I've been told that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly yet expecting a different result. As you'll recall, Wednesday I thought it would be a great idea to create an open comment thread for the Under Armour All-American Game. Why not? There were a couple or three guys who were considering the 'Dawgs, we'd get a chance to see some of the guys who'll be taking the field for other squads and later be able to recall seeing them play way back when. What could possibly go wrong?
To your credit you folks handled the relatively mild recruiting snafu with trademark aplomb, while the folks over on some other sites (like that one, what's it called, oh yeah "The Vawg Dent") were in full-on, Chinese paratroopers landing on St. Simons Island meltdown. Good on you.
So, blogging masochist that I am, I am setting up yet another open comment thread for this afternoon's U.S. Army All-American Game. The Army game is the Rose Bowl to Under Armour's Roady's Humanitarian Bowl, balancing the creep factor of repeated hat-picking with the fact that it is after all sponsored by the U.S. Army, members of which will be involved throughout the game.
For Bulldog fans the game actually has some potential. While these things are always subject to change, I understand that two Bulldog commits for the class of 2011 will be starting on defense in the game: East Hall defensive end Sterling Bailey will start for the East defense just ahead of Thomas County Central standout and Bulldog target Ray Drew. Bulldog commit and Griffin Bear Corey Moore will start at safety next to versatile Grady athlete Damian Swann. Swann is expected to announce his decision between Alabama and Georgia, with a majority of guys who get paid to talk about college football recruiting on the internet opining that he will select Georgia. Which of course means that he will select Delaware A&M, which will then join the SEC, hire Kirby Smart and David Greene as co-head coaches, and beat us 5 years in a row with each bludgeoning worse than the one before. Ooops. Took a brief turn to negative town there. Mea culpa.
Future Bulldog Zach Debell will be playing offensive tackle in the game. Georgia is also recruiting Asheville, N.C. defensive lineman and former Florida commit Jeoffrey Pagan, who was selected for the game but will not play due to a knee injury suffered in November. A couple of other Georgians who look to be heading out of state, Notre Dame commit and Monroe Area star Stephon Tuitt and Eagles Landing Christian DB/Cal commit Avery Walls, will also suit up.
Of course there are players to be aware of in this game with no connection to Georgia football. Demetrius Hart is a shifty tailback out of Orlando who originally committed to Michigan but now appears headed to Alabama. Darius Dawgberry and I have a running argument about the perfect height for tailbacks. DD wants a 6'1, 6'2 "one cut and go" tailback in the Herschel Walker/Lars Tate/Tim Worley mode. Personally, I prefer guys with a low center of gravity like the 5'8 Hart.
Aaron Murray's successor at QB for Plant High, Phillip Ely will also be on the East squad, and is on his way to Alabama as well. I think Murray was a much more impressive player coming out of high school, but Ely has the tools to be a really good one for the Tide. He'll be joined in the game by Plant teammate and former Georgia target James Wilder, Jr., who's headed to Florida State. The 6'2, 220 pound Wilder is listed as a running back and will likely play that position in the game, but his future is on defense at the collegiate level. You can't miss him, Wilder's the kid who looks like he should be playing for the Atlanta Falcons right now. The guy's individual abdominal muscles have their little six packs.
The East roster also includes West Palm Beach (Dwyer) tight end Nick O'Leary. O'Leary's parents are Georgia grads and the Bulldogs were recruiting the young man heavily until apparently deciding to concentrate their efforts on Valdosta product Jay Rome. O'Leary is similar in size to Aron White coming out of high school, though he doesn't look quite as rangy to me. While I've never met the young man I'm betting he is a fierce competitor due to the influence of his maternal grandfather, from whom he received his given name: some crusty old codger named Jack Nicklaus.
Georgia also pursued Absecon, New Jersey linebacker Tony Sareo, who is currently committed to Stanford. I rarely say this about an out-of-state prospect, but I hate that we missed on this kid and I think you'll see why this afternoon. He's an incredibly instinctive defender who would fit well in the middle in our system. He may be the best tackling linebacker I have seen film on in this class. Seriously, the kid wraps up and drives his feet just the way you teach it. He will be a good one.
The West roster doesn't have a lot of guys who we'll see in the SEC in coming years, but there are some talented players nonetheless. Gig Harbor, Washington product Austin Sefarian-Jenkins is either the #1 or #2 tight end in the country depending on which recruiting service you prefer. The West will feature a quartet of talented tailbacks in Malcolm Brown (Texas commit), Herschel Sims (Oklahoma State), Aaron Green (Nebraska) and Kenny Hilliard (LSU). Also keep an eye out for Seattle standout Kasen Williams, who as a junior was the top target of current BYU QB Jake Heaps.
All in all it should be a reasonably interesting matchup, especially if you follow high school recruiting and want to see some of the stars of tomorrow (and perhaps a few guys who will soon be forgotten in the college football world). Perhaps we'll get a totallt nonbinding verbal commitment out of the deal, perhaps we won't. Either way, what else are you going to do until the UGA/Kentucky basketball game at 4? Work? Chores? Please.
So whether or not you got YKK on your zipper, whether you're slizzurd or sober, let's all keep some perspective, watch some football, and make a fresh start in this thread:
*With apologies to whoever posted this video, Dr. Dre had as much to do with this song as I did, maybe less.