Ten@10: Bulldogs anxious with no new commitments in 4 months

THE TEN AT 10:

1. Georgia hasn’t had a commitment since Spalding defensive tackle Chris Mayes gave the Bulldogs his pledge on August 16. That was four months ago. And it appears that the Bulldogs may not have another one for the rest of the calendar year.

It looked like AJC Super 11 tight end Jay Rome of Valdosta might pull the trigger after a successful official visit last weekend. But Rome’s father Stan Rome has since said his son will likely take scheduled visits to Clemson and Tennessee in January. The Bulldogs were hoping to land JUCO All-American DE Cornelius Carradine of Butler County Community College on Wednesday, but he chose Florida State.

Georgia coach Mark Richt addressed that lack of recruiting movement at his Liberty Bowl news conference Wednesday in Athens.

“It’s tough. You always hope that when a young man knows for sure where he wants to go he would just say it. I think those days are changing. There are a lot of them who do. There are a lot of early commitments, then all of a sudden it seems like everything dries up for a while for the guys who want to wait until the very end. Sometimes it’s because they don’t know and sometimes it’s because they are wanting to do it at an all-star game or whatever it is. I think they are getting encouraged to do that a little bit. It is a special time for them and they want it to be a special announcement, and their families do too. You can understand why sometimes it drags on, and then there are guys who flat out just don’t know until the very end. I think most of them have a pretty good idea of where they are going to go. It would be nice if they would all decide and we could start working on next year’s class, but that’s not where it is right now.”

At least two of the Bulldogs’ 5-star targets, RB Isaiah Crowell of Carver-Columbus and DE Ray Drew of Thomas County Central, have said they don’t plan to make a decision until national signing day. Several others, including AJC Super 11 players Xzavier Dickson of Griffin and Damian Swann of Grady, have said in their past they will make their announcements during national all-star games in January. So it looks like it may be a while still.

2. It hasn’t been from a lack of trying. Georgia coaches have been blanketing the Southeast during the current contact period, so much so that the practices for UCF and the Liberty Bowl have almost been an afterthought.

“I don’t even know how many miles our guys put on,” Richt said. “It’s just amazing how much ground gets covered. They are pretty relentless out there and you have to be. The recruiting wars are just as important as the wars on the field. So there is a lot going on, and everybody is just kind of swooping in at the last second. I landed just a couple of minutes ago, and timed it out just right for this [news conference]. We actually pushed it back just so I could get in one more home [Wednesday] morning. We’ll continue to get on the road as we are trying to prepare. That’s the hardest thing you juggle when you are doing this bowl practice stuff. You are still out there recruiting, you are still out there trying to prepare for your opponent, and it’s not easy to do all those things at the same time. But we made sure our coordinators were off the road enough to get us enough of a plan that every practice would be valuable. Now it’s a matter of starting to practice and refine it as we go.”

3. Richt was asked if he felt like recruiting was more crucial than ever this year, as the Bulldogs have logged 11 losses the last two seasons.

“I think that recruiting is always crucial, it’s always important. I don’t know if you could say this season more than any other. I do think this recruiting year in the state of Georgia, even as we were mapping it out a year ago because you are looking that far down the road. This class in particular we thought was going to be extremely strong, and we still believe that. Not only strong in athleticism and ability, but very strong in character from what I’m seeing. I really like the young men we’ve been dealing with as people too. It’s been a very encouraging year in that way too, which is kind of nice.”

4. Carradine hasn’t been Georgia’s only whiff in the JUCO ranks. The Bulldogs also offered several other two-year college standouts who chose to go in other directions, including Coffeyville (Kan.) Junior College DT Sylvester Williams (North Carolina), Butler County Community College WR Marcus Kennard (Texas Tech) and San Mateo (Calif.) College WR Rahsaan Vaughn (Oregon).

Georgia’s last and biggest hope from the JUCO ranks remains with defensive lineman John Jenkins of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community. The 6-foot-4, 340-pound nose guard, a perfect fit for the middle Todd Grantham’s 3-4 defense, is hosting several UGA coaches at his home in Meriden, Conn., this weekend. Jenkins committed to Oklahoma State last month but recently re-opened his recruitment and is getting pursued hard by the Bulldogs, Auburn, Mississippi State and several others.

