Sunday, January 30, 2011

Georgia Recruiting: Bulldogs Dominate Once Again, Jackets Largely Look Elsewhere

If you thought the last month of recruiting was crazy then you haven't seen anything yet.

Sunday starts a "dead period" in recruiting where colleges are not allowed to contact the recruits (yeah right) leading up to Wednesday's National Signing Day.

The state of Georgia is usually loaded with talent and this year was no exception.

Needing a great recruiting class after a very disappointing season, Mark Richt has locked up 21 commitments from the Peach State and is still waiting to hear from one of his top targets RB Isaiah Crowell. The Carver-Columbus product will decide on Wednesday between UGA and Alabama.

Georgia has gone all out for Crowell and used a new tactic some say was used on them to flip Da'Rick Rogers last year as noted by Ricky Dimon of GPB Sports

"The Bulldogs appear to be using the same tactics to lure Crowell as Tennessee employed to snag Rogers last year. Rogers flip-flopped to the Vols after they got a commitment from Calhoun quarterback and good friend Nash Nance. Perhaps Richt took notes, because he recently offered a scholarship to Carver-Columbus defensive back Quintavious Harrow, Crowell’s best friend since kindergarten.

“People are going to have their opinions about why Georgia offered Quintavious,” Carver-Columbus head coach Dell McGee told the AJC. “All I know is that he is getting a free education at a great institution along with the opportunity to play football in the best conference in the nation. To me, that’s priceless.”

This could be the class that gets Richt off the hot seat and back into the SEC race every year.

While UGA has done very well in the Peach State this year, Georgia Tech has not fared as well with just 10 in-state pledges. 

“They have really not done a good job recruiting what is the fourth-best state in the country for football talent,” [Scott] Janovitz said of the Yellow Jackets. “They have either missed on guys they should have offered or they offered and did not recruit hard enough.”

Tech offered or pursued very hard some of the top prospects like Nick Marshall, AJ Johnson, Thomas O'Reilly, James Vaughters, Brian Randolph and Stephon Tuitt all who are likely to sign elsewhere on National Signing Day.

I don't think the Jackets staff worked any less hard than last year when 14 of their 18 signees were from Georgia.  This is the highest number in many years as Chan Gailey had a more regional/national recruiting strategy.

When Paul Johnson arrived at Tech he wanted to move the recruiting more in state and why not when Georgia is a top five producer of FBS signees each year.

The problem with that is many kids grow up UGA fans over Tech and the Yellow Jackets recent history with the Bulldogs has not given many recruits to switch their allegiance.  In fact, I think Tech's dismal record against the in-state team has also pushed kids who might not be UGA fans to favor schools nearby like Auburn or Alabama or Tennessee or FSU. 

Some will say Georgia Tech's class was disappointing this year, but when you look at their recent classes it doesn't seem to be any worse (except 2007).

The reason Tech's class is so disappointing is because they were hoping to use the ACC title from 2009 and the 20 wins in Johnson's first two seasons as a springboard to a great class this year, but it never materialized. 

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