Saturday, February 9, 2013

NSD Review - What's your star?

Because I would be remiss if I did not address our side of the recruiting phenomenon...

"You okay son?"
"Wweee losz TunzSil. OMGerrrrD!"
One of the ugliest truths I've learned as a Georgia Bulldog and college football fan is that there are people out there that are more concerned with winning at recruiting than winning actual games. If you don't believe that, you're either ignoring the truth or just haven't been exposed to it. "I mean OMG! We only brought in the 10th ranked class in the nation. That SUCKS! Can't believe I sold my sperm to pay for another year of Dawg Vent!"* 

Sure, they hide behind the guise of being excited about beating Auburn or Florida, but the truth is they are more giddy about the idea that some recruit they've been following may like them more after a win than the implications of said win in the SEC landscape. Did you see what Kamara tweeted after the game?!? And his Facebook blew up with Georgia fans! He's all Dawg IYAM! #DawgforLIFE #unlesswelosethiskidtoSaban

For the sake of humanity, get a life. Or just jump off a cliff and spare us your knuckle draggin', mouth breathing existence. You know, we attempt to quantify high school athletes' talent level. Maybe we should be quantifying the ineptness of some of our own fans.

So...what star fan are you?
1-star I used to be a 2-star but I changed my twitter name after getting suspended and unfollowed. #hahahahahaha
2-star I use my twitter/Instagram/BookFace/[insert latest social media craze] solely as a means of swaying recruits away from Saban. I serve a real purpose for the football school I tweet recruits for you guys. "Reuben SUCKS cuz he isn't a Dawg. #YOLO #badass"
3-star I share exclusive information content on message boreds because it provides a service to the school. My uncle's girlfriend's cousin's mailman's son cuts the grass that KimDeeChee played on. #GATA
4-star I have great potential.
5-star I too have great potential but have been known to emerge from an alley on a non-registered scooter. So I take risks that may have unforeseen consequences.
*Most of you Dawg Venters are great people that lead productive lives outside of your mother's basement and eat more than tater-tots and drink more than Yoo-Hoos. I was speaking to the other ones.

Friday, February 8, 2013

NSD Review - the Grantham and Garner effect

Distractions during recruiting's final stretch are like kryptonite. They're a buzz kill and momentum's cancer. You're kissing her like the french people taught you to do. And you've got your one hand on the small of her back, you lean in a little further...and BAM! The porch light comes on.

Wait, what were we doing? I don't know. Can I call you tomorrow? Ok then. Good night and what not...

Yes, Rodney Garner leaving was instrumental in losing the signature of Montavius Adams. But would Bellamy have come on campus if Garner hadn't have left town? I think you can make an argument that we lost out on just one recruit due to Garner's departure. And there's also a feeling that the future in recruiting is better now that he's moved on.

But yeh, losing one of Georgia's top players to a program we've completely dominated the last two seasons....ugh, that cuts deep.

I admit that at first I was fine with the mystery of Grantham's future hanging out there like a gray cloud that you know is going to blow over just fine. Plus the coaches could point to it and say "See kid, our guy is getting all this attention yet he just wants to coach your scrawny little ass."

But it lingered too long. If we as fans were just a little uneasy, I can only imagine how a kid felt. Or his momma. If we had lost Bellamy somehow this would've really stuck in some people's craws. But overall I think it hurt us very. very little.

It all was awkward in the very least. I really thought Garner left at a good time, with plenty of days left to hire a replacement and reassure anyone we needed to. But that turned out to be more of a hurdle than we thought. And Grantham's headlines were like a gnat somewhere south of Macon. That sucker just wouldn't let up. Yet all in all, it seems like only Montavius Adams' signature was affected.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Grantham, from Athens to Nola and back

So Grantham is interviewing with the New Orleans Saints. This has now officially been confirmed.

Couple weeks ago I asked that you have faith, even though I have no direct knowledge of his intentions nor any teams' interested in him. Now I'm amending that statement somewhat.

