New SEC member does something big to catch attention of Georgia football recruits

The SEC's newest member has placed this billboard along I-85 in the Atlanta suburn to be seen by people, including future football recruiting targets (Photo was tweeted by SEC_Chuck)

The SEC's newest member has placed this billboard along I-85 in the Atlanta suburn to be seen by people, including future football recruiting targets (Photo courtesy of University of Missouri)

Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel knows all about the billboard placed along I-85 in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County.

It says “Proud To Be SEC: Mizzou.” Missouri is a first-year member of the SEC, and will have its conference opener against UGA on Sept. 8.

“Oh yes, I get text messages and emails from Mizzou people that live in that area and that region,” Pinkel told the AJC. “They talk about it and say how excited they are to see it.”

There are 16 billboards, including eight that have been placed out of state. There are three in Georgia, including two in Atlanta and one near Valdosta, while one each in Tampa, Fla., Dallas, Birmingham, Ala., Jacksonville, Fla., and Memphis. What was the idea behind the billboards?

“It’s to market Missouri,” Pinkel said. “We’ll be in Georgia recruiting. We’ve got great respect for the high school football in Georgia, especially in the Atlanta area. We’re just marketing our brand name a little bit. We’re going to get there and actively recruit … and we’re excited about it.”

From a recruiting standpoint, it was brilliant placement strategy, as Gwinnett is the home to many high school football powerhouses and is a big-time manufacturer of college football talent.

Missouri's Gary Pinkel is aggressively recruiting Georgia as his school enters the SEC, extending 13 early football scholarship offers to Georgia prospects (AP)

Missouri's Gary Pinkel is aggressively recruiting Georgia as his school enters the SEC, extending 13 early football scholarship offers to Georgia prospects (AP)

Missouri is actively recruiting Georgia this year and has made early football scholarship offers to 13 rising seniors from this state, according to Rivals.

“We’ve done a complete analysis of players that sign with BCS schools out of Georgia, and certainly out of the Atlanta area,” Pinkel said. “The size and production of SEC and BCS is parallel to the Metroplex area in Dallas. The numbers out of Atlanta and Dallas are nearly identical. Both have great high school football.

“What you do is go down there and figure out how many players from Georgia stay in the SEC and stay in the ACC, and how many leave the state and go elsewhere to play. We’ve got data on these kinds of things. And, if anything, it’s about identifying good players and selling Missouri.

“We want to go down there with a good reputation of winning football games and graduating our athletes. It’s about marketing and developing trust … and slowly and slowly working ourselves into Georgia. We’re excited about doing that.”

This year, Missouri has one assistant in charge of recruiting the entire state. As the Tigers continue to make the SEC transition, they plan to eventually have two or more scouring the territory, focusing primarily in the Atlanta area and making some rounds in South Georgia.

What is Pinkel’s sales pitch to Georgia’s prospects?

“The facts are, in the last six years, we’re eighth in the BCS with winning in the nation. Those are facts. We’re certainly one of six teams that have won eight or more games in the last seven years. So we win at Missouri, and we consistently win. Over the last six years, we’ve graduated 96-percent of our players. Missouri is a great place and it’s a great college town with 33,000 students. Kids love to go to school here. We’ve got a lot to sell.”

  • RELATED: Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel and basketball coach Frank Haith will have “Tiger Talk” at 6 p.m. on April 25 at the Georgia Dome. Tickets are $20 and you can register here.

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117 comments Add your comment

Makes sense

April 18th, 2012
1:20 pm

To beat the best, you need to recruit the best. Saw these same billboards on I24 in TN and I65 in lower Alabama.

FL Jacket

April 18th, 2012
1:27 pm

Really MC…are there no Georgia Tech recruiting stories you could be working on???

Tech recruitin' story

April 18th, 2012
1:27 pm

C Johnson to a recruit: “I’m not really constipated, I just look that way on TV. Come play for me and I’ll finally pass this gas.”

The End

georgedawg

April 18th, 2012
1:27 pm

Having lived there, despite the very friendly midwesterners, thats going to be a tough sell. It is flat and cold and miserable in the winner. Believe me on that.

