Though some may write this off as the optimistic side of me coming back from its long hibernation and some may still be writhing in pain from the Da'Rick Rogers "snubbing" (let's see if he qualifies first), I genuinely like our 2010 class.
Let's start with a basic truth:
We can all agree that our biggest problem last year was defense, yes?
Who has two thumbs, did a crappy job last year, and somehow parlayed that into a gig at Oklahoma? This guy!
The need for fresh blood is clearly evident in that 12 of Georgia's 19 signees were on the defensive side of the ball.
Hit the jump for my ill-informed and entirely too optimistic outlook...
In the final assessment by the rating services, Georgia finishes 9th with ESPN, 16th with Rivals, and 21st with Scout. Our score was lowered by taking a chance on a kid out of Wilcox County, Lonnie Outlaw... which is sort of crazy if you think about it. The Auburns, Alabamas, and Floridas of the world are rewarded for oversigning and picking up some kids who likely won't qualify or will simply be jettisoned. And we get punished from a perception standpoint because we gave an unheralded recruit an opportunity to make good. Go figure.
As disappointing as it was to lose Da'Rick Rogers, I'll make the same point I made all day. He didn't jilt Georgia for Tennessee because of Dooley the Lesser or Vol Hostesses, he did so because they offered a 2 Star Ginger QB... and we know all too well how that turns out. Now get your butt in school young man and make something of yourself 11 games a year!
We also didn't pick up any major recruiting coups on the offensive side of the ball although as expected we signed an extremely solid OT and OG and the #24 RB in the nation, Ken Malcome. And a Parade All-American QB.
But as I said before this was really about bringing an infusion of new talent and new blood to a defense that badly underperformed last year. And we shouldn't have to beg, borrow, and steal to do it (to paraphrase the classiest coach on the planet). We didn't have to.... and we were able to bring in a smaller yet quality driven class.
Some may decry this recruiting class as a failure because of the loss of Rogers. They are, quite frankly, full of it.
On the defensive side of the ball, where we need the most improvement we just got the #2 JUCO in the country, a Top 5 DE, two other Top 15 DE's, yet another top 30 DE, the #3 DT, another top 15 DT, a top 30 CB, and the #3 Safety in the country.
Anyone who can call that a failure (at least on the defensive side of the ball) is clearly delusional or so predisposed to pessimism that they can't see the proverbial forest for the trees (No offense doom and gloomers).
And believe me, there is an infinitesimal difference between a #1 and a #10 or #15 player nationally. It could be an extra inch of height, a hundredth of a second on a 40 time, or a young player still developing skills (which might be somewhat aided by a coach with NFL experience.... I dunno). All the drama originally started when Jeff Whitaker picked Auburn over Georgia. So we traded in the #5 pick at DT for the #12 DT in Mike Thornton. The two are statistically very similar. Give me Jeff Whitaker coached by Ted Roof and Tracy Rocker or Mike Thornton coached by Todd Grantham and Rodney Garner, and I think you know who will develop faster.
And did I mention that we also got the #3 DT (trumping both of them) in Garrison Smith, who was apparently the first to tell Mark Richt that he was definitely coming to Georgia?
Given the valid and coherent point that well-coached mediocre players will always be better than poorly coached elite players, this is still plenty of talent for the Dawgs to thrive. As much fun as it is to follow recruiting, the fact is that the difference between a #4 or 5 class and a #16 or even #30 class is based far more on the number of recruits than the quality of the smaller classes (anyone who says otherwise needs to take a statistics class)
Oh and I almost forgot to mention, we got T.J. Stripling, the 6'6" LB that I shall forever call "Crazy Eyes"
Sorry that took so much space, but its like he's peering into my soul and making me do it. And then knocking the crap out of anyone with a football.
All in all it wasn't a disappointing day for the Dawgs, just an uneventful one. The rating services and media just don't seem to know the difference.
Your thoughts on signing day?