Richt on ESPNU: Crowell to contribute "heavily"
Georgia hasn't officially told us that Isaiah Crowell's LOI is in, but I'm assuming it is because Mark Richt is talking about him on national television. Asked how much the tailback would contribute in 2011, Richt answered "heavily."
“I expect him to come right in and compete right away," Richt added. "I wouldn’t be shocked to see him run that rock in the dome against Boise State, on the opening play if he does what he's supposed to do.”
And of Crowell pulling out a mini-Uga at his signing ceremony: “I thought it was awesome. I think Uga would be proud,” Richt said.
In a bit of an understatement, Richt said "we're having a great offseason right now."
We local hacks get our shot at Richt in a few minutes.
2:04 p.m.: Recruiting rankings
After the Crowell decision, Georgia has moved up in all the recruiting web site rankings: Fifth in Scout.com and sixth in Rivals.com and ESPNU.
It appears that Georgia is done for the day, after Tre Jackson signed with Florida State. But the Bulldogs may not be done, period: Nose tackle John Jenkins is set to announce on Saturday.
Mark Richt is due to have his news conference at 3 p.m. We'll have updates from there.
1:33 p.m.: Crowell decision
Isaiah Crowell has announced for Georgia.
I'm going to give this its own blog post.
1:10 p.m.: The waiting continues
Since we last spoke - and I went home to honor a verbal commitment to walk my dog - Georgia has signed the last of its known commitments. Safety Chris Sanders signed, bringing the class to 24.
Now I'm back at the Butts-Mehre, where a few fans have trickled back in, waiting for the 1:30 p.m. scheduled announcement by Isaiah Crowell. The Ledger-Enquirer is all over the scene, and live-streaming the announcement. Hopefully it doesn't crash.
12:05 p.m.: Turene signs, more from Richt and company
Kent Turene's letter-of-intent has arrived, Georgia announced.
Mark Richt opened it up for questions from fans earlier, and the first queery was about Malcolm Mitchell. Richt started to speak about Mitchell before someone pointed out that he hadn't signed yet. Then a few minutes later Richt's phone buzzed.
"Malcolm Mitchell is a Dawg!" Richt announced, and there was much rejoicing.
Tight ends coach John Lilly, who happened to be at the microphone, did the same thing a bit earlier when Jay Rome's letter arrived.
Here's a bit more from my transcription machine:
“We’ve had to battle a little bit more than usual in recruiting,” Richt said. “But I really believe that this class will end up being the largest and most talented and the best bunch in the 11 years now (I’ve been at Georgia.)”
Richt said the dream team concept came more because they knew the state had a lot of talent this year. And Richt even mentioned the "2012 Georgia dream team." Oh no, it's starting again.
When a fan started to praise Richt and say how much he loved him as coach, Richt said "hold up, hold up" and handed the man the microphone.
Secondary coach Scott Lakatos said this about signee Nick Marshall:
“Nick Marshall is one of the most amazing athletes that I think we have in this class. ... He’s a guy looking at defensive-back wise, I don’t usually get to coach guys like this. … He’s very athletic. He’s physical. He’s got good size to him. We’re looking forward to lining up at corner and there might be some things we try to utilize him on the other side of the ball.”
11:45 a.m.: Ramik Wilson is in
The middle linebacker from Tampa has faxed in his LOI. So Georgia is up to 22 signees, by my count, with Chris Sanders and Kent Turene also committed.
11:30 a.m.: Richt and coaches speak, other massive updates
Whew, we've got a lot to cover in this post: While we were listening to Mark Richt address the fans, MLB Kent Turene announced for Georgia in his Florida hometown. And a slew of other players faxed in their LOIs: Jay Rome, Malcolm Mitchell, Justin Scott-Wesley and Hunter Long. (Scott-Wesley decided to fax in his today after all.)
Turene is a good get for Georgia. From reports down in Florida he actually walked into his presser with a Texas Tech hat on - which should have been the first clue he wasn't going there. So he took off the hat and signed for Georgia. (I'll let you all chime in on what you think of that.)
OK, as for what Richt and his coaches had to say:
- Mitchell, whose LOI arrived while Richt was speaking, could play receiver or defensive back. "He's a playmaker on either side of the ball," Richt said. They've spoken to him about each position, the coach said.
- Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said Ray Drew would play the "Will" linebacker position, which was vacated by Justin Houston. Richt also called Drew a "great recruiter."
- Secondary coach Scott Lakatos called Nick Marshall "one of the most amazing athletes in the class. ... I don't usually get to coach guys like that."
- Quarterback Christian LeMay has gained 10 pounds since enrolling at Georgia. Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo called LeMay a great athlete, comparing him to Aaron Murray, and said between those two and Hutson Mason they feel they have three guys that can play.
- Richt also said he hopes to have a new offensive line coach "relatively soon," and said it could happen by next week.
10:58 a.m.: Damian Swann's LOI is in.
The cornerback from Atlanta committed last month and was the start of Georgia's strong run of commitments.
