Fan talk: Offensive line disappointments, game day rap music, Richt in Texas and more!

David Andrews is one of the offensive linemen returning. (University of Georgia)

David Andrews is one of the offensive linemen returning. (University of Georgia)

Let’s get straight to some of this week’s Junkyard Mail

Albert Brown writes: It’s like the movie “Groundhog Day” with UGA offensive line recruiting. Been that way since Jim Donnan. Bill, no one seems to care. Why does UGA struggle so badly every year? Frustrating. Everyone gets our linemen but UGA. To date we have no one committed and no one calling UGA their leader. Something is very wrong and has been wrong for a long time. When might things change? Problem needs to be addressed or even acknowledged.

Albert, you’re right that the offensive line has been a trouble spot for Richt teams ever since Donnan’s players graduated. Whether it’s a recruiting problem or a development problem is tough to say — probably a bit of both — but the Dogs never seem to have a dominating OL, even when it’s full of veterans. Looking ahead to next season, OL coach Will Friend has several players with experience — Mark Beard, Watts Dantzler, Brandon Kublanow and Kolton Houston — to work with in filling three spots opened up by the departure of Chris Burnette, Kenarious Gates and Dallas Lee, plus a few others looking to earn playing time. And new signees Kendall Baker, Dyshon Sims, Jake Edwards and Isaiah Wynn may eventually get on the field this season, though none is expected to challenge for a starting spot just yet. David “Boss” Andrews is back at center and John Theus, a former five-star recruit, returns at tackle. The amount of experience is good, but, unless someone steps up their game (and Theus and Houston appear to have the most potential to do that), another middling, inconsistent OL is likely. As for next year’s recruiting class, it doesn’t appear to be quite as dire as you indicated. Georgia has a commitment from offensive tackle DeVondre Seymour of Hinds Community College in Mississippi, a former North Gwinnett player who’s the nephew/adopted son of former Bulldog/NFL great Richard Seymour. He’s rated a three- or four-star prospect. UGA’s top offensive line target so far is Chuma Edoga of McEachern, who may wind up as a five-star prospect. He’s currently listing Tennessee as his leader, with UGA and South Carolina second. Georgia also reportedly has made an offer to Matthew Burrell of Hylton, Va., and is going after Kaleb Kim of Mill Creek.

Jim P. writes: Bill, your column about the choice to blast or not to blast recorded music between plays is more of an indictment of how crappy music (?) is today. Is there not any decent rock or pop music that everybody can enjoy? The only choice that seemed to be given was recorded rap crap or the Redcoat Band. You can’t tell me students refuse to listen to any rock music. Or country music. Then again I haven’t heard any consistently good rock music in decades. Maybe there isn’t any today.

Jim, there’s plenty of good music today, but the article didn’t say that only rap should be played; it made the point that UGA is located in a hip-hop hotbed and that particular style of music is very popular with students and players. Rock and pop and country are also all popular with college students. But this is an opportunity for UGA to capitalize on the fact that Atlanta is a big deal in the hip-hop world and has some of the top talents, so why not incorporate that into the Georgia “brand”? As Greg McGarity said this week, there’s no way to please everyone with musical choices, but, as he also pointed out, they’re not pleasing everyone now.

Use of recorded music shouldn't diminish the role of the Redcoat Band. (Bill King)

Use of recorded music shouldn't diminish the role of the Redcoat Band. (Bill King)

Again, I don’t think playing music that students and recent grads like is going to lure them into attending cupcake games or make them want to show up for 12:30 games, but I do think that making the atmosphere inside the stadium more intimidating (as South Carolina has done) could well be helped by playing music that gets the younger patrons in the stadium excited. I also think continuing and improving the amplification of the Redcoats, which finally started later in the season last year, would be a plus. Given a choice between the Redcoats or recorded music, I think even a lot of students would choose the former. I also think the choice of music is more important than the volume, which is a complaint many have had at other stadiums and in the NFL. No matter what music is played, there’s no need to damage people’s hearing.

Brenda Davis writes: Bill, I noticed that on Coach Mark Richt’s spring UGA Day speaking tour put on by the alumni association, he’s going to cities in other states, like Greenville, Orlando and even Houston. Why the out-of-state visits? Does UGA have that many alumni in those cities?

Brenda, UGA does indeed have a lot of alums in those areas, but I think the main reason for the out-of-state visits is recruiting. Such appearances increase the profile of Richt and UGA in those areas and expand the school’s footprint. Mark Slonaker, head of the Bulldog Club, told the Macon Telegraph the decision to go to Houston was made in part because of the SEC’s new reach into that state via Texas A&M. Last year Georgia went to Dallas, where Matt Stafford had provided Georgia with a base of fans. “We’ve got a really good, strong alumni base [in the Houston area],” Slonaker said.

