Friday, January 7, 2011

Recruiting Roundup - 26 days til NSD

Going to start a fairly frequent feature here as we wind down towards signing day. Before ink hits actual paper and fax machines start whirring, it's important to get things in perspective. So here's my overall perspective on recruiting, in the interest of full disclosure.

Carver-Columbus' Isaiah Crowell
First, you should know I'm not one of those fans that gets too invested in this. I'm not meaning to piss on your parade if you are, but I'm just not that into 17 year old's decisions getting glorified and vilified on television, in print and on message boreds. However, I find the process more than a little compelling and get a charge out of seeing the names hit the screen inside Butts-Mehre. So it may be most fair to say, this part of my blogging is never a labor of love. But it intrigues me just enough.

Second, this being the winter of our most recent discontent, it's important to note that just getting the right signatures is a very small part of the battle. I don't want to get into a talent vs coaching debate right now, but it's safe to say at this point that we have coaches that aren't developing the February signatures into SEC caliber statistics. And that's not to say that they can't or haven't in the past. But 6-7 teams beg a powerful microscope, and player development demands a keen focus in Athens these days.

Davis, touching that rock
From what I read and what I see I think we’re evaluating the right players across the state and the country. We’re competing against the schools that are currently winning at a high level; just take a gander at the number of kids we're courting against Bama. But we just haven’t closed the deal on enough immediate impact guys and we haven’t landed that diamond in the rough like Thomas Davis or Verron Haynes; guys that are so thrilled for that UGA offer that they bleed red and black right through their silver britches.

So a huge question is development. I would rank our best position coaches at this point as Bobo number one and Belin/Grantham number two. It’s hard to be too critical of the other defensive coaches since we only have 13 games to go on the 3-4. But I think that’s enough to say that Lakatos has a ways to go and Garner is almost solely a recruiting guy here lately.

But even those disappointments don’t come close to the mystery of Coach Searels. How in the world did our biggest asset going into the season become our biggest liability? I went to bed every Saturday this fall thanking the good Lord that Aaron Murray wasn’t scheduled for any tests or surgeries the next Monday. Did anyone expect back in August that our 13th hour 2010 signee Kenarious Gates would play such a role this season?

That question in and of itself is reason to at least pay attention to recruiting. You never know who the next player is to fill an emergency hole. And you never know who the next Nick Williams will be either.

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Be back tomorrow with another Roundup on the 2011 targets. Until then, here's some important links for your Friday lunch:
  • Fletcher Page catches us up on CMR, Garner and Grantham's visit to Connecticut yesterday. John Jenkins is indeed the missing link. ($$)
  • Rusty Mansell also talks up the Jenkins' visit, over a few games of pool.
  • Weiszer brings us up to speed on CMRs latest commitment, Sanford Seay. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are dead on with your comment about the O line and Searels. I don't know what happened but that situation needs to be addressed above all others. I'm not totally thrilled about Bobo but in his defense, you aren't going to generate offense if you don't have a line. Our line sucked for most of this year and in the bowl game we could have just taken some inmates out of state prison and probably gotten better play and certainly more enthusiasm.