I had the pleasure of doing some cruising with The Song Writer
this past weekend on a mixer run, and he played the John Mayer tune "3x5" for me on his "this makes me think of Athens" CD. I'll be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of Mayer, even though I find his music on the good side of tolerable. The lyrics for most of his tunes never knocked my socks off, but for some reason this tune really strikes a chord with me (HA!).
Anyway, to put it bluntly, I need a small break from writing. I love writing. I really REALLY do, but right now I'm just tired. All of my thoughts lately have poured into my tucked-away-in-the-corner-of-the-internet blog, and I have nothing much to say about anything regarding UGA. It sucks we lost to Florida last night (Wednesday) and I think we're a bubble team at this point.
But past that, and some thoughts on the recruiting class, I just don't have much to say that isn't personal, and so I'm just not going to blog. Until April, it would be wise to stop by maybe once a week and see what I think about random UGA stuff. Other than that, I'm just not going to bring heat. For that kind of stuff, go see PWD
or The King
Yes, I have been drinking.
Anyway, for thoughts on my recruiting class, see the below correspondence of e-mails between myself and someone who also loves UGA football. Enjoy!Friend: "What are your thoughts on this year’s class? Are you concerned about losing in-staters?"Me: "First of all, sorry for the delay in replying to your e-mail. When you sent it I was slammed at work on top of waiting in anticipation for the signatures of Chris Little (which I had been hearing the rumor about for a couple of days) and Logan Grey (who I believe was just a late signature).
Secondly, I really have one thought on the class and that is we have done what we needed to do, which is leagues better than the past couple years. We addressed our needs (particularly OL) and spread that class over about 3 or 4 years in some cases. The JUCO guys can come in and compete for playing time immediately and possibly start (cue: Vince Vance), while the prep guys are ready for action off the bench and could grow into starters (cue: Justin “Bean” Anderson). The other guys can all contribute meaningful playing time, and I imagine those that are not ready to go immediately will be red-shirted and will grow into being more sound players.
We needed another RB, which was taken care of when Caleb King signed (hopefully he’ll qualify), and even if Israel Troupe runs to the MLB (let’s hope he doesn’t), we still have Walter Hill as a very good grab for us. We did OK at DB and Safety, and I think we had a great team guy in Rennie Curran, and possibly a guy with some upside that no one else sees in Charles White. That guy (White) seems to live UGA football and I want a guy with heart like that.
One funny thing about Curran is that a friend of mine is his Spanish teacher and word from her is that he slacks a little in class, but he’s a funny, good kid, that tends to be a bit cocky. That instantly reminds me of another guy I met in college and his name was David Pollack. Curran has recruited for UGA all the way up until signing day and if his work ethic is anything remotely close to his leadership abilities, we might be looking at a locker room leader for the defense.
Returning back to the offensive side, I think Aron White was a good grab, but the person that seems to have the biggest upside was Bruce Figgins. He impressed a LOT of people at the All Star game and they say his blocking skills are VERY good.
The only black eye was losing Greenlee which some (mainly Chad Simmons) thought was a lock to UGA. The truth is, he had been soft the whole time and everyone was a little worried about it, regardless of how “solid” to UGA he says he was. He went to FSU because 1) He didn’t know Searels enough to want to play for him 2) He loved Trickett at FSU and 3) The promised him playing time, which is something we couldn’t do. You earn your playing time at UGA and they’ll be upfront with you about that. However, FSU has been known to tell kids exactly what they want to hear.
All in all, I’d rate our class where everyone else has. I think we’re top 10, but it’s not “sexy” by any means. It gets the job done and sets us up for a great 2008 and 2009, which is really what we’re targeting.
What do you think?"Friend: "Well I’m a firm believer that games are won and lost in the trenches, so like you said, we filled an immediate need there. But my concern is how that became an immediate need. Donnan f’ed up on OL recruiting, so Richt had to make up for that. But this time around is Richt’s own fault. And while I realize attrition plays a big part, it’s still bothersome that we’ve had misses OL recruiting wise. How in the world we did so well record wise with Inman as a 4 year starter is beyond explanation. But maybe that situation also speaks to our lack of a solid game to game running attack. Between that, Richt’s decision to not give the rock to anyone 20+ times a game, and his speed draw BS run calls. Sometimes I look at our games and wonder why any premiere RB would sign with us. But I digress.
For all the accolades that Meyer is getting at UF, he’s looking at the same OL problem we had. From the Goff years we know that skill players don’t win championships without the big uglies in the middle. I’ll be interested to see the work Stacy Searels does. But I’m not a Martinez fan. He gets a lot of credit for the last 3 games, but the opposing team’s implosions had as much to do with that as anything. And I don’t attribute those implosions to his scheming.
I’ll always remember Brandon Miller now in regards to recruiting. The can’t miss prospect who has had the same affect on the team as my grandmother. Our entire LB corps, sans Tony Taylor, has played like a bunch of girl scouts. I’m looking forward to the speed of the new guys, ie Ellerbe and the redshirts.
Sorry for the randomness. It’s been a long day."Me: "I understand your concern but I think it pretty much breaks down like this:
1) Richt knows the recent OL problems have been the fault of him and his staff missing out on guys without having a solid backup plan. They also realize that to fill immediate needs, you need JUCO guys to plug holes.
2) Meyer’s class is attractive on paper. They’re fast, they’re playmakers, and they’re superstars. However, they’ve got no one to block for them and on defense, it didn’t seem to be the stellar year of recruiting they expected. Watching Charlie Strong do his thing is going to be interesting.
3) The reason we’re signing running backs that are playmakers is because they understand the changes are a’ coming. Bobo is more aggressive than Richt and has plays a little bit less safe than Richt does in his playcalling scheme. He looks for weaknesses and looks to take advantage of said weaknesses. Look for an Auburn ’04-type of scheme where we’re throwing to backs in the flat and utilizing Sutherland even more than usual (as if that’s even possible). If we can cut down on the drops in the WR corp and have one of the TEs step up (the Duke seems to be the guy right now), we’ll have an offensive powerhouse with Stafford at the helm.
4) Defensively, I think we’re in a little bit of bad shape in some areas. There’s no way Brandon Miller should be playing LB. Everyone knows it. He knows it. The NFL knows it. He’s too big and fast not to be playing DE. It’s just the way it should be. There’s been talk of him making the switch. I’m hoping it happens.
5) Searels is aggressive like Bobo. The reason Greenlee signed with FSU is because they promised him playing time, which is something Searels won’t do (along with Richt). You earn it at UGA and as long as they can convey that message to the new guys, we’ll be fine. They will want to get on the field early. All kids do nowadays.
Until next time kids.