I still feel that Grantham is in Athens next year. This Saints position is one he can interview for and accept without any contractual penalty. It's an NFL gig and by and large he's still considered an NFL guy. So why do I think he's staying?

Grantham doesn't want another coordinator job, he wants a head job. So the question is really, does he need another coordinator job in order to get the offer he wants? I think that answer is no. And I stand beside the fact that his family is very happy in Athens. In 2011 he took his defense to new heights statistically and his players while in Athens have enjoyed much NFL attention. So personally and professionally, he's doing quite well here.

Flying out to interview with New Orleans creates even more buzz and makes his agent happy at the very least. Teams see that and realize that he's making himself available to opportunities. When the right one comes along he'll be better prepared for it.

So, Grantham will stay in Athens. But he won't be here long.

NSD Review - raw reactions

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?

NSD Review - the videos

Have several ideas rattling around in my head as I fully process yesterday. While those form into some sort of prose, I thought I'd share the videos taken from yesterday of the coaches speaking to the gathering of fans.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

National Signing Day Liveblog 2013

Welcome to National Signing Day coverage for 2013! Hope you didn't fall for any Grantham to [insert NFL team name here] rumors last night. Remember what I've been telling you all along and we'll be okay.

So, what are you getting into here? Glad you asked. Here are the links to previous NSD posts, both live and semi-live: 2012 2011  2010  2009. That's right! This is the FIFTH ANNUAL NSD LIVEBLOG! It's come a long way since the early days back in 2009. Today you'll find some polls, tweets, comments and archived pics and videos to entertain you while we wait for the fax machine to start churning.

If you comment, please bear with me. This is the best liveblog app I could find, but unfortunately the moderator (me) has to approve each comment. If I'm driving or something is happening on the floor, it might take a few minutes for me to click publish on your comment. Be patient and feel free to ask questions. Especially all you Disney Dawgs!

Also, once the coaches come out to speak, we'll pretty much have radio silence here as I work to get position on a good video angle. I'll publish that video for you to see before I break for lunch. And as always, most of this depends on me being able to "borrow" a little WiFi from Wally Butts and Harry Mehre. Wish me luck!

Enough of that stuff. Let's get this started! Sit back. Hit the F5 key as often as you like, but the liveblog window refreshes automatically. Go Dawgs!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

National Signing Day Preview

First off, be sure and come back tomorrow when we'll have news, updates, discussion, pictures, videos and general commentary on what is going on inside Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall. I'll have a recruiting twitter feed automatically pulled in to give us real time updates. Pictures and video will start slow as there's really nothing but the doughnut table and ticket window. But around 11:00 or so (roughly an hour and change after Montravius Adams' announcement) the coaches will come out and speak. Maybe even a surgically repaired Coach Richt! It should be a fun day.

So here are the storylines we're following heading into the final hours:

The Commitments - the biggest storyline for Coach Richt's 13th class at Georgia will not only be the total number, but also how many committed and then never wavered. Well, the ringleader Shaq Wiggins wavered some before being talked back off the ledge. But seriously, there isn't one kid among the 30 that is expected to to even consider another program when they sign their letter of intent tomorrow morning. That is impressive. In a recruiting season that has seen drama of epic proportions nationwide, that story arc has been very, very refreshing.

Montravius Adams - His intentions have been expressed to each coaching staff and apparently Alabama and Clemson are out. So the biggest target left for Georgia is evidently down to a battle between Todd Grantham and former UGA coach Rodney Garner. How appropriate. Rumors are swirling that Auburn now leads, but Georgia is heavy on Adams' mind. New defensive line coach Chris Wilson has done everything he can to comfort Adams during the transition, but clearly Garner still holds some pull. Mom loves Athens. So there is that.

George Adeosun - This appears to be a battle between Georgia and Virginia, the first FBS school to offer the kid. Since all of this has developed rather quickly in the last couple of weeks there is a lot of parts ($) in play here. For one, Georgia coaches are selling their program hard, but have had to do that mostly over the phone. Adeosun visited Charlottesville a couple weeks ago. Like with Adams, there is a feeling that the family in on our side. But the kid may be leaning in a different direction.

