Saturday, January 14, 2012

Recruiting Roundup: 18 days til NSD

Welcome Todd Gurley! Like I said yesterday, this kid officially makes for a crowded backfield and we'll be better for it as early as August. Don't worry about the fact that Mike Davis committed to Carolina last night, officially. Gurley works hard. He doesn't know the word quit because he's never entered it into his vocabulary. He wins. And he'll push everyone to get better.

To put it in laymans' terms, we're not even to January's midpoint and already we're two pulled hammies and at least two sprained ankles from seeing Carlton Thomas run up the middle.

This is progress folks. The collegiate tackle football programs of the southeast are getting Richt-rolled like a buncha bitches. Dabo was seen last night watering his own lawn in his underoos, in 29 degree temps. Saban's using a calculator for once. Spurrier just soiled his pants and his visor.

However...we now turn our focus to big men. Avery Young is in the same category today as he was yesterday - must have! Like the Senator said, the line looks need of depth...and size. 

In short, we're two and a half weeks away from signing day and we're on a hot streak. But the work left to do is only getting heavier.


Statement made, message received

Within a couple hours yesterday afternoon the Dawg Nation spent an eternity on Mount Ecstasy. Gurley committed and then all remaining draft eligible players that were even mildly interested in the NFL decided to stay in Athens.

I harkened back to that day in early 2004 when David Pollack had a press conference to commit to his fourth season as a Dawg. Except that if that day was euphoric, yesterday was like a weeklong hot streak at the track. The good news just kept coming. It was impossible to keep up with, but I sure enjoyed trying.

Once I had settled into my weekend with a glass of bourbon on the deck, it began to sink in. Our juniors made a statement yesterday. There were a LOT of fans that received the message. For now, I will assume the underclassmen did as well.

The energy bus has achieved nuclear fusion y'all. Hang on tight.

"Roll Vols Roll"

Yesterday I met the Sunseri hire on Rocky Flop with a minimal amount of interest. Then I read Clay Travis' post in response. Wow.
Look, I don't blame Tennessee for being in love with Nick Saban -- I'm in love with Nick Saban too. But I'm not in love with Nick Saban's flunkies. Pay Nick Saban $10 million a year, or whatever it costs, and he'd win a national championship at Tennessee within four years. I have zero doubt about this. Neither do LSU or Alabama fans. Neither do any SEC fans.
That's why I've consistently argued that Nick Saban is underpaid.
Nick Saban's worth $20 million a year, he's the best at what he does.
But Tennessee's strategy isn't to mortgage the entire state and hire Nick Saban, it's to hire people who are great because of their affiliation with Saban. And you don't beat the champ by hiring the champ's training staff. You don't write "The Sound and the Fury," by stealing away Fauilkner's typist.
Nice analogy. And it's hard not to agree to some extent since the UT football program consistently looks to T-Town for coaching and admin hires that are at best a reach. That being said (and I admit that I didn't follow the hiring process to replace Wilcox), I don't think Sunseri was the first choice.

I mean, surely Barbara lil Dools would've gone after Saban himself.

Bonus thought - it's a fairly large assumption, but I'm guessing Sunseri will run a 3-4. Dooley supposedly needs 8+ wins to survive the hoe down. Is that even possible with their personnel with merely weeks to implement a new defensive scheme?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Recruiting Roundup: Todd Gurley edition

Todd Gurley. Today. 2pm. Clemson. Or Georgia!!!!! Questions...answered.

Pardon the rant here, but...I'm sick of reading where people get all self-righteous about how they'd prefer this player over that player. They grab a keyboard and hammer out an absurd opinion based solely on a snippet they read of some recruiting coverage. Or worse, the infamous uncle's girlfriend's brother in law went to high school with the kid's 8th grade basketball coach and heard this and can confirm this.

If you think for some reason that Todd Gurley won't crack the starting lineup and you would prefer Mike Davis, that's fine. But spare the rest of us your ignorance. Kids make the choice that's best for them on a myriad of levels. Just because you can't fathom that is no reason to dog a 17 year old that has been working hard towards this moment for years, all while you dust the cheese puff dust from your worn out Nickelback t-shirt.

