Rewind: UGA football recruiting gets kick in pants it needed

THE MONDAY MORNING REWIND:

Or in this case, what happened while I was away on vacation. . . .

Here’s one thing you can be assured of in this business: When you’re out on vacation, news will happen. Usually a lot of news.

So, of course, that was the case when I took off for the beach last week. I left immediately after the SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, Fla. I wrote that the SEC presidents went against the football coaches and voted to reduce the annual signee limit to 25, drove home, took my bags out of one car and put them in another and hit the road for the right coast early the next morning. So unplugged was I that it took me several days to realize that Mike Hamilton was out as AD at Tennessee.

I returned to civilization this past Saturday afternoon and I have gradually tried to get myself back up to speed on all things Georgia, etc. (nice to see the Braves get on a roll, huh?!) So please indulge me as I conduct a brief review of the UGA happenings while I was away and be sure to let me know if I’ve missed anything (as if you need prompting). And be sure to let me know some of the topics you’d like to see me cover in the coming days and weeks. As you know, there are only 82 days until the Bulldogs’ opening game against Boise State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic.

Pierce County FB Quayvon Hicks, here working out at the Mark Richt Camp this past weekend, was a good get for the Bulldogs. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com)

Pierce County FB Quayvon Hicks, here working out at the Mark Richt Camp this past weekend, was a good get for the Bulldogs. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com)

Recruiting gets kick in pants

Georgia’s football recruiting got a badly needed kick in the pants over the weekend. The Bulldogs added four new commitments to their Class of 2012 from Friday until Sunday, including two from major in-state prospects. According to most analysts Jenkins County defensive tackle Jonathan Taylor is one of the best if not THE best prospect in the state.  He committed on Sunday and, as they always promised, so did his outside linebacker teammate and best buddy James DeLoach.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s future for kicking specialists was solidified as punter Colin Barber of Cartersville committed. Place-kicker Marshall Morgan of Miami has long been on board, meaning that the Bulldogs have identified their replacements for Drew Butler and Blair Walsh, presently the most formidable kicking combination in America. Lest we forget, Georgia also just brought in on scholarship long snapper Nathan Theus, who will be set to succeed rising junior Ty Frix. So the Dogs’ commitment to special teams is clear. And these newbies can only hope to fare as well.

Personally, I believe the commitment of Pierce County’s Quayvon Hicks is very significant. Though most identified him as an elite defensive end prospect, UGA tabbed and recruited him purely as a fullback, which is a position it sorely needed to address. By all accounts this kid brings serious offensive skills and athleticism to the table and he has the size to match up with the league’s ever-troublesome OLBs and DEs. A really good get, IMHO.

The occasion of most of this recruiting activity was the result of the annual Mark Richt Camp held in Athens this past weekend. There has been considerable stress and paranoia expressed by the fan base over the lack of commitments beforehand. But the reality is this: This is expected to be a relatively small class for the Bulldogs; this is right about where they were last year; with rules and attitudes changing like have recently, recruiting is going to become much more deliberate, which has always been Georgia’s M.O.; and, like it or not, there is the tinge of uncertainty wavering over the program regarding the coaching staff, which will cause some of the most elite prospects to take a wait-and-see approach to UGA’s season.

If Georgia has a positive season — which many are starting to predict — expect a boffo recruiting class once again. Here’s the class as it stands so far:

GEORGIA 2011 COMMITMENTS

  1. P Colin Barber (6-2, 185), Cartersville
  2. WR C.J. Curry (6-2, 203), Flowery Branch
  3. OLB James Deloach (6-3, 260), Jenkins Co.
  4. DE Jalen Fields (6-4, 254), Georgia Military College
  5. OLB Leonard Floyd (6-4, 215), Dodge County
  6. FB Quayvon Hicks (6-2, 245), Pierce County
  7. K Marshall Morgan (6-3, 195), Miami
  8. WR Lonnie Outlaw (6-7, 210), Georgia Military College
  9. TE Ty Smith (6-3, 230), Colquitt County
  10. DT Jonathan Taylor (6-4, 315), Jenkins County

Men’s golf, baseball go down

It’s old news to most of you by now, but the baseball and men’s golf teams saw their season’s end in NCAA postseason tournaments.

