I'm going to disaggregate these reaction posts into sub-categories. Some of the topics I want to look at are protecting the Georgia border, closing the big targets, the offensive line philosophy and the Rodney Garner effect. But first I'd like to make some sense of how we're feeling about this class. Or at least attempt to.
Make no mistake about it, this is a great class that addresses the needs that we have - namely inside linebacker, defensive back and defensive line. There are several players that should provide depth and help immediately. What's more is that many positions such as wide receiver, quarterback, outside linebacker and offensive line are deeper and prepared for future attrition. As a whole it is a deep and talented class that Richt and staff were able to lock down early. The "strategy" of holding some of last year's scholarships and utilizing early enrollee spots should have both an immediate and lasting impact.
Still, for many fans it is hard to stomach losing the high profile, televised, media frenzied selection show that many of these young reality tv stars put on. Did we really believe Alvin Kamara was going to choose Georgia yesterday? No. But did we tune in to watch and/or feel disappointed when he put on Saban's cap? Absolutely.
There is a rush we get as fans from the attention and consideration of these young men. They do well on the football field on Friday nights and slowly become internet stars the micro-equivalent of Russell Crowe or Jennifer Aniston. We feed into that despite knowing that most are more likely to turn out to be Emilio Estevez or Molly Ringwold, stars in their own right but the hype exceeds the valuable production tenfold.
I don't know. That's a crude example, but I hope it makes some sense. The point is there's an adrenaline rush and a palpable tension to National Signing Day. And while I'm not trying to belittle the fact that teams clearly must win on the first Wednesday in February in order to win in the fall, I am trying to say that we have a grave tendency to overlook the bigger picture. For example, Alabama's success is a gridiron exercise in the chicken or the egg argument: one produces the other with no end in sight. But their success, while highlighted in front of television cameras and on front pages, has as much to do with the guys they have on the periphery.
So I'll leave you with a question we were discussing on the floor of Butts-Mehre yesterday morning - Would we be nearly as disappointed in losing out on someone like Montravius Adams if someone like Tray Matthews had been convinced to hold off on his announcement until the cameras were buzzing and the lights were brightest?