Ten@10: Georgia’s play on field hasn’t lived up to recruiting billing

THE TEN AT 10:

1. I’ve been asked by my editors this week to examine Georgia’s recruiting classes over the last few years and try to determine whether mistakes in that arena are the reason for the Bulldogs’ collapse in 2010.

I’m still early in my research and I don’t want to give away the whole shooting match, but I will share a little with you. The bottom line is either Georgia’s recruiting classes either didn’t live up to their billing or the the Bulldogs’ coaches didn’t get enough out of the talent they brought to Athens.

The average recruiting ranking for Georgia’s classes — taking ratings from Rivals, Scout and ESPN since 2006 — is a little above 8. Now it has definitely been trending upward of late (or should that be downward?). Last year’s class averaged out at No. 16, with a high rating of 21 coming from Scout. 2007 was also a down year by the Bulldogs’ standards with an average ranking of 13. The other three classes were all top-10 ranked.

Meanwhile, many of the seniors on this year’s squad were members of Georgia’s 2006 class, which received a consensus No. 4 rating. Of course, a lot of those guys are also gone, including QB Matthew Stafford, TB Knowshon Moreno and FS Reshad Jones. But numerous starters remain, including Chris Davis, Josh Davis, Akeem Dent, Demarcus Dobbs, Darryl Gamble, Shaun Chapas and Kris Durham.

Notably NOT starting out of that group are two five-star recruits: LB Akeem Hebron and DT Brandon Wood.

Of course, recruiting is an inexact science and it’s always interesting to look back. So stay tuned this week as I parcel out my findings here while putting together a full report for Thursday’s print edition.

2. Alabama is reaping recruiting dividends of a big win Saturday over Florida before a throng of blue-chip recruits. The Crimson Tide received at least two commitments since then. CB Chris Jones, a four-star safety from Adamsville, Ala., for 2011 and Caleb Gulledge, a 2012 defensive end from of Prattville, Ala.

3. The Tide has their eye on at least one more this week and it’s a big one. Four-star running back Dee Hart of Orlando will announce between Alabama and Michigan on Friday. Hart was also in Tuscaloosa this past weekend visited this past weekend and eliminated Auburn and Arkansas from his list after the visit, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

4. Four-star offensive tackle Xzavier Ward of Colquitt County was also among the Tide visitors. He didn’t commit but has  set up his first official visit to Alabama in January, according to TideSports.com. Ward plans to attend to the Florida-LSU game in Gainesville this Saturday.

5. Someone who was NOT in Tuscaloosa on Saturday was AJC Super 11 athlete Damian Swann of Grady. Swann, who is deciding between the Tide, Florida and Georgia, said he decided not to make the trip. But he’s also not planning on going to Athens this weekend. And Swann told me reports that he was ready to make a commitment, possibly this week,  were untrue.

6. By the way, Colorado got a commitment coming out of its big victory over Georgia. According to ESPN, the Buffaloes landed Alex Kelley, a 6-foot-2, 285-pound offensive lineman from Vista, Calif. It wasn’t a remarkable coup, however. His father, Karry Kelley, played right tackle for the Buffs.

7. The recruiting battle intensifies between Alabama, Clemson, Florida and Georgia for South Atlanta basketball star Nick Jacobs.

8. The Wolfpacker.com reports that Dave Mann, a 6-4, 230-pound defensive end out of Lithonia, has committed to N.C. State.

9. Clemson got commitment from LB B.J. Goodson of Lamar, S.C., according to PalmettoSports.com. Goodson is the 19th commitment for the Tigers and chose them over LSU and Tennessee.

10. OL Will Sport (6-6 275) of Pace, Fla., committed to  South Carolina, per Palmetto. He is No. 19 for the Gamecocks.

131 comments Add your comment

go dawgs

October 5th, 2010
10:26 am

state

October 5th, 2010
10:26 am

All will be fine with UGA no worries as at now. In any programe there is up’s and down and so UGA may be experiencing that now, Texas is another team

First

October 5th, 2010
10:26 am

secbama

October 5th, 2010
10:34 am

Isaiah Crowell now says ‘Bama leads’ after magnificent visit in Tuscaloosa this weekend. Bama has best backfield in nation this year with Ingram/Richardson and next year torch will pass to Richardson/Crowell as the ‘FAST & FURIOUS’ duo.

