Fans all over the South like to woof about the quality of high school football in their state. Conventional wisdom is that Florida is the place with the best recruits in the Nation. Mr. SEC gives evidence to dispel that notion – Georgia produced the most SEC recruits this year and it was not even close:
Friends of the Program is overwhelmed by the Saints. Who Dat? Bourbon St. this morning:
You know who really stole this year’s Super Bowl? Fans. Pro football’s extravagant curtain-closer gets flak for being a plutocrat-stuffed, expense-account corporate-fest. But this year, thanks to Who Dat Nation—and yes, Colts Nation—the proceedings throughout South Florida had a populist flair.
And you know what’s the craziest part of all? It’s Monday after the Super Bowl, and we still have no idea who it is that said they were going to beat those Saints.
Or something like that. Like you, we need to get back down to New Orleans and learn how to say it properly.
Rogers responded Saturday on Twitter: “Who is Bacarri Rambo?”
Then from Rambo on Twitter: “Tell Darick ‘pretty boy’ Rogers he doesn’t have to know me but I bet he will feel me!! Lol”
Then from Rogers: “don’t worry about me ha … that’s your choice … last time i checked a big hit =’s you getting knocked out.”
Rambo: “I compete against the best receiver in the nation everyday at practice. Why should i worry about that guy.”
For programs such as South Carolina and Clemson, it is difficult to crack the inner circle of success. Occasionally one of the fraternity’s elite drops out and an outsider jumps in, but for the most part the same programs win year-in and year-out in recruiting and on the field.
We were exposed to a lot of talk about the Star rating of players during the recruiting frenzy. Here are the criteria used by Scout to assign those ratings
Five-star player: 85 to 100
A potential immediate game-changer at the major college level who could push for all-conference recognition as a true freshman. Will enter college with elite skills needed to create mismatches against top-level competition. A future All-American candidate.
Four-star player: 79.5 to 84.99
A potential 3- to 4-year starter at the major college level with the superior skills needed to see early playing time and make a significant impact during his college career.Three-star player: 75.0 to 79.49
A player with the skills to develop into a solid starter at the major college level. Potential high-ceiling prospect with the ability to make an impact during his career.
Two-star player: 68 to 74.99
A player who flashes developable major college talent and could be a late bloomer. Potential solid starter at the mid-major level.
One-star player: 55 to 67.9
Player does not show the physical tools or skill set at this point to project at the major college level, but could contribute at mid-major or FCS programs.
- You can bet whether Drew Brees or Peyton Manning’s first pass will be complete or incomplete (money line says complete).
- You can bet the over-under on the number of Colts to catch a pass (6.5) or have a rushing attempt (3.5) or Saints for the same bets (7.5 and 4.5, respectively.
- You can bet if the longest field goal will be over-under 42.5 or the longest touchdown will be over-under 49.5 (all moneylines -115).
- Will the first touchdown be scored by a guy with an even number (+325) or an odd number (-450)?
- If you think the final score will be 4-2 Colts (safeties!), you’d win $10,000 if you bet two bucks. That’s good money
2011 top 15 prospects in Georgia. VolNation.
