Free Form Friday is nothing if not the soul of frivolity. Which makes it a tall order in this, a monumentally difficult week to be frivolous. I mean, the Isaiah Crowell news was a real downer for us Bulldog fans. Those of us around the blogosphere began to think more about this whole four team playoff thing and became more convinced than ever that the powers-that-be will find a way to screw this up even more than they usually screw things up*. The Freeh Report was released, and everybody got really offended and angsty (when they really probably should have been just as angry from the get-go) and Jason Whitlock did Whitlock things because he thinks he's some sort of critical legal/gender studies scholar trapped in the body of an obese, trolling Midwestern sportswriter. It's all bad, and only gets worse the more angles you view it from.
Then yesterday afternoon a highly-touted linebacker who Georgia has been recruiting insistently since he was a freshman in high school decommitted from Alabama (which was bad) to Auburn (which is worse). Sure everybody has to make their own business decisions, and I can understand the allure of being the next Tray Blackmon, but still. Not happy times.
There is hope, however. See why after the jump.
Maestro, if you will:
It's always sort of fun to glory in the misfortunes of others, and Nick Saban's immediate family has given us a chance to do that. This isn't TMZ and I bear no resemblance to Perez Hilton** but the circus surrounding Nick Saban's daughter getting in a sorority house spat is, when you get right down to it, kind of funny. Even funnier is this blow-by-blow analysis of the tortured pleading which seems to have kicked this thing off. Special kudos for coining the term PTSD: Post Traumatic Saban Disorder. I had a case of that in late 2008. It was a real bitch.
Tonight is also Dawg Night, perhaps the biggest on-campus recruiting event of the year in Athens. The list of prospects who will be in attendance is really too large to name here. And there's always the drama that surrounds inevitable surprise appearances and no-shows. But subject to that, various reports have the following making it to the Classic City tonight:
Milan Richard, 2014 tight end prospect from Savannah and nephew of some guy who played tailback a helluva lot better than Sticky Ricky Williams.
Miami (Gulliver Prep) defensive end/outside linebacker Stacy Thomas, a 4 star prospect we'll have to fight all the big boys for. But you know what they say, once you get player on campus, you never know. Just ask Knowshon Moreno.
Peach County wide receiver Demarcus Robinson, a national top 100 player who many had assumed had written off the Bulldogs. While Richt and Associates have already locked up a quartet of wide receivers for 2013, they'd likely make room for Robinson.
Norcross running back Alvin Kamara, a shify ballcarrier who could also play slot receiver, and who recently excelled at the Nike Opening event in Oregon.
Yulee, Florida running back Derrick Henry, who you may recall committed to Georgia at Dawg Night last July, recently backed off that commitment and named Alabama his leader. This one's not over, and the more we can get Henry to Athens, the better our chances.
Raekwon McMillan, 2014 linebacker from Liberty County, and an early favorite to be the top overall player in Georgia for the class of 2014. McMillan is a huge Ohio State fan, but the more times we can get him on campus the better.
Kelsey Griffin, 2013 defensive end from Mill Creek, seen by many as a possible verbal commit at Dawg Night.
Antonio Riles, 2013 defensive end from Archer High, a raw physical specimen who could end up at defensive end or outside linebacker.
2014 running back Myles Autry from Norcross, a smaller back whose brother will be attending Georgia Tech this year. Both the 'Dawgs and Jackets extended early offers to the hard-running back, who I think will get more attention during his upcoming junior season.
Tre Johnson, linebacker from Central Gwinnett, who committed to Auburn after not getting an early offer from Georgia. If the Bulldogs offer this weekend it won't likely secure Johnson's services. But it would definitely give him something to think about.
Safety/cornerback Brendan Langley, Kell High, for my money perhaps the top defensive back prospect in the state this year. Alabama has been after Langley hard, along with most everyone else in the SEC. He would be a hhuge get for the Bulldogs.
Safety Quincy Mauger, Kell High, who is not as highly touted as his teammate Langley, but still an excellent player.
Safety/corner Derrick Farrow, Bleckley County, a guy who has made a good impression at some camps but is still looking for his first bigtime offer. Dawg Night usually brings out at least one guy who makes a name for himself under the lights. This year it could be the athlete from Cochran.
2015 linebacker Jeremiah Theus from Jacksonville, Bolles. That's right, there's another Theus. I think we may have a shot with the kid.
Of specific note, is that there will be several class of 2014 quarterbacks in attendance looking to earn an offer. This camp has become the one for young signal callers to attend if they want to wear the red and black. Among those competing in Athens are Sandy Creek's Cole Garvin, Wheeler's Elijah Staley, and Pierce County's Tyler Harris (who may end up among the top 2-4 pro-style QB's in the nation for his class).
If this year is anything like last year, I will (in true Wilson Pickett Style) be delivering Dawg Night updates in the midnight hour, while standing in the pouring rain. So check back here periodically for any updates or tidbits from the Classic City. My guess on the number of commitments for the classes of 2013 and 2014 combined is 3, but that number could go higher. And that would go a long way toward making every dawg's weekend a little brighter. Until later, feel free to talk quietly among yourselves until the dismissal bell rings. And . . .
*Because as the managers of this site (Edmund Burke disciples to a man) will tell you, anyone can err at any time. That's why change is, intrinsically, a gamble and the status quo generally the safest bet. But it usually takes billions of dollars and/or government oversight to truly, rightly, and royally screw the pooch. The first will definitely be involved in a playoff. The second will be involved if our elected officials don't find some other diversion to take them away from our other pressing national issues. College sports: the proverbial Youtube talking dog video of Congresspersons everywhere!
** Other than the fact that we both have ridiculous hair and neither of us is working as an actual journalist. Though only one of us is aware of that last similarity.