The offensive line difference between Bama & UGA probably sways Crowell to Tuscaloosa. Bama is much better and physical at point of attack. This one goes down to wire….we will see come February.

Frank

October 5th, 2010
10:38 am

It is all speculation until they sign the dotted line.

THWGT!!!!

Chuck T's

October 5th, 2010
10:38 am

Chip-

#8 ranking average, wow, had no idea Richt excelled here too. Thanks for pointing that out.

i hope you’ll compare objectively to other SEC East programs like Florida and South Carolina

bruce mac

October 5th, 2010
10:41 am

“The offensive line is much better and physical” You think? Mississippi State, South Carolina and Arkansas are too. Probably Vandy, Tennessee, Kentucky, etc. to join that club. Big deal.

Lowndes25

October 5th, 2010
10:42 am

secbama, Crowell said that only b/c he is concerned that Richt is going to be fired after this year (which has a very slim chance of happening). If Richt stays at UGA, then Crowell goes there. Also, from what I am hearing, Dee Hart is going to commit to Bama this Friday and that will help push Crowell our direction as well.

bwell

October 5th, 2010
10:44 am

You know what ticks me off, is how chip, Tim and Jeff bash Georgia when things are going bad. If you support Georgia then find but get off the negativity trip please. Do you think writing all this negative talk is helping Georgia with recruiting and it only allows Ala, Fla, Tenn and others to come in and say hey Georgia will be without a coach next year come to our program. Please stop the madness! Maybe God want Georgia to loose to shake off those wanna be fans….. you know when you win they praise you when you loose they can’t stand you, get off the bus looser

secbama

October 5th, 2010
10:50 am

Lowndes25…I personally like Mark Richt. He has a similar win percentage as Les Miles and Phil Fulmer but has alot more integrity than both them guys. He is a players’ coach, that being said, his teams have played very soft the past couple of years.

Crowell is a gamechanger for sure. He starts in Athens if he picks UGA, he gets 10-12 carries a game as true freshman backing up Richardson if he comes to Bama. Which offensive line would you prefer to run behind?

UGA will bomb UT this weekend. However, you will lose to Florida and Auburn. That is 6 losses. Bama may lose once, maybe this weekend and then run table. If Bama wins second straight national title, do you honestly think Crowell will not pick Bama?

Unbelievable

October 5th, 2010
10:50 am

it is absolutely hilarious that the mutts can have had a top ten recruiting class the last ten years and a win over Lafayette, a 1AA team, is all they have to show for it. Pathetic…5 stars equals 1/2 win…What the blank?

Unbelievable

October 5th, 2010
10:52 am

5 stars equals 10 arrest and 1 win, God how the mighty have fallen

naganole

October 5th, 2010
10:52 am

UGA will bomb UT this weekend? I,um, I’m not so sure about that…

Lowndes25

October 5th, 2010
11:01 am

naganole, methinks you need to be worried about UM this weekend and not the UT/UGA game :) (also, I responded to your post on the other thread)

secbama, yes, I honestly believe that Crowell will come to UGA if Richt is here. He absolutely loves Coach Richt and wants to play for him and play at UGA, but he is being fed lies right now that Richt is definitely going to be fired and that is what has lead him to name Bama his leader. If Hart commits to Bama this Friday like I hear he is going to do, then you can pretty much kiss your chances with Crowell goodbye. The kid believes he is good enough to get early playing-time (and he is), and he will not get that at Bama even if Ingram declares for the NFL (he would be behind both Richardson and Lacy and would have to battle Hart for playing-time as well).

Vinings Dawg

October 5th, 2010
11:01 am

I guess Tricky Nicky will use his cunning to once again play with his rooster. 14 seniors and he already has 20 committments. We again see him run players off and have some come up with a mysterious medical hardship scholarship. This kind of trash needs to stop.

Gray Dawg

October 5th, 2010
11:03 am

Chip, thanks for the update.Lowndes25 always enjoy your reads, do you have any updates on some of the other guys we’re in on?

Gerald

October 5th, 2010
11:03 am

Nothing on Georgia Tech at all this week? Gutting out a win against Wake Forest plus news that North Carolina is in more trouble than previously thought isn’t good for a story or 3?

bruce mac

October 5th, 2010
11:08 am

Gerald, we are too busy firing CMR to worry with the A SHE SHE. An article about a win over Wake? Really?