“He’s definitely an impact player,” MGCCC coach Steve Campbell told me. “We had Terrence Cody here and he was an impact player [at Alabama]. JJ is a similar kind of player. He’s not as big but he has a little more speed and burst. He’s a prototypical inside guy.”

Jenkins is probably not going to make his final decision any time soon either, however. He’s not scheduled to graduate from MGCCC until the end of spring semester. He has only visited Houston and Oklahoma State so far and wants to get onto some of these campuses. So he, too, could wait until national signing day to make the call — and likely will.

“As far as making a decision, I’m not ready yet,” Jenkins told me this week. “I’m just letting everything play out right now. I’m trying not to rush it.”

5. Speaking of JUCOs, former AJC Super 11 defensive end and Georgia signee Toby Jackson of Griffin signed with Central Florida on Wednesday. So did Jackson’s brother, Kentorious “Scooter” Jackson, a  6-1, 198 DB from Georgia Military College. The Orlando Sentinel provides some more details.

6. Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s gives his take on recruiting to Macon’s Seth Emerson.

7. WR Markeith Ambles, a 2009 AJC Super 11 selection, was recently granted a full release from Southern Cal and has returned home to Henry County. There is speculation he may transfer to Georgia State to be reunited with quarterback Drew Little. The duo set all kinds of passing records at Henry County under coach Mike Rozier. However, Ken Suguira, who covers the Panthers for us, reports that Ambles is still looking at options on FBS (formerly Division I) level.

8. Another Henry County product, Chris Jackson, may be considering a move across town from Georgia Tech to Georgia State. Jackson, a sophomore running back, hasn’t gotten much playing time for the Yellow Jackets. He, too, played with Little at Henry County High and are close friends.

“Chris has not requested his release be sent to any institutions at this time,” Tech spokesman Dean Buchan told Suguira in an email. “Per Chris’ request, he wants to wait until the semester is over. Thus, no institutions have received permission to contact Chris Jackson at this time.”

Jackson originally signed with Alabama but transferred to Tech following the 2008 season and sat out ‘09 per NCAA rules.

9. Two of Georgia Tech’s top recruiting targets for 2011 will be in action this weekend in the “Crab Bowl.” It’s a matchup of high school all-stars from the D.C. Area versus those from the Baltimore area and they will be playing Saturday in Bowie, Md. Cornerback Blake Countess and defensive tackle Darian Cooper will be starring for the D.C. team. Both are four-star prospects who are seriously considering the Jackets.

10. THIS & THAT: Carver-Columbus DT Gabe Wright has canceled an official visit to UGA this weekend, according to Scout.com. Wright has four officials set up for January: Alabama (7th), Tennessee (14th), Clemson (21st) and Auburn (28th). . . . It looks like it’s coming down to Georgia Tech and South Carolina for DL Roderick Byers (6-4, 262) of Rock Hill, S.C. Byers took his official visit to Georgia Tech last week and welcomed the Yellow Jackets’ coach into this week, according to PalmettoSports.com. Oregon and West Virginia are also in pursuit. . . .

Georgia Military College CB D’Mario Gunn signed with Georgia State on Thursday, according to PantherTalk.com’s Ben Moore. That gives the Panthers three pledges for the 2011 class. They can sign only about eight this year. . . . Collins Hill WR Jeffrey Glover is getting recruiting interest from Ole Miss and Maryland. He currently has offers from Presbyterian, Western Carolina and Austin Peay. . . . Glover’s teammate Zay Howard, also a wideout, has been offered by Valdosta State .

530 comments Add your comment

Proud-Dawg

December 16th, 2010
10:30 am

Over/Under 10 post before the hate post begin…let’s keep it civil today!

