Bradley’s Buzz: Tech, UGA both among early-entry losers

Derrick Morgan and Morgan Burnett: Gonzo. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Derrick Morgan and Morgan Burnett: They're gonzo. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

This won’t be surprising to those among us who follow college football. Still, it’s jarring to see in megapixeled black and white. Both Georgia Tech and Georgia rank among the nation’s biggest losers regarding early entry to the NFL draft.

For the Bulldogs, there’s good news amid the bad. Tech is seen as having been hit harder, and Florida is the consensus choice as having been hit hardest.

Bruce Feldman of ESPN.com rates Tech the second-biggest loser, Georgia the fifth-biggest. His reasons:

Georgia Tech: I was tempted to make the Jackets No. 1 on this list because every player who realistically could consider declaring did. Tech says goodbye to its two best defenders in DE Derrick Morgan and safety Morgan Burnett as well as quarterback Josh Nesbitt’s top two weapons, running back Jonathan Dwyer and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas.

“I still think Nesbitt, RB Anthony Allen and RB Roddy Jones are big-time players, but the offense takes a huge hit, especially when you consider that Thomas accounted for about two-thirds of the team’s receiving yards this past season. Meanwhile, Morgan had half the team’s 25 sacks.

“Tech could’ve been a preseason top five or six. Now I think it might not be in the top 20

Georgia: The Dawgs’ defense has been really shaky the past few seasons and is in rebuilding mode. A new defensive coordinator is coming from the Dallas Cowboys (Todd Grantham), but he’ll have to retool Georgia’s scheme without the team’s two leading tacklers, LB Rennie Curran and safety Reshad Jones. Curran, a fireplug, had 130 tackles last season, while Jones, who put on a dazzling show against rival Georgia Tech, also picked off four passes this past season.”

Stewart Mandel of SI.com sees it pretty much the same. He has Florida first among his list of four losers, with Tech second and Georgia fourth. His comments:

“Georgia Tech: The defending ACC champs had a chance to return a staggering 19 starters, but leading rusher Jonathan Dwyer, leading receiver Demaryius Thomas, second-leading tackler Morgan Burnett and ACC sacks leader Derrick Morgan all turned pro. The Jackets’ running game should be fine with Josh Nesbitt and Anthony Allen, but Thomas was their lone receiving threat, Morgan and Burnett their best defenders …

Georgia: The Bulldogs’ defense struggled in 2009, costing coordinator Willie Martinez his job. New coordinator Todd Grantham would have inherited a depleted unit regardless, but his job wasn’t made any easier by the defection of Georgia’s two best juniors, linebacker Rennie Curran and safety Reshad Jones. The defense will now return just four starters.

My take: Just because they fall under the same heading doesn’t mean all losers are equal. Georgia lost two good players. Tech lost four of its five best players. Tech got hit way harder. Way harder, I say.

266 comments Add your comment

Mike (original formula)

January 19th, 2010
9:47 am

Time will tell who lost more and who can recover with a new DC quicker.

cattle dawg

January 19th, 2010
9:53 am

Member FDIC

January 19th, 2010
9:55 am

Georgia & Georgia Tech may be among the early-entry losers, but a super-nervous investor and the average NBA player now making multiple monthly child support payments rank among the early-withdrawal losers.

KINGDAWG

January 19th, 2010
9:55 am

Second! Ha ha….Thought I’d let you see how stupid you look doing this. Get a life

Off the "Mark' Bradley

January 19th, 2010
9:56 am

I may have to change my user name. I actually made some sense with very little bias. Must have been a long weekend, I guess. Where is all the anti-uga rant. Schultz is going to be very disappointed if and when he reads this.

Big John

January 19th, 2010
9:57 am

Georgia has a Jr. Coll. LB transfer that was terrific, and a good chance Samuel will be heading over to LB. Great shape at Safety with Rambo. Georgia always takeas a hit with guys going to the NFL, Georgia sends more people to the NFL than anyone in the SEC. But Richt has found a way to win 90 SEC games in 9 seasons despite that.

Florida would have to be #1 on any list as “biggest hit” as this is a rebuilding year for them.

Dannyboy

January 19th, 2010
9:57 am

GT may have lost four really productive players, but we got a new uniforms!!! Oh, and some old guy named Groh…

Mark Bradley

January 19th, 2010
9:58 am

Time will tell, Mike (original formula). It usually does.

Kudos on being first, BTW.

cattle dawg

January 19th, 2010
9:58 am

Im still surprised most with reshad an burnett leaving early. Should be exciting to see how these young guys react to the 3-4.