Matthews Dawg

October 5th, 2010
11:12 am

naganole…I hope you are correct. Crowell will come to UGA if CMR is there. I do agree our OL and team has to get stronger! That is what impressed me the most about Bama the other night against UF. True, Ingram and Richardson are strong backs, but the OL was extremely physical. SECBama, don’t under estimate “PLAYING TIME” as a factor on where a player goes. It is huge and Crowell has the chance to play right away. I still can’t believe we are a double digit favor this weekend. I believe we are a team that when playing well and not turning it over has the chance to beat most anyone on a given Sat. We just need a stop from time to time on D. I’m behind CMR (blind homer or not)and will support them in all things. Go Dawgs!!
Lowndes25… keep it coming on any insights. I hope you are correct. Which I think right now you are, but time will tell. Again, as good as Murray has played, he will get pushed by Christian LeMay next year. Remember, he is coming in Jan.

ryan

October 5th, 2010
11:13 am

Hey Lowndes25 are we still good with Swann if Richt stays and any update about Drew . Let the naganole and Lowndes25 feud begin .

Lowndes25

October 5th, 2010
11:18 am

Gray Dawg, thanks for the comment. Everything is still pretty status quo right now. The majority of our verbal commits are very strong to the Bulldogs and envision themselves as missing keys to helping get UGA back to prominence (and they are…this class has the potential to do huge things for UGA). The silent commits and the guys sitting on the fence are still waiting to see if Richt is given at least another year at UGA before they go public with their commitments (i.e. Damian Swann). We really need to pull out a win against UT this weekend and use that as positive momentum going forward. Also, I can’t say what exactly is happening up in Athens, but I can tell you this nugget…our new AD was a great hire!! He is going to do some things in the next few months that is really going to help all of our athletics programs out and will definitely benefit the football team. Stay tuned as I will break the news once I get the ok from my sources to do so…

DAWG gone fun

October 5th, 2010
11:18 am

1-11 is a real possibility, what will dawg nation say then? or do you guys honestly think this team is going to bounce back and go 3-8…. LMAO, the bullpup hell is here to stay

GoldenDawg

October 5th, 2010
11:20 am

Amen, Matthews Dawg I’m with you. Chip or Lowndes25 have you heard anything about LaMichael Fanning? I heard that he may be reconsidering his commitment?

ryan

October 5th, 2010
11:25 am

At least Richt is starting listing to fans a little bit couple fans called an told CMR that he should run out on the field with players and he is going to that .

Lowndes25

October 5th, 2010
11:28 am

ryan, yes, we are still good for both Swann and Drew. Again, whether some of our fans like to hear it or not, the strength of this recruiting class hinges on whether Coach Richt stays or is fired. If he stays, they come. If he is fired, then the majority of them will look elsewhere…it is that simple. If Richt stays, rest assured that there will be some changes in the offseason…Richt knows and understands the reason for our woes and will correct it.

mc 12

October 5th, 2010
11:34 am

The rating on recruits can sometimes be mis-leading. We get caught up in how many stars are beside his name. Some of the things that really needs to be looked at is character, whether the player is a real football player, the competition he plays against, how well he played against the best players and the part most people can’t judge, a players heart and passion. We put too much emphasis on speed and size.
I took my son to the UGA Junior and Senior camp last year and he had a very good camp. Mark Richt ran from the middle field to the field where my son was doing 7on7 and congratulated him on the route and catch he made.On another occasion while Coach Richt was watching the wide receivers he told my son how good he looked as a wide receiver and wrote down all of his information. My son is 6′3″ 185 with a 3.7 GPA and unfortunately he ran a 4-6 forty. I am sure once they matched his name with his forty time they crossed him off there recruiting list. Some palyers have game speed and when you look at the best wide receivers (Jerry Rice, Steve Largeant, Cris Carter, Hines Ward, Terrell Owens, Wes Welker etc.) they do not have fast forty times. Recruiters need to look more into what it takes to be a football player.

