UGA commit reopens recruitment due to Martinez uncertainty

Uncertainty over the future of Georgia defensive coordinator Willie Martinez is causing a commitment to waver.

Nickell Robey, a cornerback from Frostpoof, Fla., who committed to the Bulldogs in August, has reopened his recruitment because of the uncertainty of Martinez’s future. The four-star athlete, who also stars as a kick returner and wingback, has decided to accept invitations to take official visits to Tennessee and South Florida.

“He’s still with Georgia,” Frostproof coach Brad Metheny said. “He just has these two visits he’s going to go ahead take. But he hasn’t changed a whole lot. He just wants to make sure he has options if there needs to be any changes.”

Metheny confirmed that the possibility that Martinez could get fired is the main reason Robey is wavering.

“You know, he’s got legitimate concerns,” Metheny said. “Coach Martinez is the coach that recruited him and that would be coaching him and so forth. So if he’s not there, who’s the next guy coming and what’s his philopshy on shorter corners? So he just wants, if anything would happen to happen, to have some options out there.”

Metheny said Robey got a visit from Tennessee defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin last week. That’s the only opposing coach so far to have come in to see him.

“He still likes Georgia,” Metheny said. “I mean, he sat right in front of Monte Kiffin last week and said, ‘No, I’m going to Georgia.’ So I think the bottom like is he just wants to take a trip or two and enjoy that and see what’s out there.”

Metheny said Robey decided to reoopen his recruitment Monday. He said Martinez, head coach Mark Richt and assistant coach Bryan McClendon are coming to Frostproof on Friday.

I asked Metheny directly: If Georgia fires Martinez, will it lose Robey?

“I don’t think that’s safe to say,” he said. “I just think it would depend on who was hired to coach defensive backs and if he had a problem with 5-8 cover corners. Nickell’s skill sets and ball skills sort of speak for themselves. But I know and he knows the stereotype in the business that some people just don’t like to play small corners. That’s just the bottom line.”

Martinez has drawn the ire of Georgia fans over the team’s defensive struggles the past two seasons. But he’s also one of the Bulldogs’ best recruiters, especially in his home state of Florida. Georgia currently has commitments from seven players from the Sunshine State. Martinez has been involved in the recruitment of all of them.

“Nickell really has a good connection with Coach Martinez and Coach Richt and Coach McClendon, the three coaches that have dealt with him at Georgia,” Metheny said. “But fair is fair. If things don’t go well and the situation is not the same at the end of the year, he has to at least be able to look at it and decide if that’s still where he wants to go. If not, he needs to be able to have an option or two as well.

“Nickell said he definitely still likes Georgia. He definitely still feels good and he hopes things work out where he still gets to go to Georgia.”

Robey was in class Tuesday and could not be reached for comment. The 5-8, 165-pounder has been timed at 4.34 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He is the cousin of Georgia redshirt freshman tailback Carlton Thomas. Robey is having a huge season for Frostproof and leads the county in touchdowns scored.

138 comments Add your comment

kauai dawg

October 20th, 2009
11:32 am

Deeper issues than just the sidelines! Go DAWGS!

Dooley

October 20th, 2009
11:33 am

This is the other side of trying to fire all of the defensive coaches.

Clint

October 20th, 2009
11:34 am

I’m surprised the headline isn’t “Lane Kiffin could be taking UGA recruit”. Followed by the first line saying something along the lines of “Lane Kiffin has launch another bomb in his war on Georgia. Following his vow to “never lose to UGA”…. Hey, look at that, I could write for the AJC.

Dale

October 20th, 2009
11:36 am

Martinez told him to say that. ;-)

Vol of reason

October 20th, 2009
11:40 am

Let me see, who would I rather play for? Willie or Monte Kiffin? It’s a no brainer. Go Vols!

Brew

October 20th, 2009
11:43 am

Monte Kiffin vs. Willie Martinez. Not a tough decision if making the NFL is important to you.
And Clint, the appropriate headline should have been, “Lane Kiffin sends father to seal the deal with ex-Dawg recruit.” A little wordy, but it gets the message across.
Forget whether Georgia is a blue state or a red state. It’s quickly becoming a Big Orange state, and all the AJC is doing is reporting the news.

E

October 20th, 2009
11:45 am

Hmm, lemme see…….Big time recruit or more of the same from Willie??? No thanks!!! Have fun in Tennesee. Willie would waste your talent anyway.

