A big ‘ol greeting and salutation, Dawg Nation. I’ve missed you. Anything happen since the bowl game? It has been a while and I’m beginning to feel the urge to write again and warm up the vocal chords as the combination of excitement, joy, mild-nausea, out-right dread and fatalism creeps into my bones about this time of year. The season will be here before you know it. I’ve got some random thoughts and this is as good a times as any to test out my new wireless keyboard.
Let’s get it on.
- For those of you worrying about recruiting, stop it. Yeah, things have been a little slow and for a time we had guys de-committing at an alarming rate. Spring time de-commits aren’t the same as December ones. Some of those very dudes who flipped will flip back. Trust me.
- Georgia is pretty deep, albeit young, at many positions. If you’re going to build sustainability, you have to replenish your dudes each and every year with top-talent. It ain’t easy, and perhaps we don’t quite have the momentum that we saw about this time last year. There is a long, long way to go on some really great prospects, including a few 5-Star guys who are either leaning or wide-open. Ultimately, how your Georgia Bulldogs acquit themselves in the ‘17 campaign will dictate much. This upcoming season is a pretty big deal.
- Kirby and Co. are about as well-equipped to build the aforementioned sustainability as anyone in the country because of the in-state talent-pool, along with first-hand knowledge (process?) via the Alabama experience. Georgia is beginning to mirror the kind of depth that long-term success dictates you must have at most spots. Everyone knows Alabama’s roster is deeper than the Marianas Trench. Since Saban arrived, year in and year out they continue to convince blue-chip kids who might start immediately for someone else’s program to “buy in” and bide their time for the chance to truly be part of something greater. Kirby knows how to recruit like this. I think he knows a thing or two about how to manage rosters and kids’ expectations, too. The only question I have about our coach is just that: Can he coach? I think he can.
- And wouldn’t you know it, Matt Corral, a 5-Star QB, has de-committed from Southern Cal and many folks believe the Dawgs are the team to beat. Wonder if this speeds up the Justin Fields decision (either for or against coming to Athens)? Either way, grab the first one who commits if it comes to pass, and don’t ever look back.
- Back to Thought #2, just to reiterate: If you are so inclined, quit worrying. Things are going to start happening for us now. It’s recruiting. What could possibly go wrong?
Are we ‘crootin’ anyone named Johnson?
6. I’ve been reading some of the post-Spring “coachspeak,” as I am sure you have. If you believe any of it, the buzz around campus is that the freshman that enrolled early are “different.” Some say they have an “edge” to them; maybe it’s gas. Maybe it’s more maturity than we’ve seen in from some recruiting cycles. I don’t know - I’m hardly connected to anything that goes on in town, but this is coming from some sources who tend to shoot straight, so take it for what it’s worth. We’ve had all the talent in the world of late, but “an edge” is definitely what has been missing*.
(Also, red zone offense, red zone defense, special teams, consistent pass rush, offensive coherence, and charisma. We need more charisma.)
7. Red road pants. This year. In South Bend. That is all.
8. I still cannot get over how craptacular our home schedule is this season. Kentucky might just be the marquee game of the year in Athens. Kentucky! We should have never agreed to 2-consecutive games at Auburn whenever that deal was struck. Somewhere along the line, Auburn should have been made to reciprocate. There’s only one thing to do: Road Trip. And write to ADGM early and often.
9. Non-Dawg stuff: Gregg Allman’s passing really affected me. It is just sad that he’s gone. I didn’t know the man, but felt like he was kin. I’ve had “Eat a Peach” in the ol’ CD player in my battered Honda for days now. No one makes music like this anywhere.
10. Back to recruiting for a moment. It is entirely possible that within the next few weeks, 5-Star and #1 2018 RB Zamir White of Laurinburg, NC (Scotland County) will make it official and Commit to the G. The State of North Carolina has been a pipeline of incredible running back talent for Georgia, going all the way back to Tim Worley (Lumberton, NC...about 15 miles from Laurinburg). Most recently, of course, Todd Gurley (Tarboro, NC) and Keith Marshall (Millbrook - Raleigh). I’m certain “Zeus” is aware of this bit of history.
11. I hate asking this, but how many wins will it take to deem the 2017 season a success? My take? We’d better win 12 (including a bowl game), including avenging Tech and beating Florida. In my mind, it truly is Atlanta or bust.
Oh, and we’re travelling back up to Knoxville. I hope they’ve fixed their g**d#m turf.
12. Auburn sucks. Ah, just typing that has a certain “je nais se quois.” Now, I don’t know what that means, but I like it.
12.a A wise man once typed, “I hate Florida with the fire of 1000 suns fueled by the fire of another 1000 suns.” Truth.
13. I just sense our defense will be truly outstanding in ‘17. It might have to carry us in a few games early on as the offense - which WILL be improved - begins to gel, especially if some highly touted freshman get the start on the offensive line. Run the damn ball. And 4-tight end sets. And anything past the 50 is 4-down territory. And Friday is an optional work day.
14. The NCAA decision on the fate of Ole Miss might just happen in the middle of the season. I’m not sure how big the hammer that eventually falls will be, but I do know that I’m taking a day off just to reply to every single idiot that emailed me their hate from my post-Mississippi “15 Thoughts.” I thought about turning the other cheek, but this is The SEC. It Just Means More.
LSU certainly gets it...
15. I’ll be back a time or two before we kick things off against Appalachian State on.
And a Happy Father’s Day to all you Daddy-O’s out there!
Me, my l’il sister and Dad catchin’ dinner at a farm pond near Eatonton. The best of times...