66DAWGnNC

October 5th, 2010
11:38 am

Chip,

As you said, “recruiting is an inexact science…” All programs miss on some guys. That is, the so-called 5 star guy may not be “all that,” or a walk-on may turn out All SEC or All American. You just never know. I don’t think David Pollack was all that highly rated and he turned out pretty decent, although I think he came in under Donnan and red-shirted.

Three things you may want to consider in your research: (1) How do other SEC programs rank comparatively with your methodology? 2) What affect have injuries had on these classes over the years? and (3) What role has early departures for the NFL played in the overall success of the class?

You mentioned Wood and Hebron who have been injured most of their careers. Durham even missed all of last year and is dinged up again this year. Then you mentioned 3 highly rated guys that are now in the NFL. So, you must define your criteria and remain objective in your analysis.

I believe any conclusion you come to is a lose-lose scenario. If your point is that the coaching staff has been ineffective in not coaching the guys up, then you jump on the band-wagon of most of these bloggers who want a coaching change. My question is, “Who is available out there as successful as Mark Richt?” Please don’t mention Van Gorder. He was successful as a DC, but is not loyal to anyone. Left us for the NFL; jumped to GA SO for 1 yr; agreed to be DC at South Carolina and left after a month on the job for the NFL again. Why anyone would want that for a HC is beyond me. Yes, the last two years have not met expectations, but I remember many 5-6 years in the not-so-distant past. Richt will get it back together and we will once again be a force in the SEC.

If your objective is to prove the players were not worthy of their “star” rating, then I ask as I have before, “Do you really think our coaching staff, or any coaching staff for that matter, consults Rivals, Scout, or ESPN for the number of stars a player has?” I seriously doubt this. You may want to get some insight into how various coaching staffs go about evaluating players. I remember hearing or reading something from MR several years ago that there is a process in their evaluation of a player including: accademics; character; and athletic ability. Yes, I know, they have seemingly missed in these areas in light of the arrest record and field performance. I think you have undertaken an assignment that you can skew the results in any way you desire. So, you must define your criteria, do your research, and draw your conclusions. I think I know a little about research since that is my profession. I still think you are in a no-win assignment though. That’s my two-cents worth.

5 star recuit

October 5th, 2010
11:40 am

Lowndes 25
Let me quess, They fire bobo and hire a new OC?
Give CMR a vote of confidence and tell the police to stay away from the football team!
UGA is now the laughing stock of the SEC! Recuit 5 star players and have 2 star OC and DC’s.

ryan

October 5th, 2010
11:43 am

I hope now Richt will stay at least another year because i want to see how this class is going to be i know people are not going to agree with me but Richt does deserve one more chance .

Lowndes25

October 5th, 2010
11:43 am

GoldenDawg, LaMichael Fanning was all about the Dawgs at the beginning of his recruiting process, but then he hitched himself to the Bama bandwagon. He has since decided to take another look at UGA and was in town for the Arkansas game. He is legitimately interested in UGA (thanks to his close relationship with Coach Garner) but he is getting a lot of pressure from Saban and company not to look around. What will he do in the end? Not sure…but we have a very good chance of landing him if we can turn things around.

Lowndes25

October 5th, 2010
11:53 am

5 star recuit, a new OC will not be the only change made in Athens but it will definitely be one of them. Will there be any more arrests in Athens? Not sure, but I think the team got the message loud and clear that arrests will be handled in a lot more strict manner after what happened to Baker. Do I hate that we have had so many arrests? Absolutely. But the only reason you are hearing so much about our arrests and not places like UF is b/c we have not performed up to expectations this year. Make no mistake, arrests are a big problem at plenty of other colleges besides UGA but our arrests are getting more attention (and rightfully so) b/c our on-the-field product is so horrible right now. We definitely need our kids to start acting like the adults they are and conduct themselves as solid citizens off the field, and I think you will start to see that happen. UGA is definitely struggling on the field this year, and we struggled last year, but it is nothing that a 10-win season next year can’t fix.

Animal Control Officer

October 5th, 2010
11:54 am

bwell you are an idiot, its called freedom of the press. Last time I checked this was AMERICA, not soviet russia and reporters were allowed to write whatever they wanted.

Jan Kemp's advisor

October 5th, 2010
11:55 am

We do lead the nation in arrest, I feel we will alway’s be strong in that statistical category!