Now, that's all behind us...this kid is the real deal. He's a legitimate threat at running back and a superb athlete. I watched a lot of video and he's not the jaw dropping type of back that some others are but he makes the defense earn each tackle and is a nice blend of size and speed which I really like. What's more, from reading about him you can't help but be convinced that he can compete at this level.

Does that mean he starts over any other back we have on scholarship? I don't know. I do know that he will make the running back depth chart more competitive because he's a workhorse, he's a winner...and I think he's a Dawg.

Clemson is where he's wanted to play for a long time. The other two schools in the mix are both close to Tarboro. But McClendon has been there the whole way talking up the idea of having Gurley complement his depth chart. In the end I think the fabric that Georgia has woven with Gurley holds up today.

And we'll be better for it starting this August.

Recruiting Roundup: 19 days til NSD

(Special Todd Gurley post coming shortly.)

Coach Richt's staff is gaining momentum on the recruiting roads. And regardless of Gurley's decision today many believe the Dawgs will finish very strong.

Check out what Jamie Newberg has to say about Georgia's remainging targets.

A lot of experts feel the same way. Richt has done a great job of selling the program. Grantham recruits like he coaches, with intensity. Lilly closes with the best of them. And Bobo and McClendon continue to make it hard to say no. Kids like Quayvon Hicks and John Theus take it from there.

Stay tuned. This could be another exciting finish at Butts-Mehre.

Beer of the Week - Eye Patch Ale

Really been looking forward to telling y'all about Monday Night Brewing. Hopefully you're already aware of them. If not, they're new. They're in Atlanta. And they grew their small brewery the way every brewery should start. No, not just a wort boil. They're just some guys that get together to brew beer, drink beer and talk beer. Best of all, they didn't rush to shove some bottles on shelves. They spent years perfecting their two beers and now we get to enjoy each delicious gulp.

I had the Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale a few weeks ago and quite simply, it's one of the best beers I've subjected my mouth to. Before trying it I wasn't a big scotch ale kind of guy. That's probably not fair. I'm just too big of a hophead sometimes. But their Drafty Kilt is absolutely delicious, it's a gamechanger. I drained the growler in a day and a half...*fist bump*!!

But this post is about their Eye Patch Ale, which I was able to get yesterday at Best of Brews. Monday Night brews are only available on draft I believe. But since the guys work so hard on their beer you won't mind getting enough to fill a growler. 

Eye Patch had a lot of malty caramel on the nose for me. Some citrus, a little bitterness aroma from the hops. But mostly a soft sweetness. I didn't read anything prior to tasting it and was expecting a lot of hops, but smelling it told me this was going to be different. And although there's plenty of American hops in this one it's pretty balanced. Very smooth tasting, bitter enough but not the hoppiness you get from a lot of breweries' IPAs. 

Not surprisingly, this one checks out at just 46 IBUs. It's billed as a "crisp drinkable IPA". If you love IPAs you'll probably taste this one as a "light" india pale ale. You may even not be fond of it at first if you're expecting something different. However, my bet is that eventually the flavors and the richness will win you over. It's a great beer. If I had my choice I'd still take the Drafty Kilt. But this is America. There's no reason I can't have both.

So find some Monday Night brews asap. Weekends are overrated.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Recruiting Roundup: 20 days til NSD

I'll have some Todd Gurley thoughts tomorrow as we get ready for his Friday the 13th announcement. For today, some more nuggets.

Sean Price (TE out of North Mario HS in Florida) was offered yesterday. He's considered a "soft" commit to South Florida. He'll visit Athens the weekend before signing day. Kimberley has a nice writeup on him with a video. Arkansas and Oklahoma are interested as well, but Price wants a helmet close to home. So the main competition would appear to be USF. With Artie Lynch taking over for Orson and Aron, he'll have ultra talented Jay Rome behind him. Richt also has a long standing commit from Moultrie's Ty Smith.
Again, Todd Gurley makes his announcement tomorrow. It seems to be down to Clemson and Georgia. Smart money's on the Dawgs, but Dabo prints his own cash. Should be interesting.

Henry Co's Dalvin Tomlinson
Another big target is Josh Harvey-Clemons. Unlike I thought the last time we talked about him, now it doesn't sound like he'll wait until February 1st to announce. We're in a tight battle with Florida, but looks like we hold a slight edge here as he comes to Athens this weekend.