Coach Chris Haack’s hackers fell to one of the most incredible and unlikely dominant teams of all time, Augusta State, 3-2 in the national championship match-play finals. But it was an incredible run for the Bulldogs, who had an impressive roster of its own but had failed to put it all together until Nationals. Now it will be rebuilding time for Haack as they bid farewell to four of their most accomplished seniors of all time: Rob Bennett, Harris English, Russell Henley and Hudson Swafford.

Coach David Perno’s Diamond Dogs finally went down to Oregon State in the championship game of the Corvallis Regional. As I’ve stated before, I believe Perno might have done his best work in getting Georgia back into the NCAA tournament. You have to look past the unspectacular final record of 33-32. Despite playing the nation’s toughest schedule and all the adversity they faced with the Johnathan Taylor injury, the Bulldogs managed to execute a 17-game improvement from the previous season. With a senior-laden squad coming back, look for even bigger things next year.

Henley = #winning

Speaking of Henley, he has continued his winning ways since his college career ended. The Monday following the national championship match, Henley managed to make it back to Ball Ground, Ga., and  grab one of three spots for the U.S. Open qualifying at Hawks Ridge Golf Club. So he’ll be teeing it up with former Dogs Bubba Watson and Christo Greyling at Congressional Country Club this Thursday in Bethesda, Md. In the meantime, Henley this past weekend helped the the United States win the Palmer Cup up in Greenwich, Conn. Henley, of course, won a Nationwide Tour event as an amateur earlier this year.  Before it’s over he may end up as UGA’s most decorated golfer ever.

JT gets ‘the call’

I’m hopeful you all got to see where the Texas Rangers absolutely buried the class meter by selecting Georgia’s Taylor in the Major League Baseball draft. There was plenty written about it here and elsewhere but there is a pretty cool video interview that UGA conducted that’s now posted on the school’s official website, georgiadogs.com. I highly recommend you check it out.

That’s all for now. Let me know what you think and what you want. I’m here to serve!

126 comments Add your comment

DawginLex

June 13th, 2011
12:00 pm

Still one of the classiest things I have ever seen by any sports organization with the Rangers drafting JT. It gives me hope that maybe the whole world is not going down the toilet.

Accurate breakdown on remaining scholarships available assuming all these kids stick???

Are all the incoming freshmen qualified?

Thanks for your work.

whatthedawg

June 13th, 2011
12:00 pm

Big weekend in Athens. Go Dawgs.

Worm

June 13th, 2011
12:01 pm

Nice to have another Jonathan Taylor..Good luck to both.

Alabamadawg

June 13th, 2011
12:04 pm

Love the commitments the dawgs got this weekend. Now its time to get some offensive linemen !!

HBTD

June 13th, 2011
12:09 pm

Great job by the coaches to identify and get these boys committed to the program early. The future continues to look very bright for the Dawgs.

CountryBlumpkin

June 13th, 2011
12:10 pm

Perfect timing on the article Chip…I was on vacation last week too. This was the update I needed.

t

June 13th, 2011
12:25 pm

TOTALLY AWESOME – THE TWO WE NEEDED – GO COACH RICHT!!!!!! http://www.wedgeorgia.com

RealDawg

June 13th, 2011
12:25 pm

Chip-Would you guys (recruiting bloggers, etc) consider referring to the University of Georgia recruits as “UGA or UGA’s” instead of Georgia? It gets confusing when you guys are talking about UGA versus the State of Georgia. For example “Georgia landed two football commitments” and “Georgia’s top WR has narrowed to Auburn and Ohio State”. Thanks.

JB

June 13th, 2011
12:27 pm

Notice to all on here who later will post we let so and so go to Bama,Fla,FSU etc. We have like 7 or 8 spots left, and they will be very position specific. Don’t nut up if you see a great LB or DB or TE go somewhere else. These coach’s will be careful to fill the class with needs….Like OL. Chill, it will be fine. Way,way too much talent in Georgia to get them all.

RabidDawgFan

June 13th, 2011
12:28 pm

Who gets the fulmer cup this year? UGA has had ZERO arrests this offseason. No distractions whatsoever. This team is focused. There’s no way we lose to Boise if we keep this up. Stay hungry, focused, in the weight room getting bigger, faster, and stronger and pounce on Boise on Sept 3rd. I’m guessing Florida, Tennessee, or Auburn could be in the running for the Fulmer Cup this off-season? Because it won’t be UGA. Go Dawgs!

SOUTHGADAWG88

June 13th, 2011
12:29 pm

I’d like to see at least 5 OL added to this class.

JB

June 13th, 2011
12:32 pm

South Ga Dawg 88…………..you will. Out of 8 spots or so left, 5 will be OL.

