Mailbag: Crowell vs. Wilder, recruiting hostesses and what it takes to get noticed

THE MAILBAG:

mailbag(1)Peter of Charleston, S.C., asks: Has UGA said how many running backs they will take in 2011? Which back do you think fits better, James Wilder Jr. or Isaiah Crowell?

Chip: Georgia has not said how many backs it will take but I’m still waiting for their call. In the meantime, I believed they’d sign at least two even before Dontavius Jackson’s DUI and subsequent decision to leave. The Bulldogs made it clear from the beginning that Crowell was their A-number-one target in this class, but that was before they knew they’d get this far with Wilder. So I’d call them 1A and 1B at this point.

James Wilder Jr.: Hard to top this guy. (Photo by Tim Casey/GatorCountry.com)

James Wilder Jr.: Hard to top this guy. (Photo by Tim Casey/GatorCountry.com)

Regardless, the Bulldogs have never banked on one back under coach Mark Richt. If you look at his years at Georgia, they average right at 2,000 yards rushing every season no matter who’s the primary ballcarrier. And the majority of the time those carries are spread somewhat evenly between two or three backs. He’s a big believer in not wearing down a back and trying to keep several healthy and happy. That’s what they did last season with Washaun Ealey (125 carries, 717 yards), Caleb King (114-594) and Richard Samuel (88-395) gaining the majority of Georgia’s 2,093 yards.

With Samuel now on defense and out of the mix, Carlton Thomas and Boo Malcome waiting in the wings and King draft eligible after this season, there are carries to be had. They’ve offered seven or eight running back prospects, including Quan Bray, Aaron Green and Savon Huggins, if that tells you anything.

As for the other part of your question,  if I was forced to pick one over the other I’d say Wilder looks to possibly be a once-a-decade kind of player. But this is a pair of five-star prospects. Does it really matter? One’s a boon, two’s a bonanza.

Polo Jacket: Hey Chip, it’s been kind of quiet on the recruiting front for Georgia Tech. When do you think they’ll get another commitment and from whom?

Chip: It has been somewhat quiet of late but I don’t expect that to last much longer. The Yellow Jackets had two players come through The Flats recently. Blake Countess, a four-star cornerback prospect out of Maryland, was there early this week and linebacker Tremayne McNair (6-2, 225) of Jacksonville, N.C., came through late. Both are considered top-notch college football prospects and both have Tech among their finalists.

But if I had to guess I’d say cornerback Dominique Noble (6-2, 187) of Mount Ulla, N.C., would be the next player to commit to the Jackets. Earlier this week, he said flat out to JacketsOnline.com, “I’m very close to committing to Georgia Tech.” How’s that for a hint? Meanwhile running back Romar Morris (5-10, 175) of Salisbury, N.C., a 1,300-yard rusher as a junior, has Georgia Tech in his final three along with North Carolina and Tennessee. But he supposedly wants to check out Penn State, too, so he may be a while longer.

Not hosting but does star in "Georgia."

Not hosting but does star in "Georgia."

Wes asks: Think the NCAA would allow UGA to hire Sloan from Entourage as a “recruiting hostess?”  Sure, it would be a Lane Kiffin-type move. But think about the impact she could have on a bunch of 18-year-olds!

Chip: I guess “Sloan from Entourage,” aka actress Emmanuel Chriqui, is going to become a “thing” for The Mailbag. And a beautiful thing that is! If she doesn’t start playing a bigger role on the HBO series she may be available for hostess duties. The writers finally had her in a scene this past week, but it was short and was only of her eating dinner with “E” in their Hollywood home. No pool, no beach, no nightclub. Another wasted opportunity. Of course, Wes, you know having Ms. Chriqui as a recruiting hostess is a pipe dream. So you’ll have to take solace in her latest film project — “Georgia.” Unfortunately it’s being filmed in Russia.

Mightydawg asks: If I remember correctly, UGA was going to take three offensive tackles this year.  Watts Dantzler, who committed on Father’s Day is one.  Then at Dawg Night, Richt tells Zach DeBell that there is only one spot left and DeBell commits.  Any word on what happened between Father’s Day and Dawg Night so that there was only one spot left?  If there is a silent commitment, who is the most likely candidate?