Big John

January 19th, 2010
9:59 am

Georgia’s LB situation with 2 6′ 2” big strong guys Gamble and Dent isn’t too shabby.

bullmann

January 19th, 2010
10:00 am

florida is the big looser in 2010 ! they will not find themselves in the top 25 in the end ! no meyer, no tebow, no dunlap, no spikes, no hernandez, no way !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ga & bama in the 2010 sec championship !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sonny Clusters

January 19th, 2010
10:02 am

Page is loading slow today, huh? We was noticing that. Coaching will make a difference for both teams and both teams have some new coaches. We was thinking the team with the better mascot may win and we’ve been reading a lot lately about Russ being upset with Georgia and maybe a little with Coach Richt. Buzz, on the other hand, seems to be doing fine and is allowed a lot of time with the cheerleaders and that is a pretty good perk for a mascot. When we was playing ball we had a mascot and we was always very respectful.

Blindog

January 19th, 2010
10:03 am

I really wish Curran would change his mind,he may even be a first rounder if he stays and works with Grantham. He may not get taller but he can get better. Would you not agree,Mark?

Mark Bradley

January 19th, 2010
10:03 am

Page is loading slow again, huh? Sorry.

MyWhiskeyClear

January 19th, 2010
10:03 am

Ok we lost some good guys, but the system puts potential playmakers in good positions very frequently. Once an offensive player (*cough* STEPHEN HILL *cough*) decides to step up and commit to being a game-changer the system will put him in that position every game. With the right blocking it’s all one-on-one matchups on every snap. Other backs will be able to utilize that just like Dwyer did. Other receivers will take advantage of it the same way as BayBay. That said, both were big and developed. That does take time to achieve. So we’ll see who takes this off-season to make it their business to fill out and step up. All I’m saying is once they do, the CPJ offense will give them good opportunities to stand and be counted. We could still put up decent point totals.

Won’t say anything about the D until I see Groh try his 3-4 with our players. Evidently we have some hass’s coming off redshirt. I’ll believe it when I see it.

I think we’ll still win some close games.

Jdogg

January 19th, 2010
10:04 am

Big John – who is the LB juco transfer you speak of? never heard of him

lanier

January 19th, 2010
10:04 am

i think we can determine their loss factors based on where they are drafted in Apr. then there should be no doubt. why not revisit this then Mark

Mark Bradley

January 19th, 2010
10:04 am

Can’t change his mind now, Blindog. He’s gone. This isn’t like the NBA.

Mark Bradley

January 19th, 2010
10:09 am

I’m sure we will, Lanier. Leave no turn unstoned, as I like to say.

willie martinez

January 19th, 2010
10:11 am

Rennie will be missed. Reshad will only be remembered for the sports center clip from the tech game of 2008.

Otto

January 19th, 2010
10:12 am

Geathers is also coming off a redshirt year for UGA and could be the big NT needed in the 3-4. UGA has talent and many guys that have playing time just not starts. It will also be interesting to see how guys that were dishing out chest bumps and arm tackles will be able to finish the tackle with the new coaches. Fundamentals on defense hurt UGA far more than scheme the past 2 years.

Alot of variables floating around. IMO UGA has a better season than last year, and GT does not make the ACC CG again this year. I think their records going into the the Thanksgiving Weekend game will be very close.

ptc dawg

January 19th, 2010
10:12 am

Mark,
Interesting column. I hope GT will get a taste of what the Dawgs went through last year sending 5.000 yards and 43 td to the NFL.

Have you ever considered that Derek Dooley owes his new job to Mark Sanchez?
Sanchez left SoCal for the NFL against Pete Carroll’s advice.
Pete Carroll and SoCal had a disappointing season and next year doesn’t promise to be much better. So Carroll leaves for the NFL.
SoCal calls Kiffin home to coach, opening up the UT job.
Cutcliff decides to stay at Duke.
Dooley steps into the UT job.
Maybe Barbara will send Sanchez a thank you note.

MR

January 19th, 2010
10:12 am

lanier;
What does draft position have to do with these players leaving and how it effects the former teams? Does going higher in the draft mean they well be missed more? I think not.

willie martinez

January 19th, 2010
10:14 am

Grantham’s hiring bought CMR 2 years. If he fails, he, Richt, Adams and Evans will all be gone.

MR

January 19th, 2010
10:15 am

ptc dawg,
The difference with Tech and the players we lost, the replacements have had as much as two years of playing time. I don’t think UGA was prepared for Stafford to leave…..

The Other St. Simons

January 19th, 2010
10:15 am

If Tech loses its number one WR, will anyone notice?

GT fan

January 19th, 2010
10:16 am

MArk, how do you feel about GT not beening a top 20 program to start the year?

willie martinez

January 19th, 2010
10:16 am

Grantham is a clear upgrade from CWM. it doesnt appear that Groh is so clearly a better coach than Wommack.

GT fan

January 19th, 2010
10:17 am

being, sorry

The Other St. Simons

January 19th, 2010
10:17 am

Tech in Top 20? Bwahahahahahah!!!

Orange Bowl wants their money back.

