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Thursday, June 17, 2010

From the Mailbag: Recruits, Projections & Al Bundy

You know what I could really go for this morning? Some mailbag. Let's get to it...

Timothy writes: There is conflicting info all over the internet whether Jarvis Jones will have to sit out this year and have 3 years left or will he be able to play immediately. Could you find the straight answer?

I've got a full update on Mr. Jones for you, but let's get to one more inquiry first...

@ugakerri writes: Will (Jarvis Jones) play OLB or ILB?!

OK, first off, Jarvis Jones could apply for a waiver that would make him eligible to play this season, although the likelihood of that petition being granted by the NCAA could be slim.

Regardless, it won't matter. Jones won't apply for the waiver and is instead planning to redshirt the 2010 season, giving his neck a bit more time to heal and giving him a full year to learn the 3-4 defense at Georgia.

As for where Jones will play, he tells me the current plan is for him to start out at outside linebacker, but he feels he could handle either position and could make a switch down the road depending on how things go this fall.

So, no real impact from Jones this year (on the field at least) but he could step in nicely in 2010 if Justin Houston bolts early for the NFL draft.

Jim writes: Was Chip Brown informing us or being played? or both? Have you been in that position were information came too easily?

I don't know how Chip Brown came about all the information he had during the chaos of conference realignment during the past few weeks, but I do know he had much of the best information out there.

Of course, as Team Speed Kills wrote yesterday, not everything Brown wrote was accurate, and much of his information appeared to strictly favor whatever leverage Texas needed throughout the process. That's the problem with story sourcing -- those sources almost always have an agenda.

Now, the question becomes, is it OK to write stories based on sources that are clearly leaking info for a reason?

In most cases, I think that it is. After all, you have to get info from somewhere, and its rare that folks "in the know" are giving up juicy details without an agenda they're trying to further. Where Brown can be criticized, however, is in not pursuing things beyond the sources he had. The thing about having an agenda is -- if someone benefits, someone else is losing out. So when you have info that you think is likely good intel, you still need to follow up with others who may be affected. Had Brown talked to Baylor or members of the Texas legislature or key folks at Colorado or Missouri -- maybe some even better details emerge and the story is so clearly spun in the direction Texas wanted.

Part of being a reporter is being able to get information from trusted sources. But good reporting is about more than just accuracy. Just because the facts you have appear to be correct, that doesn't mean you have all the facts. And in Brown's case, that was usually the problem.

This whole scenario really was yet another good example of why journalism -- even in sports -- is something readers should respect and appreciate when its done properly. These decisions aren't easy ones, and I'd much rather have people who can be trusted making those calls.

Carter writes: Entourage has become so terrible that its hard for me to remember that I actually enjoyed the first few seasons. Its a little difficult to pinpoint exactly when things took a turn for the worst. I was still enjoying things up to when Vince balked at Aquaman 2, but its clearly been awful ever since the fire Ari/ hire lady agent/ Medellin crap. It really is a Sex and the City for bros, minus the dumbass puns.

Agreed. I can still watch and occasionally enjoy "Entourage," but it's clearly a shell of its former self. The problem is that, rather than making the characters deeper and more interesting, each season seems to make the guys more one-dimensional and boring. Of course, perhaps that's what makes it an accurate depiction of Hollywood.

In any case, if you're looking for a good "Entourage" replacement, might I recommend "Party Down" on Starz? It's about a bunch of aspiring actors schlepping as caterers to make ends meet. It stars Adam Scott, who was recently added to the cast on "Parks and Recreation," Ken Marino, who was awesome on "The State" back in the day, and Lizzy Caplan, who was apparently in "Mean Girls," but hasn't gotten famous by doing a bunch of coke and crashing her car into things.

The first two seasons are available for instant download on Netflix, if you're interested. I just watched the one where they party at Steve Guttenberg's house the other day, and it's an instant classic. Guttenberg!

David W. writes: I wonder what type of affect the Big 10 getting a championship game and Pac-10 maybe/probably getting one will have down the road on BCS. I feel like a lot of leverage the SEC "had" over the Pac-10 and Big-10 was the SECCG, but now if there's three comparable teams at the end of the season with the same record, and all can claim a conference championship game win, who goes to the national title game?

This is an interesting way of looking at the question, since most people view it the other way around. Texas and Oklahoma, for example, were both somewhat against the championship game because they felt it was an unnecessary obstacle to the BCS title game (not that playing a Big 12 North winner was much of an obstacle the past few years), and certainly the lack of a title game didn't keep USC or Ohio State from finding its way into the national championship hunt.