Chip: Thanks for the question. But it’s not like Georgia — or any other school, for that matter — sends out a news release and says we’re going to take three tackles and two quarterbacks and one center, or what have you (see first answer). That’s just all of us speculating based on depth charts and graduation classes and such. To be sure, however, the coaching staffs have their recruiting boards and an outline of how many — and whom — they want at each position. But it’s always a fluid situation that changes with the ebb and flow of recruiting.

That said, I believe Georgia is prepared to stand pat with what they have at tackle. It loses starting tackles Clint Boling and Josh Davis to graduation after the season. Then there is the wildcard of Trinton Sturdivant and his back-to-back knee injuries. So if the phone rings and it’s Brandon Shell or Xzavier Ward saying he’d like to commit, I have to believe they’d find a way to make room. And I didn’t hear of a “silent commitment.” Get it?

Snellville Dawg: Is there anything going on with South Gwinnett QB Kent Rollins? He’s very mobile and has a very strong arm. I’m surprised he hasn’t garnered any attention yet.

Chip: Well, Snellville Dawg, you’re right there. You tell me! . . . Just kidding. I’ll see what I can find out about Rollins’ recruitment next week. But, as you probably know, Rollins is a VERY productive quarterback who threw the ball all over the place for the Comets last year (more than 2,000 yards passing and 23 touchdowns). Unfortunately for him, he is a size (5-11, 175) that just isn’t going to bring a lot of early offers, especially from BCS schools. They’re going to take a wait-and-see attitude and see what Rollins does in his senior season.

Meanwhile, I saw a story in the Gwinnett Daily Post about Rollins and Collins Hill’s Taylor Heinicke taking multiple trips to one-day camps across the South this summer to get in front of as many coaches as possible. That’s what prospects like him need to do. But based on Rollins’ football career to date, I think those offers will eventually come for him. You can tell from his highlight video that Rollins is a player. South Gwinnett fans already know that. See for yourself.

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206 comments Add your comment

Spike

July 23rd, 2010
6:47 am

Good stuff, Chip. And I won’t even say I’m first!

#2 Bama Fan

July 23rd, 2010
6:49 am

If Sloan was a recruiting hostess for Alabama!! The NCAA would put us under the jail. Wow have to watch the show after catching her on this blog, RTR

midland Dog

July 23rd, 2010
6:51 am

Can’t wait for fall. I think UGA surprises.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

July 23rd, 2010
7:18 am

Thanks for the updates Chip- we’re so close to kickoff, can’t wait!!!!

dawg song

July 23rd, 2010
7:18 am

Richt is rebuilding. We’ll fight for 3rd in east at 7-5ish.
Hot seat may get hotter though…

The ORIGINAL Auburn Man

July 23rd, 2010
7:24 am

Auburn wins SEC title.

TommyP

July 23rd, 2010
7:27 am

Crowell is the better fit and should be the subject of the description “once a decade” type of player. Wilder is probably a better LB prospect at this point.

Georgia will take another tackle and word is that Shell is the silent commit that fills that spot.

Jack was really a Jester

July 23rd, 2010
7:29 am

UGA and Auburn in the SECCG…

JB

July 23rd, 2010
7:30 am

Georgia has the Athletes to go 11-1……the coaching the last two years have kept us at bay….But, I really believe the Defense will be better coached, energized, and mentally prepared this year than in the past 2 years……How that all works out in wins and loses , who knows……I think the offense will be better just because we can work a game plan, rather than struggling to overcome a 2-4 TD deficit Willie’s defense seems to put us in….