1. Isaiah Crowell (RB) Carver, Columbus
- His ability to keep his speed in his cuts is a very rare trait that few have ever possessed, Crowell is a lightning bolt in a very bulky body. Without a doubt the #1 player in GA next year and should be in consideration for at least top 10 nationally
2. James Vaughters (ILB) Tucker
- Has all the physical tools to be a special LB at the next level. He is an excellent tackler, is great in run support, and has exceptional speed for a kid his size
3. Tyler Hunter (S) Lowndes
- Bryce has the most upside in the state from what I’ve seen so far. He is a big hitter who is an outstanding cover guy. Has great hips, is a sure tackler, and his general football instincts are exceptional… and he’s already built like a college player. Could play CB he’s that good in coverage, but he will most likely end up at safety which he has more potential at
4. A.J. Johnson (ILB) Gainesville
- Johnson is a tackling machine and when he gets to the ball carrier he will win 9 out of 10 times against even top caliber players. He has outstanding speed for an ILB, and his play recognition skills is what makes him an “elite” player. You won’t see him miss an assignment often
5. Watts Dantzler (OT) Dalton
- When you are 6’7″ and 315lbs people take notice, but when you’re that size and have the tools that Dantzler shows, you really take note. He is a great run blocker and when he locks someone in it’s over. Struggles in pass blocking as faster guys can catch him leaning, but with the right coaches Dantzler has NFL 1st round material written all over him
6. Jay Rome (TE) Valdosta
- The total package at TE, he is a great blocker, is tall and muscular already, shows great speed, and has very good hands. He is an above average route runner at this point, but he knows how to use his body to shade off defenders very well. Should be up for contention as the #1 TE nationally
7. Gabe Wright (DT) Carver, Columbus
- Elite potential as a pass rusher, Wright shows great explosiveness off the ball with his 260 pound frame. He needs to learn how to use his hands a little better to disengage from the blocker, but that is easy to fix with coaching. Wright is another “high ceiling” type player with a lot of room to get a lot better
8. Ray Drew (DE) Thomas County Central
- Haven’t been able to see Drew yet, but everything I’ve heard from south GA people is he’s a terror of the edge in passing situations. Very lanky kid who has plenty of speed to burn. If I haven’t seen a kid and rank him this high, I expect great things
9. Damian Swann (ATH) Grady
- Likely a safety at the next level, Swann has the confidence/cockiness you want in a all star caliber player. He’s one of the best all around athletes in the state and he could potentially play CB or WR as well, but with his hitting ability and speed combination, S is where I like him right now
10. Nick Marshall (QB) Wilcox County
- Marshall is the definition of a dual-threat QB, he has a cannon for an arm, runs very fluidly, has top notch pocket awareness, he uses his feet very well, and he’s an elite basketball player to top it off. The one thing he may need to work on is his short range accuracy. If he puts all of his focus into football, watch out for the next great DT QB
11. Brian Randolph (S) Kell
- Randolph is loves to hit, and he’s very good at it. Had close to 250 tackles and 6 INT’s over his SOPH and JUNIOR seasons, so he is a very active defender. Also is a solid RB
12. Quan Bray (RB) Callaway
- Should be one of the quicker players in the nation next year, doesn’t necessarily have great long distance speed, but he is great at finding the open hole and getting to where he is going.
13. Shannon Brown (ILB) Cook
- Brown is definitely a project in the making at LB. People who weigh 240lbs shouldn’t move like him, as he is a very good RB for his team. He wasn’t too productive this past season on defense, but his physical abilities are too impressive to ignore
14. Terrance Smith (OLB) Southwest DeKalb
- Tall, rangy, productive, and fast… Smith was one of the top players on arguably the states most talented defense
15. Xzavier Ward (OT) Colquitt County
- Another kid I’ve failed to have seen, but heard from the same people that Ward will be as good as it gets in the state at o-line with a 6’7″ frame, he needs to gain weight, but should easily do so as he’s built more like a basketball player right now
“If I had to bet I’d bet we’d see him at Augusta,” Furyk told the Florida Times Union recently. “Tiger hasn’t come out and made any real public statements, so it’s hard to figure out. Everyone is guessing it will be Augusta. Whether he comes out earlier, or there, I have no idea.”
I have had a long conversation with a commenter this week about Mike Bobo. It started when I asked in a post if Coach Bobo is worth the $750,000 per year that current market conditions say an offensive coordinator at UGA should make. My point was to ask readers if they thought Coach Bobo would demand (by his unit’s performance) compensation at the same rate as his counterpart on defense.
Last year Coach Bobo’s salary was $326,600. In fact, Coach Grantham’s salary is greater than that of Coach Bobo and former defensive coordinator Willie Martinez combined. If we can say that a salary structure of $750k/yr. is the going rate in the SEC for a top-tier coordinator, where does that fact place Coach Bobo?
“Any time you have stability, your salaries don’t fluctuate a lot,” said Frank Crumley, Georgia’s executive associate athletic director overseeing finance. “When you have people come and go, it always seems like the next person is making more than the one before. That’s just the nature of the game. Mark Fox is making more than Dennis Felton was. When things change, the next person or the next crew generally makes more than the one that was there.”