Also making a late official visit next Monday (due to his wrestling schedule) will be Henry County defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson. Alabama and Georgia Tech seemed to be the frontrunners but given Saban's "wealth" of commits it may just be down to the two in state rivals. So Tomlinson will give Richt and his staff full consideration. He's very athletic, two time state wrestling champion and gifted in the classroom as well with a 3.9 GPA. Tech REALLY wants him. Can McClendon pull the upset?

Two more quick notes. At wide receiver we're hot on the trail for JUCO prospect Cordarrelle Patterson, but also keep an eye on Auburn commit Ja'Quay Williams. If we can get him to come in for an official we might just be able to steal him late in the game. And at defensive back, Lakatos really has his sights set on Tennessee's top prospect Sheldon Dawson out of Memphis. He's physical and has great ball skills. He's a long time Memphis commit, even through their coaching change, because he would like to play running back as well. He's not as big as some of the DB's we've been after since Lakatos came to town, but he has that aggressiveness that Grantham's defense requires. Should be an interesting one to watch.

Grantham blitzes rumors

During a game earlier this season my youngest daughter caught our defensive coordinator in what she misinterpreted to be a smile after a Jarvis Jones sack. I quickly corrected her, "That's Coach Grantham honey. He's not smiling. He's actually pissed off they didn't lose more yards." Later we got an interception and returned it for a good piece and she saw him high-fiving and jumping around. She said, "Now he's happy!" Once again I had to correct her. "No, he's still pissed because we didn't return it for a touchdown."

Well, turns out the guy is happy about one thing: being in Athens. My assumption yesterday when "some website" started the rumor that the Atlanta Falcons were interested in Todd Damn Grantham was that his agent was making a play during contract negotiations. If that was the case, the Georgia defensive coordinator would have nothing of it.
Here’s Grantham’s statement:
This time of year there are a lot of rumors involving coaching openings. Because of the terrific recruiting class we are assembling and the juniors that have communicated to me their desire to come back to Georgia I felt it important to address some of these current and any future rumors. I’ve had discussions with Coach Richt and (AD) Greg McGarity and we are on track to finalizing details on a contract extension. My family enjoys Athens very much. I love the passion and excitement of our fans. We have the program headed in the right direction and I want to be a part of bringing Georgia a championship. My desire is to be at UGA for a very long time. Go Dawgs!”
We love your passion and excitement too CTG! 

At a time when he certainly could've been selfish and waited for the contract pot to get heavier, instead he put his players (both current and future) first. Now they don't have to worry about adjusting to a different coordinator or opening up their recruitment a little more.

Well done Coach. Well done. 

Thanks OC7!

From destroying floriDuh's national championship trophy to being the next difference maker at the tight end position at the University of Georgia.

You're a Damn Good Dawg and helped us go out as SEC East champs! Plus...we'll always have this to look back on.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Orson's all but gone...

I would feel just a little more confident about this teleconference's outcome if we hadn't offered a TE prospect this morning.

UPDATE: NFL called a number that Bobo never seemed to memorize. Thanks OC7!

Recruiting Roundup: 21 days til NSD

Feels good to get Jordan Jenkins on board. Now let's go back to the offensive side of the ball and take a look at the offensive line.

We lose Trinton Sturdivant, Ben Jones*, Cordy Glenn and Justin Anderson. Returning we have three guys that started (Burnette, Gates, and Lee) as well as a few guys that played (Dantzler, Andrews and the Long brothers). Add in some redshirts (DeBell and Ward) and we still have several spots to fill here.

Avery Young of Palm Spring FL
John Theus is one of the top prospects in the country, at any position. He'll definitely play early, it's just a matter of how soon he starts. I'd be a little surprised if he's not protecting Murray's blind side in September.

Mark Beard is on campus now after transferring via the JUCO route. With his size he'll at least provide some depth for Coach Friend to use as well as challenge some of the less experienced guys. We've also landed commitments from Greg Pyke (Baltimore MD) and Chester Brown (Hinesville GA).

So what's left? I think Friend wants two more and we especially have our eyes on Avery Young out of Palm Springs FL. Young has the size to grow into a true SEC tackle and is good at both run and pass blocking. With some more growth and some toughness at the line of scrimmage he could develop quickly and nicely. Young made his official visit to Athens on the weekend of the Gala. He's considering Georgia, Auburn, Florida and evidently Miami after a surprise announcement last week that he would make an official visit to Coral Gables.