Davin Bellamy - His signature is completely connected to his trust in Grantham. If he signs it will be because he believes Georgia's defensive coordinator is not packing any boxes any time soon. Davin has clearly fretted over rumors of Grantham taking another job. Keep in mind that this was a kid that was committed to FSU for a while then had to reopen the process fully when some coaching changes forced him to. So far he's been comforted so much by Georgia that he's been open about his intentions to sign with them. We'll see if he still feels that way tomorrow.

Surprises - Many Dawg fans will head into tomorrow hoping one of the big targets has a trick up his sleeve. Slowly in the last week names like Foster, Kamara and Tunsil have fallen all but off the radar. Well...don't hold your breath. I think there's a better chance we have a last minute name pop up, much in the way Kenarious Gates did a couple years ago. On the other side of the coin, if Adams chooses Auburn it will be a devastating blow just before the closing bell. If Bellamy loses faith it will get very awkward in Athens very quickly. And if Adeosun signs elsewhere we may kick ourselves for not offering sooner.

That's the thing about surprises: they can only lead you in one of two directions, and sometimes it's not the way you were hoping. But in the end, let's all remember two things: we've got a great and historic class before the sun even rises tomorrow, and by the time the sun sets we'll only have the ones that truly wanted to wear the G.

Get a good night's sleep y'all. Gonna be a fun day!

Countdown to NSD - And then there was 1

Later today I'll have a primer posted to get you ready for tomorrow, specifically what you can expect to be posted here as well as some updates heading into the final hours.

But yesterday I promised a closer look at new offensive line target George Adeosun. Offensive line is a crucial position to continued success for Georgia. Currently the Dawgs have commitments from three offensive linemen: Brandon Kublanow who projects to be a center, Josh Cardiello a guard and Alden Bynum a tackle.

If you are unaware, Adeosun was offered Friday capping what has been a frenzied two weeks for the Alpharetta native. Up until a January 18th offer from Virginia, Adeosun was committed to William and Mary. He's an AP student at Alpharetta High and a good kid by all indications; a large prospect at 6'5" and 305 lbs, but he's considered fairly raw in his skills. His recruitment has obviously mirrored that as FBS programs are just now seeing his potential as a future lineman.

From what little I've seen, his high school's offense is entirely from a shotgun/spread look where Adeosun worked mostly at right tackle, some at guard. He looks more comfortable in pass protect and they move him around a lot in the running game so he's used to pulling on counters and shifting on inside traps. Although he appears to be in need of some time to develop, what I really like is that he is pretty diverse in his skill set already. Just needs some polishing.

But here, judge for yourself.

You can see more of his highlights by clicking here. Again, great size, good ability, seems to be aggressive when he needs to be in finishing blocks and athletic enough to help develop plays downfield. You see a number of times when he puts his initial assignment to the ground and then gets downfield to block for the screen pass.

I can understand the comparisons to Kenarious Gates, at least in terms of the timing of Adeosun's offer. But those are big shoes to fill when you think back to how well Gates did early as a freshman. I dojn't see any question that Adeosun can play at the SEC level. The only question will be how soon he develops into that player.

Overall, very glad he likes Georgia and really hope he signs with us tomorrow.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Countdown to NSD - 2 days

And so we enter the dead period having trimmed our board of target names down considerably. Could something dramatic happen to where the likes of Reuben Foster, Alvin Kamara or Laremy Tunsil sign with Georgia on Wednesday? Well, sure. College football recruiting has proven this year to have more than a flair for the dramatic. Much.

But let's face it, we need to move on.

Late bloomer Adeosun
Devondre Seymour - Facing possible non-qualifier status. He's only visited Georgia so far. We might get his letter of intent Wednesday, but he might also decide to push back his decision to see what specifically happens academically. Can't say that I blame him at all.

Montravius Adams - For Georgia to get his LOI we'd have to prove to be as attractive a landing spot for the Vienna GA product as the school that has been with Adams all along, Clemson. The Georgia coaches have done just that. Appears the Dawgs lead the for his signature.

