Potential ‘Dream Team’ members not spooked by UGA’s 6-7 record

Justin Scott-Wesley, Xzavier Dickson and Isaiah Crowell (L-R) bond during a lunch break from practices for the Under-Armour All-American Game at Disney's Wide World of Sports on Monday. (AJC photo by Chip Towers)

Justin Scott-Wesley, Xzavier Dickson and Isaiah Crowell (L-R) bond during a lunch break from practices for the Under-Armour All-American Game at Disney's Wide World of Sports on Monday. (AJC photo by Chip Towers)

KISSIMMEE, FLA. — The general consensus among some of the state’s highest-profile college football prospects is that Georgia’s 6-7 record this past season is not necessarily a deal-killer with regard to their recruitment.

Most notably, that is the opinion of Carver-Columbus running back Isaiah Crowell. He is generally considered Georgia’s highest-ranked recruit and is, quite clearly, the Bulldogs’ No. 1 target from the Class of 2011. Crowell is among 10 Georgians participating in practices this week here at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for Wednesday’s Under Armour All-American Game (7 p.m. ESPN).

“Really, I don’t how they’re going to be when I get there,” Crowell said, speaking metaphorically of the possibility of enrolling at UGA before next season. “I try not to think about it like that. One year South Carolina’s down, then Marcus Lattimore went there and the program’s up. So you never know how it will be when you get there. And I feel like I’ll be a difference maker wherever I go.”

Of the 10 representatives here this week, at least eight were targeted in the Bulldogs’ stated goal of landing a “Dream Team” of the state’s best recruits. Crowell, Quan Bray, Xzavier Dickson, Malcom Mitchell, Jay Rome, Justin Scott-Wesley, Gabe Wright and James Vaughters are on that roll. At least two others — Ray Drew and Damian Swann — are practicing in San Antonio this week for Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

But in the midst of this bold ploy, Georgia went out this fall and had it’s first losing season in 14 years. What makes that particularly troublesome for the Bulldogs is it’s going head-to-head with perennial juggernaut Alabama on many of these elite players and national championship contender Auburn for some others.

“It doesn’t turn me off; it doesn’t turn me on,” said Mitchell, who is planning to decide between Georgia and Alabama during a Jan. 13th announcement at Valdosta High. “I just feel like I’m looking at the program itself, not just for football. I mean, that’s why I’m going there, but it’s more about the people there, the coaches there and stuff like that.”

It has come down to the Dogs, Tide and Tigers for Dickson. The AJC Super 11 defensive end from Griffin will actually make his announcement during Wednesday’s Under Armour broadcast.

“I think they’re just going through a rebuilding year,” Dickson said of Georgia. “I don’t really think about 6-7. Everyone loses some games.”

Bray, who will also announce during the game, echoed that sentiment. He also has Alabama, Auburn and Georgia among his finalists.

“It was just an off year for them,” the running back from Troup High of the Bulldogs. “They’re going to rebuild most definitely next year. They should have a better team.”

But the cold reality is it’s not as much as having a bad year or two as it is about who will be coaching the team. With coach Mark Richt logging a 14-12 mark the last two seasons, his job security has come into question, not to mention that of some of his assistants. That has some of the “Dream Team” members already on board wavering.

“I think the Dream Team can come in and help out,” said Scott-Wesley, a UGA commitment since last spring. “Then again, on the other hand, there is a concern with the coaches. I’m really not sure what the future is going to be. But as of right now I’m still committed and I’m planning to come in and help out.”

It’s a decision not exclusive to Georgia recruits. Vaughters, a Tucker linebacker committed to Stanford, is monitoring closely the uncertain future of Cardinal coach Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh is rumored to be eying potential openings at Michigan and the NFL.

“When things change in a program, I feel like I’ll have to go through and do another check,” said Vaughters, who had Georgia Tech and Ohio State among his finalists when he picked Stanford this past summer. “It’s definitely something I’ve been thinking about. I’m not really taking anything into consideration right now. It’s just everything’s a maybe.”

162 comments Add your comment

MDG

January 3rd, 2011
8:17 pm

Tackling fuel

January 3rd, 2011
8:21 pm

Preston

January 3rd, 2011
8:22 pm

Come on to Athens guys and lets get this thing going back in the right direction! You can be heroes!

Tackling fuel

January 3rd, 2011
8:22 pm

ub

January 3rd, 2011
8:25 pm

Sounds like Dawgs are going to be ok, these young men have a chance to get the program back where it belongs. Go Dawgs!

D A Double U G

January 3rd, 2011
8:26 pm

But, I thought all the Tech fans(sic) told us nobody wanted to go to our “crummy, redneck, thug infested” program????

I thought everything the Techies said was right??

RomeDawg

January 3rd, 2011
8:27 pm

Another way to look at the sub standard record is to realize EVERY job will be for the taking! Come in, study the playbook and be the player to make an impact. (I wrote this for you, Isiah Crowell.)

2012 National Champs!

January 3rd, 2011
8:27 pm

The dream team kids are excited to play for a soft warden like Richt and a classy “man” like Grantham. I just hope Dowtin doesn’t go pro or to prison. And Crowell is gonna fit right in, lol.