TheTaxJacket

July 23rd, 2010
7:31 am

*** NESBITT FOR HEISMEN ***

(((( 45 – 42 ))))

JB

July 23rd, 2010
7:32 am

I do think Auburn will be better, but like the Dawgs, still a year away…….

joe

July 23rd, 2010
7:37 am

Richard Samuel was a tall, very atheletic running back/linebacker 5 star recruit too. He turned out to be a running back with no wiggle or instincts(a slug). What’s the word on Wilders running ability, or is he just a kid with a great build? I know his dad could tote it, as I lived in Tampa when he played for the Buc’s

theTruth

July 23rd, 2010
7:41 am

TGIF….dawg song, it’s obvious when a person is trolling under a ‘dawg name’.

I’ll take Crowell over Wilder.

It’s RuMoReD that Shell might be a silent commit, but you never know.

Congrats to Mark Fox for bringing in the # 11 player in the nation! His first 5 star recruit, something tells me it won’t be his last.

Destin Dawg

July 23rd, 2010
7:42 am

Going up hill in Athens for sure… BIG new DDEEE and kicking game = great field position…. great recruiting class keeps getting better…. go Dawgs !!!

TheTaxJacket

July 23rd, 2010
7:48 am

Correction; *** NESBITT FOR NCAA INVESTIGATION*** LOL!
GT fans = nerds = social losers!

mebeingme

July 23rd, 2010
7:51 am

Chip……..I can honestly say this is (by far) a LESS critical article (about UGA) from you, that i’ve personally read in quite some time.

Frank Lane

July 23rd, 2010
7:54 am

Rollins make a good quarterback for Tech. Much better runner than passer.

wiley

July 23rd, 2010
7:59 am

Looks like Groh is getting another top notch corner from the Maryland area. Louis Young was a 4 star corner that we got from the same school last year…so I dont see the kid going anywhere else. Add those two kids to Ryan Ayers and we should have a very solid corner rotation in a year or two. Keep it up Groh!

made me laugh

July 23rd, 2010
8:03 am

Good write up on the “cloud” over the UGA football program

http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog/2010/07/22/richts-words-actions-havent-changed-ugliness-at-georgia/

I think UGA goes 8 and 4 (with some luck)

1970 Dawg

July 23rd, 2010
8:17 am

The previous post by another hater “made me laugh” almost as hard as the dude who keeps posting the 2008 score of The Game of the Decade as far as the jackets are concerned. Truly pitiful. Good article though and thanks Chip

Too Easy

July 23rd, 2010
8:30 am

TaxJackette: Learn how to spell the name of one of your former coaches. Moron.

DX107

July 23rd, 2010
8:32 am

Chip – I have asked all week on different blogs: Does GT really rent cheerleaders, can you shed some light on this?

If so, are they paid, free burgers from the “V”,

Paddy

July 23rd, 2010
8:33 am

I believe we are a 10-2 team. 11-1 if we get by USC. That is the trip wire game IMHO.

Vick=Dog killing thug

July 23rd, 2010
8:46 am

Good stuff Chip, especially the Sloan pic. WOW

How2fish

July 23rd, 2010
8:48 am

Good article Chip thanks for the info !

BigTimeTECHFan

July 23rd, 2010
9:10 am

Paddy – 10-2 for UGA should be about right for UGA this year:
loss Florida and one of the following
Auburn, South Carolina, GA Tech
Tenn off a little this year
Don’t play LSU or Alabama so rest of the schedule favors UGA, but always that speeper team that creeps up, tough game could be Arkanas

I have not seen Crowell play, seen Wilder Jr play. Can’t make the call but I will agree Wilder is one of those big time back. Any word on when he’s visiting Tech.

Very nice list for Tech, They did very well in state last year, this year it seems like a lot of their targets are from out of state. Is that because Groh (VA) and McCollum (NC) connections? Very nice list.

1eyedJack

July 23rd, 2010
9:18 am

I’d take Sloan’s abs over Wilder’s abs any day.

dirty727

July 23rd, 2010
9:22 am

Crowell is the better fit and the better rb.This kid is the truth.Every time he touches the ball he could take it to the house.He can run between the tackles and get to the corner and he’s a good kid.