Outside Observer

October 5th, 2010
11:59 am

mc 12, your son sounds like an excellent student on the field and off. If CMR doesn’t appreciate his talents with those measurements, I’m sure some coach will. Good luck to both of you in the recruiting process and best of luck at the next level.

RxDawg

October 5th, 2010
12:05 pm

I asked this a while back, but never really received an answer from anyone. Do you guys think with Demtre Baker being removed from the team, this opens up our recruiting for other LB’s? This Fanning guy perhaps?

Bulldog huff

October 5th, 2010
12:06 pm

T0.ran a 4.4 forty

Big Dog

October 5th, 2010
12:07 pm

What is the average rankings of the teams that have kicked the mutts butts.Lets get ready to FUMBLE!!!!!!!!!

Lowndes25

October 5th, 2010
12:14 pm

RxDawg, it definitely opens up another scholarship for a LB. To be honest, Baker was a better RB prospect than he was a LB and I think if he would have stayed in Athens he would have eventually been moved to the offensive side of the ball. As far as LB recruits are concerned, we are still hard after Kent Turrene and Ramik Wilson in this year’s class. Sterling Bailey, who is already committed to UGA, is a hybrid LB/DE as is Xavier Dickson (who is almost an exact replica of Justin Houston)…Amarlo Herrera is a MLB. We also have Dexter Morant, Brandon Burrows, Richard Samuels, and Jarvis Jones who will all be coming off of redshirts next year at the LB position so I think we will have some pretty good depth at the LB position in 2011.

No Tech stuff?

October 5th, 2010
12:22 pm

Not even a paragraph about tech recruiting?

RxDawg

October 5th, 2010
12:23 pm

That’s interesting about Baker being a possible RB. I’d heard he was really turning some heads at his LB spot in practice. Oh well, water under the bridge now I guess.

secbama

October 5th, 2010
12:27 pm

Crowell will team with Richardson next season at Bama if he comes. Crowell is better than Eddie Lacy right now!

ryan

October 5th, 2010
12:44 pm

Secbama Dee Hart is going to commit to Bama and that is going push Crowell to UGA the Tide all ready has loaded backfeild and Crowell does not want be a benchwarmer .

dawgster

October 5th, 2010
12:46 pm

Lowndes25…i think Jarvis Jones is our ace in the hole for Crowell, if Coach Richt stays and i believe he will..I am also hearing that Hart is going to commit to Bama…Lowndes.,..if Crowell were to commit to Bama, even with Coach Richt here, do you see any other top notch backs this year that we may get…i still like the kid from Jersey, but i beileve he will stay up North also…i just don’t see anybody in the class of Crowell and it will be a major lost if we can’t get him…This season needs to turn around in a hurry and give these kids some confidence in our program…

BDAWG

October 5th, 2010
12:47 pm

I agree, Bobo needs to go now, not later. The entire offensive staff needs to be replaced and i am willing to give Grantham a second year, but it will only work if Richt let’s him be the coach he can be without trying to tone down his language and antics. Richt will get another year but, he cannot continue to take a long time to replace people if they are not getting the job done. As far as beating UT. If the defense plays a complete game and stop missing assignments and if the OL shows up and the RBs stop fumbling , then we may beat UT. We are playing for recruits now and nothing else. The season is a bust and there will be no bowl game this year. Sad to say that, but I just don’t see the light for this year.

Matthews Dawg

October 5th, 2010
12:50 pm

One comment about the arrest of players in Athens (student too). In NC where one of my children goes to college, they give out “drinking tickets or citations”, instead of arresting them and throwing them in jail. I’m not saying drinking underage is right, it is wrong! But, some not all of these arrest would not be on the police blotter if the state of Ga didn’t have this law. I’m not against it, I’m not saying that the underage student/athletes should not be punished, b/c they are breaking the law. My point is it would not look as bad to everyone else in the country if these situations were handled by the police in a different way. I am NOT condoning their actions. Just making a point. I feel sorry for Baker and he will get a second chance and I hope he does well. But, we do need our guys to act accordingly and stay out of trouble. Then, we need our guys to get after it on the field. This blog was directed at “Jan Kemp’s advisor”! I guess we will always have haters on here!
We have got to get STRONGER! Speed and strength will do us a world of good. We have speed, now we need strength and will be back on top. Our LB’s are going to be fine, I hope our DB’s get it soon. If you heard Game Day this past weekend, all of them across the board said CMR has every right to be back. Look at what he has done for UGA and no one has come close to that since Dooley did in the early 80’s. Let’s face it, Coach Dooley didn’t do it a lot. He would have the same grumblings if he was the HC today. Let’s back the Dawgs and make it as loud on Sat as it was for the Arkansas game. Go Dawgs!