DawgInTheDesert

December 16th, 2010
10:34 am

“Carradine hasn’t been Georgia’s only whiff in the JUCO ranks. The Bulldogs also offered several other two-year college standouts who chose to go in other directions…” Whiff seems a pretty imprecise way of telling the story there, Chip — just b/c Georgia offered some of those guys doesn’t mean they were pursued heavily. Carradine, absolutely. The others, to varying degrees. For a lot of the top players, you offer immediately, then see if the offer elicits any interest. If not, you move on. I think that was the case with some of the JUCO guys (Carradine and Jenkins excluded). You see the exact same thing with blue-chip high schoolers — every school in the country extends an offer but they don’t all necessarily pursue each one of those offers b/c they know pretty quickly the kid is looking elsewhere. That’s not a whiff. Whiff implies staff put legitimate effort into landing a kid. Merely extending a scholarship offer isn’t what I’d consider legitimate effort.

Johnny Too Good

December 16th, 2010
10:36 am

dang whats goin on @ uga?? or maybe its the calm before the storm. tell Richt and co. to take a trip to Savannah if he wants some new talent —-> http://www.youtube.com/user/ThatsJohnAnderson

memphisdawg

December 16th, 2010
10:38 am

This signing day will be huge for UGA. Crowell is still at the top of the list, but its evident the D needs some immediate help. Hope all goes well.

GTfan2011

December 16th, 2010
10:39 am

Good stuff Chip, thanks. Hopefully GT can close the deal with Darian Cooper and Blake Countess. That would be huge for GT. Already looking forward to the Spring game in 2011!!!!

Shane

December 16th, 2010
10:42 am

Will both high school All-American games be on tv Chip and what players will be selecting that have UGA as a Choice?

Davey Boy Smith

December 16th, 2010
10:47 am

Make or break 2 months for Richt. He better be handing out $200,000 handshakes to every kid’s dad, of course without the kid’s knowledge because then it is not a violation of anything, because that is the precedent that the NCAA and SEC have set for recruiting now.

It’s time for CMR and company to catch up to the competition and start paying the parents of the players. If they do not do what the competition is doing, then 6-6 seasons will continue to be the norm and Coach Richt will be fired and replaced with someone who is willing to follow the precedent that the NCAA and SEC have set regarding paying the parents of a potential student athlete.

Time to get with it boosters!

Bremen Dawg

December 16th, 2010
10:47 am

Maybe we are looking at recruiting wrong with all of these pre Madonnas. Maybe the UGA coaches should go to all of the high schools and bypass the 4 or 5 star player and say “point out some players who have a lot of heart, talented and has improved every year that you have coached them. Justin Houston was a 3 star player and look at him now. He was able to progress and improve every year. Look at how well our 5 star players are doing now. Sign some players who want to be Dawgs not how much attention can you give me.

Johnny Too Good

December 16th, 2010
10:50 am

GTfan2011

December 16th, 2010
10:51 am

Chip,
I saw on scout.com that GT recently offered Greensboro, Alabama tight end David Reeves and he is officially visiting this weekend. I assume we aren’t recruiting him as a TE, though, but maybe a DE. Do you have any info on this guy?

Chip Towers

December 16th, 2010
10:51 am

DawgInTheDesert: Your problem seems to be with the use of the word “whiff.” Would you feel better if I simply wrote “miss?” But wouldn’t that just be semantics. An offer is an offer.

Barack Dawg

December 16th, 2010
10:56 am

We came into the Carridine situation very late. We pursued him but came to him too late. Otherwise, he was all Florida State all along. Wonder if you know how many kids are just gong through the process and might have silently committed to UGA?

I would prefer they wait and the coaches work it than to have a kid commit early and you focus on other areas then that kid change his mind because his best friend’s dad paid you to go somewhere else so his kid could go to a higher rated football program without any shot of playing and giving up an opportunity for an excellent education.

USMCDAWG

December 16th, 2010
11:00 am

Good Job, Chip! UPDATE**** Gabe Wright is now NOT visiting Georgia this weekend as of 10:33am this morning. Per Chad Simmons

Magic Man

December 16th, 2010
11:00 am

FYI – UGA never offerend Marcus Kennard. Gauged his interest, yes. Had him visit, yes. But never offered because they knew he wasn’t coming to UGA.