I was in hopes that once Jenkins committed Monday night that we might hear that Brandon Greene was reconsidering his commitment to Bama. Greene's another large OT prospect out of Cedar Grove. He made a surprise visit to Athens last month, but confirmed at last week's UA game that he is true to his word.

I don't know, I'm not taking my eye off that guy yet. And I doubt Coach Richt's staff will either.

**Don't think I mentioned this earlier, but it's recently come out that Ben Jones played practically the entire Outback Bowl with an injured big toe after breaking it on the 2nd play from scrimmage. That's one tough sonofabitch.

Now more than ever, with you can get the degree you need to help injured sports players.

Humpday Hilarity - of wigs, quills and satire

Last week I gave you our family's #3 favorite YouTuber. This week we get educational with #2. It's a fairly new one for us, but the fact that it mixes satire and some historical lessons helps us click the play button frequently.

Even if you don't like the original song, make sure you pay attention to the lyrics and stay long enough to see the Founding Fathers rock out!

They are TJ and the Revo and the video was put together by Soomo Publishing which develops web resources for the classroom. To enhance your satirical smirk even more, check out Timbaland's video of the song then harken back to 1776 once again, quill in hand.

Come back next week for #1!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Congrats Bama, but...

I can't help but wonder how the 2007 Georgia team feels this morning. Don't get me wrong. I watched every play of last night's game and there's no doubt that Alabama and LSU are the nation's two best teams. And there's also no question that Bama deserves the title after the beating they gave to the SEC champion.

But really the only difference between what happened this season and the way things played out in 2007 is that Bama was afforded the opportunity at a rematch in the national championship game while Georgia went to New Orleans to play in the Sugar Bowl...against Hawaii. Sometimes it pays to have the national media on your side. 

Then again, the thought of Coach Richt cuddling with the likes of Mark May and Herbie turns my stomach a bit. 

As for college football... (sniff, sniff)

Recruiting Roundup: 22 days til NSD

I didn't think it would happen. Top prospects don't just shun Nick Saban. But as yesterday wore on more and more the feeling and the rumors pointed towards a HUGE steal for Todd Grantham.

Jordan Jenkins' commitment is big for all the right reasons. From the plain and simple he can play right away to the we stole him from the clutches of mother Bama. Plus it all happened on television.

Now Coach Richt and staff have a little momentum on the roads as they close out this year's class. Hopefully we can sway some more of the top talent to come to Athens.

Chizik hires Van Gorder's stache

Former Broyles Award winner Brian Van Gorder is on the move again. From somewhere up Opelika.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for me and my family at this point in my career, both professionally and personally, to become the defensive coordinator at Auburn," he said. "I'm looking forward to working at a school with the success and tradition of Auburn, and for a coach like Gene Chizik, who has led the program to a national championship. I'm very appreciative to the Atlanta Falcons and coach Mike Smith for the experience of the last four years. It's a great organization and will have continued success in the future."
The question is: can he correct the wrongdoings of Ted Roof before the moving van refuels?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Jenkins, all Dawg!

I'll try and have video in the morning. For now, here's Jenkins explaining his choice.

And here's a pic of mom...

Mama Jenkins not a scripted helmet kind of lady. She dumped that ish A.S.A.P! 

 - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday's Meatloaf - resolving around the pigskin

It's the 9th day of 2012. Do you know where your resolutions are?

I've got a few I have yet to break, completely. Of course, I haven't lost 15 pounds yet and I'm still trying to decide which book to read first. Once that's done I might get around to starting my campaign for president. As long as it doesn't conflict with eating more leafy greens.

Honestly, I'm not sure how well those resolutions will go. But I always have my old stand by. Year in and year out, the easiest resolution for me is to give up half of my tv time. I've found that I watch less and less of the tube each year. Mostly due to the fact that there's less and less worth watching. Justified starts it's third season next week. And once Raylan is done bringing justice to the hollers of eastern Kentucky it should almost be time for Walter White to cook up his fifth season in Breaking Bad.

Beyond that it' really about waiting for football to come back into my loving arms.

