Mailbag: Dogs’ must-haves, Tech’s pied piper and what ESPYs did right

THE MAILBAG:

mailbag(1)Welcome to the third edition of “The Mailbag.”

I should probably say the “ill-fated” Mailbag. The other two times I’ve put this feature together it got trumped by big news.

The first week it ran, it got overshadowed by the late-night exploits of a now former Georgia AD. Last week, it was up only a couple of hours or so before news broke of a bar brawl in Knoxville, Tenn., that resulted in the arrest of a certain five-star prospect from just up the road.

So, be aware, odds are some major news will break within hours of this posting, possibly while you’re attempting to read it. With that in mind, read and respond quickly. And I’d suggest opening multiple tabs to be sure you don’t miss the real news when it breaks.

Now for the fake news, into the bag we dive . . .

TampaGator asks: Who would you consider the top 16 recruits by need and priority for Georgia? The Gainesville (Fla.)  paper does this every year concerning the Gators and they do an end-of-the year analysis. For example, the Gators ended up with 10 of the 16 considered high priority last year.

Chip: I don’t know, TampaGator, sounds like homework to me. . . . You didn’t stipulate whether this should include players already committed or not. So I’m going to leave out those that have already pledged the Dogs.  And I don’t know where they get the 16 number because there are two dozen I wanted to put here. But here’s 16 I’m sure the Dogs want/need but would settle for one or two at any position.

Defensive line  — Ray Drew, Xzavier Dickson, Gabe Wright;

Offensive line — Zach DeBell, Xzavier Ward, Brandon Shell;

Running back — Isaiah Crowell, James Wilder, Quan Bray;

Tight end — Jay Rome;

Wide receiver — Sammy Watkins, Tobias Singleton;

Defensive back — Damian Swann, Malcolm Mitchell;

Linebacker — Stephone Anthony, Tony Steward;.

Jesus Perez asks: It seems that UGA has put all of its chips on the table for two prospects in particular: TE Jay Rome and TB Isaiah Crowell. I understand why they are going real hard at those two guys but, at the same time, it seems that other top recruits at those respective positions are almost being put in the back burner. I really like those two guys but there are some other guys out there that UGA should be targeting as well. What would be the solution to a nightmare scenario of both of those recruits ending up somewhere else?

Chip: First of all, Jesus, I think Georgia has a very good shot at both of the players you mention. But even if they don’t land either one, college coaches always — always — have a backup plan. Remember Kenarious Gates and Lonnie Outlaw last year? There are always good running backs in this state, some of whom might not have had a chance to show their stuff yet. The same goes for tight ends.

John Nott asks: How does the departure of Bobby Johnson affect the incoming recruiting class at Vanderbilt? Do you think any of the prospects will ask for a release from their LOI? I know Tech was targeting a wide-out that was to be an incoming freshman this year. With the WR pool dwindling, we could sure use one.

Chip: It’s not good, that’s for sure. First of all, I’m not sure Johnson got the credit he deserved as a recruiter. The Commodores have been as active as anybody recruiting in Georgia and in Atlanta in particular. They actually signed nine players from our fair state last year, including wide receivers Chris Boyd of Roswell, Jonathan Krause of South Gwinnett and Trenton Pruitt of Fitzgerald. I think Boyd may be the one you’re thinking of. I’ll see if I can track down some of these guys and find out if they’re thinking about jumping the Commodores’ ship.

HooperGDawg asks: Valdosta’s Malcolm Mitchell and Jay Rome are very good buddies, any chance they are wanting to go to the same school? Second question, why has there been little talk about Bobby Hart? Most of the talk is about DeBell, Ward, and Shell as far as possible OL commitments but very little talk about Hart even though UGA is in his final eight. Maybe a long shot to land Hart? Do you know how many schollies are left for OL this year for UGA? Last question, has Ray Drew said when he might make a decision? Seemed early on he actually be an early commit for UGA, has he mentioned a leader?

Chip: Bleep, bleep! (that’s supposed to be a whistle sound) You’ve been flagged for too many questions. Your penalty is really short answers: (1) Yes but it’s not a priority; (2) you answered it; (3) two, maybe three; (4)  no, and it likely won’t be until national signing day.

John H of Powder Springs asks: Hey Chip, I was wondering how much you feel like success on the football field, especially early in the season, would help with the top recruits for UGA? If the Dawgs struggle early, do you think it will have a strong negative impact on the nice recruiting class they have going so far?

Chip: I think that varies among recruits. To some it’s a big deal; to others, other factors are more important. In general the most elite recruits wait the latest to commit anyway and that’s often because they’re taking a wait-and-see attitude. There may be more wait-and-see this year than in previous years for those considering the Dogs.

