Monday, July 18, 2011

My response to an Auburn Tigers football fan.

Here is the specific comment that I responded to.

"Unfortunately, right now, I do. The truth is that I have little faith in the Georgia staff from what I am hearing out of the program. I do not see the hunger and desire that is evident in Gainsville, Starkville and Columbia. Talent wise, Georgia only has problems along the lines in my opinion and those could be overcome scheme. I simply do not see the talent development at Georgia that is evident in these other programs right now.
I think Georgia is a 7-5 or possibly 8-4 team in the SEC at present. I do think they would do very well in other conferences, but they are not in other conferences. They will simply be a good football team playing against better football teams.

As far as Auburn goes, this was a comment about Georgia football, but I will bite.
Auburn does have a replacement for Cameron Newton. He is lighter, and will not do as much inside running, but he is also faster and has a stronger and more accurate arm. I did no believe it either, but seeing is believing and we will all see soon enough. The progression of this Auburn team has been utterly remarkable to this point.
Something else you should keep an eye on. CJ Uzomah is similar in size and build to Cameron Newton and is a great inside runner. He will be taking wildcat snaps and can throw the ball if necessary. He is also from Georgia.
I thought Auburn would take a step back on offense myself this year, but from what I am seeing and hearing, this just might not be the case. I guess we will see soon enough. As always Auburn plays Mississippi State early on, and right now they are the most precision team within their scheme in the SEC. They lost very little and are very crisp in execution. That game should tell us something about Auburn."

OK now here is my response,
"The hunger is back Kevin. I don't know who you are hearing from, because everyone that I have spoken to says that UGA is determined to make this a season of great memory.
You should appreciate this, all of the "bad elements" are gone from the team.
The Defensive line will be our strongest asset and our offensive line has two of the top lineman in the NCAA and a rising star in Kenarious Gates. Zach DeBell and Watts Dantzler will both be ready to compete this year as well as our large assembly of backup lineman.
The lack of depth at O-line was more about losses after this season, and we have that taken care of now, we picked up top O-lineman John Theus and an under the radar 330 pound high schooler for 2012 already.
Georgia will win the east this year going at least 10-2 and will play Bama or LSU for the SEC.
Hang your hopes on a true freshman, but I have seen CJ play at NGHS and he has a LONG way to go before he can be compared to Cam Newton. He is a talented young man but he is not as dominant as you want him to be.
Cam Newton was the team last year. Failey rushed on every play, he got sacks because the rest of the defense was awful and offenses always felt like they had time to throw the ball. So when Failey did get off his block he had time to lower his helmet into the opposing team's QB's lower back.
Almost every game was a comeback orchestrated by Cam, the defense would give up tons of points early, then as the teams got tired Cam would turn on the juice. Its sad he won't get to keep that Heisman when they strip it for not being true to the spirit of the game.
Yes we know all of Auburn's best players are from Georgia, well most of our players are from Georgia and our best are the best from Florida. Props to the state of Florida for producing such rich talent for the Bulldogs to come in and bring over from the Dark Side.
Auburn will absolutely take a few steps back this year, it wouldn't be fair to Chizik to expect another winning season, the schedule is too hard and the talent is too young.
No one can replace Cam Newton he is a once in a decade player that has intangibles that don't usually pair together. You better start hoping that Theus, Henry, Ramsey, Terry, Jordan Jenkins, and Johnathon Taylor don't start to pull Ricky Parks back into the state of Georgia. Dream Team II and III are shaping up very nicely and a Dream Team IV may be in the works with Williams.
Thanks for the comments."

Another epic comments section, this is so fun.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

DawgNight was a HUGE success. What it means. Plus a hint as to who our next recruit may be.

As a Bulldawg fan, I must say that friday night was amazing. As a football fan, I must say that friday night was unbelievable. When I received the tweet that we had received commitments from Theus, Ramsey, Henry, Terry, and Williams I almost messed myself. The thought that Mark Richt is recruiting that far into future says so much about the players faith in his ability to coach and their faith in his longevity.

