Thursday, December 8, 2011

2012 Recruiting: A Quick Look at the Remaining Targets

With the commitment of Keith Marshall on Tuesday, the Dawgs have begun their final recruiting push towards National Signing Day 2012. In year’s past, the Dawgs would often have around 20 commitments at this point. Yet this year, the class sits at 14 and is currently ranked #23 by Scout. Come February, I expect Georgia to be back in its normal place in the top 10, but there is a lot of work to be done. Here are some of the players that Georgia is hoping to land in the coming weeks:

5 Star Prospects:

Name: Avery Young
Position: Offensive Tackle
Height and Weight: 6’5’’ 270 lbs
Hometown: Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Notes: Will attend the Georgia Gala on December 9

Name: Nelson Agholor
Position: Safety
Height and Weight: 6’1’’ 175 lbs
Hometown: Tampa, FL
Notes: Seems like a long shot at this point

Name: Jordan Jenkins
Position: Defensive End
Height and Weight: 6’3’’ 246 lbs
Hometown: Hamilton, GA
Notes: Took official visit on 11/12 at the Auburn game and came away very impressed.

4 Star Prospects:

Name: Josh Harvey-Clemons
Position: Outside Linebacker
Height and Weight: 6’4’’ 207 lbs
Hometown: Valdosta, GA
Notes: Official visit scheduled for Jan 20, the last of his four scheduled official visits.

Name: Mike Davis
Position: Tailback
Height and Weight: 5’10’’ 195 lbs
Hometown: Stone Mountain, GA
Notes: Previously committed to Florida. Georgia re-offered him this week.

Name: Tyriq McCord
Position: Defensive End/ Outside Linebacker
Height and Weight: 6’3’’ 225 lbs
Hometown: Tampa, FL
Notes: Will attend the Georgia Gala on December 9

Name: Todd Gurley
Position: Tailback
Height and Weight: 6’ 190 lbs
Hometown: Tarboro, NC
Notes: Official visit back in September. It appears to be a two horse race between Georgia and North Carolina.

Name: Cordarrelle Patterson
Position: Wide Receiver
Height and Weight: 6’4’’ 205 lbs
Hometown: Hutchinson, KS
Notes: #1 rated JUCO wide receiver in the country.

Name: Dalvin Tomlinson
Position: Defensive Tackle
Height and Weight: 6’3’’ 270 lbs
Hometown: McDonough, GA

3 Star Prospects

Name: Chaz Elder
Position: Safety
Height and Weight: 6’2’’ 172 lbs
Hometown: College Park, GA
Notes: Will attend the Georgia Gala on December 9

Name: Kendarius Whitehead
Position: Defensive End
Height and Weight: 6’4’’ 212 lbs
Hometown: Lithonia, GA
Notes: Will attend the Georgia Gala on December 9

Of course, there is more information and highlights available of these and other prospects, all you have to do is search the web. I am not a recruiting guru and I have no idea which of these players we actually will end up with.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My Final Thoughts on the SEC Championship

Doesn't Saturday already feel like a long time ago? About 72 hours ago, Georgia had built a 10-0 lead on #1 LSU and it looked like the Dawgs might pull the upset. But it wasn't meant to be. Here are my final thoughts on the game:

  • The defense was amazing. Allowing 0 first downs in a half is an amazing feat, especially against a highly ranked SEC opponent. Despite LSU scoring 35 second half points, the defense still played fairly well. LSU only had two real scoring drives the entire game. Their other points came off a punt return, a fumble inside Georgia's 30, another punt return into the red zone, and a pick 6. Sounds a lot like the South Carolina game, doesn't it?
  • Bobo called a perfect first quarter and then fell asleep.
  • Against a team like LSU, you cannot leave points on the board. And that is what Georgia did. Instead of a touchdown to TK on the first drive, we settled for 3. Instead of touchdown to Malcolm Mitchell (on a perfect throw by Aaron Murray) , Walsh missed another field goal. It should have been 21-0 and the outcome would have been much different.
  • After the first quarter, the LSU defense was amazing. From pass coverage, to QB pressure, to stuffing the run. They are just so deep.
  • As good as Brad Wing kicked for LSU, Butler was doing better. too bad our coverage unit started missing tackles.
  • Damn the Honey Badger.
  • Malcome should have started and gotten most of the carries. Crowell was hurt and looked like it (or he wasn't ready, either way). See my previous post for opinion on Crowell.
  • Aaron Murray had a bad game statistically, but 7 dropped passes will do that. In the second half, LSU was in the backfield on every snap and Aaron was just trying to make plays. I can't really put the poor performance on him.
  • The Dome was electric and then Mathieu returned the punt. It was a kick to the stomach and Georgia never recovered.
All in all, despite the loss it was a great experience. It has been a marvelous season that will conclude with a great bowl trip to Tampa.

It sure is great to be a Georgia Bulldog.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The One Thing You Should Never Do

Saturday night in the Georgia Dome was whirlwind of emotions. From the great defense and the early lead to the Honey Badger stealing our hearts and momentum. Despite the loss, I will have great memories of the night and of the 2011 season that saw the Dawgs get up off the deck and make it back to Atlanta for the first time since 2005. And while I was proud of the Georgia faithful for showing up and being insanely loud, I was not proud of one moment that occurred in the second half. At that moment, I saw (and heard) Georgia fans doing the one thing they should never do: boo a player.

Yes, that player was Isaiah Crowell. I am not going to sugar coat it, Crowell looked weak on Saturday. Rumors flew all last week about attitude problems and that only stacked the deck more against him on Saturday night. His 11 carry 15 yard performance was highlighted by a personal foul call that made Mark Richt look the maddest I have ever seen him. I was pissed, just as most of you were, but never did I consider booing him off the field.

Let's take a quick step back to the last time I heard a player individually booed by Georgia fans. The year was 2006 and Georgia was going through a tough season that included a loss to Vandy on homecoming. Georgia sophomore receiver Mohammed Massaquoi was struggling mightly in his first season as Georgia's #1 receiver. After a great freshman year, MoMass had a developed a case of the drops and with Sean Bailey out for the year, there was little other receiver fire power for freshman Matt Stafford to throw to. I can't remember which game it was, but after Mohammed dropped a pass at home late in the season, Georgia fans began to boo. I was ashamed and that is much the same feeling I felt on Saturday night.

Before you jump down my throat, yes, this was a much different situation. Crowell has been a problem, including suspensions and attitude issues. You may feel every bit justified in booing the kid for limping off the field. But my argument is not in favor of Crowell, it is more in that you should never boo a kid, period. The Georgia coaching staff has been very quiet in recent weeks about the status of Crowell's ankle. As fans, we actually have no idea how bad he was hurt. And if they knew he was not going to suck it up and bear through it, then why even play him? So he can be made to look bad? My point is, I would have never had him out there if he wasn't ready to go. Malcome is capable enough to carry the ball for 3-4 yards at a time.

Booing a player also looks incredibly bad to those outside of the program. This includes the television audience at home, other coaches, and most importantly, recruits. You don't think Nick Saban is going to call up a recruit and say, "Crowell could have come to Bama, but instead he went to Georgia and that ungrateful fan base boos him after a freshman season where he had almost 1,000 yards rushing"? Come on, you know he will.

In the future, I implore you to keep those feelings in. Remember, these are kids who give their time and their bodies to play football for your entertainment. If you don't like their play or their attitude, open a blog, vent on a message board, but don't try to humiliate them in public. The same thing goes for social media, if you don't want to support them, don't follow them on Twitter.

Make no mistake, I think Crowell is soft and if he can't change, he won't be long for Athens. But I will never justify the booing of a player on our team and you shouldn't either.