UGA (STUPID REDNECK FANS, 7-5, 1980)

July 23rd, 2010
9:25 am

Chip- Romar Morris runs a 4.3 flat IN HIGHSCHOOL! That’s pretty impressive….I really hope GT lands him. He would fit great in the A-back position; fast as lightning and can catch the ball. COME TO TECH MORRIS!

dirty727

July 23rd, 2010
9:30 am

I.Crowell was the best rb in the country last year and when its all said and done he will be ranked #1 this year.You heard it here first.

Billy

July 23rd, 2010
9:33 am

James Wilder Jr? That’s James Wilder? Seriously, …we’re having this conversation. As if uga has any chance- ANY CHANCE- whatsoever in signing Wilder. I think the summer has been a bit too hot and long for the uga fans. I’m sure you’ll do fine at RB this recruiting season, but please don’t take up any more valuable bandwith with your pipe dreams.

TampaGator

July 23rd, 2010
9:39 am

Prediction……”Dream Team” takes a hit…..Crowell to Auburn and Wilder to Florida.

Chip….I know you focus primarily on on Georgia recruits….but news from the Elite QB camp is Florida QB commit, Driskel, completely dominated the camp and was compared in talent and skill to Troy Aikman and Peyton Manning. Gator starting QB in 2012.

BigTimeTECHFan

July 23rd, 2010
9:51 am

Driskel de-committed from Florida and committed to GA Tech at Elite Camp this week. JK
For the guy that finished 2nd would be nice for Tech, he was major surprise at Elite Camp and does not have any offers at any big time schools because he runs an run/option offense and small but he showed great arm.

It is just a matter of time,Re: GT's three NFL guys

July 23rd, 2010
9:59 am

Used to be that GT had no NCAA inquries. Why? They rarely had NFL caliber players. Due to Chan’s fabulous recruiting, they too will feel the glae of the NCCA inquiry lights.

Good news for GT in a long term scheme ………….. CPJ does not recruit well, so soon the NCAA will stop looking around the Flats, because they have no talent going forward. The three or four men that left Tech for the NFL without a diploma, will bring the snoops.

Count on it. it comes with the territory …………sing big time players and all of a sudden the NCAA wants to know who, what,when and where.

Mike Honcho

July 23rd, 2010
10:02 am

Hey Chip,

Any chance of talking Wilder into playing LB? It’s probably a long shot cuz it does seem like his heart is set on running back but I’d hate to have another Richard Samuel situation assuming he did sign. And I imagine he would be a beast at LB. Plus I think it would be impossible to sign both Crowel and Wilder at RB. If Wilder commits elsewhere then I think we lose Crowell and vice versa.

Reality 101

July 23rd, 2010
10:02 am

I really don’t know what is funnier?

Is it the dawg predictions for an 11 win season OR
the gator comparing a high school boy to Manning and Aikman?
——
I’ll have what you guys are having!

jack

July 23rd, 2010
10:07 am

Judging by the first question, it appears some dawgies are still delusional about James Wilder going to their favorite school. Ain’t going to happen.

David

July 23rd, 2010
10:15 am

I dont know what you are smoking but Wilder is not going to that suck hole in Athens

Mike Honcho

July 23rd, 2010
10:19 am

Everyone said the same about Orson Charles too. Look how that turned out. I’m not saying he’s going to UGA but you never know. Nothing’s guranteed.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

July 23rd, 2010
10:22 am

I will be happy with Crowell and Shell completing the offensive side of this class but of course UGA wouldn’t turn Wilder down. Georgia may be a close 2nd for Wilder (tied with 3 other teams) for him. The thing is that he may leaning towards Florida but they aren’t his style of offense and they would likely move him to LB AFTER they get him signed up. He has stated that he wants to be a RB.