I think I tend to follow David's logic though. The conference championship game brings a ton of money and exposure, and it's as good a resume-builder as a team gets all year. Sure, someone has to lose that game -- but in the case of the SEC, the title game loser has still gone to a BCS game the past two season, too.

My only real concern now would be that, with the addition of a title game in the Big Ten and Pac-10, is there an increased motivation to avoid scheduling decent non-conference foes during the year?

Daniel writes: when can you start the Ealey for Heisman bandwagon? Is that bus empty, if so Ill drive. That guy scored 7 tds in one half in highschool. Thats beats Al Bundy by 3.

Ealey might have to get in line behind A.J. Green this season as Georgia's Heisman hopeful, but something tells me he has a much brighter future than selling women's shoes and driving a beat-up Dodge, too. Perhaps you can get a good deal on "Ealey for 2012 Hesiman" t-shirts now and be ahead of the game.

Vincent writes: Am I being overly pessimistic in that I expect AT LEAST 4 losses this year? each year we've broken in a freshman QB under Richt we've lost four. Before anyone mentions to me how easy our schedule is I'd like to point out 2001 and 2006 were not very difficult schedules in that 1. We had a fairly easy SEC west rotation and 2. We had a fairly easy OOC schedule.

I don't know if I'd call it overly pessimistic, particularly given how disappointing last year was despite a good bit of guarded optimism during the preseason. Still, I'd say four losses would be the high end of the spectrum for Georgia in 2010.

In 2001, everything was new for Georgia. There's much more stability in the coaching staff and particularly on offense this time around.

In 2006, Georgia lost two games (Vandy and Kentucky) that it would have won had Andy Bailey not missed numerous field goals while filling in for an injured Brandon Coutu.

Plus, as good as Stafford was, he was a true freshman with mediocre talent around him on offense. Aaron Murray will have been at Georgia for nearly two years by the end of the 2010 season and has 10 returning offensive starters, including a potential dominant O line, two high-caliber running backs and the best receiver in the country to throw to.

And then there's the schedule. As I wrote earlier this week, I'd expect Georgia to be the underdog in three games -- South Carolina, Florida and Auburn. Obviously Arkansas and Georgia Tech won't be easy wins -- although you can argue otherwise about Tech if you like. And I'm thinking Mississippi State keeps things interesting. But I just don't see the Dawgs fairing worse than 2-4 in those six games, and I just don't see another loss on the schedule.

So yeah, four losses might be just the right amount of pessimism. But I could probably make a better case for optimism.

Anonymous writes: I did NOT post that post. If I told you 6 times, you might finally get it.

Ah, our favorite anonymous poster is getting a little annoyed that I have written on several occasions that he penned a comment ranking SEC coaches which listed just 11 total coaches, ranked Derek Dooley five spots ahead of Mark Richt, and referred to Dan Mullen as "that coach from Mississippi State."

Apparently, Mr. Anon doesn't like when someone continuously writes misleading and ill-informed information over and over again without provocation despite the objections of others.

Irony really is hilarious, isn't it?

Gatorhater writes: Have you ever considered instituting a word limit on comments?

Sure, but it only takes two words to write, "You Suck." Although, that's the type of concise analysis I can usually get behind.

Anonymous writes: David, this anonymous fella really is ruining your blog. Yea, I know he has a right to speak his mind, but that isn't what he's trying to do here. What he's doing is some sort of self-help to relieve the demons in his head that are telling him that he is a loser, and that he can only liberate those demons by unleashing them on us. It is not your responsibility to care for the well-being of this little sick fella. Seriously, for the well-being of your blog, or at least the comment section, simply delete his posts so that the rest of us can read sensible posts. You do want to have sensible posts, right, and not posts from people with an agenda?

I get your point here, but I sort of resent the notion that our anonymous poster is mentally unstable. When I lived in San Diego, I used to occasionally listen to the homeless guy on the beach who wore a thong and camouflage jacket talk to himself about a CIA conspiracy to kill him… and he was far more coherent and rational than our anonymous commenter is.

Anyway, yes, I'll zap comments from him that go overboard. If they're kept to a paragraph or two and aren't utterly obnoxious, they can stay. The rest is simply inhibiting reasonable discussion, so I don't mind getting rid of it.

MauiDawg writes: Out of all this expansion talk I have yet to hear any explanation of how and when these schools will be incorporated into their new leagues....and what will immediately happen to the Big 12 for the upcoming season with members already out of association?

To the best of my knowledge, Nebraska is set to join the Big Ten in 2011, while Colorado is scheduled to bolt to the Pac-10 in 2012. From what I've heard, there's a sentiment to speed up that process for Colorado because no one is looking forward to two lame-duck seasons from the Buffs (not including this year with Dan Hawkins), and all parties probably benefit from moving on as quickly as possible.