Matthews Dawg

October 5th, 2010
12:56 pm

Dawgster… you are all over it! Crowell will be great for our program. I believe the chance to be the “featured” back is great. Also, Jarvis Jones should help some too. I want us to win as bad as anyone else. We have to find ways to win and not give these games away. Hopefully, the turn around starts this weekend. Make it loud at Sanford Stadium on Sat.

ryan

October 5th, 2010
1:00 pm

I think Grantham is just going let them loose on the opposing QB there is going be no more playing safe no more games its time to put up or shut up .

Silent Dawg

October 5th, 2010
1:15 pm

I am not a bandwagon fan. Grew up with my grandfather watching Alabama, then watched a game with a cool helmet and awesome runningback. Later was told I was going to UGA for an education, and have been die hard since. Seen Goff, Donnan, and now Richt and I believe he is entitled to more than one more year. Let’s face it, new DC equals big buyout if you get rid of the whole staff. DC is working, and will work better with the right personnel, period.

bwell is absolutely correct with the negative vibes put out. This goes for our bandwagon riders as well. If you want things to change, then keep your pieholes shut until you see a couple seasons like this back to back. I believe changes will be made, but do you honestly think they will be made in the middle of a season. I am pretty sure I have read about one change already, and that was surprising the guys with a full pad practice yesterday.

66DAWGnNC, you are also correct about research. You must define your criteria for what you are about to suggest. This is also directed at our idiot fringe who wants results now, and not build a program that is long lasting, but would rather live in the now. Maybe that is why they call them bandwagon riders. Do your research on Bowden, Paterno, Hayes, and Dooley just to name a few, and you will realize they all had seasons like this, and some before 10years. Some after 10years. Part of leading is changing with philosophies as you go, and making corrections. How are you supposed to make the corrections if you are not given the chance to do so? If you want the Saban’s and Carroll’s of the world who give you championships and then leave, then go jump on the Bama/USC bandwagons. I’d rather stay with what I fell in love with and not wonder who will be leaving next. Trust me, Saban will leave when the time is right. Richt is loyal, and will do the right things. And yes, research shows that some who were allowed to stay, didn’t win the big ones until after 10-15years, when recruits knew who was going to be in charge, and who knew their fan bases were loyal. I’d rather be talking about the legend that just passed away or retired than the one championship, and that guy left for the more $ or the NFL.

True Red Dawg Fan,

#1 BAMA FAN

October 5th, 2010
1:16 pm

LOWNDES 25….remeber the feeling I had a couple of weeks ago. My prediction was that two big recruits from Georgia committ to BAMA. I am now thinking Crowell & Dickson. Your thoughts….RTR

dawgster

October 5th, 2010
1:22 pm

Matthews Dawg…you are right, we need to be excited and loud as fans and look at as a new season with each game…i just went to another site(mark bradley) as he is stirring things up again…but i guess he gets paid to do that…I am truly amazed at the so called dawg fans that are hateful and very cruel in their remarks regarding Coach Richt and the team..I can only hope that they are not really dawg fans..if they only knew what damage they are doing or possibly doing…i’m just like the rest of true dawg fans, i’m not happy, as a matter of fact i’m downright angry…but i have faith that we get the ship righted..Some of the people think these players want to lose or make mistakes or that they don’t care about this team..well that’s the farthest from the truth…anyone that has sacrificed themselves year round to be a good football player knows what these guys go thru…People this coaching staff has not forgotten how to coach…do i agree with alot of the things that are being done from the Offensive and Defensive side..no…but i have faith the coaches will get it right…this may sound like a homer, call me that if you like, but this team with a break here or there and one or two less fumbles could be sitting at 4-1 or 5-0 just as easily as 1-4..but we are not and thats reality…so you get back to work..and take one game at a time..thats where we are right now…go dawgs and lets back Coach Richt and this staff..i hope the dawg nation will do that…