59bulldawg

June 13th, 2011
12:58 pm

Shuuush RabidDawgFan! Don’t jinx us! LOL!

DawginLex

June 13th, 2011
1:02 pm

Auburn has 2011 Fulmer Cup locked.

80 points

Felonies get BIG points

We aren’t even on the scoreboard

http://www.edsbs.com

59bulldawg

June 13th, 2011
1:03 pm

Chip, any idea when Georgia’s 2011 media guide will be ready?

UGASlobberknocker

June 13th, 2011
1:05 pm

The Rangers get a standing O from me next weekend (here for Braves series) for their classy act in drafting JT.

Chip Towers

June 13th, 2011
1:06 pm

RealDawg: Consider it considered.

Chip Towers

June 13th, 2011
1:10 pm

SOUTHGADAWG88: You’re right, O-line is what this class is lacking so far. But CMR has said on speaking tour it’s a priority and I’m sure you’ll see 5 or 6 before it’s over.

calmdawg

June 13th, 2011
1:14 pm

On the recruits, thought we were going to address the o-line?

NC DAWG

June 13th, 2011
1:16 pm

Assuming they all sign – any idea when they will report? – are any graduating early to enroll early, etc.?

NC DAWG

June 13th, 2011
1:18 pm

Ditto RealDawg.

Golf Ray

June 13th, 2011
1:19 pm

I figured UGA would get a boost from starting it’s own bonding business.

Will

June 13th, 2011
1:21 pm

I can’t wait to see how many of the freshman from The Dream Team can come in and start competing for a starting job. I would guess Ray Drew, Nick Marshall and Damien Swann on defense and IC on offense. I’m afraid some of the freshman Olineman will have to play as well.

Viking87

June 13th, 2011
1:22 pm

How does UGA look for Clemons out of Lowndes? I know FSU has racked up on Lowndes boys the past 3 years.

UGA_2001

June 13th, 2011
1:33 pm

Why do we always struggle to sign OL?

tide roll

June 13th, 2011
1:33 pm

Chip, Who are the 5 or 6 ? If it’s Uga’s normal 5 or 6, 4 of ‘em will be gone within 2 years! Vidal Alexander, Joe Harris, John Atkins, and move Jonathan Taylor to right guard ( another Max Jean Gilles) would be a start. Still too late to take advantage of Auburn’ s depleted defensive line. By the time these guys are ready, Auburn’s front will be experienced veterans. That is why it is so important that Richt go the JUCO route. To take advantage of Auburn’s personnel losses along their defensive line NOW, and before it’s too late!

P-The-Ricker

June 13th, 2011
1:35 pm

I love it….an uniformed alabama fan is trying to knock on the intelligence of UGA students, recruits and alumni. Read a paper you moron…you might just find out that UGA ranks higher than UA in almost every scholastic category rated.

sogadog

June 13th, 2011
1:38 pm

Thanks for the report, my stress and paranoia are much better now.

Atlanta87

June 13th, 2011
1:41 pm

Does it really matter come December though who the Dogs recruit?

DawginLex

June 13th, 2011
1:42 pm

tide roll troll,

Our 2011 OL will take care of Auburn’s depleted D-line quite nicely.

thanks for caring.

Our 1st team group is solid and huge. 2 of the backups are quality. Depth is the only issue for 2011.

2002 OL was similar.
We were 9th in rushing that year. Went 13-1

Line for 2011 will do great. Our defense is going to be top 3 or 4 in the SEC. Offense won’t have the pressure on it to score like a video game.

Lots of 20-14 games

Lasso

June 13th, 2011
1:46 pm

Seeing how UGA owns 4 out of the last 5 against Auburn, I don’t think much needs to change regarding recruiting for them, specifically.

Atlanta87

June 13th, 2011
1:47 pm

We have another psychic on the blogs everybody? Do you have the winning lottery tickets for tomorrow DawginLex?

Atlanta87

June 13th, 2011
1:49 pm

I’ll take 1 of 5 against UGA and a National Championship any day.

Tobias Funke

June 13th, 2011
1:52 pm

Go Dawgs. Welcome back Chip.

BG

June 13th, 2011
1:53 pm

The Dawgs are on track to sign another top ten class in 2012. People are so quick to forget that the Dawgs just signed a top 5 class in 2011. GO DAWGS!

BG

June 13th, 2011
1:54 pm

Atlanta87 get off the Dawgs blog!