Davin Bellamy - The Chamblee defensive end/outside linebacker returned from his official to Oregon over the weekend with Georgia on his mind still. Grantham really sold Bellamy on his scheme and how he would fit. He walked away from his commitment to FSU looking for a new home and found one in UGA.

George Adeosun - We'll take a closer look at the Alpharetta offensive tackle tomorrow as he's come out of nowhere recently, going from a William and Mary commitment to having several BCS school offers in a couple of weeks. He was at Arizona State this weekend (even as Friend and Bobo met with his family in Alpharetta) and has also visited Oklahoma. He won't make a visit before signing day mostly due to the timing of the offer and also the dead period we're in, so it's possible he too might delay his decision. But right now it looks good for Georgia to get his signature on Wednesday.

Monday's Meatloaf - Law and Order: rinse and spit edition

How many times have you been casually going through your daily motions and you wonder silently or aloud (depending on your own personal level of delirium), "How exactly would one come in contact with a dentist who murders people on the side?" Well, here's how.

And this part of the dentist drama murder mystery you just can't get from the book, the made for tv movie or the Dateline special that aired. Long time ago the wife and I were newly married and newly relocated to Atlanta-Surburbia. We were gainfully employed and one of the fringe benefits of such a status is of course, dental insurance. We found a guy with a practice nearby, made appointments. And as our dumb, shitty luck would have it, Dr. Corbin never even mentioned that he had long ago murdered his girlfriend while in dental school.

Corbin, seen here in retirment.
Understand, I'm not passing judgment here. The guy's on death row serving a life lengthy sentence. He's up to his top bunk mattress in judgment. And Lord knows I've never been in dental school while trying to maintain a relationship with a classmate. So I cannot speak to the unfathomable pressures that such a lot in life could entail. I'm merely explaining that Mrs. Bernie and I were never afforded the opportunity to comprehend the fact that the same hands that were grasping sharp instruments in and around our bicuspids were also the ones that pointed the gun carefully in such a way that the murder would appear as a suicide.

Moving on, as you have surely gathered by now, Corbin escaped Richmond County under a cloud of scrutiny and set up shop in Duluth GA so that he could put his murderous hands inside my mouth. (BTW, what does this have to do with Georgia football? Well, Corbin walked on to the team in the early 1980s with his twin brother. He had team pictures hanging in the waiting area but never spoke too highly of Dooley. Maybe Vince didn't floss much. I don't know that part.) Visits were never comfortable or easy, and I mean beyond the usual tension one feels at the dentist. Hygienists were always on edge, the secretary rarely answered the phone and Corbin grunted a lot. I think he used too much deer antler spray. But that's just a theory.

Things seemed stable, the guy even moved his practice into a nicer facility closer to where we lived. Even so, we moved our dental business in a different direction because Mrs. Bernie could never make an appointment for us as the secretary never answered the phone. Turns out she was fiddling around with Corbin's tools if you know what I mean. That's a theory too, but it's founded in the fact that the secretary was driving the getaway car when they nabbed him for killing his wife in the same way he had killed Dolly Hearn some 14 years earlier.

So how does this relate to the funny story I promised a few weeks ago on Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway? Stay tuned.

Today's Ingredients
- Let's start off with some 'cruitin' stuff. Could Georgia nab Bama commit Tyren Jones late? ecdawg looks at some of the kid's highlights.
- Speaking of Jones, he was involved in some sort of fracas Friday night and will have surgery on his jaw today.
Lady Sportswriter updates us on Davin Bellamy's recruitment.
- Emerson is listing the top recruits of the last decade for Georgia .
- Mat drills are back! Which means 30 days of reading tweets about the players throwing up!
- Nice road win for the Lady Dawgs yesterday in Lexington.
- And Kyle King points out that the Gym Dogs took down a big rival at Stegeman Saturday night.
- After a three game winning streak, Tyler is still cautious to say the least. And he points out why Tennessee on Wednesday will be a bigger test.
- Dexter Morant has left the football team "due to academic considerations".
- If you had not already heard, Richt went ahead and had his hip surgery Saturday. As for the NSD press conference on Wednesday, Felton says he's day to day.
- Lastly, have you seen the rare gem Garbin gave us yesterday?

