I’m always grateful for the knowledge that, when I go out of town on vacation, I can count on the rest of the Dawg Sports staff to continue to provide first-rate coverage of Georgia Bulldogs football. I was pleased to see vineyarddawg’s in-depth coverage of the game in Jacksonville between . . . wait, what? That wasn’t football, it was futbol! That’s O.K., though, because I can count on hailtogeorgia, who brought us . . . dad gum it, you’re kidding me! That wasn’t college football, it was Australian rules football! Well, at least chuckdawg was on top of the latest player arrest, which . . . no way! It wasn’t a football player, it was a basketball player?!?!
All right, the heck with it, then; I’m just going to write about downindixie’s excellent look at David Perno’s Diamond Dogs.
Naturally, I share downindixie’s view that, after Georgia failed to make the 64-team NCAA tourney field for the second time in a three-year period during which the Red and Black have gone a combined 80-95, Coach Perno’s continued employment by our alma mater seems inexplicable. Now, with the 2012 first-year player draft set to begin next Monday, we would do well to remember that, a year ago, Seminole State had four more then-current players taken in the first 20 rounds than Georgia did. One of those four, Todd Hankins, was a former Bulldog player who transferred to a lower-tier school.
Hankins, unfortunately, was not exceptional in this regard. 2011 48th-round Mets selection Malcolm Clapsaddle, Gulf South Conference player of the year Christian Glisson, and Peach Belt Conference player of the year Zach Taylor all began their collegiate careers under Coach Perno in the Classic City before opting to complete their undergraduate eligibility elsewhere. It will be interesting to see which of their names are called next week, and when.
That’s not to say that the athletes who presently play for David Perno (as distinguishable from those athletes who have signed letters of intent indicating that they will play their college ball for David Perno) do not include any professional prospects. Alex Wood, who recently was named second-team All-SEC, is one such prospect; he is ranked by Baseball America as the 54th-best available player overall, and his star manifestly is on the rise. Wood is a damn good ‘Dawg, for whom all of us will be rooting if he makes it to the next level . . . but so are Clapsaddle, Glisson, and Taylor.
I’m sure next week’s draft will make the Diamond Dogs look pretty good, as Georgia signee Byron Buxton is projected to be taken No. 1 overall next week. That, though, attests only to Coach Perno’s ability to recruit players, not to his ability either to coach them or to keep them in the fold. Among players who actually have suited up under Coach Perno’s tutelage, it remains to be seen how those who completed their college careers in Athens will be regarded by major league scouts, in comparison to those who found Foley Field less to their liking than the lower-division or junior-college ranks.