Old School

January 19th, 2010
10:18 am

MArk– can you think of any recent college “stars” who left early and were left standing at the altar whe The Draft was completed, particularly from local schools? Assume they signed as free agents.

papadawg

January 19th, 2010
10:20 am

I would think the Dawgs loss on the defensive side was not that big a blow since our defense gave up points and yardage by the truckload. Grantham will have alot of new starters to go with his new defensive scheme which should be a plus. Out with the old and in with the new

GT fan

January 19th, 2010
10:20 am

The other St. Simons,
wow your cool.

Ginger

January 19th, 2010
10:21 am

College football talent definitely diluted ever since the rules were changed to allow Jr players to enter draft after Jr season or redshirt players with 3 yrs in.. Donald Trump and Herschel Walker started all of this. Seems that many times it takes college players at least 2 yrs to develop & learn and then we lose the Jr players when they are getting pretty good…Makes it hard for the coaches and increases the need to recruit good players that learn very quickly

J Smurf

January 19th, 2010
10:22 am

Very nice, MB. Or, as I like to say, “2 stones…1 bird”

malibuGT

January 19th, 2010
10:24 am

a guy that parcells & belicheck wanted to talk to about defensive coordinator role isn’t an upgrade over Wommack (Mr 40+)?! i beg to differ

GT fan

January 19th, 2010
10:25 am

The other St. Simons,
If you feel GT should not be in the top 20 please list who you think should in order form 1 -20

Big John

January 19th, 2010
10:27 am

I like the #2 Ranked Jr. College Player Georgia picked up.

Safety, Jakar H.

http://footballrecruiting.rivals.com/viewrank.asp?ra_key=2511

SMITTYSTHEMAN

January 19th, 2010
10:27 am

Man, that Grantham-led Dallas Cowboy defense looked ferocious against that 40-year old quarterback, huh? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

GIVE ME A BREAK

January 19th, 2010
10:28 am

GEORGIA TECH will do a great job of reloading. I like the team spirit and think they will be fine. GO JACKETS!!!!

WonderDawg

January 19th, 2010
10:28 am

Mark, I think UF will barely notice the departing underclassmen with this class of incoming freshmen. The may have 6 or 7 player who can make AJ Greene type impacts in their first year. Unbelievable …

GT fan

January 19th, 2010
10:29 am

UF has 15 of the top 50 players

Big John

January 19th, 2010
10:30 am

Georgia also has Alec Ogletree coming in, #3 ranked safety in the country.

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/recruiting/player-Alec-Ogletree-84162

GIVE ME A BREAK

January 19th, 2010
10:30 am

GO JACKETS!!!!

papadawg

January 19th, 2010
10:31 am

And where was Groh this past weekend

GT in Raleigh

January 19th, 2010
10:31 am

I think that the new scheme from Groh will make the loss of Morgan not as significant. Tech is very deep at linebacker and should be strong next year at safety with Cooper Taylor returning. Allen is a stud and will produce Dwyer like numbers. Hill will fill in nicely for Thomas and has all of the tools to be another top WR from GT. The thing to look for is how much will Nesbitt improve from this year to next year. He is the key to the offense. If he can improve we will be fine. I think Groh will have the defense ready to play and this could be a repeat year for the ACCC. The Coastal Division is going to be tough with Miami, UNC, and VT hungry and deep.

Georgia should have a better year next year. They never lack players and talent. The question is whether they will continue to be a middle of the road football team or start to compete with FL. LSU, and AL. They will probably get a few big wins next year with a younger defense that buys into the new coaching staff. Too bad that UGA isn’t a top tier team and has been middle of the road longer than most UGA fans realize. They will continue the downward spiral and everyone will be calling for Richt’s head next season.

Big John

January 19th, 2010
10:31 am

All the experts say UF took the biggest hit, it’s a rebuilding year for UF. They always have a good recruting class, but this was a big hit. #1 biggest on every list I’ve seen. Gonna be a tough year for Addazio’s kids.

Mr. Chomp!

January 19th, 2010
10:32 am

Florida is reloading – and is still a far distance ahead of Georgia. In the long run – Tennessee is the bigger threat to Florida than Georgia. Richt has settled in – and his has proven that he is only slighlty better than Donnan – which was about equal to Zook.

GeoffDawg

January 19th, 2010
10:32 am

I agree. When it’s all said and done, I think Thomas will prove to be the bigger loss for tech’s offense than Dwyer. How many drives this year would’ve stalled were it not for Thomas’ sure hands?

For Georgia’s defense, they’re both big losses but we definitely have the talent to replace them. Unless I’m mistaken, we also now have a DC to coach up that talent.

The Other Matty Ice

January 19th, 2010
10:33 am

The lone good thing about CMR’s upperclassman loyalty policy is that it sounds worse than it is. Yeah, UGA is only returning 4 starters to defense, but that doesn’t mean they’re only returning 4 of their best 11. I won’t point any fingers, but Bryan Evans should not have been starting.