J. Dan Lott writes: Hello, Bill, lately we are reading a lot about the NFL combines and on-campus workouts by football players in preparation for the draft. Sports writers give the impression that the strength, speed, agility, etc. demonstrated by the players at those workouts play a large role in predicting how well they may perform at the pro level. Do Coach Richt and his staff have drills similar to those used at the NFL level when they have high school players on campus for camps and clinics? There seem to be a lot of high school players going under the radar, but excel at the college level.

Mark Richt checks out the players at last year's Dawg Night. (AJC file)

Mark Richt checks out the players at last year's Dawg Night. (AJC file)

Yes, Dan, UGA holds a series of Mark Richt summer camps for high school players, and campers are observed moving quickly from drill to drill, learning techniques from coaches along the way. Also, the coaching staff frequently identifies a prospect they want to pursue through those camps. In fact, the camps are seen as a key recruiting tool. Some players who previously haven’t been on UGA’s radar wind up getting recruited after making an impression at camp. All of this culminates with the Dawg Night Camp, for advanced players who intend on playing at the most competitive level of Division 1 football. Georgia usually picks up several commitments at Dawg Night, which also draws a lot of media coverage. This year’s camps will be held June 3-14.

Got something you want to discuss concerning the Dawgs? Or a question you want the Junkyard Blawg to tackle? Email me at  junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

Find me on Facebook.

Follow me on Twitter.

— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

165 comments Add your comment

Joe

March 1st, 2014
11:11 pm

With mention of UGA summer camps, why is there such a disparity in cost? Football is one of the more dangerous sports and ye one of the cheapest camps.

RED DOG 77

March 2nd, 2014
12:36 am

I am hopeful our lack of big ‘ol good’uns will change in the near future. It would appear we do have a chance in 2015, but you never know……………I suppose that one issue is the only real gripe I have with the Dawgs………..My gosh, the state of Georgia is full of linemen……….and they usually go somewhere else………….GO DAWGS………….RED

Jarvis

March 2nd, 2014
1:16 am

Skint

March 2nd, 2014
1:21 am

I wrote a letter to Donnan in 1997 and wanted to know why we signed an OL that was 6′6 and weighed 230-240lbs whose HS coach said was growing like a weed(not a highly ranked kid). I asked him why we kept recruiting a bunch of Seth’s and Trey’s. He wrote me back and thanked me for my interest in the program. Nothing has changed over the years. It’s called roster balancing, and it comes from the top. Until we recognize that fact, our OL will continue to be mediocre at best. Just look at how many in state guys have gone to other places and have become NFL players.

Thai Dawg

March 2nd, 2014
1:23 am

Bill: You speak of players in Houston via Stafford..lmao..Hes from Dallas area..and Slonaker a bbal player..

kiffin dog

March 2nd, 2014
1:26 am

Im teaching Nick the ropes! I can go to Athens as well.

CaliDawg

March 2nd, 2014
2:21 am

Thai Dawg…you may want to re-read the answer Bill replied to Brenda…slowly.

badmoon

March 2nd, 2014
3:24 am

There was a day , when UGA beat our brainsout in the tenches. We could always count on the offensive and defensie lines being better at Georgia than most teams we played. Not anymore. We get beat in the trenches and rely way too much on 5 star skilled position players to win the game. Richt teams have never had that dominaing lne. They never recruit them for som reason? Was suprised with Theus. Seymore and Stroud were dominators for Donnan. Seems like we have to be more “cute” these days?

gtcaryd

March 2nd, 2014
7:08 am

Might be one of those things that Bowden believed was not so important.

RHall55

March 2nd, 2014
8:06 am

Time to change this “Stinking Thinking”…SC’s OLs and DLs more dominant in the past years..and AU’s…and AL’s…and in previous years FL’s…and their records indicate the importance…Will Friend is under-recruiting in size and #’s of OL…I think Tracy Rocker will make a difference in the DL and getting Garner out of the decision making process in recruiting will pay dividends…now time for CMR to step up his thinking and win a NC…he should that clause in his present contract: TIME TO WIN A NC!! May have to tell Mr Friend: bye, bye!!!