If players are choosing to play for Mark Richt in three years, they really have faith that he will be there in three years. Even though players can de-commit up until they sign an LOI, no player wants to de-commit. After you have made the decision of choosing where you will live and learn for four years, you want to feel good about that decision so you can focus on class and football. Players commit because they know who they want to play for, the school and the coaches.

Greg McGarity and Michael Adams most likely aren't as big of recruiting fans as I am but I am sure they know how things went Friday, and I am sure recruiting like this will make them think twice before dropping a coach with 90+ wins in 10 years. Dabo Swinney is still around and he is around because he has recruited well, and if Clemson is smart they will keep him through another 6-7 season so he can get these players that he recruited coached up.

Football is about the development of talent, UGA and Richt have had some struggles with development in the past few years, but that was because the O-line coach was hardheaded, the S&C was weak, and Willy Martinez couldn't realize that the 3-4 is superior in the NCAA with fitting players. UGA will have the players to fill their 3-4 this year, S&C has added a nutrition program and an old-school view of weight training, and our O-line is a work in progress. Will Friend seems to be doing great, he was able to get 5-star John Theus to commit at DawgNight.

Theus is a beast at 6'6" and 300 pounds as a rising senior in high school, and he has a mean streak in the trenches. He will surely be a starter as a true freshman next year.

Watching the Nike scouting combine "The Opening", I was amazed at how well the rising sophomore Derrick Henry was competing, and that was when I thought he was a gator for sure. Well, now I want to go back and watch it again so that I can really pay attention this time. He is built like a truck and runs like a river, strong and smooth. He is the most natural running back at his size since Brandon Jacobs.

Brice Ramsey is the top quarterback in Georgia for the 2013 class and he may be a national top recruit in a years time. He committed at the same time as Henry, Theus, and Terry. Each recruited each other to UGA and each will recruit for UGA heading into the future.

Terry is considered South Carolina's top recruit for the 2013 class. The Dawgs also picked up a 2014 Running back recruit that posted a 4.29 forty yard dash, Stanley Williams is from Appalachee High School in Bethlehem, GA.

Now to the hint.....

My sources are telling me that a certain HUGE defensive player will commit to the Dawgs this week, maybe even today.

UGA Preview of "The Broad Side" Starring "Big John" Jenkins Featuring the Georgia Bulldogs

The University of Georgia and Mark Richt had reason to celebrate on February 5th, 2011.

Johnathon "Big John" Jenkins had made his decision to continue his college football career at UGA. Capping what I believe will be the most important recruiting class in Georgia's history (topping not only the Knowshon Moreno-Matthew Stafford class of 2006, but also the 1980 class with Herschel Walker) with a GIANT cherry.

"Big John" Jenkins was born in Meridian, CT and Maryanne Baker is his very smart, loving mother. The reason I mention this is because she very much played a role in his decision to switch commitments from Oklahoma State University to the University of Georgia.

Realizing that her son had the opportunity to play in the strongest conference in college football played a part in her decision to encourage the switch. However, the main reason that she dud so was because she had faith that her son would be in good hands with Mark Richt and Todd Grantham.

Todd Grantham recruited Jenkins as hard as any player can legally be recruited.

UGA sent the house to convince Jenkins and his mother that they were the perfect fit for him. Not only did they send Todd Grantham to Connecticut to meet his mother, but they also sent Mark Richt.

Seeing how much the coaches actually needed Jenkins was the final deciding factor for his mother to give her OK. She knew her son would be taken care of and developed into the man that she knew he could be.

Starring at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Perkinston, MS, "Big John" is likened to another previous MGCCC football player named Terrance Cody.

Terrence Cody, or "Mt. Cody" as you may remember him, was the starting nose tackle for the 2009 National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide.

The glaring difference between the two is that while they both weigh around 360 pounds, Jenkins' body fat percentage is significantly lower, making him stronger and faster than "Mt. Cody."

Jenkins' gifts are many: At 360 pounds he can run a 40-yard dash in 4.9 seconds, he is closing in on being able to bench press 500 pounds, he is a very gifted nose tackle—and he was a fullback in both high school and community college, so he can even block if the coaches need him to.