DawginLex

June 13th, 2011
1:56 pm

Atlanta87

June 13th, 2011
1:47 pm
We have another psychic on the blogs everybody? Do you have the winning lottery tickets for tomorrow DawginLex?

***************************************************

Losers play the lotto. Might as well take a dollar bill and wad it up and throw it at the highway and hope someone will catch it and decide to return it to you and give you a million more with it.

About the same chances.

Destin Dawg

June 13th, 2011
1:56 pm

This will be our big turn around year… much improved S & C… Grantham’s Defense… will win field position/turnovers… Great kicking game… Big freshmen class coming in to push for starting/playing time… favorable schedule… Go Dawgs !! win the SEC EAST !!!!!

DawginLex

June 13th, 2011
1:58 pm

Destin

Athlon has us 10-2 and 7-1 in the SEC. I guess they think boise will beat us?

I don’t see that. The 10-2 prediction sounds great to me though.

AugustaDawg

June 13th, 2011
2:01 pm

Chip, while I’m a loyal UGA alum, I also personally know one of the ASU golf team members (Carter Newman) who helped lead the ASU team to victory. I was very proud of him and his clutch performance as well as of the way the Dawgs played. Oh, and please let whomever there in the Sports section that needs to know that Augusta IS still in the state of Georgia and a DIV. I Championship SHOULD be worthy of some decent coverage!

Atlanta87

June 13th, 2011
2:04 pm

@ BG It gives me something funny/enjoyable to read while on my lunch break. I love to read what you dogs say before the season about this time every year. Then come back 5 games into the season and read it right after you’ve lost to a team like Colorado.

@ DawginLex “Our 2011 OL will take care of Auburn’s depleted D-line quite nicely.” You seem to know what’s going to happen in this game so I figured you might know what numbers should be played.

Just please don’t embarrass the SEC on September 3rd and lose to Boise State. If that happens, those Broncos will never shut up about how they deserve a NC shot.

Whiskey Breath

June 13th, 2011
2:05 pm

Sounds like a typical June Dawg talk. Come August it will be National Championship talk.
Florida won’t even be in the discussion. Ga fans go ahead and put that game in the win column.
Meanwhile Gator fans just assume all they need to do is show up.

Hollywould

June 13th, 2011
2:10 pm

Come on dawg/ yall said the same thing last year at this time about your o-line. War Eagle

Paddy

June 13th, 2011
2:11 pm

alabamadawg…….I agree; some “big uglies” on that ol would look real nice. The Theus brother from Jacksonville would be hugh! It would help bring others on board. So I hope they can get an early commit.

Stinger2

June 13th, 2011
2:13 pm

Great to see all the Dawg fans get some more good recruiting news.
Please contact CPJ and give him the names of your leftovers. Some of them may be being recruited by Jacksonville State, Georgia State or Furman. GT needs to get in the mix.

dbc

June 13th, 2011
2:18 pm

Chip, I have read that Herschel was in town and was going to speak to the team and work out with them, I believe this past Friday. Since then, nothing was reported. I would love to know how that whole event went. I’d bet HW can still outwork most of these young bucks and hope some of his work ethic and attitude rubs off on them. Have you heard anything?

Chip Towers

June 13th, 2011
2:23 pm

dbc: Yep, Herschel was in town and talked and worked out with the team and talked to the media. Unfortunately I wasn’t there to cover it. Heard it was pretty cool.

Remarkable

June 13th, 2011
2:51 pm

Hey Chip, Glad to have you back. Please address what needs UGA still has and who best fills those needs so that we know who we are watching for. Thanks!

JAWJeRDAWG

June 13th, 2011
3:04 pm

Thanks for the week-in-review and weekend re-cap, Chip, and I’m glad you enjoyed your timeoff. ..

UGA certainly seems to be filling it’s positions-of-need nicely thus far. The OL commitments we so despirately need might not come until the late fall or even after the season.

I really feel that some of these recruits are just waiting to see how the season goes and the assurance that Coach Richt and staff are given long-term contracts before they commit.

I do believe our 2011 team and their improvement so-far in strength and conditioning and their behavioral focus towards having a winning season will assure that. When that happens, the OL commitments we need will come.

IMHO, the coaches and players are doing their job, and the future of UGA football is certainly looking up. .. Go Dawgs!

UGAgrad71

June 13th, 2011
3:22 pm

Boy, they grow them big in MIllen. And JT is not 17 years old yet!