Geoff Clark asks: Has the departure of Dontavius Jackson increased the chances of Georgia landing James Wilder Jr.

Chip: Methinks depth charts aren’t a big concern for young Mr. Wilder.

Emmanuel Chiriqui, aka "Sloan," works the red carpet before the Wednesday night's ESPYs.

Emmanuel Chiriqui, aka "Sloan," works the red carpet before the Wednesday night's ESPYs.

Drew Ingalls asks: First off, did you see the ESPY’s [Wednesday] and how great Emmanuelle Chriqui looked? Easily one of the top three ladies on there. And why was she not in the last episode at ALL?! Crazy.  . . . As for football , looking at a list of Georgia Tech’s top prospects, I noticed that all but one was on the defensive side. Do you think this has to do with new defensive coordinator Al Groh’s standing as an ex-NFL coach, and the fact that he produced some top NFL stars from UVA?

Chip: I did not see the ESPYs, Drew; I chose instead to put hot needles in my eyes. But I did see a photo of Ms. Chiriqui (aka “Sloan” from Entourage) working the red carpet beforehand, which I’ve included here. Apparently the show’s writers didn’t pay any attention to the Mailbag’s earlier suggestion to include more Sloan in the storylines. But there’s always hope. . . . .

As for football, I think that Al Groh’s presence on The Flats has attracted the attention of the best defensive prospects in the country. Let’s face it, the best players want to know what they need to do to “get to the league.” Groh can show them and tell them exactly that. He’s the main reason out-of-state players such as Tony Steward, Curtis Grant and Doran Grant and in-staters like Ray Drew, A.J. Johnson and Stephon Tuitt have the Jackets under heavy consideration.

Buddy Coltrane asks: I just saw in the ESPN rumors section that Ray Drew was asked to name three standout schools in his eyes. He named the Tide, the Vols, and the ‘Noles. I was wondering have you heard anything or spoken with him about his leaders. Maybe he was just hamming it up for the Tide recruiting site, but if this is true, what happened with him and Georgia?

Chip: Nothing has happened with Ray, Buddy. Last I talked with him he likes those three and a few more. He’s a super nice, intelligent kid that has a somewhat playful disposition. I think he tends to tell whomever’s doing the asking what he thinks they want to hear. But he has made it clear he’s not going to be in a hurry to make up his mind. So I’d say to relax and stay out of those “rumor sections.”

Chris Groskreutz tells: Last week, Mailbag readers may recall that I asked a reader a question. Chris Groskreutz wrote in to ask me a recruiting question and I asked him if he was any relation to Heidi Groskreutz of “Do You Think You Can Dance” fame (I’ve never watched the show but she came up all over the place when I googled Chris’ unusual last name). Well, Chris wrote back this week: “Heidi is a cousin of mine. I only know this because my dad made me aware of her success on that show. Other than that, I’ve never heard of her. If you don’t believe me just watch this clip from my wedding. Rhythm obviously didn’t make it down my side of the family tree.” . . . I’ll warn you all, the clip is over three minutes long but 15 or 20 seconds is all you need to see. Watch at your own risk.

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92 comments Add your comment

BIRDDAWGONE

July 16th, 2010
6:37 am

found an acorn!!!!

HartDawg

July 16th, 2010
6:44 am

BDAWG

July 16th, 2010
6:49 am

When recruiting, back up plans won’t bring in the top players. I agree that UGA is only focusing in on certain players and if they don’t pan out , the RBs, LBs and the WRs will be in a bigger rut come next season. Also, why are they not trying to recruit another QB.

Destin Dawg

July 16th, 2010
6:57 am

Add Nick Oleary from Palm Beach….great athlete… he is being recruited as TE.. but could be a monster WR !!!! I’m thinking Richt may have a couple silent commits on your list ???

Asheville Dawg

July 16th, 2010
7:12 am

Sloan picture very good!

theTruth

July 16th, 2010
7:44 am

Also BUDDY COLTRANE, Jhop (the guy who writes for the bama site) also covers the vols and fsu. He specifically asked Drew about those schools and Jhop said himself that ESPN took what Drew said out of context. He said he never asked about Georgia and asked what he liked about those particular three schools.

CHIP, how’s the knee? Will you be doing an article about dawg night this weekend or next week? One could assume at least one commit will be forthcoming.

theTruth

July 16th, 2010
7:45 am

CHIP, has it been confirmed if Swann and Dickson are going to make it tonight?

Bulldog59

July 16th, 2010
7:51 am

Quickly becoming one of the best online sources for quality recruiting info. I like this column more and more. Nice job Chip. (I sound like the old intro to ABC’s Wide World of Sports, sorry.)