El Dawg

December 16th, 2010
11:04 am

No commits in over 4 months.

That’s what happens when you go after the guys who have all of the national attention.

FYI:
David Pollack was a 2 star FB
David Greene was a 2 star QB

That turned out pretty good for UGA, just sayin’

kauai dawg

December 16th, 2010
11:07 am

Must get our late targets. Saw Ray Drew on First Take…. and he is a first take. Need him for sure. Also Crowell and Jenkins could make this a great class. Go DAWGS!

on stars…. Mike Leach said the 3 and 4 are better because of room to grow and passion. The 5’s most times have peeked in HS. Could be something to that is you look at our roster?

Pollack
Greene
T Davis
J Houston and on….

Roaddawg80

December 16th, 2010
11:10 am

Chip

With the last two classes that have signed being small and with the dismissal of to my count 4 players from those two clasees, do you think there could be a major problem if we ‘MISS’ out on about half of these players we are waiting on?

We can’t afford another small class. This is dangerous territory we are playing with. What do you think?

Recruiting Is Getting Retarded

December 16th, 2010
11:14 am

UGA & Tech need to sign kids from this state who want to play here regardless of the stars and all that crap. They both recently are coming off of their best ever classes and what do that have to show for it? 6 measly wins. I am sick of these {pre Madonnas} waiting to signing day to chose. The coaches are spending way too much time on this junk when it would be a whole hell of a lot easier to find the kids with passion and desire. Then coach them how to play the game. Every year I watch the state championship games and very few of those kids even get a sniff from Tech or UGA. Why is that? But people go crazy on these guys potential who haven’t won a thing. The only reason we even know who Boise State is because they win. But I don’t think they outrecruit Vandy or Wake on paper. They find football players. I don’t think either school show have too beg kids to be Dawgs or Jackets!!

Sanford Drive

December 16th, 2010
11:14 am

I like, especially UGA guys… so soft.

Gerald

December 16th, 2010
11:16 am

Well, David Greene and David Pollack were recruited by Jim Donnan, not Richt. As a matter of fact, Richt had his best years when he playing Donnan’s recruits. If you guys want to hire Jim Donnan back, fine. Just make sure that he hires a better defensive coordinator this time.

YellerSkeeters Are Peter Eaters

December 16th, 2010
11:17 am

No, I think “DawgInTheDesert” has you on that one, not merely semantics. When I hear the word “whiff” it does indeed conjure images of someone “swingin’ for the fences” and completely missing, a very hard swing and a miss! As opposed to someone stepping inside the batter’s box and not swinging at anything, and being called out on strikes … Now, that’s not semantics. Yes, both have the same end result, but one tried a heck of a lot harder.

Nerds! Nerds! Nerds!

December 16th, 2010
11:17 am

It’s Crunch Time. We need to rebuild our defense quickly. Willie left us with a bunch of scrubs.

sogadog

December 16th, 2010
11:21 am

With all the talk (and press) about CMR being on the “hot seat” and 2011 possibly being his last season at UGA, recruits are hesitant to commit since they are’nt sure CMR will be around through their college careers. I hope recruits will consider the many positives of playing at UGA and not focus only on what is said by the media which focuses only on the negative.

Blue Pants

December 16th, 2010
11:21 am

Chip, is Chris Jackson even on Tech’s team? I thought he was hurt or dismissed. Also, is there any chance the Jackets will go after Ambles?

Tron Jackson

December 16th, 2010
11:23 am

Kind of glad the Dawgs didn’t land Carridine. He already shows signs of some character issues with the stunt he pulled on Ohio State. That coupled with the fact he’s a juco guy in the first place should tell you some things about him. Not the type guys we need to turn the character issues around at UGA.

RRTDawgs

December 16th, 2010
11:23 am

Chip maybe most recruits are scared of Mark Richt’s job security. As a fan, I am a little worried that we may lose out on top recruits on NSD. Go dawgs

lawzoo

December 16th, 2010
11:28 am

They see the conviction rate. Auburn pays more too.

