Georgia recruits react to Dooley’s firing

Derek Dooley had three 2013 commitments from Georgia before being fired (AP)

Derek Dooley had three 2013 commitments from Georgia before being fired (AP)

There doesn’t appear to be much negative fallout from Derek Dooley’s firing among recruits in Georgia.

Tennessee has three commitments from the state: Jonesboro High School DB Cameron Sutton, LaGrange High School DE Joe Sanders, and Grayson High School LB Zach Barnes.

All three told the AJC that they remain committed to Tennessee despite Dooley’s dismissal.

And the trio hopes – at least for now — to sign with the Volunteers in February.

  • Cameron Sutton is the highest-ranked of the group, rated as the 3-star by Rivals. “I’m not going to de-commit at this minute,” he said. “When the new coaching staff comes in … if they like me, and I’m still on the list, then I will probably stay with Tennessee. If they coaches don’t think I will fit in, then I will probably change.” Why is Sutton sticking with the Volunteers? “Tennessee is just one of those places where everything just stood out to me. It was everything I was looking for in a college, therefore I would really like to stay at Tennessee.” What was his reaction to Dooley’s firing? “I was kind of disappointed because of the relationships I was building with all the coaches. I’m not really surprised by it because Tennessee has a winning tradition. The last few years they’ve been kind of going downwards. But I didn’t think Coach Dooley would (get fired now). I thought they would give him another year. I didn’t think it would be this soon.” Sutton will likely have plenty of choices if things do not work out with Tennessee. He is being actively pursued by North Carolina, Ole Miss, Arkansas and Wake Forest, among others.
  • Joe Sanders is an unranked prospect on Rivals who committed to Tennessee only a couple of weeks ago. “I’m still committed to Tennessee. I’m waiting for the new coach to come and let me know if I have to commit again or not. I want to go there.” Why is he sticking with the Volunteers? “Because I liked Tennessee even before I met the coach. I really liked the camp, before I met (Dooley). Then I met him and it made things even better. I still like Tennessee. But if the new coach comes in and I’m not feeling them because I’m not used to them, then I’m going to de-commit.” What was his reaction to Dooley’s firing? “I was kind of surprised. I thought he could turn it around if they have him another year. But I guess whomever was over him didn’t feel that way.” The 6-foot-5, 270-pounder claims football scholarship offers from Missouri, Auburn, South Alabama, Western Kentucky and South Florida. Sanders said that he’s also a scholarship candidate at UGA and that Bulldogs assistant John Lilly may attend his playoff game on Friday.
  • Zach Barnes is ranked as a 2-star by Rivals but only playing his third year of football. His father played in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons and San Diego Chargers. “Nothing has changed. I’m still committed to Tennessee. I’m just focusing on my game and helping my team in the playoffs.” What was his reaction to Dooley’s firing? “I really don’t have much to say about it. I’m just trying to play my game right now for Grayson High School. I hope something good will come out of that. That’s all I can do.” The 6-3, 225-pounder picked Tennessee over Indiana and Southern Miss, but hasn’t really had any contact with any other schools since committing to the Volunteers last June.

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15 comments Add your comment

Tech Wrecked

November 19th, 2012
5:03 am

I can’t pay my college loan and live in my parents basement. Derek Dooley has never won anywhere as a football coach, only got the Tennessee job because of his daddy’s name, and made Vanderbilt look like the ‘72 Dolphins. To top it off, Dooley got a $5 million buyout for being a loser.

Life just isn’t fair.

Dawgy

November 19th, 2012
6:31 am

I may only be a fry cook at age 35 but even I know Dooley was just in over his head. He just didn’t have the bagman like his daddy. Thank God for Pontiac and remedial reading! Sic em!

Seriously?

November 19th, 2012
7:05 am

This is the week to wreck tech, none of this matters to me until next season.

JB

November 19th, 2012
7:27 am

I can see why they want to hang on. It beats Div AA ball

bubba4dawgs

November 19th, 2012
7:38 am

It’s good to see that there are some players who commit to a school and and stick with their commitment no matter what. I was beginning to believe that the word commitment didn’t mean anything.

bubba4dawgs

November 19th, 2012
7:44 am

I don’t know who will become Tennessee’s new coach but I do know that he’s got a most difficult time ahead of him. The fans in Tennessee are the most impatient fans in the country when it comes to winning. The first thing they want to do when they lose is fire the coach. You should hear the Sports radio talk show. I really don’t see how Dooley has been able to stay with it . They’ve been on his back ever since he arrived. He inherited a mess. He should blame it on Bush, Obama did and still does. Tennessee has a long way to go and a lot of mighty good recruiting to do.

mike

November 19th, 2012
8:02 am

Wow it only took 6 comments to bring the President into this conversation. BTW it is still those kids choice where they attend school. If the coach gets fired then they should have the right to decide one way or another. Commitment works both ways folks.

Flo - Ri - Duh

November 19th, 2012
8:35 am

Lawyers really don’t make such good football coaches. I doubt if UGA will gain anything from Dooley’s firing unless it effects Toby Johnson’s decision and he was a UGA lean already. Tennessee is probably going after an NFL coach or possibly Charlie Strong at Louisville or the head coach as Mississippi State. Rumors are starting to swirl that Steve Spurrier is considering retirement after next season. He will be 68.

Flo - Ri - Duh

November 19th, 2012
8:41 am

Coaches don’t honor their contracts – Petrino, Lou Gnome Sabin Urban Meyer, etc, etc, etc so why should players honor their commitment when it is not final until signing day?

#chickenlittle

November 19th, 2012
9:39 am

” He should blame it on Bush, Obama did and still does. ”

The butthurt is strong in this one.

georgianabulltiger

November 19th, 2012
10:35 am

Tech Wrecked

Thanks for your astute post, and heartfelt congratulations to Tech for powering its way into the mighty ACC championship game. Bask in the glory, my brother.

At least until Saturday.

Downtown Dave

November 19th, 2012
12:28 pm

Georgia State meet your new coach! You both could grow up together and your coach will be well paid!

kingdaddy

November 19th, 2012
12:28 pm

At least Ga. Tech never backed into a Conference Championship, uhh wait a minute…

kingdaddy

November 19th, 2012
12:29 pm

How could y’all be so mean to a man on crutches???

THE Dixie Redcoat Band

November 19th, 2012
1:59 pm

Looks like the VOLS are in for 2-4 more lean years. Can they still blame Pres. Bush?