THE TEN AT 10:
1. Georgia Tech’s recruiting class of 2007 was originally ranked No. 18 in the country. But now it has been re-ranked and moved all the way up to No. 3. The 15-place jump was courtesy of SI.com’s Andy Staples, who has made it an annual tradition to re-rate recruiting classes after players have had a chance to show their stuff on the field (novel idea). He re-rates the classes three years later and he really likes what the Yellow Jackets did with that 2007 class. It was of course led by Morgan Burnett, Jonathan Dwyer, Derrick Morgan and Josh Nesbitt and won the 2009 ACC Championship. To quote the former AJC intern Staples:
“Chan Gailey signed a great class in 2007, only neither he nor anyone else realized just how good it could be. The Yellow Jackets brass fired Gailey after the 2007 season and brought in Paul Johnson, a coach who knew how to unlock the potential in Nesbitt, Dwyer and Jones. It didn’t hurt that this class also included Burnett and Morgan, two defenders who would have become stars under any coach. Who knows? Maybe Gailey, now coaching the Buffalo Bills, will draft one or both players in April so he can spend more time coaching them.”
2. I know you’ll ask so I’ll go ahead and tell you: Georgia’s 2007 class, ranked No. 9 in the original Rivals’ ranking, did not make the re-calibrated Top 10. That’s as far down as Staples goes with it. In fairness it should be noted that the Bulldogs’ 2006 class earned the same re-ranking (No. 4) as their original ranking. That’s the class that included Matthew Stafford, Knowshon Moreno, Reshad Jones, Asher Allen and Geno Atkins.
3. And speaking of hindsight recruiting analysis, the David Hale of the Macon Telegraph gets a gold star for his breakdown of Georgia’s classes over the last four years. Hale’s approach was to reassign the star ranking assigned to individual signees based on what they actually did/have done as Bulldogs (another novel idea, huh?). Among Hale’s determinations were that, on average, you can expect a UGA player to perform on average about one star-rating less than he was advertised. And no matter what anybody says, it’s still better to sign 5-star prospects than it is 3-star guys.
4. Hale did a secondary analysis that broke down players’ performances by position and that one showed that certain positions were consistently under-performing. It’s probably not a coincidence that coaching changes were made the last two seasons at the three most under-performing positions: defensive end (Jon Fabris), linebacker (John Jancek) and wide receiver (John Eason).
5. Highly-touted South Carolina signee Victor Hampton was dismissed from his high school in Darlington, S.C., and will have to complete his education at an alternative school. The four-star defensive back was busted with alcohol in his locker and hidden in a restroom. Hampton previously was at Charlotte Independence High but reportedly left there due to discipline problems. At one time he was committed Florida before the Gators cooled on him. Nonetheless, it appears the Gamecocks are going to stick with him. Said South Carolina defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson to The State newspaper: “He just did something stupid. … It wasn’t criminal. But it was dumb and he knows it. We hope he’ll learn from it and we can move on.” Not to be a stickler but isn’t underage possession a crime?
6. This is not exactly recruiting material but I found it a bit of a surprise that Matt Hayes of The Sporting News labeled Tech’s Demaryius Thomas as one of the NFL draft’s “most overrated” prospects. Wrote Hayes: “[Colt] McCoy and Tim Tebow are knocked for playing in a “system” but Thomas is a top 10 pick despite the fact he ran two routes — curl, go — in Tech’s option offense.” Ouch.
7. The Jackets hope to parlay a very good night in basketball into a very good future for the football team. Several of the state’s top football prospects were in attendance, according to Kelly Quinlan’s report at JacketsOnline.com. Included was Wilcox County quarterback/basketball prospect Nick Marshall, who spent the entire night sitting beside coach Paul Johnson, Quinlan reported. Also at Alexander Memorial Coliseum to witness the 68-51 Yellow Jackets victory were Griffin defensive end Xzavier Dickson, Pope offensive lineman Thomas O’Reilly and East Hall defensive end Sterling Bailey.
8. There was a really interesting exchange between former Georgia Bulldog and NFL player Phillip Daniels and UGASports.com subscribers on the “Dawgvent” this week. Daniels’ son is Davaris Daniels, a nationally-rated wide receiver prospect from Vernon Hills, Ill. It seems the elder Daniels does not feel his alma mater is showing his son enough love. He points out that his son does not yet have an offer from the Bulldogs, who have already offered two other wideouts, and generally feels they don’t give him the level attention he’s getting from other schools.
9. Thomas County Central defensive lineman Ray Drew, who is likely going to be one of the state’s top five overall prospects before it’s all said and done, received scholarship offers from Southern Cal, Vanderbilt and Kentucky in the last week to increase his total to 21 overall. The 6-foot-4, 243-pound athlete, who is also considering offers from Georgia and Georgia Tech, said he really likes the Lane Kiffin’s Trojans. “I like USC,” Drew told SCPlaybook.com. “USC is USC and you can’t overlook them. They have had a lot of good running backs and defensive linemen come out of there as well. Outside of Coach [Ed] Orgeron and Lane Kiffin, I really don’t know much about the USC coaches. But the tradition at ISC is there and nobody can doubt them on that.”
10. Georgia had a basketball official visitor this past weekend that proves coach Mark Fox’s recruiting reach. Dwayne Polee, a 6-foot-7, 190-pound wing, came all the way from Los Angeles to tour the campus and take in the Bulldogs’ win over South Carolina, according to UGASports.com basketball analyst Dan McDonald. Assistant coach Kwanza Johnson, who came with Fox from Nevada, is responsible for convincing Polee to come all this way. Polee is also considering UNLV, Oregon, Washington and Arizona State.