BuddyColtrane

July 16th, 2010
8:10 am

Thanks Truth. It seems to me that ESPN has tried to crap on UGA’s recruiting (and Richt’s status in particular), a lot recently. To let them tell it, since Peake picked Clemson, the top prospects have been dropping the Dawgs like a dump after eating pork n beans. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that UGA doesn’t have an affiliate with them, I guess. I always felt that the schools without one got shortchanged with coverage, not just UGA.

MaconKnight

July 16th, 2010
8:32 am

Chip,
Do you know the assignment sections of the state for each UGA Coach? or do the coaches recruit just the marquee names I.E. Crowell, Drew, Wright from certain high school programs?

theTruth

July 16th, 2010
8:38 am

BDAWG, they have already got two QB’s in this class. If something were to happen with LeMay, Marshall would be an easy pick to move back to QB. If he didn’t want to play bball (which from what I understand is his best sport), then he would be playing QB at UGA.

As far as the three positions you mentioned, RB-we don’t have to sign one this year (but I expect to sign one from Columbus) and we are the leader for perhaps the best RB in the nation next year. LB-I’m a little concerned here, we need to sign some good ones (Vaughters will be keeping an eye on how well the D plays this year), (his words) fwiw. WR-they are a dime a dozen and we have some on campus right now, the AJ Green’s of the world are rare.

Dawgmess

July 16th, 2010
8:42 am

Chris Groskreutz, that was painful but obviously you’re a good sport!

Midland Dog

July 16th, 2010
8:47 am

Any idea just how many recruits we will actually be able to sign this year?

1eyedJack

July 16th, 2010
8:48 am

Last year’s Plan B….hmmmm….Gates is at best a project, and Outlaw is at Junior College. ‘Course how can we measure the impact of Outlaw’s recruiting on the commitment of Nick Marshall? Does Gates have a little brother?

ViningsDAWG

July 16th, 2010
8:49 am

Besides the three schools discussed, Drew is very interested in UGA and Auburn.

OC_Dawg

July 16th, 2010
8:51 am

Thank you for putting that picture of Emmanuelle Chriqui up. Such a babe!

BigTimeTechFan

July 16th, 2010
8:52 am

Well the braking news is DaRick Rogers is asking for release from Tenn.

Just me

July 16th, 2010
9:02 am

At uga football players are free to get drunk (most Athens bars serve under age drinkers all of the time), drive without licences, assault women,etc, and usually just get suspended for georgia’s easiest game. Do you think this gives uga a big recruiting edge vs. other schools who actually care about the character of their recruits?

npgator

July 16th, 2010
9:09 am

Not long before the Dawgs live up to their (Orlando Sentinel)ranking of 64th. Mark Shlebath (sp) will have that puss on his face trying to tough guy Brady Ackerman. Can’t wait!

Tosh.No

July 16th, 2010
9:12 am

You serious big time tech fan? That would be hilarious.

Tosh.No

July 16th, 2010
9:13 am

Not long before Florida gets routed by Bama again… LOL

GeoffDawg

July 16th, 2010
9:13 am

Thanks for the feedback Chip. Regarding the quality two-deep talent at RB with Georgia however, I think it’d be hard for any recruit with designs on early playing time not to take that into consideration. That being said, I still think it would be an advantageous situation for Wilder also given the needs at LB. If RB doesn’t pan out, he can always switch over ala Richard Samuel. The program’s template for that move’s already there.

Tosh.No

July 16th, 2010
9:15 am

Hey just me, what you been smoking this morning. You need to put the pipe down bro. I’d like to talk to your employer (if you even have one) about the character of their employees.

Tosh.No

July 16th, 2010
9:15 am

Great article though Chip. Keeps us posted on Dawg Night!

Things that make you go hmmm....

July 16th, 2010
9:18 am

Why no mention of the O’Leary kid out of Florida as a TE target for UGA? He’s supposed to be a stud. His day played for the dawgs and his mom (daughter of Jack Nicklaus) played volleyball at UGA.

RxDawg

July 16th, 2010
9:20 am

“I should probably say the “ill-fated” Mailbag. The other two times I’ve put this feature together it got trumped by big news.”

I still read and maybe commented on your other mailbag articles Chip. Despite their timing, they were still very enjoyable. Thanks for the write up.

Things that make you go hmmm....

July 16th, 2010
9:20 am

BigTimeTechFan
July 16th, 2010
8:52 am

Asking for a release from Tennessee as in the University or release from the Tennessee Correctional Institute?

go dawgs

July 16th, 2010
9:21 am

Chip – Heard Cochran from Morgan County will have a press conference in August to announce his decision. What are you hearing?