RonnieGarDner

October 20th, 2009
11:47 am

Yea, those are both good lines guys. Way to go.Actually they are about as corny as a dog turd.

shards1967

October 20th, 2009
11:48 am

Prince Miller is what? 5′9″ and look what we have with him. Part of the UGA D struggles has to do with midget corners. We cannot keep getting these smallish corners. What have ANY of them done for UGA? Look at our D stats. Name one All SEC corner from UGA in the last 9 years. Name one??

You can go on line and see what coach is credited with “siging” kids each and every year and CWM’s name has only come up about once. He IS NOT even considered a good recruiter. How do we know this? Look at his record ……….if the kids loved him ……….they WOULD PLAY better.

This is not rocket science.
Geeeeeeeeeeez, he has to go. If 5′6″ , 165 lb. Nicky Robey bolts too, then maybe that is also good news.
Go Dogs.

UGA, class of 73

Fred

October 20th, 2009
11:49 am

Well all UGA fans know that Richt will not pull the trigger on Willie so he’s not going anywhere. Neither is Robey. Monte Kiffin is liable to be dead in a few years anyways. What is he? Like 80?

J Smurf

October 20th, 2009
11:58 am

Shards1967…Tim Jennings was/is pretty good. He’s 5-8. I’m just sayin…

Sweet Home Alabama

October 20th, 2009
11:59 am

Even nerds want let there commits visit.of course georgia is pretty deparate so they would be afraid to say anything to him.

richt does not like confrontation it seems.

red hill

October 20th, 2009
12:02 pm

If Wee Willie stays we will lose a lot more than just a few recruits. He is out of his depth and should have been sent packing after the ‘06 UT game. Sores continue to fester when they are not dealt with in a timely and appropriate manner.

steve 89

October 20th, 2009
12:02 pm

Jennings is 5′8″ and starting in the NFL. 4.3 – 40 can do a lot at any position.

DAWG

October 20th, 2009
12:09 pm

Be a man and stick to your word.

78 DAWG

October 20th, 2009
12:13 pm

Two things
1) DAWG, is that what you say when someone switches to us? If not you’re a hypocrite!
2) If you want to play for Willie Martinez you better not come to Georgia. We don’t pay this kind of money for this kind of results, with recruits as good as we’ve gotten. Willie is gone. ESPECIALLY if the gayturds and yech put up 40 on us again this year.

Vol Man

October 20th, 2009
12:18 pm

Richt doesn’t like confrontation it makes his skin turn orange and his hair fall out. Who would you rather play for a team on the verge of falling apart or the team that just whipped em good and says they’ll NEVER lose to those losers again?

Doc Reem

October 20th, 2009
12:21 pm

Size is a great asset but heart means alot more. His size is not a real issue if he’s taught how to be in position, use his other athletic abilities, and is put in a good defensive sceme. Willie is not exceptional at teaching any of these. If we have to lose a recruit or two to get rid of this bum so be it!

shards1967 Tim Jennings and Tre Battle are two answers to your question. It’s not the size of the corners it’s CWM…Remember that!!!

Wil Walton

October 20th, 2009
12:21 pm

Seems to me that CWM should be visiting Mr. Robey on Friday (instead of CMR and CBM), unless it’s a hint that we won’t be around.

Pulpwood Smith

October 20th, 2009
12:21 pm

Who cares! Recruiting ratings are perhaps the most overrated science there is. I want smart, disciplined kids who buy into the program and work hard. Many of our best players were not highly heralded. If he wants to go somewhere else, I could give 2 sh*ts. It is likely that he, and many of these others, will end up being run-of-the-mill. Perhaps though he is the next Champ Bailey. Who knows.

BlackSmoke

October 20th, 2009
12:28 pm

Shards….. One small corner we had in recent years was a heck of a ball player and is now a starting CB for the Indy Colts….. Tim Jennings ring a bell?

greg

October 20th, 2009
12:29 pm

Another good recruiting blog…no not really. A day late, a dollar short, and most of it taken from another website. Boy, you gotta love the fast sinking ship that is the AJC. Pitiful. The only thing missing was “UT’s Kiffin steals another recruit from UGA”. Not that it would be true, but why would that stop the AJC.

