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.
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.
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 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
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.