Thursday, February 4, 2010

Signing Day Wrap Up - A Look Back at Recent 5 Star Recruits

When Georgia lost Da'Rick Rogers to Tennessee, it left the Dawgs with only one commit, safety Alec Ogletree, who was rated as a 5 star recruit (I am using ratings here and during the rest of this article). Since recruiting information became widely available on the Internet beginning in 2002, Georgia has received commitments from 19 five star recruits (through 2009). And while some of those players have turned in fantastic careers, some did not pan out the way most though they would. Here is a look at the 5 star recruits Georgia has had since 2002:


Kedric Golston


Sean Bailey

Leonard Pope (originally committed in 2002)


Brandon Miller

Charles Johnson


Kade Weston

CJ Byrd


Darius Dewberry (originally committed in 2005)

Akeem Hebron

Matthew Stafford

Brandon Wood


Caleb King


Deangelo Tyson

Richard Samuel

AJ Green


Orson Charles

Branden Smith

Aaron Murray

Marlon Brown

Quotes from Signing Day 2010

Signing Day 2010 has come and gone. As the Georgia Nation moves on to the next big event, spring practice, here is a collection of my favorite quotes from this year's signing day.

Richt at Butts-Mehre

Coach Richt on how great players can come from unexpected places:
Tra Battle was a walk-on, and he starts in our nickel package as a freshman. We offered Tim Jennings a scholarship the night before Signing Day — he was going to South Carolina State — because we’d seen him in an all-star game and he was the best player on the field.”

Coach Right on moving to the 3-4 defense:
“We're very confident and trying to do the right thing. We're also confident in that a lot of NFL teams and college teams are moving toward this trend, so we're moving to the front end of this trend."

Rodney Garner on why Georgia signed a smaller class:
“We could have gone out and possibly signed other guys and fulfilled that number if we just wanted to meet a quota. But we felt good about the nucleus that we put together, and we felt like at this point we wanted to stay status quo and be able to evaluate to make sure that going into the future, we'll be able to have the personnel in place that's going to fit with the scheme coach (Todd) Grantham wants to run, so I think strategically we made some decisions on where we wanted to stop the number."

Buck Belue on how he felt about the recruiting process as a high school senior:
“Strangers making big promises were never for me. I was scared off by that.”

Bacarri Rambo, via Facebook, on the Da’Rick Rogers decision:
"Bacarri Rambo thinks is messed up how all of UGA high school commitments back out on us but I'm telling you now when I catch you on the field I'm going to knock fire from you."

Rogers can ask Mario Fannin what it feels like to get drilled by Rambo coming across the middle.

Jakar Hamilton’s reaction to Bacarri’s promise of a big hit:
"It's going to happen. Especially if he's going to play right off the bat. I just hope he's ready for it, because there's going to be a lot of people on the hit for him on this team."

Coach Richt on Richard Samuel’s move to linebacker:
"He was anxious to make that move and we’re going to see how that works out."

Samuel can now focus his attention on making tackle instead of avoiding them.

Perry High School head coach talking about Wilcox WR Lonnie Outlaw who signed with Georgia:
"Lonnie Outlaw makes Fred Gibson look like a girl. He’s the most demoralizing player I have ever coached against. We triple-covered him, and he still caught everything. "

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

National Signing Day

Its been a while, but you're good friend from the west (SEC West that is) is back to say hello. Just in case you didn't know, or you've had you head burried in the sand, which from the looks of it some of you might, Auburn has come along and built the #4 recruiting class in the nation! That's right, two years removed from being 5-7, Auburn has a recruiting class ranked just below the past two national championship holders, and the former national championship contender! Beat that!! WAR EAGLE!!

Richard Samuel and His Pygmy Goat are moving to Linebacker!

Coach Richt announced today that Richard Samuel will indeed move to linebacker under Todd Grantham's 3-4 defense. Coach Richt said Samuel was anxious to make the move and I think this will definitely help turn his career around. While Samuel had some decent plays at running back, I think he always had the mentality of a linebacker. This play will go down as Samuel's most memorable on the offensive side:

When Earl and I went and saw him play at Cass in '07, he was definitely more impressive on the defensive side of the ball. We were there to witness what people simply called The Play, when Samuel blocked a 20 yard field goal attempt at the end of the half by jumping over the Sandy Creek offensive line. He then picked the ball up and ran it back for a 96 yard touchdown. If Samuel can bring plays like this one to Georgia's defense over the next two years, he will make himself one hell of a linebacker.
Of course, with Samuel moving to defense, it means he will not be scoring too many (if any more at all) touchdowns. With that, I am retiring the Richard Samuel Touchdown Pygmy Goat:

Give 'em hell on defense, 22!