Lars Tate

October 20th, 2009
12:30 pm

If this defense is with 4 and 5 star recruits, what’ll it be like with 2 and 3 star? ugghh

reasonable

October 20th, 2009
12:34 pm

Actually, you can not make staff decisions based upon the whims of an 18 year old, no matter how good. Those decisions have to be made based upon performance and that is where WM is lacking. To all of the Vol fans on this site, you will get some recruits in Georgia but I seriously doubt you will consistently outrecruit UGA within the state. Furthermore, its way too early to start claiming victory in this year’s recruiting war with Georgia. Each class is different and is based on needs at the particular school. Also, claimimg you will never lose to UGA so long as you are the coach is mere bravado. Tennessee has to recruit out of state to compete in the SEC whereas UGA, Florida, and Alabama can recruit within their respective states and remain competitive. Kifflin is smart to recognize that and I suspect his big talk is about firing up the Tennessee fan base and makiing a splash for recruits. Unlike some of my fellow UGA supporters, I think Kifflin is being smart but I would be careful about making statements about never losing, never is a long time.

brentATL

October 20th, 2009
12:41 pm

I am confused, how has he opened up his recruitment? Chip how can you lead with a title that says “UGA commit reopens recruitment due to Martinez” and in the very article the kid says “No, I’m going to Georgia” if you want to come out and be honest that you are just trying to stir the pot, do it, be a man.

Jason

October 20th, 2009
12:44 pm

I’m with Pulpwood Smith, and I never thought I’d type those words. These are kids. Who cares. Players that work hard and buy into the coach’s system will lead to a successful team. And in addition, it’s absolutely silly to refer to any of these as commitments. They’re not. If they were commitments, they wouldn’t waver. None of this means anything until signing day. And none of this means much until they show they can play on that team.

Eagleman

October 20th, 2009
12:45 pm

I checked the commitments to Tennessee made by athletes from the state of Georgia so far….none of the athletes were even offered by Georgia…so to say that “Kitty” and the Vols are beating the Dawgs in recruiting is a joke.”Kitty” needs to worry more about how they finish this season and not about how thier recruiting class will stack up against Georgias.If Lame Kitten’s not the most immature person coaching a major college football team I don’t know who is. As far as Orgeron is concerned…just ask the people in the know what a classless joke he was during his time at Ole Miss…he offended every big alumni he met with his off color comments and his teams played undisciplined football all three years he was there.Thats why they never had a winning season…… “Big Hat…No Cattle”…..Tennesse will eventually regret the day they hired these two clowns to run their football program….the Vol fans deserve better than what they’ve been handed.

DawginLex

October 20th, 2009
12:47 pm

A vol fan talking smack. PRICELESS.

I can’t wait for kiffin’s response after the Bama beatdown, the SC beatdown and the first loss to UK in a million years.

In 2010, with Aaron Murray, we will wipe that smirk off his and his daddy’s face.

UGAGRAD02

October 20th, 2009
12:50 pm

Monte Kiffin will be dead in another year. Didn’t he play for Notre Dame in the 20’s?

Bernie Matt

October 20th, 2009
12:52 pm

Short corners are not the problem. Darrell Green was a short corner, Terrell Buckley was a short corner, and the list goes on. The question is how do we maximize their speed and cover skills. If the names I mentioned are any indication, you let these guys play up on their man and make the QB have to make a perfect throw or else get it picked. Not this BS Richt likes to play with the soft coverages. After the man has already made the catch any small guy is going to be at a disadvantage tackling a bigger WR, which is why we get these big plays against us. Mostly, due to missed tackles.

Where's my crack pipe?

October 20th, 2009
12:52 pm

Give me a 6′1″ corner that is a 3 star who can be coached up rather than a 5′8″ 5 star corner anyday……..the key phrase of course is “can be coached up”…Dawgs dont have that ability now with Willie

Big EC

October 20th, 2009
12:57 pm

Good Job all you expert defensive coordinators that have been trashing Georgia. This is just the beginning of an avalanche of decommits. Good Job Bill King. These kids read these blogs.

William

October 20th, 2009
1:02 pm

I would not committ to UGA under Wille Martinez in th first place. However, if I did and suspected WM would be placed, I would think my recruitment to UGA was better than I had expected…but thats just me. I can not tolerate looosseers!!

William

October 20th, 2009
1:04 pm

Big EC,

Hey you can always get Vince Dooley to introduce flag football since he doesnt like real football and football players.

crs

October 20th, 2009
1:04 pm

bernie, we get these “big plays” because we have two terrible safties. They are both consistently out of position. Great saftey play starts with a high degree of discipline. Our safties have no discipline. Corners are not bad.

getthepicturenow

October 20th, 2009
1:04 pm

get a life Shards, Tim Jennings was all everything for us, how quick you’ve forgoten the efforts that Paul Oliver & Demario Minter gave us vs. Calvin Johnson. They shut him down but no, you get on here and spew some stupid garbage-(as usual per you’re DA posts) about small corners and bad recruiting. oh and let me guess, we shouldn’t have signed Boykin & Smith either huh? yeah, thats great logic…idiot!