As for this season, there won't be any significant effects to the schedule. There could be some shakeups for 2011 and beyond, however, as those schools swapping conferences will likely have to rearrange their non-conference slate to fit their new digs. Those decisions are still a ways off though and will be just a few of the many hiccups in this process as it continues to play out.

Bad writes: Why doesn't the Big 10 and Big 12 just switch names and be done with it? They are dumb names anyway (and people up north can't count), but that way the "history" can continue. Sort of. No one will notice...or care.

The creators of "Family Matters" thought that when they switched moms, too, but I'll be honest… after that, I just couldn't take the show seriously anymore.

Steve writes: How much will this affect recruiting in the southeast now that USC won't be able to poach there as effectively?

Wait, wait, wait… you mean to tell me you think a little thing like serious NCAA sanctions, reduced scholarships, a post-season ban for two years and a massive amount of bad publicity is going to stop Lane Kiffin from recruiting in the Southeast? Seriously, Steve, you're going to end up pumping gas for a living with that kind of talk.

Seriously though, by my count USC has grabbed nearly a dozen players out of SEC states since 2006, and you'd have to assume this hurts the Trojans ability to nab those types of athletes. For one, USC's reputation has been badly hurt. But more importantly, with the scholarship reductions, USC has to be even more careful who it offers, and the bottom line is that trying to recruit kids from the other side of the country is a much riskier proposition.

Anonymous writes: Is the photographer for the telegraph really named Jason Vorhees, or is that some kind of inside joke?

Nope, that's his real name. He's an excellent photographer, too. You should see the stunning series of landscapes he did at a small New Jersey-area park called Crystal Lake. Just beautiful. He does some interesting woodwork with a chainsaw, too.

HVL Dawg writes: When are you going to tell Mark Richt that his part-down-the-middle hairstyle is outdated. It looks terrible after a couple of hours under the headset. Tell him that he's old enough for a crewcut now.

I'd like to remind you that I spent most of the 2008 season working tirelessly to convince Richt to grow a mustache to no avail, so I'm not sure my opinion will carry much weight with him.

That said, showing up in a van for an in-home visit with the part-down-the-middle haircut and a '70s porno 'stache might have sent the wrong message to recruits, so he was probably right not to listen.

Anonymous writes: "Aaron is a special guy. He's very, very intelligent. He's going to bring a new energy, he's a fiery competitor and I can't wait to see what he does

Didn't I hear the same quote last year about Joe Cox?

To quote a very wise man, "Everything looks bad if you remember it."

Bernie writes: What is Kris Durham planning on studying now that he's graduated?

Durham graduated with his degree in education in June and is already enrolled in grad school to get his masters in the same subject. "I had my first and second graduate class (last week)," Durham said. "I didn't quite realize how much reading and writing I'd be doing, but it's awesome." He's taking six hours this summer, nine in the fall and hoping to have the degree finished by this time next year.

OK, a quick timeout from your usual mailbag festivities…

I had a handful of recruiting-related questions, and as you may or may not know, our old pal Fletcher Page is now covering recruiting (and other stuff) for Dean Legge's Dawg Post site. So, rather than offering you my own half-hearted attempt at answers, let's turn the mailbag over to Fletcher for a few minutes...

Hannah writes: I saw this morning that Nick Marshall committed to UGA as a dual-sport athlete -- and as a defensive back for football (not QB--guess I missed that scholarship change from Richt). I think this is great news!

My question is, how does doing football and basketball at the college level work? The seasons overlap, so what does the athlete do in Nov and Dec and Jan? Just asking what Marshall's athletic life might look like once he gets up here.

Nick is on football scholarship, which means he’s all football first. Anything he does with basketball will be after he has fulfilled his football responsibilities. Nick may practice some, or shoot around, or attend walkthroughs, but he most likely will not report for basketball until January.

He’ll miss mat drills, but will be ready to go for spring practice, unless of course the basketball team is making a run the NCAA Tournament.

This will be difficult for Nick to accomplish. Playing two sports is doable, but to perform effectively in both takes a special talent. I personally think Nick can become an SEC caliber shooting guard, but he is just as talented on the football field. I usually would be skeptical about a player trying to do both, but with Marshall I say let him do what he does. He’s just a ball player.

Jason C writes: Dean highlighted 4 guys UGA should try to get. Is it possible to get his take on where UGA stands with those 4 guys and how likely it is for them to actually sign?

Charone Peake, the top wide receiver in South Carolina, committed to Clemson this week. Georgia was his second choice, but in actuality, the Bulldogs were way behind Clemson for Peake’s pledge. In recruiting you never say never, but Peake looks to be a Clemson lock.