FL Jacket

April 18th, 2012
1:28 pm

“The facts are, in the last six years, we’re eighth in the BCS with winning in the nation. Those are facts. We’re certainly one of six teams that have won eight or more games in the last seven years. So we win at Missouri, and we consistently win. Over the last six years, we’ve graduated 96-percent of our players. Missouri is a great place and it’s a great college town with 33,000 students. Kids love to go to school here. We’ve got a lot to sell.”

So basically…”WE’RE A BIG EASY SCHOOL IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE AND WE WIN FOOTBALL GAMES”. I guess they are a great fir for the SEC…

Dave Navaro

April 18th, 2012
1:29 pm

Yeah – come to Mizzou where there is nothing to do. Travelling up there for the game. It looks like a real boring place.

Michael Carvell

April 18th, 2012
1:34 pm

@FL Jacket, thanks for your post. Yes, we’ll have something later this week on the top prospects attending Friday’s spring game.

FL Jacket

April 18th, 2012
1:36 pm

Tech recruitin’ story…

How about the SEC recruiting story…”Come play for my big 35K-student state school, not THEIR big 35K-student state school. I will guarantee that you get to the NFL…even though I will never put that in writing. No other coach you talk to has the job security I do…especially the coach at (insert SEC school that didn’t win the SECCG)…so why would you go there? The ACC doesn’t put anyone in the NFL…so don’t make that mistake. Also, our boosters will set you up with cool part-time jobs and advertising opportunities…even though you will not get compensated for using your likeness. OH…big thing I almost forgot. Don’t get hurt or start sucking…or we’ll bring in another player just as good if not better than you and I will have to invent an injury or force you to transfer to FCS. But hey…that never happens at THIS school. You want to be a winner don’t you? Oh by the way, our curriculum is decent. What do you think?”

FL Jacket

April 18th, 2012
1:37 pm

MC…YAY! We do exist in this town!

Tommy Taylor

April 18th, 2012
1:42 pm

Same billboard can be seen on I-65 near UAB in downtown Birmingham

U

April 18th, 2012
1:42 pm

You’re not in the Big 12 anymore coach. Kiss your “winning” streak goodbye.

George Stein

April 18th, 2012
1:45 pm

Not to be difficult, Michael, but I have to ask why you had the remark about Tech in the Tony Parker story last week and why you thought it was appropriate. An explanation would be appreciated.

Tossed Salad

April 18th, 2012
1:48 pm

FL Jacket, maybe if somebody…anybody…especially h.s. football players, G.A.S. about your pathetic football program we’d see more stories on what Moobs is doing over there. No demand = no supply.

FL Jacket

April 18th, 2012
1:57 pm

George…I think MC used an inappropriate choice of words. I think he was referring to the overall record in recent times, and not the general disparity in the annual meeting.

George Stein

April 18th, 2012
2:02 pm

Might be the case, FLJ. I just would like to know why he thought it was appropriate given the forum.

Crimson Crush

April 18th, 2012
2:03 pm

One post about whining about Georgia tech getting no love is making a point … multiple post crying about an entire conference just becomes childish envy . Missouri spent their money on the billboards … they WILL recruit Georgia players … it IS a Georgia recruiting story even if it doesn’t involve Georgia Tech . In fact you could easily make the argument that not involving Georgia Tech is what usually makes it a recruiting story LOL :-)

FL Jacket

April 18th, 2012
2:05 pm

GS…

Not to hijack an SEC Mizzou thread…but I hear we have lots of really good prospects coming to the Spring game on Friday. CB Darius Curry, QB Juwaan Williams, DT Jay Woods, CB Brandon Facyson, OT Shamire Devine, OT Jeremi Hall, DE Davin Bellamy, DE Naim Mustafaa, and many more…

FL Jacket

April 18th, 2012
2:06 pm

Crimson…

Alabama seems to get more favorable press in the Auburn papers than Georgia Tech gets in the AJC…

FL Jacket

April 18th, 2012
2:08 pm

“not involving Georgia Tech is what usually makes it a recruiting story ”

Crimson…I got your haha :)

FL Jacket

April 18th, 2012
2:12 pm

GS…the last T-Day game I went to was 2008, and our attendance couldn’t have been more than 10K. Any word on what they’re expecting Friday?

