A double whammy: Two touted Georgians spurn the Bulldogs

Xzavier Dickson dealt a mighty blow to the Bulldogs by choosing Bama. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Xzavier Dickson dealt a blow to the Bulldogs by choosing Bama. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Say what you will about the unseemly process of football recruiting, but the young men at the heart of it are expert trend-spotters. They know which program is Hot and which is Not Hot. On Wednesday two ballyhooed Georgians used the Under Armour All-America Game as the venue to announce they’d be making runs for the border, and there you have it.

The Georgia Bulldogs = Not Hot.

Xzavier Dickson of Griffin is bound for  Alabama. Quan Bray of LaGrange is taking his talents to Auburn. According to ESPN.com, both rank among the nation’s 25 best prospects. We should also mention that ESPN.com has Georgia’s 2011 recruiting class rated No. 8 nationally. We should also mention that Rivals.com has the Bulldogs 23rd, while Scout.com puts them 20th.

Yes, rankings can and will change. (And yes, recruits have been known to reconsider. Ask Da’Rick Rogers, currently enrolled at Georgia … er, Tennessee.) But seeing Georgia ranked outside anyone’s top 10 always constitutes a shock. Rivals rated the Bulldogs’ signing class among the 10 best every year from 2002 to 2009; last year the Bulldogs were 15th according to Rivals, 21st according to Scout, 12th according to ESPN.

Even in lesser seasons on the field, Georgia under Mark Richt has always been able to point to its recruiting. Now, with lesser seasons running together, the program that controlled its state controls it no more. The buzz about this program has been downgraded to a murmur, and the murmur concerns the future of its head coach. Which  grows more tenuous by the moment.

Four SEC schools have qualified for the BCS title game since 2005, Georgia not among them. Seven league members have qualified for the SEC championship game since 2005, Georgia not among them. This program of vast resources has been rendered second-rate.

The Bulldogs lost 19 times in Richt’s first 95 games as coach; they’ve lost 15 times over the past 35. Recruits know this better than anyone. Recruits can sense a program on the descent, even if it’s the flagship school in their state. Thus does the cycle of football spin onward: Win and you’re the place to be; stop winning and you’re the place to flee.

This isn’t to say Georgia can’t and won’t land an uncommitted player or two to bolster this class — Jay Rome of Valdosta and Isaiah Crowell of Columbus are still in play — but Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald offers this nugget: The Bulldogs’ last known public commitment was rendered on Aug. 22.

Put another way,  not one recruit has been moved to pledge himself to the Bulldogs since the football season began. Talk about Not Hot.

By Mark Bradley

571 comments Add your comment

rawdawg

January 6th, 2011
9:35 am

Mark Bradley

January 6th, 2011
9:38 am

Guess what rawdawg’s New Year’s resolution was?

To get kudo-ed on a daily basis. So far, so good.

Fish Bisch

January 6th, 2011
9:38 am

go rawdawg! Second!

Fish Bisch

January 6th, 2011
9:40 am

Mark, how come no report on why Matt Ryan stood up Mike and Mike this morning? I got up early just to listen and he was a no show!!!!!

Frank Lane

January 6th, 2011
9:40 am

What do you hope to accomplish by this article Mark? Are you hoping to get someone fired, or are you hoping to help UGA?

Reality Check Dawg

January 6th, 2011
9:41 am

Mark Richt’s ability to keep his job after next season is getting more difficult per day!

KC

January 6th, 2011
9:41 am

Interesting pic, considering how skinny his arms are!

ylojkt

January 6th, 2011
9:42 am

Guess they saw a big red flag from this season. No, wait, those were panties.

joe

January 6th, 2011
9:42 am

That dream team is in a permanent sleep…

todd grantham

January 6th, 2011
9:42 am

Now Mark, really, if you were Dixon would you go to a school where the head coach is going to get fired after another bad season or a school that is a perrineal BCS contender and its heir apparent head coach is already on staff?

And if you’re Bray would you go to the school that’s probably going to win the national championship or the school that gave UCF its first ever bowl victory?

The logic seems clear.

Herschel Talker

January 6th, 2011
9:43 am

MB:

Can you please stop “writing between the lines” and please just come out and say it: Mark Richt needs to be FIRED.

HT

Calibre Lake Dawg

January 6th, 2011
9:43 am

Who gives a crap about rankings…I never have. I just a sense of urgency in the prgram. Play the game like it’s your last..At least coach like it Richt…It just may be???

DawginLex

January 6th, 2011
9:43 am

Bray was always going to auburn.

Dickson was a 50/50 with Bama.

UGA can still get a top 10 class if they get Swann,Rome, Crowell and Drew.

