It's now a mere 5 days until National Signing Day, and there's still a lot going on in the world of Georgia Bulldog recruiting. That's worth pointing out given that Mark Richt and crew are famous (some would say infamous) for finishing the shopping very early. This time around however there remains a great deal to be done.
- Ray Drew is set to announce this morning around 10 a.m., and the consensus emerging among recruiting analysts is that he will select Georgia. This should not be terribly surprising for astute observers of Drew's Facebook page, which has been an interesting study in reverse psychology. I'm treating this as the impromptu open comment thread for the Drew announcement.
- Even the Auburn recruiting folks who are notoriously
delusionaloptimistic about their team's recruiting seem to believe that they are out of it for Isaiah Crowell. A recent poll of Rivals.com recruiting writers unanimously agreed that Drew and Crowell seem headed to Athens. All that being said, it's not done until the faxes roll off the machine in Butts-Mehre.
- Speaking of Butts-Mehre, Gentry Estes over at Dawgs247, the ESPN-backed Bulldog site, has some great pictures of the recent renovation to the football facilities. Anyone who was in the building in the past few years knows that the facilities were quite nice before. Now they can only be described as embarrassingly opulent. I think it's the televisions between the lockers that really sets it off. Of course, those facilities are partially to help our football players and coaches prepare and perform at their best. But another reason for the bling is that incoming recruits consider these things as well. So when you're stroking that check to the Athletic Association this year, remember that it's at least partially to get ooohs and aaahhs from an 18 year old. If that 18 year old is Isaiah Crowell I'm more than willing to send the check overnight.
- One uncommitted recruit who's spent a bit of time in Athens lately is Asheville, N.C. defensive lineman Jeoffrey Pagan. Pagan at one time appeared headed to Athens. Then he committed to Clemson out of the blue. Then he took a visit to Alabama last weekend. Now he's no longer committed to Clemson and will decide between Alabama and Georgia. My guess? He commits to Georgia because it has become clear that Jeoffrey Pagan must be a Mike Bobo disciple and will choose Georgia because that was the last thing you expected him to do. (Boboism: embrace it, Bulldawg Nation!) And because he's bonded a lot with Ray Drew on the recruiting trail. But mostly because you wouldn't expect it.
- Nose tackle John Jenkins is taking a visit to Florida this weekend, which is a little upsetting for two reasons. One, I was hoping that affter his official visit to Georgia last weekend he would go ahead and commit. Two, because the only thing worse than Jenkins playing football somewhere other than Athens would be Jenkins playing football in Gainesville. The thought is nauseating. I agree with DavetheDawg that John Jenkins may well be the most important piece of our recruiting puzzle, and it's self-evident that he would be the signee most likely to play from day 1 in the Classic City. I do note that Jenkins' father will be visiting Gainesville with him, while his mother came with him to Athens. All other things being equal in recruiting, momma wins. I hope.
- Speaking of Jenkins, I don't think he'll be the last jumbo-sized nose tackle you see recruited as long as Todd Grantham is in Athens. The era of the space-eating nose tackle is upon us. Take for example GMC nose Daniel McCullers. Or Jenkins County junior Jonathan Taylor, who already has an offer for 2012.
- On the other side of the line, Coach Richt has an inhome visit tomorrow with Memphis offensive lineman Antonio Richardson. I continue to find it hard to believe that we'll be able to sign one of the top 10 or so high school offensive linemen in the nation while not actually employing an offensive line coach. But Coach Richt is a master of the living room, so we'll just have to see how this one turns out.
- If the above gives you the impression that Georgia could end up signing a large class, you'd have the right impression. While a month ago it looked like we might not be able to fill up this class, it's now looking more and more like we may have to turn some guys away, even very good players. That's a great problem to have, especially coming off a 6-7 season. I'll be popping in occasionally to check in on the Drew commitment. You guys don't burn the place down if he chooses Eastern Maine, okee dokee? Thanks. Until later . . .