So this Jordan Watkins kid chooses Stanford over the Dawgs yesterday. He's from the state of Georgia, smart and very talented. He happens to mention that he really likes Coach Garner and that it would be a shame if Richt were not there next season to coach in Athens. Yet Georgia was not able to garner his commitment.
Many times the story will end there. But things haven't been so cheery on the field or in the stands recently, so the debate begins.
It's Richt's Fault - He's let the program slide and wins have been few and far between. That's gonna hurt in recruiting more than anything else. The Georgia football program has top notch facilities, a beautiful campus and excellent academics. All the tools are there for Coach Richt to do his job in bringing these kids into the program. The one thing he doesn't have lately is the record that kids and their families want to see.
It's the fans' fault - Coach Richt just brought in another top ranked class despite a losing record last year. Isaiah Crowell, Ray Drew and Jay Rome (among many others) could have gone just about anywhere. They didn't have a problem with the record or the temperature of the coach's seat. The fans get on these blogs and message boards and start spouting off behind a wall of anonymity and recruits read that and base opinions off of it. They go on visits to the stadiums and hear the boos and see them heading for exits when the team needs them most. That's a big factor for all of them.
The ruling - It's September people. Coach Richt, go do your job and prove to young Mr. Watkins et al that you can compete against an SEC slate again. Fans, increase your dosage and breathe deeply.
Mr. Watkins, in February you have a choice to stick with your commitment or choose another path. Do what you feel is best for you.