The LB commit to MSU, Johnson just de-committed because Manny Diaz is going to Texas.

I suggested Diaz to UGA when he was at MTSU and everyone laughed. Maybe Richt knew Diaz was a job hopper/fame whore??? :) :) :)

Barry Gibb

January 6th, 2011
9:43 am

I guess I’m gonna have to learn to sing the blues…

Mr. Obvious

January 6th, 2011
9:43 am

Young hoodlums with football “talent” are finally catching on that THUG-like behavior will get you arrested at UGA but will get you protected in Tuscaloosa.

Football Ken

January 6th, 2011
9:44 am

Mark,
Starting to look like the 90’s again, with the Jamal Lewis, Cosey Coleman, types all leaving the state. Richt and his staff have gotten fat and lazy. How many times do we continue to hear recruits say “UGA hasn’t offered me” or we read UGA is on a kid too late. I’m tired of seeing Georgia kids “showing out” for out of state teams. I know UGA cant get them all, but it never fails, the ones we miss out on , always seem to turn into stars…..

KC

January 6th, 2011
9:44 am

Georgia is going the same direction Michigan is!! (Nobody wants to go there) Maybe they can join Army & Navy next year – it seems that’s the class they’re in.

Curious George

January 6th, 2011
9:45 am

Mark,

You mentioned last week the folks at Chick-fil-a, organizers of the Chick-fil-a Bowl, don’t like you very much.

Why is that?

ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL

January 6th, 2011
9:45 am

Mark Richt’s downward spiral continues. He hires the wrong assistants and takes too long to replace them. He’s let the team become out of shape for the last 3 years. He’s 2-8 vs Georgia’s biggest rival (why this is acceptable to ANY Bulldog fan I will NEVER understand!) Now UGA can’t even attract the best talent in their own state. Remember all this next year those who still want Richt. Start the campaign for DAN MULLEN NOW!!

DawginLex

January 6th, 2011
9:45 am

Bray was always going to Auburn

D1ckson was a 50/50

UGA class can still be top 10.

Diaz going to Texas cost MSU a recruit today.

Roc

January 6th, 2011
9:46 am

It’s a pretty simple concept huh? Win and you get the guys you want and need, if not they go elsewhere. I have to admit, I was pretty disappointed when Dickson chose the Tide. Guess that coin didn’t come up our way 3 out of 5!

goldwreck

January 6th, 2011
9:48 am

I thought it said a lot about the situation at Georgia when Xzavier Dickson responded to the reporter that he “couldn’t take a chance on a coin flip”.On Tuesday he said it would come down to a coin flip between Alabama and Georgia but that was apparently just to make news.He could have always gone 2 out of 3 if Georgia had come up first and made a bigger mockery of the situation.

Benjamin

January 6th, 2011
9:48 am

When you lose bowl games to Central Florida and go 6-7, you can expect news like this…

matt r

January 6th, 2011
9:48 am

Maybe it is time to stop pinning all hopes and dreams on these 17 year olds who have had a feeling of self-entitlement their entire lives. Last I checked a bunch of dudes that just play football and don’t feed into the hoopla just won the Rose Bowl.

okiedawg

January 6th, 2011
9:48 am

Didn’t these recruits read the articles on CMRs presser? If they come to Georgia, they will play for an OC and an OL coach that were GREAT this year. Bray will miss the opportunity to share in Georgia’s Offensive Greatness and Dickson will not be able to witness the Greatness from the other side of the ball. Kids! What do they know? WE ARE GREAT and WE ARE ENTITLED!

todd grantham

January 6th, 2011
9:49 am

prediction: Georgia’s season:

Boise State-loss
South Carolina-loss
Coastal Carolina-you can call it a win if you want to
Ole Miss-loss
Mississippi State-loss
Tennessee-loss
Vandy-ditto for Coastal Carolina
Florida-you already know
New Mexico State-win
Auburn-loss
Kentucky-win
Georgia Tech-win. check that, loss. Johnson outcoaches Richt every time.

Boogie Man

January 6th, 2011
9:49 am

Please! Anything to be positive about around the Georgia program right now.

Bobo and Searles doing an excellent job!?!?
Dream Team!?!?
UCF!?!?
Assult charges!?!?

Leebern has became our Lowder and Adams is his b$#%h (figurately, Suzanne is literally). Richt is out of touch with reality. Looks bad for the next several years.

secbama

January 6th, 2011
9:50 am

Lowdnes25…talk to me…thought X-man was a UGA ‘Dream Team’ lock? Dickson knows who the REAL Dream Team is…it is located in Tuscaloosa. Clowney & Crowell next.