BigDawg

March 2nd, 2014
8:20 am

Fellow Dawgs it does not take a genius to figure out why UGA has had problems recruiting and getting on a consistent basis the Big Uglies. All you have to do is look at Coach Richt’s own comments on the subject and see that he does not place as much importance on that aspect as he does skill players. Personally IMHO success is measured by various measuring sticks but in my opinion the most important of these is winning Championships. Now since I believe that is the most important Georgia has won 2 SEC Titles in the last 13 years which works out to approximately 15% of the time with none since 2005. They won 2 SEC Titles in his first 5 years which works out to 40% of the time. They have played in the SECG 5 times which works out to approximately 39% and won or shared the SEC East 7 times which works out to approximately 54%.

So the opportunity to win the ultimate Championship MNC have been there but the Dawgs always seem to be on the cusp of greatness but then something happens as the 2002 Florida game, South Carolina and Tennessee games in 2007, and Alabama in the SECG of 2012. So until the Dawgs win a National Championship under Coach Richt then you can not say they have achieved greatness in that aspect and in my opinion that won’t happen until Coach Richt and his staff start taking care of all aspects of winning and that starts with bringing in 5 to 7 OL/DL and then only the the “BEST” every year.

Go Dawgs

Bulldawg35

March 2nd, 2014
8:45 am

The left tackle position will be an embarrassment. Their is now we win a title with this OL. So you Kool Aiders better stop thinking about a title in 2014…. It won’t happen!!!!

Bulldawg35

March 2nd, 2014
8:51 am

Our weakness will be

OL
Secondary

QB….

Another 5 loss season is a brewing,

Buzz-Off

March 2nd, 2014
9:20 am

Why are we saying it was a terrible year recruiting OL? According to either Scout or Rivals we recruited 4 “top 20″ offensive linemen. They are: Baker (who can also play DT), Sims, Edwards and Wynn. I agree we need more top 5 linemen, but it was a good class this year.

Original ATLien

March 2nd, 2014
9:22 am

Bulldawg35 = Undercover Techie

SimpleDawg

March 2nd, 2014
9:25 am

I’m glad to hear that the Bulldog Tour is coming to Greenville, SC. Believe me, there are a lot of Dawgs in Upstate SC. Driving around Greenville you see Georgia stickers and tags everywhere.

A lot of us moved up here to escape all of the hassles of living in Atlanta, but are still close enough to return for sporting events, concerts, etc…..

New D CoOrdinator JP and O line Coach WF

March 2nd, 2014
9:27 am

J Pruitt and Will Friend were Alabama roommates. Coach Friend first notified JP of TG’s departure.

Will Friend is going no where. My ONLY hope in recruiting BIG TIME o linemen I that both coaches do collaborate to recruit this weak link on UGA teams. Maybe Pruitt can elevate Friend’s skill set.

Go Dogs.

Bulldawg35

March 2nd, 2014
10:29 am

Original

You mad because I speak the truth?….,,well good then maybe you Kool Aiders will start to demand better! I’m sick of Richt and friend! Booooo yowwwwww!

Hairy Dawg

March 2nd, 2014
11:13 am

O-line be fine this year now that Arron Murray not dancing in pocket that make harder for blocking. And we replacing Gates that always flopping round on turf for blocks. Murray had that escapability but that hurt pocket blocking. Our O-line will also be helped by Gurley being back for year cause he can block on passes to pick up on blitz. And his running is more explosive once through holes of OLs.

The old foggys better get used to rap cause that what get players hyped and student loud and into game. We know how Dawgs can win more and increase party at Stadium.

gtcaryd

March 2nd, 2014
11:20 am

Bulldawg35 did you mean Boo-Yahhhh!!

gtcaryd

March 2nd, 2014
11:23 am

They are going to be cranking that Rap up! Cant wait for Slim Shady Day at Sanford.

mcdaviddawg

March 2nd, 2014
11:24 am

Why does Georgia recruit 3 or more quarterbacks in a class and often only 2 0r 3 lineman O or D. Richt will tell you the fans don’t understand football. He’s the one doesn’t seem to understand. He has good examples all around him. Saban puts a big premium on linemen, so does Auburn and SC. Have already decided that this will be last season ticker year after over20 years. Won’t be back until Richt is gone. Between Richt ’s poor coaching and poor work ethic and a 2015 season with almostall cupcakes (yes that includes GT). It’s way to much money for way to little.

gadawg

March 2nd, 2014
11:36 am

one of the biggest problems with attendance in my opinion is constantly changing game times. games anywhere from 12:00 to 9:00 and you do not know when until a few days ahead many times

gtcaryd

March 2nd, 2014
11:36 am

Mcdaviddawg, Your team very seldom plays a whole game against opponents so at least you get to see a close game for a half when you play us cupcakes. At least we went to OT with ya.

badmoon

March 2nd, 2014
12:23 pm

I think Murray kept us in some games in 2013. His abilty to move, helped at UT and Auburn. I haven’t seen any hint of that from Mason. There was a couple of times against NEB he could have taken off. With questionable line play, you have to have a QB that can move. If we aren’t going to recruit (year in and year out) top OL? A QB that is a threat to run is a must.