Isaiah Crowell will choose between Alabama and Georgia. The Carver Columbus running back initially wanted to wait until signing day, but lately he’s said he’s thinking about making his decision known at an All-Star game in early 2011. Georgia was Crowell’s childhood favorite, but he likes what Alabama does with running backs. This will go down to the wire.

Ray Drew is an elite defensive end, in my opinion. Dean Legge and I visited Drew in February, and I left that visit thinking the Thomasville Central standout was all Georgia. Since then, he has opened up, and seems to be enjoying the process. On the record, Drew is wide open, but I feel Georgia leads. The Bulldogs should sign Drew come February.

Stephon Tuitt does not appear to be high on Georgia. He attends Monroe High School, which is a short drive from Athens, but the proximity isn’t helping. Georgia Tech leads for Tuitt, and his mother really likes what the Yellow Jackets offer academically. Georgia is in his top five, but I Clemson, Notre Dame, Florida and Auburn appear to be ahead of the Bulldogs. Don’t count on Tuitt to sign with Georgia.

Will writes: What type of impact do you see Christian Lemay having in recruiting? I know he's said that he hopes to get some big uglies drawn in, but could he have some pull on the defensive side of the ball as well?

Christian already has helped reel in some talent to Georgia. Receiver Justin Scott-Wesley and East Hall’s Sterling Bailey mentioned Lemay after committing, both citing his abilities and Lemay’s religion as his strong points. (Obviously Lemay has run into trouble, but still).

Bailey, who projects as a defensive end or outside linebacker in particular was taking by Lemay. He said he wanted to room with him. Many kids I’ve talked to at camps and combines have mentioned getting texts from Lemay, asking to join in this Georgia class. I think a big name quarterback who enjoys texting should help. Lemay fits the bill.

David: Many thanks to Fletcher for his insights. He's actually posting a similar mailbag with a bunch more info -- including an update on the intentions of Watts Dantzler -- over at the Dawg Post today. You can check it out HERE … but it is a subscription site, so keep that in mind.

(Update: Here's more from Fletcher, posted for free, over at The Chapel Bell.)

Reptillicide writes: I'd be interested to know how Durham views his role this season, whether he thinks he can be the #2 guy behind AJ.

Durham expects to be more of a jack-of-all-trades among the wideouts this year rather than a true No. 2, but that doesn't mean he might not be second on the team in catches. But while Tavarres King and Rantavious Wooten are still working primarily at one or two positions, Durham has the experience and knowledge to play the X, Y and Z positions, giving him the versatility to stay on the field often. And from what coaches and players have been saying, that could be a big plus.

“From Day 1, I know he’s going to be a weapon," Green said. "The question is just going to be can he stay healthy, but he’s going to make some big plays."

Of course, the other big role for Durham will be as the savvy veteran leader -- and that's one he said he's actually relied on Green to pick up the slack with. “It’s definitely a new role for me because I’m usually more quiet and do my own thing," Durham said. "But A.J.’s definitely helping me out a lot.”

Anonymous writes: When did they get those combine stats, anyway? Do you have the date?
I am wondering if Washaun or Caleb participated in any of the run/jump stuff because of their knees (both of them... I mean both of the players, not both of their knees)

The combine that produced the rather dubious 40 times was part of an offseason workout held about three weeks after spring practice ended. It was actually the first time they'd done those drills in the past few years because it was the first time that Georgia had enough healthy players to make it worthwhile. Still, there were a few that didn't participate due to precautionary reasons, and I'm guessing Ealey and King were among them.

Harold writes: What are your thoughts on Bobo's security going forward? Could it be that Bobo is a great QB coach, and a work in progress as OC? Richt does not have the luxury of providing Bobo with a protracted learning process.

Bobo really seems to be the new Willie Martinez for fans, which I suppose makes some sense. Someone has to step up into the role of scapegoat, and he's the next logical choice.

I'm not going to bother making the case for or against Bobo, because I imagine it would have been much like doing the same for Martinez in years past. Your minds are likely made up until you see more success on the field. But I don't think that Bobo's job security should be in question. The bottom line is, if Bobo's head needs to roll at the end of this season, there's a good chance Richt is going, too. I'm not sure if there are too many head coaches around the country that get a mulligan on two coordinators in two years.

That said, I think this year will be a good stepping stone for Bobo. First off, he's been -- on average -- a pretty good coach during his three years as OC. Secondly, he's got a lot to work with on offense this season, and if he could turn Joe Cox into one of the most productive QBs in the SEC last year, I'm certain he can find some success with Aaron Murray.