Today's Ingredients
  • Speaking of college football, the last game of the 2011 season is tonight. I think the rematch between LSU and Bama will see a lot more scoring. So I'm predicting LSU 8 Bama 6.
  • If you're keeping score at home, that's 7 total safeties.
  • Mr. Sanchez has your guaranteed* winner for tonight. Place your bets accordingly.
  • Before gym class, 6th grader Bentley Long found time to give Bulldog Illustrated his assessment of the Dawgs' 2011 season and what 2012 looks like.
  • Tyler breaks down the conference opener. Meanwhile TheRealDray starts some conversation for the best Hoop Dawgs of all time.
  • Travis remembers a name that never has surfaced, depite ALL of those pushups and situps.
  • the Senator would be more impressed with the GOP field if they did less to try and impress us.
  • Remember Chickumbia's The Whitney hotel? Well, ecdawg finds that Clempson is trying to not be outdone.
  • In case you missed it, Stephen Hill has bigger fish to fry than to stay in PJs triple floption another year.
  • Good news for UGA hoops and gymnastics supporters this Winter. Stegeman concessions are half price for Bypass Lane users. Plus the service charge has been waived.
  • Housekeeping item: sometime between yesterday and this morning my list of Dawg blogs in the margin disappeared. I'm investigating and will have them back up asap. 
  • Lastly, it's the first annual January Pledge Drive here at BDB. Button is located in the top right margin there and no donation is too small. But in the event that any ClemPson "recruiters" stop by, please give generously.
Despite all the rhetoric about its imperfections and continued overall failure of its administrative body, college football is still the best sports product on the market. After another terrific season with some wild games and finishes it would be hard for anyone to argue against that.

In the end the same thing that gets people riled up about CFB's flaws also keeps fans coming back for more: emotion. People get emotional about which teams should be in the title game and whether or not players should be receiving monetary rewards for the on-field product that bears their names, numbers. Just as we all get emotional over a 4th quarter sack or an overtime touchdown pass. It's like an especially juicy onion with endless layers; the more you peel the deeper you fall into your own tears.

Yep, college football is one thing that will never get altered by my January 1st resolutions. Pass me a fork and enjoy the game tonight Reader.


Recruiting Roundup: 23 days til NSD

Some nuggets from the recruiting road.
Jordan Jenkins
announces tonight.
  • OLB/DE Jordan Jenkins is set to announce his decision tonight at 7pm on Fox Sport South's The Next Class. Alabama's been the leader for Georgia's top recruit. But Georgia has closed strong and the Harris Co. defensive could choose the Dawgs tonight. If he does, thank Todd Grantham.
  • Then, on Friday Todd Gurley makes his announcement. The running back from Tarboro NC is as difficult to figure out as he is to tackle. He's making a decision between UGA, Clemson, NC State and UNC. Wolfpack fans seem to believe he's Georgia bound. Georgia fans feel we've got a better shot at Mike Davis.
  • We'll take a closer look at offensive line later this week. With Mark Beard already in the fold, one big guy to keep an eye on is Avery Young. He says Auburn, Florida and Georgia are his top three, but he recently announced a surprise official visit to Miami on the 20th. At 6'5" and 290+ he's got everything he needs to be a huge SEC tackle. Coach Friend visited him late last week. Let's hope he emphasized the opportunity to play...soon!
  • Yesterday Yuri Wright decided he was going to sunny California for his last official instead of Athens. But Lakatos could get some depth from Sheldon Dawson and/or Will Redmond. Both are committed elsewhere (Memphis and Miss State respectively) but have been entertaining plenty of coaches recently, including Gratham and Lakatos last week.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Love moving on

Jordan Love is transferring. After he tweeted his end in Athens, Weiszer was able to confirm it with Claude Felton at last night's basketball game.
The school confirmed Saturday night that cornerback Jordan Love has been granted a release to transfer.
“It’s been real Athens,” Love tweeted Saturday night. “…all good things come to an end….”
Love started one game and had 12 tackles in eight games this past season, with one pass breakup and one forced fumble. He had nine tackles in 2010.
The redshirt sophomore from Glen Allen, Va. could land at Towson (Md.), an FCS program.
Even losing Boykin, cornerback is a deep position next year. And with Damian Swann and Nick Marshall emerging as future corners the writing was on the wall if Love wanted to play more than special teams. 

Georgia-Bama highlights

Great game by Caldwell-Pope. Team showed a lot of fight. But Bama was the bigger and better shooting team last night.