Signing Day - Why I am not worried about losing Da'Rick Rogers

As everyone knows by now, five star recruit Da'Rick Rogers from Calhoun switched his commitment from Georgia to Tennessee this morning. Rogers had been committed to Georgia for nearly a year and, according to Claude Felton, this is the first time a five star recruit has switched away from Georgia on Signing Day. While losing Rogers may make Georgia's 2010 recruiting class suffer in the rankings, is the loss of Rogers really that big of a deal?

While losing a 5 star receiver always sucks, wideout is one position where Georgia has enough young talent to make up for the loss. In case you have a short memory, Georgia picked up a commitment from Marlon Brown on signing day last year. Brown, who like Rogers was rated a 5 star recruit, appeared poised to sign with the Vols. (Maybe it is Karma?) While Brown did not make a huge impact in 2009, he did appear in a number of games and appeared to be solid in the run block department.

Rontavious Wooten enjoyed a successful first year in Athens, catching 10 passes, and scoring twice in the Kentucky game. His speed makes him a scoring threat every time he touches the ball. And many people forget that Tavarres King will only be a sophomore in 2010. He caught two passes in the '08 season, but received a medical redshirt from the NCAA.

With Wooten, King, and Brown all around for the next seasons and the addition of Michael Bennett, I think the Dawgs still have a bright future in Athens. Just as I did with Kirby Smart, I wish Da'Rick Rogers the best of luck at UT. I just hope he remembers that he could have been playing in red and black when Alec Ogletree lays him out over the next few years.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Signing Day - A Look Back at 2009

On the eve of the 2010 National Signing Day, I thought I would take a look back at the class of 2009 for Georgia. Overall, Georgia brought in 20 recruits in 2009 (including Orson Charles who committed after Signing Day). While some of those players red shirted, here are a look at the players who cracked the Georgia lineup in '09.

- Washaun Ealey, RB - Ealey did not play until the second half of the LSU game, but once he started playing, he made a major impact. Ealey ran for 717 yards on only 125 attempts (5.7 yards per carry) and 3 touchdowns. Ealey and Caleb King look to be one of the strongest 1-2 combinations in the SEC next season.

- Branden Smith, CB/KR - Everyone knew that the 5 star recruit from Atlanta was fast. But when he broke off a 61 yard touchdown run against South Carolina, the Bulldog Nation knew it had an amazing young player. Smith contributed in all three phases of the game in 2009 and he can only improve as he will most likely be a starter in 2009.

- Rontavious Wooten, WR - "Wooooooooten" became a common phrase from Georgia fans in 2009. The dynamic receiver from Florida saw his fair share of action in '09, both catching passes and running the ball. Wooten's breakout game came against Kentucky when he caught two touchdown passes of 21 and 43 yards. For the year, Wooten caught 10 passes for 197 yards.

- Abry Jones, DT - Jones played in all 12 games during the 2009 season, registering 8 tackles and 4 QB pressures. He got his first career sack in the narrow loss to LSU. With the graduation of Weston, Atkins, and Owens, Jones will be counted on to make plays for an inexperienced DT unit.

- Montez Robinson, DE - Played in 11 games for the Bulldogs last year before being suspended late in the season. His breakout game came against Tennessee Tech when he recorded two sacks and five total tackles. He was named SEC defensive lineman of the week for the effort.

- Marlon Brown, WR - When Brown switched his commitment to Georgia on Signing Day last year, many thought he would be the next AJ Green. However, Brown appeared in only 8 games and did not record any receptions except for the Tennessee game. Playing before a chorus of boos from Volunteer fans, Brown caught 2 passes for 15 yards. And while he may have not put up big numbers, I began to notice Brown on the field more late in the season. In the bowl game, he played a lot and looked great in run block situations. Look for Brown to have a breakout season this fall.

- Orson Charles, TE - Charles met expectations during his first season in Athens as he was named to the All-SEC and All-American Freshman teams. He appeared in every game for the Dawgs in '09, making three starts. His first career TD reception came on a 44 yard pass from Joe Cox in the victory at Arkansas. For the season, he caught 23 passes for 374 yards and 3 scores.