John Galt

March 2nd, 2014
12:24 pm

mcdaviddawg is not a Dawg fan or if he is, he needs to look up the term “fan”. I suspect that Richt forgot more about football than he knows. And, you statisticians drive me nuts with your useless irrelevant dribble over percentages of this and that.

Ghost of Len Bias

March 2nd, 2014
12:32 pm

As far as music, the best choice is ALWAYS having the Redcoats playing TODAY’S MUSIC. The problem with that is (according to friends of mine that were in Redcoats), apparently alumni/boosters have some type of issue with updating the catalog of music they play. Apparently they had to beg and plead just for Kanye West’s “All of the Lights”, which is tailor made for a band. The Redcoats are one of the most talented collections of musical people in the nation, and their abilities shouldn’t be wasted on the same 3 or 4 songs over and over.

Joey

March 2nd, 2014
12:54 pm

There’s one way that Richt can improve his O-Line, in my opinon, and that would be, to keep his freaking foot on the gas when his team is out-classing another team, ON THE FIELD.

I could name at least 2 dozen games in Richt’s tenure where he got double-digit leads, then went conservative (even tentative), letting the opponent gain momentum, and confidence, leading to losses, or near losses. UT, Vandy, and UF come to mind in last season alone.

The ONLY time we EVER get to see our offense’s true capabilities are in “shootout” (ex: LSU ‘13), or when we get seriously behind (ex: Auburn ‘13).

Bulldawg35

March 2nd, 2014
1:01 pm

Fire tony ball and will friend…they both can’t recruit!

roughrider

March 2nd, 2014
1:19 pm

With our stable of running backs we desperately need a good o line to open up some holes for them.

DogMo

March 2nd, 2014
3:32 pm

ga need to pump in a lot more hip hop music during the game instead of this boring band stuff–the students and players want to hear the current stuff!

Pago Pago DAWG

March 2nd, 2014
4:55 pm

So is it “rap-crap” or “crap-rap”?

DawgVoiceofReason

March 2nd, 2014
5:33 pm

(Most) rap is (c)rap!!! Ironically, current rap is disrespectful toward black historical icons like Malcolm X. See the AP article this weekend.

Ringleader

March 2nd, 2014
6:29 pm

The basic problem with the offensive line is the lack of practice. For example, they took the entire month of December off last year, while Nebraska worked out every day.

When Vince and Erk were running the team, bloody Tuesday came every week, that was first team offense against first team defense. Mark never, never runs the first teams against each other. It shows up every year, Clemson , Boise State, on and on, are in better condition the first game. That is why we struggle with Carolina, they are in better condition. You saw Moreno and now Guley take themselves out of the game, they are winded, not in condition.

dawgfan

March 2nd, 2014
7:16 pm

I really think Richt is going to get it right with the O-line this year. 14th time is a charm.

Please pass the Kool Aid.

RED DOG 77

March 2nd, 2014
7:59 pm

Coach Mark Richt set the bar at Georgia………..I would challenge anyone to compare any active coach’s record who has coached for the past thirteen years…………see how the chips fall……………I am sorry to say these sites are dominated by “fringe” Bulldog fans, most or whom never cracked a book at The University of Georgia………….Talk football, have fun doing so……….but take your negative remarks back to the trailer………….RED

DawginColorado

March 2nd, 2014
8:18 pm

Ringleader – “When Vince and Erk were running the team, bloody Tuesday came every week, that was first team offense against first team defense. Mark never, never runs the first teams against each other.” There is a reason for that. Erk and Vince were able to sign more players. They could go 3 or 4 deep on the D-line and a true 2 or 3 deep on the O-line. The loss of a lineman was not as big an impact in those days. The current 85 scholarship limit went into effect in 1992 and that is why you don’t see the Bloody Tuesday any longer. These guys are bigger, stronger and faster than anyone Dooley and Erl coached. The potential for injury has increased dramatically in the past 15 years.

It’s always easy to criticize when you only look at one aspect of a situation. The fan base would howl and curse Richt if he tried that and we ended up playing walk on O-linemen because of it. ( see what happened to our ultra deep receiving corps this year ). It’s a balancing act.

No I haven’t been pleased with our O-line play as a whole. I was very pleased that 2x last year we were able to to grind out the clock against top tier SEC opponents (SC and UF). That was something the team had been unable to do for a very long time. I have not heard open commentary from the coaching staff about the physicality of the O-line until last year. That gives me hope.