Mr. Crumbley remarks are true but in the basketball case there is not the wide disparity in salaries on the same staff for equivalent positions. Crumbley went on to say:
“I’ve heard Florida is up pretty high on its new coordinator (George Edwards) and that Kirby Smart got a raise at Alabama, so it sort of is what the market is right now,” Crumley said. “I’m not saying whether it’s right or wrong. It’s just what the market is commanding.”
Coach Grantham added:
“I think this goes back to the passion of the fans, the excitement of winning and trying to beat the expectations. I think all of that stuff has really led to this.”
Grantham is right. It is the passion of the fans that drives demand for the product – UGA and SEC football. There is no substitute for the product. Therefore, the supplier of the product to the fan base (TV) is willing to pay more for the product to the producers (SEC schools). Each SEC member will receive $5.5 to $6 million per year in added revenue from the new TV contract. Where can Georgia use the extra revenue to improve performance other than salaries? The Dawg’s total assistant coaching salaries for 2009 do not approach the extra revenue from the TV contract. If fact, UGA could pay them all $750k and still be within the (ESPN money + pre-ESPN money) budget:
Georgia’s total salary for its football assistants this past season was $2.03 million, which was the 15th-highest in a survey compiled by the USA Today. Tennessee had the highest at $3.33 million, and among the others ranking ahead of the Bulldogs were Arkansas, Missouri, West Virginia and Washington.
Now back to Coach Bobo. It seems to me that one of the following is inevitable:
- UGA recognizes that Coach Bobo is a top-level coordinator and bring his salary roughly in line with Coach Grantham, Coach Smart (etc.).
- The University waits for another school to offer Coach Bobo and risks losing him over the perceived slight.
- Bobo gets a raise but not to $750k. He is given performance goals that, if met, will bring him to market pay.
- UGA fires Bobo after next season and brings in a new coordinator – at $750k/yr.
I say pay for the level of production that you expect. There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch!
Georgia’s Saturday night 72-58 beating of No. 18 Vanderbilt wasn’t contradicted by a feeling of what could have been this season. The emotion trended to what could continue to be.After suffering losses in six of its seven SEC games, most in heartbreaking fashion, Georgia finally finished the second half with authority. Finally employed a team-wide scoring effort. Finally quit turning the ball over and focused on defense.
Georgia will have just seven scholarship receivers on hand in 2010 — senior Kris Durham, who missed all of last season with a shoulder injury, juniors A.J. Green and Israel Troupe, sophomores Marlon Brown, Tavarres King and Rantavious Wooten, and true freshman Michael Bennett, who just signed with the Bulldogs on Wednesday.
“As of right now, I’m just now actually looking into schools and what they have to offer—but I’m not really that deep into it all yet, I’m just starting,” Drew (6-5/235) told Sporting News Today. “I was a big Florida State fan when I was little, but that was my dream school. Now with so much going on, I’m just waiting to see how everything comes out. I’m going to use all the extra time I have to check them out.”
College Football Recruiting, in addition to being about relationships as Richt stated in the post signing day press conference, is about what you can offer a player opportunity to play in the SEC, playing time, exposure to NFL scouts, academic programs, and on and on down the almost endless list that schools like Georgia and Tennessee can offer. Derek Dooley and Tennessee offered something that apparently Mark Richt was not willing to offer which was a scholarship to Roger’s best friend and high school QB Nash Nance. It’s that simple. This was clearly the key point in signing Da’Rick Rogers.
In the spring of 2009…Alec Ogletree was the far and away the number 1 player in Georgia and was Georgia’s number 1 priority in recruiting. In the spring, based on media reports/interviews, it was obvious that Ogletree’s mother wanted both her two sons to go to the same school.
…Georgia did not HAVE TO SIGN Hutson Mason. They just HAD TO sign a QB bringing their roster/depth chart total to 4. There is no overly significant difference in talent level between Nash Nance and Hutson Mason that would prove detrimental enough to affect the future of Georgia football. If Georgia wanted Da’Rick Rogers to sign and if he really was that important to them, they should have offered Nash Nance a scholarship instead of Mason. They didn’t and that is why Rogers is not a Georgia Bulldog.
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They have had problems for a few days but will be back to normal very soon.
To see a video of Coach Belin being interview before the Vandy/Rice game in 2009 click here. He is an articulate gentleman who will be a great addition to the staff.