Doug

January 3rd, 2011
8:28 pm

We need to elevate the level of play from our recruits once they get on campus. This starts with the coaches having the right plan and the discipline to execute. I still have faith CMR can get it done, but he needs to get a serious fire in his belly. With that said, these are some great prospects and it sure would be nice to get them on campus. Go Dawgs!

D A Double U G

January 3rd, 2011
8:28 pm

Dawg fans are going to feel a LOT better after National Signing Day.

Probably the best class in Richt’s watch is coming together here. Those who don’t think “one player” can make a difference in a program, just look at this year’s SEC Championship game. It was basically Cam Newton vs. Marcus Lattimore, not Auburn vs. SC.

GO DAWGS!!!!!!

Bull

January 3rd, 2011
8:29 pm

GO DAWGS!! These recruits need to realize that there is a TREMENDOUS opportunity to play right away and represent the state of Georgia!

DawginOH

January 3rd, 2011
8:30 pm

This is CMR’s time to keep his job. Get these guys to commit! Every one of them can be a difference maker (and maybe even an opening day starter) on next year’s team.

Bo Williams

January 3rd, 2011
8:30 pm

Spooked or not, If I could fill the shoes of some of these athletes, there would be no higher achievement for me than to wear the Stanford uniform in tonight’s Orange Bowl game. Graduate from Stanford and you have something more than jiving and juking while wearing a SEC football uniform could ever bring.

78 DAWG

January 3rd, 2011
8:32 pm

Dream Team? This class is not as highly touted as any of the last 5. We’re not even in some top 10 list. 6-7 with top 5 classes whatta you get with a top 15 class?

Bull

January 3rd, 2011
8:33 pm

Collectively, Georgia fans need to realize 2010 is OVER. Let’s focus on supporting our team, our players and most importantly Coach Richt. The man has not forgotten how to coach and deserves our support more than ever in 2011!! Go Dawgs

dawgfan

January 3rd, 2011
8:34 pm

Guys like Vaughters destroy the Techie myth that good football players are all dumb and can’t hack it academically at Tech. Stanford is playing in a BCS bowl tonight. Not only would their football team make an absolute mockery out of the Joke by Coke on a football field, most of them have probably taken calculus too. LOL @ Tech fans.

D A Double U G

January 3rd, 2011
8:34 pm

I wish Greg McGarity would come out with a public vote of confidence for Richt. If that were to take place over the next couple of weeks, UGA would land a LOT of these kids.

McGarity needs to understand the unfortunate significance that the Middle School BULLY tandem of Mark Bradley and Jeff Schultz have, and stop letting them effect the future of UGA Football.

What are your thoughts Chip? Do Bradley and Schultz hurt us? I believe I heard you say something to that effect on one of your Saturday Morning 680 The Fan shows with Buck Belue. Or are you not allowed to comment on your work counterparts??

dawgs85

January 3rd, 2011
8:36 pm

Lowndes25 what do you think

dawgs85

January 3rd, 2011
8:36 pm

Enter your comments here

jarvis

January 3rd, 2011
8:41 pm

Run like hell from this sinking ship.

Jesse Stone

January 3rd, 2011
8:44 pm

You can go out and get the best ingredients available, but if your cook is average at best, your meal will be as well. We hear excitement every year at recruiting time, yet the results on the field just don’t add up.

Jay

January 3rd, 2011
8:45 pm

Rome needs to know Bobo doesn’t use his tight ends.

Crowell needs ot know Bobo regards rb’s as nothing but passblockers.

Tight ends too.

Brown Dog

January 3rd, 2011
8:46 pm

Y’all get Crowell . . . Mitchell and Dickson are staring hard to the west.

Bull

January 3rd, 2011
8:47 pm

Of course Bradley and Schultz knucklehead tandem of constantly spewing negativity about UGA doesn’t help. Which those guys would just cover other sports than UGA.

German Shepherd Dawg

January 3rd, 2011
8:47 pm

78 Dawg,

If we get most of these guys out on the board (and many of them sound promising in the article) it will be a top 3 class. Crowell, Drew, Rome, Swann, Mitchell, Dickson, and Bray are all ESPN 150 caliber players and will definitely fill out a cream-of-the-crop class.

We’ve got to bring them home, though.

Sissy Dawg

January 3rd, 2011
8:48 pm

Yes, they can be dawgs and if these 5-star recruits can stay out of jail for four years, they can graduate with a great degree on sociology and won’t have fallen mush below the 3-star level. We call that coaching them down.

German Shepherd Dawg

January 3rd, 2011
8:49 pm

We’ll find out about Dickson on Wednesday. The earlier post sounded promising!

German Shepherd Dawg

January 3rd, 2011
8:50 pm

D A Double U G

January 3rd, 2011
8:50 pm

Brown Dog,

Do you think the UGA hat on Dickson in the picture above is what launched your theory that he is “staring west”??

Yeah…. I can see how that would make you feel that way.

Jesse Stone

January 3rd, 2011
8:50 pm

Yeah, blame Bradley and Schultz. They are the reason for UGA’s stellar record the past couple of years. They taunted Dowtin into punching someone who was defending a woman, they stole the helmet and planted it in Ogletree’s room. I hear they also created the Scrappy-Doo character to ruin Scooby’s show.