BigTimeTECHFan

December 16th, 2010
11:29 am

Chip – Good job

Last I read Blake Countess did not show up for Crab Bowl.

I agree with those post on 5 stars not always great but some are really good, some have peaked in HS, but some 5 stars turn out to be impact players, Dwyer, Lattimore , AJ Green, etc….

Coaches need to be real good at evaluating, don’t look at stars, know the HS coaches. Bobby Bownden admitted he trusted the rating system to much late in his career, did not do good anough job of evaluating kid himself and his defense lost a step because of it.

Davey Boy Smith

December 16th, 2010
11:29 am

@Gerald, please don’t speak of what you do not know.

Pollack was part of Richt’s first recruiting class, arguably the best class in UGA history. It also included DJ Shockley, Fred Gibson, Gerald Anderson, Greg Blue, Tyson Browning, Nic Clemons, Thomas Davis, Dennis Roland and Odell Thurman.

Lots of UGA fans were freaked out that year because UGA lost such in-state talent as JR Lemon, Derrick Tinsley, Jabari Davis, Batman Carrol and PK Sam.

Sometimes the bear eats you, and sometimes you eat the bear.

RRTDawgs

December 16th, 2010
11:29 am

I not worried about UGA recruiting several teams have not had commitments ether in a while i just know we are going to get the targets we have recruited hard Crowell , Swann, Drew, Dickson ,Rome and Mitchell will be dawgs Gabe Wright i know will sign with Auburn .

ga gator

December 16th, 2010
11:29 am

I read yesterday that last years average recruiting rating for this years Freshman All-American team was only 3 stars. It is coaching not recruiting rating fellas. Look at UF’s #1 class from last year, none of them were on the team and 18 of them played this year. No surprise because of the lousey coaching job Urbie and his staff did; even by his own admission when he resigned.

lawzoo

December 16th, 2010
11:29 am

Tbey see the conviction rate.

Who Cares

December 16th, 2010
11:32 am

Richt sounds like a salesman trying to save his job with his sales manager. But I’m making calls everyday and driving all over the place boss!!! I’m working so hard now. Maybe the sales manager(McGarity) should ask this worn out salesman, what have you done for me lately. You have missed your sales budget very badly the last 3 years, and your prospects for this upcoming year don’t seem to promising. If you don’t close on your prospects that remain for this year, i’m afraid i’m gonna have to let you go. You did a good job your first 5 years, but your last 5 have been very average, and i can’t keep caring your big SALARY if your performance doesn’t improve considerably. Why is it UGA fans can’t understand this analogy? This clown wouldn’t have a job if he worked in the real world. But he works at UGA, where all the fans and big boosters do is DREAM!! Sound familar, it should. Richt’s last recruiting class ever at UGA will be just that a BIG DREAM!!

UGA is Just Fine...

December 16th, 2010
11:33 am

Look, everyone needs to just calm down and relax. We will be fine with this class. I’m sure we have a few silent commits that want to make their annoucemnets special as CMR alluded to.

It’s not unusual for the bigger name prospects to wait until late to make their announcements. Richt is used to this from his FSU days.

Ask any Nole fan when they were bringing in the big time classes during the late 80s to mid/late 90s. There were times when they didn’t have more than a handful of commits in the bag going into signing day, but always ended up with great classes.

We are in on more 4-5 star prospects than we have been in a long time. The more of those kids you recruit, typically the longer the process drags out. The coaches don’t seem to be in panic mode, and I’m sure much of it is due to the fact that they have quite a few silent verbals that are going to sit at the table with 3 hats, announce during an all-star game, or make a big splash on signing day.

No need to panic, I’m confident we’ll bring in one of the best classes we have in a while.

Go Dawgs!

Bo

December 16th, 2010
11:33 am

Chip, I’ve been reading that people claiming to be “insiders” are saying that this is by design. The thinking is that UGA is going to get 4-5 big recruits to commit at the All-Star games next month. Do you have any info on that?