Belin served in a similar role at Southern Methodist before coming to Vanderbilt. In five years at SMU, at least one of Belin’s linebackers were named All-Western Athletic Conference each year of his service. Prior to joining the SMU staff, Belin worked as an assistant coach at William & Mary, Cornell and East Tennessee State.
A native of Marshville, N.C., Belin was a three-year starter and four-year letterman at Wake Forest from 1987-90. He earned a B.S. in Health and Sports Science from Wake Forest, graduating cum laude. He was named to the ACC All-Academic Team in 1990 and was a two-time ACC Academic Honor Roll recipient. Belin is married to the former Yolanda Taylor. They are the parents of three daughters: Camryn, 7; and 4-year-old twins Morgan and MacKenzi.
- 1991 – Cornell; linebackers
- 1992 - East Tennessee State; linebackers
- 1993-94 – Cornell; linebackers
- 1995-96 - William & Mary; defensive line (1995); linebackers (1996)
- 1997-01 - SMU; linebackers
- 2002-09 - Vanderbilt Commodores; linebackers; recruiting coordinator (2008-09); special teams coordinator (2006-07)
Who was Bobby Johnson praising two days ago when he announced his best recruiting class ever?
His recruiting coordinator, Warren Belin, who was also the Commodores’ linebackers coach. Belin was with Johnson for the past eight years and helped develop linebackers Hunter Hillenmeyer, Marcus Buggs, Moses Osemwegie, Patrick Benoist and now Chris Marve.
Imagine what Belin can do with four- and five-star talent, if those guys are willing to learn and achieve their potential. Some of my UGA buddies tell me that’s a big if, but Vandy fans don’t feel any better about facing the Dawgs defense with Belin on their sideline.
Here is the video of the 13 year old that Kiffin has offered (the kid committed) . What are the odds of Kiffin being at USCwest in 5 years? (HT: CFT)
Where SEC recruits come from. Myth-busting the Florida-as-recruiting-holy-land meme.
So far, SEC teams have signed football recruits from 23 different states this year. The state-by-state breakdown:Georgia: 65
Top 25 recruiting classes based on average rating per recruit. Before you look guess where UGA ranks. Average player rankings do not factor the overall size of the class and may be a better measure of player quality – to the extent that ranking have merit as predictors of performance.
What I don’t get is the offensive in state recruits from this class. How do you miss out on the top QB, RB, WR and OT in state all in the same year? Kolton Houston (OG) is the only top player at his position we inked. How is that possible? I’ve been following UGA recruiting pretty closely since the 1997 season, and I don’t even remember a class so shallow when it comes to in state offensive talent.
The crazy thing to me….all the coaching instability was on the defensive side of the ball. We were entrenched and solid on the offensive side…and the puzzling stuff is all isolated to one side of the ball where we had the most margin for error. Granted there is some territorial / geographic overlap from offense to defense, but still. It’s mystifying.
Bond-trading specialist Cantor Fitzgerald in March took over the management of sports betting at the M Resort, a new 390-room hotel and casino on the Strip’s southern edge.
“We wanted to turn gamblers into traders,” says Lee Amaitis, the 60-year-old Cantor executive who runs the gambling division, Cantor Gaming.
To do that, the company has transformed Las Vegas sports betting into something it thinks is akin to derivatives trading. By using financial-markets technology, Cantor allows bettors to wager not only on who might win the game or by how much, but also on whether a team can complete its next pass or make a field goal.
Belin just completed his eighth season with the Commodores coaching linebackers. The 20-year veteran also just completed his second year as recruiting coordinator after having worked as special teams coordinator in 2006-07.
“Warren has had some of the best linebackers and tacklers in the league for years,” said Richt. “I’ve always admired his work at Vandy and people have been talking to me about him for quite a while. When Todd (Grantham) and I interviewed him, we were very impressed with his knowledge of the game, schemes, and fundamentals. He’s going to be a perfect mentor for our players as well.”