TechGrad

July 23rd, 2010
10:23 am

DX107: Are you really that stupid?

wiley

July 23rd, 2010
10:24 am

Fabulous recruiting? You obviously have not payed attention to GT recruiting for very long. PJ is doing about the same as Chan…Chan had one decent class and that was the 2007 class. I dont know why I have to educate people on this every day but D. Thomas was a 3 star no name WR out of high school. The only highly rated players in 2007 that actually did great were the 4 star prospects…D Morgan, Nesbitt, and Dwyer. Johnson has recruited a decent amount of 4 star players and has gotten a lot of solid 3 star players that will become 3 year starters. Chan signed a lot of two star no name players and ran a boring offense…you guys will do anything to not give Paul Johnson any credit. Any objective person would say that Tech recruiting is about what it should be given the offense and academic requirements…Ask Chip. PJ cleaned up a lot of good prospects in state last year and I trust that PJ got some great players who will contribute. So in summation..Chan recruited 3 and 4 star guys….so has Paul Johnson…Chan was no better at recruiting than PJ…the only big time player he ever landed was Calvin Johnson. Tech does not recruit 5 star players….and we still have a winning record every year. I dont think Tech fans have anything to worry about…the defensive recruiting under Johnson has been great in my opinion. What say you Chip?

Seriously?

July 23rd, 2010
10:30 am

Tampa Gator, I know you’re trying to get attention, but to say Crowell is going to Auburn is NUTS. I know Auburn has a history of getting top backs, but not only did they get one or two last year, Crowell isn’t even interested. Its down to Bama and Georgia and from what he has been saying lately, Georgia has the lead- the kid grew up a Georgia fan as well.

If you want to get attention or piss off Georgia fans, at least say something believable.

shane#1

July 23rd, 2010
10:30 am

I have two questions about Wilder. 1- Does James Sr. know Brad Johnson? 2. What was the relationship between James Jr. and Murray and Charles? He would have been a freshman their senior year.

TechGrad

July 23rd, 2010
10:32 am

I really think Wilder would be best at GT. I don’t think we get him (even though he reached out to us first), but our offense would showcase him more than anyone else’s would. Even if he would make a better LB than RB, our offense + his athleticism would be hard to beat. He’d be a great B-back. I really think every other school he is looking at will move him to LB once he signs.

That said, we don’t really need him. We have a verbal from Hunt-Days, who I think could be a stud at B-back, too. The guy scores off the charts at the camps. He’s a great athlete, as well.

Seriously?

July 23rd, 2010
10:37 am

TechGrad, Tech has little to no chance with Wilder. Wilder has been overheard saying that it is down to Georgia and Florida, Florida being the most likely destination.

That being said, if you move Hunt-Days from linebacker, you’re either a genius or crazy, because that guy is LEGIT at linebacker.

wiley

July 23rd, 2010
10:38 am

I agree Tech Grad. The kid doesn’t realize how special he could be in this offense because he listens to the negativity about the offense. Its a shame that he will probably end up like Richard Samuel…a 5 star RB that now has no NFL future unless he has one of the best years in NCAA history at the LB position. Its his decision to make and his future to mess up…but I know as long as we have a decent back at the B Back position we will get at least 1000 yards. Wilder could rush for 1000 plus yards three straight years…I dont see that happening at any other of the schools he is looking at. As for Hunt Days he should be a good LB or B Back…that kid is one of the best athletes in the state of Georgia…he has blown away many of the blue chippers but his status as a GT recruit will make scout and rivals less likely to up his ranking.

Chip Towers

July 23rd, 2010
10:57 am

Mike Honcho: No chance if you have any intention of signing him. Wilder has been clear about that.

shane#1: (1) Yes, James Wilder Sr. does know Brad Johnson; (2) Wilder and Charles certainly seemed chummy during Wilder’s visit last week. But they actually did not play together. If I’m not mistaken, Wilder transferred in before last season. But they all know each other.

ATL XMAN

July 23rd, 2010
11:07 am

wiley the big difference is that Gailys players are going pro and pj players are not. pj talent is nowhere near that of gailys. bey bey would never had played for pj offense if he had a choice. you can add dwyer and nesbitt to that list.

Billy

July 23rd, 2010
11:11 am

Mike Honcho – No one of any significance said uga didn’t have a shot at Orson Charles. Most felt uga and miami lead from the outset and uga certainly became the favorite after they picked up Plant’s QB. Wilder is a different story.