Seachange

July 16th, 2010
9:29 am

Just hope none are thUGAs!!!

bufbox

July 16th, 2010
9:37 am

Vanderbilt recruiting won’t be effected very much by Johnson leaving. Face it, aside from academic or homer reasons, most signees VB gets are kids who want the appeal of SEC football, but weren’t offered by SEC powerhouse programs. It’s not like they can just change their mind and go to UGA or UF or AL. Their options are more like Kentucky, Miss State, or then ACC and Big East. In a number cases, VB is their only BCS conference option.

George Stein

July 16th, 2010
9:57 am

Bufbox – which of the following does not belong: Florida, Alabama, UGA?

Dawgman

July 16th, 2010
10:00 am

Has anyone heard that Da’rick Rogers is asking for a release from Tennessee?

Barack Dawg

July 16th, 2010
10:05 am

George Stein – That would be Georgia Tech.

Chip Towers

July 16th, 2010
10:06 am

Destin Dawg: I had Nick O’Leary but had to cut him to get this magical number of 16 TampaGator required. Suffice it to say Dogs would take him. . . .

TheTruth: The knee is better, thank you. They don’t think it’s a tear, so I’m bracing and elevating. . . . Damian Swann told me yesterday he’s NOT going to make it. Neither is Xzavier Dickson. . . .

MaconKnight: I believe Rodney Garner has Columbus. Mike Bobo handles South Georgia and, therefore, Drew. . . .

1eyedJack: Didn’t say Plan B was as good as Plan A. . . .

Things that make you go hmmmm: See response to DestinDawg. They just probably won’t get both.

bufbox

July 16th, 2010
10:06 am

Stein … obviously UGA in terms of results, but not in terms of ability to sign players that VB can only dream of. Which is the point.

Things that make you go hmmm....

July 16th, 2010
10:06 am

George Stein
July 16th, 2010
9:57 am

If your question is which team hasn’t won a NC in the past four years then the answer is UGA.

UGA is also the correct answer if the question is which program doesn’t have a prick as the HC.

Jack

July 16th, 2010
10:14 am

Anyone who doesn’t think Wilder is going to Florida is living in a dream world.

George Stein

July 16th, 2010
10:15 am

Barack Dawg – that wasn’t an option. You only confirm what the rest of us know – Democrats are morons who can’t answer simple questions.

Bufbox – doesn’t that suggest that going to UGA isn’t the best option? They do seem to get good players and then they don’t seem to win too much once they get there. Spurrier may have been on to something.

Things – Pricks win. That’s why they have rings.

Things that make you go hmmm....

July 16th, 2010
10:15 am

Jack
July 16th, 2010
10:14 am

oo oo ho, dreeeeeeeeam weaver………

Things that make you go hmmm....

July 16th, 2010
10:17 am

George Stein
July 16th, 2010
10:15 am

They also have massive prescription bills and the meds are always dialed in just right.

OldFan

July 16th, 2010
10:18 am

If Rogers were to get released by UT, would/should UGA go after him?

Things that make you go hmmm....

July 16th, 2010
10:19 am

OldFan
July 16th, 2010
10:18 am

He’d probably wind up at Bama or South Carolina.

Delbert D.

July 16th, 2010
10:22 am

How come there are no football players named Xzach? Or women basket ball ladies named Xzoe?

VOLunteer

July 16th, 2010
10:22 am

Has anyone heard that Da’rick Rogers is asking for a release from Tennessee?

Yes. Now that he’s earned his street creds, Rogers wanted to transfer to thUGA, but his probation officer wouldn’t let him go out of state. The probation officer can be bribed, but he’s holding out for several pair of used red panties. :-)

Really, Little Brother, Really....

July 16th, 2010
10:24 am

Rival posters make me laugh…The more you post the better we look… GO DAWGS!!!

bufbox

July 16th, 2010
10:24 am

Stein … is not just those 3…. include AU, LSU, UT, and in many cases Miss., SC, ARK. as schools that aren’t options for many VB recruits. That my only point.

Things that make you go hmmm....

July 16th, 2010
10:25 am

VOLunteer
July 16th, 2010
10:22 am

His probation officer won’t let him go out of state? I didn’t know daddy Nance was a probation officer.

UGA Fever

July 16th, 2010
10:26 am

“If Rogers were to get released by UT, would/should UGA go after him?”

Mark Richt will be telephoning Duh’Rick as soon as he gets off the phone begging Zach to come back.

GatorGal

July 16th, 2010
10:30 am

“Rival posters make me laugh…The more you post the better we look…”

Sure it does. All you thUGA returds just keep thinking that if it makes you feel good.

Hey, I think the postman just brought your welfare check. Go get some more beer to drown your sorrows!

Things that make you go hmmm....

July 16th, 2010
10:31 am

bufbox
July 16th, 2010
10:24 am

May as well give it up. Stating the obvious is just not working. Stein can’t see the nose on his face.