Jay

January 3rd, 2011
8:54 pm

Hope Crowell likes to passblock. Bobo likes to throw the ball, not a running team. Bobo won’t let you get playing time until you block as well as the offensive lineman. Ask Ealey.

D A Double U G

January 3rd, 2011
8:58 pm

Jesse,

You sound like an idiot. Nobody thinks it’s a bad thing when Bradley and Schultz report on facts about an event that took place.

But when they write 6 or 7 articles a week on “What’s wrong with UGA football” and “Why Mark Richt has lost his swagger”, blah blah blah….. they make he kids question the future of Richt’s job.

It’s amusing to me, that NOBODY directly related to the UGA football program has EVER saaid a single word about Richt being let go. But Bradley and Schultz write several articles a week about THEIR THEORIES, and get frustrated when they have ZERO facts to back it up.

The only thing I heard out of the Butts Mehre building was McGarity saying he “definitely expects Richt back next season”

UGAKev

January 3rd, 2011
9:00 pm

You can all say georgia always gets these recruiting classes like this….Your an idiot to think that…Georgia would of never got a recruiting class this talented if all these guys break towards us. Every single bit of these guys can be impact in diff positions on the field. This recruiting class would be a different monster to the solid players UGA usually gets. GO DAWGS!!

RRTDawgs

January 3rd, 2011
9:00 pm

This good be very exciting next few days even with all that has happened the master plan is taking shape will just have to wait and see and enjoy the ride .

D A Double U G

January 3rd, 2011
9:00 pm

Jay,

You expect Bobo NOT to like passing when he had Ealey and King fumbling every other run this past season??

All it takes is one great back to change the theories of an Offensive Coordinator. I seem to remember South Carolina being a Tight End U last season, passing like crazy. The TRUE Freshman Lattimore changed that, didn’t he??

Jesse Stone

January 3rd, 2011
9:01 pm

DA- Bradley and Schultz are paid to write their opinions and garner responses. They are columnists. People in this state want to read about UGA football, good or bad. Schultz and Bradley are doing exactly what they are paid to do.

UCF

January 3rd, 2011
9:01 pm

Georgia fans think they know everything, but they’re stupid! They just loss to the fifth best team in Florida.

dawgs85

January 3rd, 2011
9:03 pm

RRTDawgs are you a insider

D A Double U G

January 3rd, 2011
9:04 pm

On an unrelated note……..

Anybody else enjoying watching the ACC choking in their annual Orange Bowl loss???

Bull

January 3rd, 2011
9:05 pm

Funny how the UGA haters know enough about the program to say something to spin the truth and sound ignorant…

UGAKev

January 3rd, 2011
9:05 pm

I AM JUST GLAD THAT AS DISAPPOINTING AS THE PAST FEW SEASONS HAVE BEEN THERE IS STILL THINGS TO GET EXCITED ABOUT… A NUMBER ONE RECRUITING CLASS IS EXACTLY WHAT GEORGIA NEEDS RIGHT NOW AFTER LAST YEARS DISAPPOINTING CLASS. THE DOMINO EFFECT WILL BEGIN WEDNESDAY. GEORGIA FANS WE MIGHT ONLY WIN 8 GAMES NEXT YEAR BUT IN 2012 WITH A CLASS LIKE THIS THINGS CAN TURN AROUND IN A HURRY…..GO DAWGS!

RichmondDawg

January 3rd, 2011
9:05 pm

I hope we get some good news on Wed night. Need to get some recruiting momentum going this month leading up to NSD.

just a fan

January 3rd, 2011
9:09 pm

well jay its not hard to block as well as our lineman have the last few years

Jay

January 3rd, 2011
9:09 pm

Murray threw 3 interceptions against Florida and Bobo didn’t bench him, he let Murray keep playing. Yet a rb makes a mistake, and he’s benched. If making a mistake was reason ot be benched, why was Murray not benched.

SouthGADawg

January 3rd, 2011
9:10 pm

The UGA commits will start on Wed.

Jay

January 3rd, 2011
9:11 pm

It’s not the O-Line. Ealey averages more ypc than Lattimore, O-Line doing a great job. Bobo just doesn’t call enough running plays.

D A Double U G

January 3rd, 2011
9:12 pm

Looking WAY ahead, since I am not a pompous idiot who expects IMMEDIATE results in order to justify rooting for MY team……

September 22nd, 2011…….. Aaron Murray handing off to Isaiah Crowell, passing to Scott-Wesley ans Jay Rome, and Xzavier Dickson pressuring whoever the heck is taking snaps at Bama,in Tuscaloosa could be a whale of a game!!!

D A Double U G

January 3rd, 2011
9:13 pm

SORRY….

September 22nd 2012….. NOT 2011

hmmm?

January 3rd, 2011
9:13 pm

It that Va Tech playing or or the Cleveland Browns? VT changes uniforms and helmets more than Oregon does.

dawgs85

January 3rd, 2011
9:14 pm

the way georgia season i dont know what to think