Of course, I know better than to think that every “insider” is actually one. If I had a dollar for every “book it” and “mark it down” written on these boards…

gt in sc

December 16th, 2010
11:34 am

ugag is a sinking ship with a coach on the hotseat. i wouldn`t go there either.

smh

December 16th, 2010
11:34 am

The Bulldogs have not had a PUBLIC commitment since Chris Mayes, that’s a better way of putting it. Insiders know what’s up.

USMC DAWG

December 16th, 2010
11:35 am

When UGA is losing recruits to UNC and Texas Tech, there’s a problem. These kids know that Richt is living on borrowed time. If they sign, what’s the likelyhood that he and most of his staff are going to be there for the next 2-4 years? Not good, IMO.

Bo

December 16th, 2010
11:38 am

RRT Dawgs, I’ve been thinking the same thing for a while regarding Richt’s job security.

There was some talk a few weeks ago that McGarity might give him an extension for that very reason. Of course, the Richt haters and faux Dawg fans on these boards would scream if that happened. I don’t think the man needs an extension but the actual GA fans need to settle down.

He is the coach for at least 1 more year and they are hurting the team with all of the constant calls for his firing.

RRTDawgs

December 16th, 2010
11:39 am

Maybe most recruits are afraid of getting arrested in athens

Mark

December 16th, 2010
11:40 am

Bremen Dawg, it’s prima dona NOT pre Madonna. People with “Me First” ego’s NOT those that existed before the pop singer. It’s okay, you can look it up in the DICKSHUNARY, if you want. That’s Chic-fil-A text and you’ll probably understand that.

bigtime

December 16th, 2010
11:41 am

It’s a long time until NSD , this is going to get interesting. The more of these high profile recruits that CMR signs on NSD, the higher the flame goes on his hotseat. Anybody DAWG fans think 8-4 is good enough next year ? With each 5 star recruit the expectations go up and if the performance on the field doesn’t meet the NSD hype Richt is a goner at UGA.

RRTDawgs

December 16th, 2010
11:41 am

Bo do you have anymore info on the recruit that chose UNC over Georgia yesterday?

prodcuewiz

December 16th, 2010
11:42 am

love recruiting .not 1 of them is a lock. (see Fl.,Texas,Bama,Georgia 2010)ole ball coach right.Coach ‘em up, and see what happens.Rest wishful thinking.

Reader of Morons and quite a few idiots

December 16th, 2010
11:42 am

It is not fans of other schools who want Richt fired; we hope he stays forever.

icedawg

December 16th, 2010
11:43 am

Hey there’s always something to worry about. Unless they can land a few gems at key defensive positions, that can step in and get the job done, next year’s defense won’t be any better, maybe worse than this year’s. And you know what that spells. Now and I know that most UGA alumni can’t imagine someone wanting to go somewhere else but the reality is that they do and it is not necessarily the coach that it the reason. We’ve had some good recruiting years, not lately, and we’ve had some that have turned out to be poor in strategic positions, as of lately. Hopefully soon we’ll get back on a good streak.

Recruiting Insider(ESPN)

December 16th, 2010
11:44 am

Crowell will sign with Bama, you heard it here first.

LeMays father=Newtons father

December 16th, 2010
11:45 am

How much did it take to get LeMay to commit to Jawja?

Ramblor

December 16th, 2010
11:45 am

Nice work, Chip Dawg. Even though UGA hasn’t had a commitment in over four months, you still managed to reference them in 7 of the 10 above. Keep up the fight for the dogs, Chip. Keep doing your best to reassure everyone that nothing is wrong.

Mark

December 16th, 2010
11:45 am

Question for UGA guys,

WHy would a recruit bother going to Georgia? Even a noted alum in the coaching ranks opted to go to UF. Jimbo Fisher caught and passed UGA in 1 year; Nick Saban is going nowhere; Spurrier is more dynamic coach (and older); Les Miles is crazy (and it works) and AU is trending up big time.

Truth of the matter is that UGA has nothing to offer other than being a doormat that everyone steps on en route to bigger/better things. Sorry, guys, but you’re irrelevant in so many ways.

You do have fat frat alumni that still try the UGA moptop hairdo (Justin Bieber is so cool) that all claim WSP played at their house party in 1985, though – that’s something.