Update from Twitter – BernieDawg: Vandy’s LB coach and RC has joined CMRs staff, per Rivals. (5 seconds ago) 4:56
I have been reluctant to speculate publicly that Travis Jones could the last cog in the new defensive coaching machine at UGA. At the NSD event Wednesday several attendees mentioned different candidates for the job – none named Travis Jones. When asked if they thought Jones might be the man they all allowed that they hoped so but doubted he would be named. There were several reasons for the pessimism:
- Georgia can’t afford Travis Jones. One gentleman said that Jones is to make $500k next year with NO and in the wake of the already escalating salaries on the staff there is not enough money in the budget.
- Another version of the same argument is that adding Jones at an NFL salary level would send a salary escalation wave through the program that would capsize the fiscal ship.
- I also heard that Jones is not a candidate and that the delay in naming the last staffer is due to CMR’s reluctance to hire someone in the middle of recruiting season.
Coach Richt had no problem with hiring Coach Lakatos during recruiting season. I understand that the Lakatos hiring was far enough ahead of signing day that no UConn prospect would get “Urban-ed” but there is no reason that another coach could not have been brought aboard at about the same time.
I just don’t get the poverty arguments. We’re talking SEC money here. The new TV contract is bringing in enough cash to handle any commitment that CMR might like – plus adjusting the existing salaries into line with the new. The athletic director just got his adjustment.
None of these arguments make sense to me. I think the wait is for Travis Jones. So does Bernie and he is always usually right.
UDiligence was founded by Kevin Long, a former congressional press secretary, and a business partner. They have invested more than three years and a substantial financial sum into the patented social network monitoring system, complete with bells and whistles, and currently work for more than a dozen athletic programs nationally.
Long says his system is monitoring Facebook, MySpace and Twitter pages — 24 hours a day, seven days a week — of more than 6,000 student-athletes from New Jersey Institute of Technology to the University of Nebraska.
Pricing depends on the number of student-athletes and portal configuration but costs from $1,350 per year for 50 athletes or less to $5,000 per year for over 500 athletes.
“It only costs pennies a day per athlete to protect the athlete’s reputations and the image of the school,” said Long.
5. Lane Kiffin, USC – 12 – 21…..12 – 21…..12 – 21…..12 – 21…..12 – 21…. Those are the numbers that keep coming up when we think of Lane Kiffin, and of course the record 12 – 21 is Kiffin’s overall win/loss record in 1.5 seasons with the Oakland Raiders and 1 season at Tennessee. 12 wins and 21 losses! Can you believe it? 12 wins and 21 losses and the University of Southern California, one of the most storied football programs in the history of college football, just hired a guy that has three years experience as a head coach and he has an overall record of 12 – 21. One can only wonder what the morons at USC were thinking, but then we wondered what the morons at Tennessee were thinking when they made one of the worst hires in college football history by bringing Lane Kiffin to Tennessee in 2008.
Now, it’s possible that it could just be a heck of a coincidence and that relentless control freak Urban Meyer was blissfully ignorant that his defensive coordinator was about to bail on him, even though a radio host who’s been out of coaching for a decade—since then-Notre Dame wide receivers coach Urban Meyer was about to start his first head coaching job at Bowling Green—knew it was happening beforehand. Maybe Coach Meyer’s recent health reversals have left him that oblivious to major events inside the program he micromanages obsessively . . . but I don’t believe that, and neither do you.
It amazes me how caught up in the recruiting rankings some people get. There’s no trophy given out for first place in that race ladies and gents. Those rankings take subjectiveness and add a whole nutha level to it. Take my hand, don’t be afraid and just throw those things out the door. Don’t care what this class is ranked compared to others’. Actual tackle football games are won in the fall. Gimme a small class of kids that wanna be Georgia Bulldogs and you’ll see me smile each and every first Wednesday in February.
Yet, even the idiots have voices. No sooner had CMR and Coach Searels answered the first question Wednesday on the health of Trinton Sturdivant, than a simpleton raised his hand for the next opportunity to speak. This guy had evidently read that Coach Richt and his staff were becoming complacent. He wanted to know if it were true.And while the head coach handled it with his usual measure of aplomb, I can’t help but shake my head in disbelief. The man just fired his close friend, let go the same colleagues who helped him lift the SEC Championship trophy just a few years ago. And there are fans who think he’s complacent? Go back to your basement and suspend that message bored account for all that’s good on God’s green Earth.