10:42 a.m.: The scene at Butts-Mehre
About a couple hundred fans are in the atrium at, watching the in-house Georgia feed of recruits coming in. I think they're going to dial up ESPNU for Isaiah Crowell's announcement, and if they do I plan on watching it with them out there. We've got a TV here in our room, but it would be more interesting to watching the reaction of Bulldog fans.
Actually, what I'd like to do is send out a tweet saying Crowell has signed somewhere - Georgia or Bama - and then go out and watch the word spread around the crowd. I imagine it would be like Tahir Square in Cairo whenever word starts to spread that Hosni Mubarack is resigning, or not resigning, or whatever. Only the reaction at the Butts-Mehre would be more violent or celebratory, depending on the decision.
Unlike some schools, Georgia isn't doing a "fax cam" - a camera fixed on the fax machine as LOIs come through. Alabama and LSU have one, apparently. As I remarked on Twitter, how awesome would it be if a camera were fixed on it as a fax from the NCAA rolled through notifying them of an investigation. Or Nick Saban's grocery list.
10:19 am.: Another two roll in
Offensive lineman Zach DeBell and defensive back Corey Moore have been faxed in. Well their LOIS were. Not the players themselves. That'd be difficult to do.
By our count, it's now 16 signees with seven committed players yet to fax it in. (The Valdosta twosome of TE Jay Rome and WR-DB Malcolm Mitchell, MLB Ramik Wilson, OL Hunter Long, S Chris Sanders, CB Damian Swann and WR Justin Scott-Wesley. The latter guy is signing on Thursday.)
10:12 a.m.: Richardson chooses Tennessee
Offensive lineman Antonio Richardson has chosen Tennessee, as most expected, though Georgia made a late run at the highly-touted recruit.
So Richardson and Jeoffrey Pagan don't announce for Georgia today. We're awaiting word any minute on Kent Turene, the middle linebacker, and some kid from Columbus is also supposed to announce later today.
10:03 a.m.: Two more
Georgia has received a letter-of-intent from Carver High School in Columbus .... Quintavius Harrow, the linebacker. We'll have to wait till later today to see if there's another one.
(Incidentally, the official spelling of Harrow's first name is as above, without an 'o'.)
Speaking of spelling, Xzavier Ward, the offensive lineman from Moultrie, has also faxed in his LOI. And speaking of Xzaviers, former UGA target Xzavier Dickson did sign with Alabama, as he announced last month.
9:43 a.m.: Another one
Devin Bowman from Rossville, Ga., has faxed in his LOI, so he becomes No. 12 for Georgia. Bowman is a 6-foot cornerback, rated a three-star by the recruiting sites.
One interesting nugget: Rodney Garner, during an online chat, said the Bulldogs had a "couple" commitments that aren't public. I'm not going to hazard a guess on who Garner is referring to, but I'll let the rest of you.
9:23 a.m.: Herrera becomes official
UGA has confirmed Amarlo Herrera's signing. The middle linebacker from North Clayton, Ga., becomes No. 11 on the official list for Georgia.
Nathan Theus was the first to send in his LOI, at 7:03 a.m., according to UGA.
9:10 a.m.: Pagan chooses Alabama
Defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan just opted for Alabama, thus becoming the first recruit in about a month to spurn Georgia for another school. (The last big one, Xzavier Dickson, also picked Alabama. I'm not counting OL Taylor Goodbais sticking with Miami, because that mainly happened because Georgia got Xzavier Ward.)
Pagan, a top 50 recruit according to Rivals, would have been a good get for Georgia, but the Bulldogs didn't think they were in the running for him until about a week or two ago. Plus they have Ray Drew, Sterling Bailey and others at the edge rush spots.
8:38 a.m.: Another one
Watts Dantzler, the offensive lineman and unofficial cheerleader of this recruiting class, has faxed in his stuff.
8:29 a.m.: Another LOI comes in
Sanford Seay, the wide receiver from Lee County High School, has filed in. That brings the total to nine.
8:13 a.m.: UGA announces first LOIs
DE-LB Ray Drew, CB Nick Marshall, DE Sterling Bailey, OL David Andrews, LS Nathan Theus and DT Chris Mayes have faxed in their letters-of-intent, according to UGA. So have QB Christian LeMay and WR Chris Conley, who were already enrolled.
Jeoffrey Pagan is due to make his announcement at 9 a.m. Then Kent Turene is supposed to make his pronouncement at 10 a.m., and the big one, Isaiah Crowell, comes around 1:30 p.m.
7:58 a.m.: Mr. Blog Man checks in.
Welcome to the Butts-Mehre building, where I can report that there are free donuts and coffee for fans. But I can't promise anything about the coffee still being there by the time you arrive.
I'll be here all day, reporting the LOIs as they come in. And of course I'll be reporting other stuff. So ... let's get it started, as the Black Eyed Peas would say.
(The original title of that song, of course, is not "Let's get it started." Feel free to google it. )
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Richt on ESPNU: Crowell to contribute "heavily"