So Corbin is awaiting trial in jail, where he will eventually plead guilty to two murders in exchange for a needle free end to his existence, and along comes this rich kid that steals a jet in Jacksonville FL to take some buddies on a drunken joyride. They land at Briscoe airfield in Gwinnett County and he's arrested like the little punk that he is.

Sheriff Conway, known to kill two
birds with one stone.
Should've been case closed. But the bond is pretty steep on that kind of thing, so for kicks and giggles the dad starts a war of words when his poor little pipsqueak has some problems with his gums (presumably from drinking too many Bartles & Jaymes at high altitudes, but likely from having just had his wisdom teeth out). The media took it and ran - Dad is throwing big words around and making accusations of mal-treatment in Butch Conway's jail.

Oh. Hell. Naw. Butch took the high road as long as he could from what I recall. But when he'd had enough he'd had enough. Reporters asked for a response and he gave them one. Let me paraphrase:
"Sheriff Conway, the defendant's daddy says his little boy needs his teeth flossed and cared for before getting to pick a toy from the treasure chest in the waiting area."
"Well, we happen to have a former dentist in residence. Perhaps they can be bunkmates."
Sweet Jesus. Where can I cast my eternal vote for this man? The casualness with which he says "Sit down mothereffer. Maybe that's how things are done in St. Augustine, but this here's Georgia. If your boy hadn't landed his gingivitis onto our airfield we wouldn't even know each other's names. So either make bond for the twerp or shut the hell up. I don't give a damn."

I'm not sure whatever happened to the jet setter Daniel Andrew Wolcott. But I'm not willing to go to those lengths just to get an appointment with Dr. Barton Corbin. Here's your fork Reader. Floss afterwards at your own leisure.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Countdown to NSD - 4 days

Sorry for that woe is me post yesterday. Bourbon don't make you do a thing, it just lets you.

Back on point there are a few things I wanted to share. Most notably an excellent article on a former Dawg that went through a pretty intense recruitment. More on that in a minute.

Some quick hitters. Laremy Tunsil is said to be weighing his options. Georgia is still in it of course. I mean hell, he was having the greatest time of his life a couple weeks ago playing paintball with the boys in Athens. But it's clear Ole Miss leads. And while that may not make $ense it may certainly make cent$.

FWIW...color Brandon Kublanow shocked.

We're no longer recruiting Toby Johnson, the JUCO defensive tackle. I believe we have wanted him to commit for a while and he just hasn't been willing to do so. His decision isn't coming until well after Wednesday though. So something could possibly change. Possibly. But right now we're moving on and concentrating completely on Montravius Adams.

Fab Fly Freddie!
Brendan Douglas flipping from Tech to Georgia is drawing some interesting conclusions. One of the ones that was too quick and easy was that Alvin Kamara had told UGA coaches he would not be signing with Georgia (Douglas was offered as a running back). But I can tell you that we are still in it for the Norcross star, very much so. In fact he's going to be getting a LOT of mail over the weekend.

Okay, so Ching had a long Q&A ($) that looked back on Fred Gibson's recruitment. The Waycross star was always leaning towards Spurrier's gators, but also felt the pressure to go to in state Georgia. So he made his decision in much the same way another highly recruited star from Georgia did...he flipped a coin.
...I had no clue in the world what school I was going to go to that morning. So what I did was, I wanted to go to Florida so bad at the same time and other people wanted me to go to Georgia, and it was so much pressure that that morning I flipped a coin. If it landed on heads, I was going to Florida. If it landed on tails, I was going to Georgia. I flipped that coin and it landed on tails and so I decided Georgia and I signed a letter of intent that morning and that’s how it panned out.
It's a great question/answer piece. Check it out. Otherwise, hold on tight. Gonna be a fun few days!