ROLL TIDE !

todd grantham

January 6th, 2011
9:51 am

I can’t speak for MB, but I’ll say it: Richt needs to be fired!

todd grantham

January 6th, 2011
9:52 am

that really was appalling when Richt said Bobo and Searles have both done a great job. Perhaps he was misquoted.

okiedawg

January 6th, 2011
9:52 am

Enter your comments here

Tom

January 6th, 2011
9:53 am

Just check the rosters of all the other SEC teams. They are littered with Georgia players. And they are usually in the starting lineups. It has come to this, Saban gets who he wants in Georgia and Richt gets the leftovers.

Left Foot

January 6th, 2011
9:53 am

Marc Weizer uses facts. You’re a pot-stirrer. You have no idea whether or not UGA received commitments during the season. None that have been made public, yes. But making that distinction lessens impact. We get it.

todd grantham

January 6th, 2011
9:53 am

unless great job means the worst offensive performance in decades.

bill

January 6th, 2011
9:53 am

Dickson simply put on an Alabama cap, although there were reports he would actually flip a coin to determine his pick.

“I didn’t want to do it,” Dickson said on ESPN. “It was too big of a risk.”

That says it all…too big of a risk to play for your state team…ouch!

Dumbo

January 6th, 2011
9:53 am

Richt…..maybe you should think about another profession

Say What??

January 6th, 2011
9:53 am

I can’t blame them… Alabama I totally understand. It seems that program had a slight stumble this year but is still poised to contend and win the West for years to come. However, Auburn surprises me. From my standpoint, AU is completely one dimensional. Its all Cam, all the time. If he got hurt or had lost his eligibility this year, there is no way Auburn is in the NCG. No one team they played this year could stop HIM. When he leaves for the draft (this year, I bet), the Tigers will be hurting. So I wonder what Bray sees as the upside of AU? Again, as much as I love my Dawgs, I don’t see much that would make a recruit want to come to UGA with the way we have been trending…

Southern Dawg

January 6th, 2011
9:53 am

Lets not worry about 5 star recruits .How many does Stanford and TCU have. Recruit some character and coach’em up!

Mark Fox

January 6th, 2011
9:54 am

Bradley-

Just so you know, for your rampant trolling, I will spare no scalp, take no prisoner against your beloved Wildcats this Saturday. Also, I will once again completely outcoach Billy Donovan (oh wait, that’s easy) and Bruce Pearl (oh wait, he’s suspended).

Then I will fix Georgia football. Also balance the Georgia state budget.

todd grantham

January 6th, 2011
9:54 am

Greg McGarity comes in with no Richt baggage. Hopefully he will spare the Dog Nation much more of this misery.

JTDawg

January 6th, 2011
9:55 am

Roc, you didn’t hear? He was asked why he didn’t flip the coin, and he said, chuckling, “I couldn’t do that, it was too big of a risk.”

It was only a matter of time before all of this losing affected recruiting. It’s no coincidence we have no commitments since the season started.

EW

January 6th, 2011
9:55 am

I think a few humble (read: less highly touted) recruits would be good medicine for UGA. Outside of AJ, our biggest recruits have turned out to be less than stellar…Marlon Brown, Ealey, CALEB KING, etc. Maybe a few kids who feel like they have something to prove and who would be honored to put on that jersey, rather than feel entitled to it…are just what the program needs.

todd grantham

January 6th, 2011
9:55 am

Dixon on the coin toss: heads Bama wins, tails Georgia loses.

Rut Roh

January 6th, 2011
9:56 am

High school studs were leaving the state even when UGA was winning SEC championships. There’s too many of them here. We’ll get the same percentage this year as always. Recruiting’s not the problem…

Chuck

January 6th, 2011
9:56 am

If Isiah Crowell doesn’t sign with UGA, you will know that Mark Richt can’t win the big recruits any more.

Tell the truth

January 6th, 2011
9:57 am

So the piling on continues. And this article is a good one why??? I think we should call you “one note Charlie”!!!

Dink

January 6th, 2011
9:57 am

Rivals currently has Georgia at 23rd in recruiting, behind Tennessee, Mississippi, South Carolina and Arkansas.

It seems the rest of the SEC is passing Georgia as well.

Dawg Fud

January 6th, 2011
9:57 am

McGarity, seriously…what is the hold up?

Nobody wants to get on this sinking ship. Can you blame them?

uuugh...

January 6th, 2011
9:57 am

Why didn’t the UGA coaches send Dickson a coin with heads on both sides with a note that said “Heads its UGA…flip it a thousand times if you need to.”

Nerds! Nerds! Nerds!

January 6th, 2011
9:59 am

AJC SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!