Kevin C. Cox - Getty Images
There's a good reason I'm less than excited about the news that Georgia is "back in it" for star defensive back Brendan Langley: I'm not convinced we are.
Last spring SEC colleges were all abuzz over Kell HS defensive back Brendan Langley, who made the tour of several camps and was immediately offered by every school that evaluated him. Langley quickly went from an unknown onto many lists of the top 100 players in the nation, racking up offers from the likes of Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Tennessee and Florida. Every coach who saw the 6'1, 190 pounder came away impressed with his combination of size and speed, and his impressive ball skills.
Langley ultimately committed to South Carolina at the end of July in what looked like a big recruiting coup for the Gamecocks, who have long recruited in the Peach State, but rarely got the state's top notch players. A lot of recruiting watchers believed that Langley's decision boiled down to the schools believed to be his leaders, Alabama and Georgia, both already accepting multiple commits at his position. Bulldog and Crimson Tide fans uniformly decided they didn't really want a guy who didn't want to compete for playing time anyhow, grumble,grumble, grumble, and the world moved on.
Then came word that Langley was in Athens for the Florida Atlantic game, which seemed a little strange for a guy firmly committed to South Carolina. I mean, if you were going to take in a game as an uninterested, unofficial visitor wouldn't you wait to take in the Vanderbilt game? Maybe wait two weeks for the contest against Tennessee?
So it's not a complete surprise that Langley now says the Bulldogs are allegedly back in the hunt for his services. Langley appears to have been intrigued during that recent visit to Athens by a brief meeting with UGA basketball coach Mark Fox, who told Langley, a point guard for the Kell basketball team last season, that if he came to Athens he'd have a spot on the Bulldog roundball squad. Langley told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that the offer is "the only reason they're [meaning Georgia] back in it at all."
Admittedly, Langley also seemed to be talking up Georgia quarterback commit Brice Ramsey to former Sprayberry High and current Hutchinson C.C. slot receiver Tye' Richardson. But in the end I wouldn't hold out hope that the young man rated the #13 cornerback in America by 247Sports will end up in Athens. Langley seems pretty clear that the chance to take to the court is the only thing drawing him to Athens. I imagine South Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin will be talking to Steve Spurrier about his point guard needs fairly soon, at least after he gets through sending out his mail. Advantage, neutralized. Of course he may want to talk to Bruce Ellington about all this, but I don't know that he will.
Given that Langley didn't play high school basketball as a freshman or sophomore, and hasn't played any AAU circuit basketball either, the odds of him making a serious contribution at either school are pretty slim.The guys he'd be competing against for early playing time in Athens, like Shaq Wiggins and Steven Nelson, are just as likely to be there now as they were when Langley committed. In the end I think this is a gambit to get Langley a chance to play the other sport he loves in college. Good for him for realizing the value of his services and leveraging his assets. But I won't be mistaking Langley's bargaining strategy for genuine interest.