George Stein

April 18th, 2012
2:16 pm

They’re putting a lot more into it this year, but my expectations are that it won’t be more than 10,000. I mean, ultimately it’s just a scrimmage. I do plan to attend but I’m not sure why anyone would push themselves to get there to see it.

JM

April 18th, 2012
2:17 pm

I don’t care about Mizzouri at all.

I’d rather see recruiting stories about players who want to stay in state and play for their hometown schools.

Michael Carvell

April 18th, 2012
2:19 pm

@George Stein, Duke has won 28 of the last 31 games vs. GT. How else you would suggest it to describe it? They probably would’ve won all 31 vs. UGA.

Techie 3

April 18th, 2012
2:21 pm

What kind of “news” do you want MC to fabricate about Georgia Tech? There’s nothing going on with us. That’s the story. It’s sad. If MC writes that, then all of your complain about negative news. Give it a break.

George Stein

April 18th, 2012
2:23 pm

How are the results of the games against Tech at all relevant, Michael?

Look, I get that trashing Tech is good for business. UGA has more fans that consume your content. If that’s your rationale, at least it would make sense. But putting the jab in there for no other reason makes no sense.

FL Jacket

April 18th, 2012
2:25 pm

Can we agree that Duke doesn’t “clobber” GT every year…but they “clobber” us (as they do with most teams not named UNC) in overall record.

George Stein

April 18th, 2012
2:27 pm

He could have just said “the annual game in Atlanta versus Tech,” FLJ.

You’re right, Techie 3. We have decided to take 2013 off. Sheesh.

Michael Carvell

April 18th, 2012
2:33 pm

@George Stein, I respectfully disagree with your viewpoint about “trashing Tech is good for business” but I understand and appreciate your passion for your school. If you wish to discuss further, please email me at mcarvell@ajc.com

Crimson Crush

April 18th, 2012
2:33 pm

@ Fl Jacket

“Alabama seems to get more favorable press in the Auburn papers than Georgia Tech gets in the AJC”

I know it can seem that way sometimes . We all feel our schools are the targets of unfair coverage . And the truth is … we are ALL right to some extent .. you can blame that on the tabloid style of journalism that reigns supreme . If you follow the Birmingham papers … there are AU hacks who cheapshot the Tide any chance they get . Ask the Barners … they say they all favor Bama ( depending on what day of the week it is )

On a larger scale ,,, take the ESPN challenge . Go around to boards from other universities and see how many say ESPN personally has it out … FOR THEM ( The Vols swear it … Michigan fans have claimed it … the entire Big Twevle or Pac 12 claims it is so . Again … I can see them all being right to some extent because most of them remember when the media either totally ignored them … or tried to gore them for cheap ratings . It is just the nature of the beast in today’s world .

FL Jacket

April 18th, 2012
2:40 pm

Crimson…

And I’m not naive to the fact that the relative size of the fanbases foctors into things…I get it. While I disagree about trashing Tech is good for business…UGA does have 2 separate daily “blawgs” in the AJC while poor Ken Suguira works his tail off to give us a daily dispatch.

I remember being in school in 1998 when Joe Hamilton had a great shot at winning a Heisman Trophy…yet the front of the Sports section was always something like “Quincy Carter working through hangnail injury” or something…

(pardon the jest)

GT1995

April 18th, 2012
2:42 pm

“George Stein” I think you’re nothing but a Dawg fan posing as a Technie. Duke has OWNED US in basketball. I’m a Tech grad and I’ve accepted that. It’s because Duke has owned a lot of teams. I think the AJC has done a good job of covering Georgia Tech recruiting. There have been a lot of positive stories with Coach Gregory’s recruiting and I have read them on the AJC. If you want pure PR for Georgia Tech, then you should stay on Jackets Online or start your own fan blog. Your views do not represent the majority of Georgia Tech alumni and supporters.

Paul

April 18th, 2012
2:44 pm

@George Stein The article was referencing the fact that Parker would get to come back home once a year and beat up on Georgia Tech. This is both true and pertinent to Parker’s recruiting. The fact that you got your feelings hurt is not pertinent.

