Thursday, January 8, 2015

A "Schotty" mea culpa

Just as I was publishing a look at potential offensive coordinator replacements for Mike Bobo, where I was very skeptical of the one NFL name on the list, UGA and that name were agreeing on a deal. It's almost as if I planned it that way.

Yeh, I didn't think you'd buy that.

Given some time to reflect on my skepticism of the Brian Schottenheimer addition, and having read more on what kind of man and coach he is, I think it's only fair that I offer a fresh(er) perspective.

Because I believe this is a great hire. I think Emerson makes a valid point on his and Estes' reflective podcast - Roper and Bloomgren would've been safe hires for Richt. They both have their strengths and would've been received mostly favorably by fans and recruits alike. But Schottenheimer has the "wow" factor that neither of those other names did. Even if you're still guarded against any optimism (or outright pessimistic), you have to admit Richt pulled this one from left field. The Rams' offensive coordinator had made some speculatory lists, but wasn't thought to be a serious candidate.

And at the time I was glad he wasn't getting much traction as a possibility. Like I said, I was concerned as to how a career NFL guy would fare in the ever important game of recruiting. Whether you liked Mike Bobo on gamedays or not, he had his finger on the pulse of Friday Night Lights in South Georgia. Could a guy like Brian Schottenheimer step in and keep this 2015 class together? Well, it appears so from initial reactions.

I'm really interested to see who Schottenheimer brings in for the offensive line coaching. It needs to be someone who can pull their weight in recruiting, something Friend was doing okay with when he left. People can say that Schottenheimer's name should be enough to impress young players and high school coaches. But that only gets you so far. Because recruiting is a skill. It's something that requires savvy communication and very hard work.

Yes, I think this is a great hire. And if Brian Schottenheimer can make a name for himself on Saturdays in Athens as well as in the eyes of talented young tackle footballers across the southeast and beyond, it will still be viewed as a great hire in the future.