Which leads me to my next point.

Jenkins will be a star on offense, as well as on the defense.

Although he may not spend much time on the offensive side of the ball, when he is used it will be of significant impact. As a lead blocker, Jenkins possesses the speed to stay in front of the runner—and the weight and strength to pick up multiple blocks at one time.

When Jenkins is in, the defense will have to play honest, which will lead to more first downs and scoring opportunities. Don't expect Jenkins to play offense unless he is needed. He will be too valuable of an asset to waste his energy if it is not necessary.

Todd Grantham specifically recruited "Big John" to play nose tackle in his 3-4 defense. Coach Grantham knew right away that Jenkins was the perfect fit. With the ability to draw the double team, Jenkins will allow Georgia's linebackers to penetrate the opposing offensive line.

Most of the reason Georgia was unable to do this last year was because DeAngelo Tyson was completely undersized for the position, especially in the SEC. No disrespect to DeAngelo Tyson, because he did a better job than anyone could have realistically expected—including playing most, if not all, defensive snaps in UGA's win over state rival Georgia Tech. 

Look for Jenkins to lead what was a porous Georgia defense into one of the top defenses in the entire nation. 
I will be highlighting at least one athlete per week until the season starts. Keep an eye out for the next, featuring Aaron Murray.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mr. Richt's Loved Or: How UGA Fans Learned to Stop Worrying and Wait in Pain

Over the past year and a half, many Georgia Bulldog fans have expressed their displeasure with how the football team has performed. They have even put a head coach who has won 96 games in 10 years on the proverbial “hot seat.” Even more recently, some very outspoken fans have blasted the entire coaching staff for not recruiting hard enough and not offering soon enough.

A 6-7 season is far from what the average college football fan wants. No fan wants their team to have a disappointing season. Many outspoken UGA fans have made it known that they are very displeased with the record and apparent fourth quarter conditioning problems.

Sports blogs were flooded with comments about how “weak” their strength and conditioning program was and it has since changed for the better. The players have also been placed on a structured nutrition program. The defense is in its second year and is much bigger up front, faster and stronger at the linebacker spots, and with the incoming freshman cornerback class, UGA will have much-improved depth at secondary compared to last season.

How is one of the winning-est coaches in the past 10 years on the “hot seat”? Bob Bishop, a 29-year UGA executive board member, stated, “He’s not in my hot seat; he’s still in my lap, I love him. I don’t think you can find a better human being anywhere and he’s a fine football coach.“ UGA President Michael Adams believes “you look at a person’s whole body of work. And I think the whole body of work by Mark Richt the last 10 years is very strong.”

Some of the frustration that has to do with recruiting is universally understood. When Florida, Auburn, Alabama and Ole Miss pick up recruits who are also recruited by UGA, it is frustrating to see multiple players choose another team. That being said, fans do need to remember this is the most important decision in the prospective student-athletes life. It is very likely that most try to decide what is best for them and their future.

Many UGA fans were upset that UGA missed out on LB prospect Dillon Lee, brother of UGA OL Dallas Lee. His family loves UGA, his brother plays there and he had attended UGA games since he was a child. It is hard for some to understand how he could choose “against” UGA.

The reality is Dillon Lee chose what is best "for" him. UGA was recruiting him at linebacker and tight end and they are absolutely filled to the brim with top-notch talent at both positions and will likely continue the trend. He may have been buried in the depth chart for his entire career at UGA.

UGA will continue to recruit players like Lee. Geno Smith recently narrowed his list to a top five, excluding UGA. But after he was asked, he admitted that it is not a final five. He will still be entertaining other offers and it is likely that if UGA has a top 25 season they will be in it for Geno Smith at the end.

UGA has the potential to put together a very nice 2012 class if the wins start to stack up. Five-star recruits like Keith Marshall and John Theus have UGA around the top of their list and many 4-star recruits are keeping a close eye on the Dawgs.

Many UGA fans are hoping that with the addition of John Jenkins, Jarvis Jones, Isaiah Crowell, Malcolm Mitchell and Ray Drew, all goes well for UGA this season so all the worry could be for nothing.