The SEC coaches are meeting in Destin right now, and the news is coming up from the Gulf. Most of it is all fun theory and talk with no impact at the moment. But one item is actually pretty big news flying under the radar.
Recruiting coordinator Daryl Jones is leaving the program. What happens next is still a bit early to be determined, but let's start by saying a big thanks to Jones for all the work he's done over the last two years. Jones was reportedly the mind (or the painter) behind the recruit drawings that made news in April. He helped with a lot of recruiting issues that started slipping between the cracks under former recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner, and covered the transition between Garner and newly named recruiting coordinator Bryan McClendon.
Jones was widely respected across the state, and helped in a wide array of important parts of Georgia's routinely top 10 signing classes. It is unclear from reports whether he's got an assistant job at another college, or is going back to working as a high school coach/AD. And there's no mention from Richt on how he'll fill in the open spot, as even with McClendon carrying a recruiting coordinator title we'll need someone in the office to help him handle what is a 24/7/365 and heavily detail oriented and extensively time consuming part of the program. Georgia has been steadily building up their off field staff this spring, so perhaps one of the recent additions in these last few months steps into Jones' departed role, but we'll just have to keep our eyes and ears open to see what happens next.
Speaking of coaching changes, the SEC coaches are unanimous in declaring they need help. There is no standard way to set up a coaching staff, so each school and head coach would use the extra on field coach differently. As for Georgia, considering the fans long standing cry of "WE NEED A SPECIAL TEAMS COACH!", it's easy to assume that's what Richt would do if he had another spot.
SEC coaches are also unanimous in that if we are going to have an early signing period, it should be right after Thanksgiving. They didn't address whether or not they actually wanted the earlier date, but just that if we did have one, hypothetically, that after Thanksgiving would be the day to do it. And we wouldn't do it for kids actually going through the recruiting process (in an attempt to as Richt puts it, keep some sanity instead of just accelerating an already increasingly accelerated recruiting process), as only those who are so firmly committed to their school of choice they aren't interested in visiting schools officially would be eligible to sign on the earlier date. That is, according to this hypothetical, if we are doing this then ideally we'd do it this way but then who knows if they change their minds when it stops being hypotheticial, if it stops being hypothetical.
In the not hypotheticals department, more schools can start serving alcohol at college sporting events doesn't include Georgia. We got 100+ bars in this town where you can get your drink on, so maybe it's a good idea not to add to that number just yet with Sanford and Stegeman. Then again, we are trying to improve the in-arena environs of Stegeman so maybe...
And we close out today's roundabout with a couple of high school players, one about to enroll in Athens and another I wouldn't mind doing the same in say 12 months or so from now. Wheeler High School SF and one of the top hoops recruits in the country is doing a blog for USA Today. He mentions how he likes to be recruited (lightly), his summer schedule (not light at all), and lists the main schools he's looking at (Georgia makes the list, along with Tech, UCLA, Kentucky, Ohio St, Kansas, Arizona, and Louisville). And since we started with what's coming up from Florida, we can finish with what's coming up from Florida. Sony Michel, the elite TB out of Miami coming to compete for carries with Nick Chubb and others over the next few years, likes music. Music and Athens go hand in hand, so that's a good thing. You can check out his UGA anthem on soundcloud, or embedded by the always great stuff of The Lady Sportswriter here.