Just because things haven’t been one way does not mean that it cannot change. There seems to be a paradigm shift going on in the football program. I guess we’ll see how it works out but the shift is there and it’s obvious.

Saying something can’t change just because it has been that way for an extended period of time is as closed minded as saying that you won’t change “because that’s how it’s always been done”.

Bulldawg35

March 2nd, 2014
8:28 pm

Colorado

Whatever….quit making excuses for Richt….the players are soft and out of shape! Richt doesn’t work them hard enough because he fears injury!

Bulldawg35

March 2nd, 2014
8:29 pm

Red dog

Are you talking about your trailer down by the river!

Bulldawg35

March 2nd, 2014
8:31 pm

Richt will never win the sec again! It’s over dang it!

Bulldawg35

March 2nd, 2014
8:36 pm

The OL is atrocious! Nebraska physically dominated us because they take after their coach pelini…who is tough and hard nosed! Our players take after Richt….soft….weak and not hungry enough!

dawgfan

March 2nd, 2014
9:14 pm

“Coach Richt set the bar at Georgia…”

And Bama, LSU, Auburn, Florida and now Florida State have set it higher. Don’t give me any of your “real fan” bull crap Kool Aider. Real fans aren’t happy with never winning anything while everyone else around us hauls in trophies. You care more about Mark Richt than Georgia. I’m sick of you Kool Aiders questioning my allegiances simply because I dare to criticize our head coach.

You’re a poser and a phony. Maybe you should stick to discussing what music to play in Sanford and leave the football talk to the big boys.

hind tit

March 2nd, 2014
9:35 pm

Bill maybe coach Rocker can help recruit outstanding offensive linemen to stand up to the defensive linemen he will recruit.

RED DOG 77

March 2nd, 2014
11:02 pm

dawgfan……………I take it you choose not to take me up on my challenge?……….football talk: “big boys”?…………evidently you measure success with a crystal football……..Me? I like to see my school in the hunt most every year, I guess you’d like a coach that allowed bong hits in the dorm…………I’ll bet you wear New York Yankee hats too………..you are some piece of work df…………….I have a clue for ya………….check-out the “body of work”……………Regards, RED

Hairy Dawg

March 2nd, 2014
11:48 pm

Coach Richt want good OL. Why you think he not. He dont want OL flopping on ground while missing block. That not Christian exposing talents. We have to build depths and that means enough players for injurys and when some turn out no good. To do that we got to sign more and that helped by getting rid of them that we find out cant play SEC level. Once we know they get beat or not make plays like punt fumbling then why they still on team. Dont keep players not exposing talents that costing Dawgs a game. That open schollies to fill up more depths on team.

crowell

March 3rd, 2014
12:28 am

dawgs 2015 giving me a Woodie! Esp at wr pos!

Vincey

March 3rd, 2014
12:51 am

dawgincolorado..Cease in trying to be all-intelligent because no Dawgs knows what the heck you talk about with Bloody Tuesday!c TROLL INCREDIBLENESS!

NoAxeToGrind

March 3rd, 2014
5:31 am

I wonder what kind of stats Gurley would churn out runnng behind the same offensive line Herschel ran behind? One thing that you can give Vince credit for,,,,he had some damn good offensive lines.

dawgfan

March 3rd, 2014
6:19 am

Red Dog, we aren’t “in the hunt.” What freaking planet are you on? Go check Richt’s record against top 10 teams and then come back here and tell me with a straight face we’re “in the hunt.” You are delusional. We have not won anything going on 9 years. That’s not “in the hunt.” We have lost 4 or more games in 4 of the past 5 seasons. That’s not “in the hunt.” You are delusional.

You could absolutely care less about winning anything. You’re content with just talking about it and deluding yourself in to believing we’re “in the hunt.” Then when it predictably doesn’t pan out you hide behind excuses about other teams letting their players smoke pot.

None of this makes you a better fan. Quite the opposite actually. This pathetic sore loser acceptance of mediocrity is actually running our program in to the ground as we speak. Congratulations Mr. Super Fan.

dawgfan

March 3rd, 2014
6:24 am

You’re challenge? I am well aware of Richt’s win total. Are you aware of his loss total against top teams? It’s astounding. Last I checked he’s 6-18 against top 25 teams the past 5 seasons, but we’re “in the hunt” right? Last I checked you have to be able to beat good teams with some consistency to be “in the hunt.” I challenge you to show me where I’m wrong on that.

I could give a flying two cent crap about his win total. It about the trophies. That’s how sports works. Please get a freaking clue.