Crimson Crush

April 18th, 2012
2:49 pm

@Fl Jacket

One other thing … just a view from the “outside” … if there is a nod to UGA , GT and the other state schools on the AJC recruiting blog … it comes in the form of covering your schools recruits from OUT of the state of Georgia .

Bama just got two recruits from New Jersey and inside Alabama . I didn’t see a word about it here . And I never expected to . On the other hand … if GT gets a recruit from Oskosh , Wisconsin … you can BET it will get written up on the AJC recruiting blog . Most of what I know about Jacket recruiting comes from this blog . That is about as much hometown balance as you can ever expect .

GT fan

April 18th, 2012
2:49 pm

How can any football fan pass Geography any more?

You’ve got teams in Texas & Central Missouri located in the Southeast.
You’ve got teams in NY & Pennsylvania on the Atlantic Coast
Then there’s a team near the Pacific NW (Idaho) who’s located in the (Big) East.
And last year we where told the Rocky Mountains of Boulder, Colorado (CU) are located in the Pacific.

Before we know it, kids we be posting 4s on the Wonderlic!

Kerryb

April 18th, 2012
2:50 pm

They’re in South Georgia along I-75 too.

Big Albany Dawg

April 18th, 2012
2:51 pm

“…We’re just marketing our brand name…” brand name? what brand name? your Misery and that’s all…

Paul

April 18th, 2012
2:52 pm

@GT fan

Good point.

FL Jacket

April 18th, 2012
2:53 pm

““George Stein” I think you’re nothing but a Dawg fan posing as a Technie. ”

I can personally vouch this isn’t the case. The coverage in the AJC is disproportionately in favor of UGA…I don’t think anyone questions that…or should. However the printed record – no matter how unintentional – should refrain from displaying favoritism. That’s the gist of George Stein’s argument I think.

GT fan

April 18th, 2012
2:57 pm

George, I think what M. Carvell meant to write was:

“Tony Parker is gonna get beatdown annually in ATL”

FL Jacket

April 18th, 2012
2:59 pm

Crimson…

MC did a good job covering Robert Carter’s recruitment decision…I won’t deny that. I think the disproportionate amount of coverage about Tony Parker (who Robert Carter is every bit as good a prospect) stems more from the fact that he’s a nationally highly recruited player who’s waiting until the end to sign. That’s just a bi-product of the media and Recruiting…the undecideds and flippers get more press because well…the firmly committed are just boring!

George Stein

April 18th, 2012
3:00 pm

Sorry, I responded to a few comments but it seemed to caught in the filters.

Cry Me a River

April 18th, 2012
3:40 pm

Does anybody have any Kleenexes to hand out to George Stein and Florida Jakcet? Grown men crying on a message board. Boo hoo, boo hoo. We all know Georgia Tech won’t have but a handful of “fans” in the stands for the spring game and when the AJC reports attendance, you will cry on here again about unfair coverage.

schmeckdawg

April 18th, 2012
3:46 pm

Who gives a freaking rip about Misery!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Crap

April 18th, 2012
3:50 pm

Cry: Not sure they are grown men.

Crap

April 18th, 2012
3:52 pm

Meant ‘grown’ or ‘men’.

George Stein

April 18th, 2012
3:52 pm

Funnily enough, Cry Me a River is the same person who will be hammering the AJC for not covering a Tech player arrest.

[...] The SEC’s newest member has placed this billboard along I-85 in the Atlanta suburn to be seen by people, including future football recruitingArticle source: http://blogs.ajc.com/recruiting/2012/04/18/new-sec-member-does-something-big-to-catch-attention-of-g... [...]

dbc

April 18th, 2012
4:51 pm

I wouldn’t exactly call a few billboards “something big.” Maybe large in size, but really weak on creativity. Move out of the sticks, fellas…

pooh p

April 18th, 2012
5:08 pm

Mizzou is an ok team, they should fit right in the sec east.

[...] The SEC’s newest member has placed this billboard along I-85 in the Atlanta suburn to be seen by people, including future football recruitingArticle source: http://blogs.ajc.com/recruiting/2012/04/18/new-sec-member-does-something-big-to-catch-attention-of-g... [...]