“Over the last 11 years, I’ve evaluated a lot of players from this state, and I’ve always believed that if we took the best players in the state of Georgia and within a five-hour radius of our school, if they come to the University of Georgia, we can win the SEC championship and compete for a national title, I think you can be better than Florida, you can be better than Texas, and you can be better than Southern Cal if those players come to Georgia.” – Todd Grantham
Touted El Camino College (Torrance, Calif.) wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins did not sign Wednesday and is still awaiting his release from Tennessee, ESPN affiliate Web site DuckTerritory.com reports.
Old pros shill for many and varied products at Super Bowl – from Wall Street Journal
Georgia’s is not going to be one of those lauded Top 5 or 10 classes this year. But that distinction hasn’t meant much the last couple of seasons anyway.
…what the people at Clemson did for this teenager and his family should be roundly and loudly applauded, and serve as a reminder that, regardless of how cynical we all are, there are indeed some very classy people in the game.
Remember that whole leave of absence Urban Meyer was going to start immediately following National Signing Day? The Florida head coach may have to delay it yet again as he has yet another vacancy to fill on his coaching staff.
And it’s a fairly large vacancy that he’d just filled less than a month ago
So one day into the latest round of Gator Euphoria, here’s what’s going on: Urban Meyer, your future head coach, begins an indefinite leave of absence to deal with serious health issues. Oh, and the defensive coordinator you signed to play for has dumped you for Buffalo.Funny, none of the stories we’ve read on the suspect address the central question: Did the recruits know that George Edwards was taking a job with the Bills?
“A potential immediate game-changer at the major college level who could push for all-conference recognition as a true freshman. Will enter college with elite skills needed to create mismatches against top-level competition. A future All-American candidate.”
Coach Richt announced yesterday that the Dawgs received a commitment form a 5 star linebacker. You may have missed it with all the weeping and wailing about the class but he said it – finally.
Richard Samuel has been grossly out of position at running back. As recently as last week he said that he was going to stay at running back. Evidently, Coach Grantham was able to convince him that the move would be in his (and the team’s) best interest.
Richt announced Wednesday that rising junior Richard Samuel would switch from running back, where he had played in his first two seasons, to linebacker starting in spring practice.
“That’s a move we decided to make, and he was anxious to make that move,” Richt said. “So we’re going to see how that works out.”
Grantham, who will coach Georgia’s linebackers, said the decision for Samuel to move was actually made before he was hired, but after watching film, it was a decision he fully endorsed.
“I watched his tape and any time you have guys who are athletic, who are that size, that can run, you like to have those guys and we look forward to working with him in the spring and seeing how he fits into the plans,” Grantham said.
UGA didn’t NEED to add a bunch of flashy 5-star recruits to its offense. You know where UGA could use a 5-star player? At QB. Guess what…..Aaron Murray was a 5-star recruit. Apparently, he was good enough out of highschool to potentially push for all-conference recognition. Now, he’s had a year of seasoning at the college level. He should be REALLY REALLY good. That’s if recruiting rankings mean anything. Oh yeah…and Lonnie Outlaw, the last-minute pull who’s going to Hargrave first….remember his name in 2011. It just might be more well-covered than Da’Rick Rogers.
Do note that averaging a 30-ish ranking gets you put in the “Trailing” category in the SEC. It puts you in ninth or tenth place in the conference’s talent order. That’s how competitive recruiting is in this conference. By comparison, 30-ish is where Oklahoma State, the third best team in the Big 12 in 2009, has ended up over the last four seasons. A rank of 30 in one season still puts you in the top 75% of college football.
Todd Grantham got some nice pieces to play with as he revamps the defense. Freakish athletes such as Jakar Hamilton and Alec Ogletree could contribute quickly and several defensive linemen were added.
“At the end of the day, it’s not about rankings, it’s about filling needs,” said recruiting expert Jamie Newberg. “Georgia has recruited as consistently as anyone in the country but every so often, you’re going to have a year like this, where things don’t go your way, for whatever reason. This year is a little different than what Georgia is used to. But I don’t think it is a sign of things to come.”
17. Georgia. Two of the Bulldogs’ top players were poached at the last moment, dropping them several notches.