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Friday, February 6, 2009

The Loyalty Factor

Didn't link to it this morning, but I wanted to point out Chip Towers' great blog post today about the complete insanity of teams like Ole Miss completely ignoring signing limits this year. The Rebels inked 38 players on signing day, despite an NCAA limit of 25 (and perhaps fewer depending on your total number of available scholarships). They were the high-water mark for signees, but they were hardly alone in going a bit overboard.

For anyone who has complained about the quality or size of Georgia's class this year -- and I can't believe there are many complainers -- keep in mind that this kind of overkill on signing day is something Mark Richt never does.

At the end of the day, a number of those Ole Miss recruits are likely not to qualify, but regardless, there's a good chance that at least a few will end up having their scholarship offers pulled. If they don't, the alternative is to pull the scholarship of a player already on the team.

Without naming names, there are probably a few guys on the UGA roster right now who aren't exactly earning their scholarship dollars, but Richt has made a point of repeatedly saying that he will never pull someone's scholarship once it is offered. Richt, Rodney Garner and the other UGA coaches are very deliberate in their approach during recruiting, and they only make offers to kids they want in Athens. Once the offer is made, it stays on the table until the kid graduates (assuming he doesn't run afoul of the law).

True, this approach can be problematic when you lose six underclassmen as Georgia did this year (Michael Lemon, Walter Hill, Donavon Baldwin, Asher Allen, Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno), but the fact remains that the sort of loyalty UGA has shown to its recruits pays off in the long run. When a guy commits to Georgia, he knows its a two-way street.

(SIDE NOTE: At the end of Chip's blog, he links to Jeff Owens' new blog. It was really just a matter of time, and I can't think of a player on the team better suited to do it. Still... what's the over/under before Jeff gets into hot water for divulging something he shouldn't? Let's just hope he does't pull a Chris Cooley.)


Hobnail_Boot said...

David FWIW, Troy inked 41 guys on Wednesday.

Anonymous said...

David: Great job today (I especially liked your take on the Kiante Tripp situation. You brought it to life. Kiante is a DGD.) Hope you enjoy your well-deserved break.

If you have a minute to respond, I was hoping you might be able to shed some light on another recruiting story I heard circulated on the "Two Live Stews" radio show in ATL on Wednesday. (I know you don't have any fondness for recruiting stuff, but I was just curious to know whether this story had even a grain of truth, just because, if true, it shows how recruiting in the wireless age has certain new pitfalls.)

On that "Two Live Stews" program, a guy claiming to be Greg Reid's uncle called in and said that Reid had been a UGA-lean, but switched his loyalty to FSU after a text mail "reply all" glitch by a UGA recruiter during an in-home visit with Reid. (I don't really want to elaborate more b/c I don't want to further an unconfirmed rumor from the "uncle," and because I think our recruiters do an excellent job.)

Of all the signing day storylines, Reid's switch seemed the most shocking to us UGA fans, if only because his commitment was seemed to be a given. Haven't heard this "uncle's" story in other recruiting post mortems, but I figured that your regular access to team/coaches might shed some light on whether the story had any cred. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

David, what is the story of Lemon?

Is he going to try to get back to Athens?

How is his younger brother as a prospect?

David Hale said...

Re: Troy -- Wow. Just wow.

Re: Reid -- That's the first I've heard of anything like that, and I have a problem putting too much stock in it. I can tell you through multiple sources I've heard that even as late as Tuesday, there were about three teams who still thought they were getting Reid, so I think the reports of him leaning one way or the other were overblown because I'm really not sure he knew what he was doing right up until he put the hat on his head.

-- Re: Lemon: Sadly he won't be coming back to Athens. I'm not sure exactly where he is going, but I'll check with Coach Williams at GMC and let you know (remind me if I forget). Haven't seen his brother play in person, but I've heard good things through our preps writer.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't put much stock in anything coming from the 2 live screws. I think there biggest scoop has to do with who can down the most alcohol and who can make the bigger fool of himself.