But the biggest problems with Bobo have never been the big-picture issues. It's always about moments -- play calls so bizarre and frustrating that they tend to cloud all the quality work he does. Whether it be missing the fact that Cox was tipping plays with his footwork last year or the absurd toss sweep to Washaun Ealey at the goal line against Kentucky or any number of a dozen other micro issues -- that's what I think has turned so many fans off in recent seasons.

But again, I think this could be the year Bobo takes a step forward there, too. Richt insists he's going to be more involved in the day-to-day of the offense, sitting in position meetings and giving his input on plays. So perhaps the head coach's expertise can help iron out a few of the flaws in Bobo's game plan, and in the end Georgia ends up with a really strong identity on offense.

Or perhaps someone will be registering the domain name for by Week 4.

OK, folks, that's it for today's mailbag. But… we're actually getting some time with a handful of players this afternoon, so if you have some questions you'd like posed to Aaron Murray, Justin Houston, Brandon Boykin or Josh Davis, let me know and I'll try to track down some answers for you.


heyberto said...

Re: Entourage - I still love that show, and last year was not very good. For me, it all hinges on how good they write Ari and Drama. They can get WAY outside the bounds of normalcy with those two and it does not matter because they're so funny when they give them good material. The finale last season was great with Ari going in and blasting everyone with a paint ball gun at the new agency. Matt Damon was pretty funny too. Hope this season they give Ari more of his signature one liners.

Andy said...

Question for Aaron Murray- Have you spoken with any other qbs who started as freshman (Matt Stafford, Colt McCoy, David Greene, etc) about the pressures of the position and how to handle a leadership position as a freshman?

Thanks David!

Big Muddy Dawg said...

Can you ask Justin Houston if he carries a "Bad Mother******" wallet?

Dustin said...

Your knowledge of "The Simpsons" makes this blog the best

Anonymous said...

Going all the way back to Dooley, fans have been critical of play calling. They say the coach is too conservative and should open it up, and then when he opens it up, they say he should stick to basic football. Oftentimes, fans are bitterly critical but call for different things. We should pass more or we should run more.

Since Bobo took over, UGA has consistently been at the top of offensive categories. Sure, we struggled some at the beginning of last year, but he and Searles figured it out, and our offensive line finished strong. Good QBs want to come to Georgia for a reason, and part of that is Bobo.

Anonymous said...

Any news on Lemay's pending suspension or are we all still in the dark about that? I have not been kept up to speed the last few days.

David Hale said...

Richt can't specifically comment on any recruit until he's signed, so we won't hear anything unless his scholarship offer is pulled. I'm doubtful that will happen, but even if it might, it won't occur until after a final ruling is given by LeMay's school.

Anonymous said...

For the record I wanted Bobo to fired right along with Fabris, Jancek, Martinez, Van Hallenger and possibly even Gardner.
Three down and two to go.

Bobo should have never been given that job. The promotion of both Martinez and Bobo will taint Mark Richt's legacy at UGA. Hopefully he has stopped hiring friends and folks he has ties with and will now hire the best man for the job.

David Hale said...

Why is it that everyone who wants Rodney Garner fired thinks his name is "Gardner"?

Carter said...


You nailed the lack of character development with respect to Entourage.

The plot lines became awfully derivative after the first 2 or 3 seasons. Eric is overmatched in Hollywood then learns a valuable lesson, Vince acts aloof and nails random chicks, Drama's neurotic nature hinders his ability to succeed and enjoy life, and Turtle is Turtle. Even Ari has gotten a little stale recently. The boys get in a scenario where the deck is stacked against them, only to later come out on top. Rinse, lather, repeat.

The casting of the Vince and Eric characters was the major mistake in the series. Making E a likable, sympathetic character was crucial to the long term quality of the show, but the actor they chose lacks the ability to bring that across. Adrian Grenier is 2-dimensional and couldn't act his way out of a wet paper bag.

Obviously the show wasn't designed to have any artistic merit, but in the beginning, the premise was fresh and seemingly full of potential. That is until we realized how lazy the writers were and noticed that the actors playing E and Vince suck out loud.

This was far longer than I intended, and for that I apologize. In my defense there is literally nothing on TV this summer, its 110F and I am bored to death.

Anonymous said...

I personally blame "Garner" for the fiasco that occurred with Carver Columbus and lackluster 2010recruiting class.

Muckbeast said...

I think you are right that the actors playing E and Vince drag the show down.

E is a squirrely little twit, and the actor just isn't good enough to shake that off.

Vince is totally not believeable as an A list actor.

It is a shame because everyone else is amazing.