Conservative Hypocracy

October 20th, 2009
1:05 pm

Shards1967:

Another dumb comment from another guy who probably never played a down of organized football in his life.

Playing corner is more about toughness, smarts, athleticism, football awareness, speed and quickness, than it is about size.

A prime example the other way is Bryan Stewart whom the Falcons drafted out of Penn State, back during the McKay/Mora regime. Dude was 6-2, 215 and played corner at PSU but I could tell right away that he couldn’t cover my grandmothers (both of whom are deceased). No hips. Decent speed, but no burst.

Falcon fans will remember that he was a disaster at corner. He now plays safety for the Bills, I believe.

Also, though Brandon Boykin is listed at 5-10, he’s MAYBE 5-9. And he’s the best Bulldog DB on the roster.

William

October 20th, 2009
1:06 pm

The football players from the state of Ga have been committing to other teams for a long time. It is really an image or should I say a non image supporting by the University itself. But as long as it has HOPE it really does not care about football, just ask Vince Dooley.

ugaaccountant

October 20th, 2009
1:07 pm

Other than the headline, this article was a really good piece of journalism. It included plenty of quotes that actually fleshed out the story. Of course a defensive commitment will want to know who’s going to be his new coordinator once we fire Martinez. It’s vital to his development as a player. As he said, he’s 5 foot 8, and if the new DC is focused on height at the position then he’s S.O.L. I now like this kid a bit more because it sounds like he’s got a brain in him.

Gator Growl

October 20th, 2009
1:09 pm

5′8″… Wonder if Kiffin will give him a ride in his Kiddiecopter???

William

October 20th, 2009
1:10 pm

If willie martinez recruited him then let him go to another team.

the real Old Gold

October 20th, 2009
1:15 pm

I’m soooooo glad Bud Foster and his crew went to Athens in the off season and talked option football with Willie boy. And it worked… for the Jackets! I guess that’s your payment back to us for the 1980 tie with ND to get you guys up to number 1. Sad that Tech had to help you get your last championship 30 years ago.

Ok, I’ll quit the ribbing…. but SERIOUSLY though.. fire this guy already. The players don’t respond to him and now it’s rubbing off on your offense. He’s terrible. If Richt doesn’t move soon it’ll start to effect his security too. Head coaches are CEO’s not buddy funders. Losing recruits is only the beginning.

Ryan

October 20th, 2009
1:16 pm

This kid has legit concerns. That said Georgia should fire Willie Martinez, and whoever they put in his place should be someone who is going to put kids on the field that give us the best chance to win regardless of height. I sure hope they don’t hire someone who automatically thinks less of someone because he’s 5′8.

JB

October 20th, 2009
1:17 pm

Plenty of players………………only ONE DC………How many games/loses will this kid impact. I know the Answer about Martinez, I’ve seen HIS work UP CLOSE. If Richt comes up at year end and Say’s
” we were going to just lose to many kids by firing Willie, I’m jumping off a bridge holding a picture of ERK……..GEEZ

Montgomery Burns

October 20th, 2009
1:17 pm

DawginLex,
Reduced to hoping that Bama can do what your pups utterly failed to do (ie beat UT)? That’s good stuff. Maybe next year your boys will cross the 34 yard line….

JB

October 20th, 2009
1:21 pm

I agree with some on here, I think the ‘rumor” of Willie being fired will HELP with some kids. Damn, I hope it happens Saturday morning, November, 28th at 9:00 AM. I’m scared if we play Florida close, and gads, beat Tech, I’m afraid Richt won’t do it.

0OooO0

October 20th, 2009
1:22 pm

Vol Man,

I think I rather play for a team that’s finished in the top 10 six out of the past seven years who has a coach with his head on straight and doesn’t make moronic promises like they’ll NEVER lose to a better program ever again. But maybe that’s just me :)

concerned Fan

October 20th, 2009
1:27 pm

They to think about salvaging the rest of the season. Instead of running behind one recruit. What happen in remaining games, determines how many others will defect

[...] Recruits are listening. [...]

Jim Donnan

October 20th, 2009
1:34 pm

Love the UGA fans taking shots at Kiffin after getting UGA’s rear end handed to them BY a Kiffin coached team. And a less talented team at that.
Long live Bobo and Martinez!!!