropriate UGA coaches call during the NCAA contact periods.”
GET TO KNOW YOUR SEC COACHES
Here’s a fun feature from ESPN in which they put a bunch of questions (not necessarily about football) to the SEC head coaches. Some sound like guys you’d want to hang out with. And then there’s Bobby Petrino.
Got a question for the Junkyard Blawg? Send it to email@example.com.
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