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Thursday, February 3, 2011

More signing day notes: LeMay, Grantham, and Crowell

OK, time to empty the notebook a bit. There was a lot to digest on signing day, and we couldn't get to all of it on Wednesday.

In case you missed any of it, here's my lead story from signing day in Athens.

And here is a capsule of Georgia's class, including breakdowns by state and star rating, and a comment on each recruit.

And here are my notes, leading with Bruce Figgins moving to fullback, but also talk of where Malcolm Mitchell - and Damian Swann and Nick Marshall- will play, and comments from Todd Grantham and Mike Bobo.

Now here's some more stuff that I couldn't get to before:

- Christian LeMay was asked what he’s been told about his role. Given that Aaron Murray had such a good freshman season, LeMay would seem headed for a redshirt – unless the staff wants him ready to be the backup, either to push Murray, let Hutson Mason take a redshirt, or both.

“I’m not thinking too deep into it,” LeMay said. “I’m just here. I’m just glad coach Richt and all the staff and gave me a chance to come here and play. … Whatever they have in store for me that’s what I’m going to do.”

- The angle of Drew as unofficial organizer of the class was not overblown. During Mark Richt’s news conferene, LeMay laughed when Drew’s status as ringleader was mentioned. LeMay later said he spoke often with Drew, and agreed that the Thomasville native took on a big role.

“Ray is somebody that everybody knows and everybody can get along with and have a good time with,” LeMay said. “So Ray is definitely a very integral member of this class.”

- Grantham said Drew would play at outside linebacker, and it sounds like that could happen almost immediately. As for the recruited inside linebackers – Amarlo Herrera and Kent Turene – Grantham said they’ll be a factor there with the guys coming back.

But a lot of that depends on whether they decide to play Jarvis Jones inside or outside. That decision apparently hasn’t been made yet.

As for Herrera and Turene, Grantham said they have good range, but are also physical.

“When they hit a back it’s a three-yard gain, it’s not a five-yard gain,” Grantham said.

- While the pending decision of Johnathan Jenkins is getting a lot of attention, the Bulldogs did sign one nose tackle: Chris Mayes of Griffin.

“I think what you have is a really big-bodied guy,” Grantham said of Mayes. “He’s an athlete. He’s a basketball player. I think he has a lot of upside down the road. He’s a big man that’s going to continue to get bigger. And when you have that kind of size and power with his kind of athletic ability and range I think you have a guy that can compete one-on-one up front and win some blocks.”

- Grantham was asked how closer this class puts the team to having the personnel to fit his 3-4 system. He started by pointing out that this was really their first recruiting class for his defense, since they arrived late last year.

This year’s class, Grantham said, has some guys that fit the mold, but so do some of the returning players.

“I think when you can mesh those guys together, I think that we’re getting closer to what we want to have out there,” Grantham said.

- Mike Bobo spent a lot of time talking about Isaiah Crowell. He agreed with the comparison to Robert Edwards, but scoffed a bit at the idea of Crowell as the savior of the offense.

“It was never: ‘Hey you’ll come in and do this for the program,’” Bobo said. “It was, ‘Hey you’ve got a chance to come in and play, and you’ve got a chance to come in and win an SEC championship for your state school.’ We recruited him like that for two years.”

This is how Richt evaluated Crowell as a prospect:

“He’s got great size and strength and speed. Agility. He’s got good hands,” Richt said. “We had him in camp this summer, we got a chance to see him run routes and catch the ball. He’s a very versatile guy.”

- Incidentally, I've gotten a few questions about the puppy that Crowell had at his ceremony. Chris White of the Ledger-Enquirer, who was there, reports that a friend gave Crowell the puppy for the ceremony. Crowell thought it would make a good prop.

Then the puppy and friend both disappeared in the madness after the ceremony. But basically, it appears Crowell didn't own the puppy, and he didn't even know its name.

(But man, was it a good signing-day moment.)


Anonymous said...

But we know he can run. CAN HE PASS BLOCK? Richt seems to forget this is what he stated about Ealey and King. Or does that matter with Crowell? Favoritism beginning????? I wonder.

heyberto said...

I have to say, I think Ray Drew is the next great Leader on the team... he's not even out of high school and it's showing. That has me excited.

Anonymous said...

Look out Uga this little puppy is being put out there. The Seiler's should take note.

Anonymous said...

Drew & Lemay probably should get most of the success for bringing in this class, except for Richt.

I'd like to see all the 5 stars get on the field and get snaps and then decide whether they're hype or the real deal.

Atticus said...

My biggest concern is the fact that we have a very poor history of success with our 5 star recruits. Stafford being one of the few that actually came through.

Atticus said...

My biggest concern is the fact that we have a very poor history of success with our 5 star recruits. Stafford being one of the few that actually came through.

Sam said...

So, if Mayes is also slated for NG, that means we didn't sign a single defensive tackle (5 technique). This was a great class and Thornton and Smith will be second year players, but shouldn't this be a big priority next year?

Anonymous said...

Whew!! I was waiting to hear that someone gave him that $$$ Dog. We all know how that would end up.

Anonymous said...

@Atticus I think that AJ more than lived up to the 5 star hype.

Anonymous said...

I have also heard that next years GA recruits are loaded with DL & LB guys. Good to hear Mayes was recruited to play NG, was wondering what we were doing for the future there since Jenkins would only be available for 2 years max.

dawgofdasouth said...

hopefully we get Jenkins and Mayes can get in on some plays preparing him for when JJ goes pro.As far as Crowell goes we don't need to destroy another backs ability running football on count of blocking issues.Just because coaches have erred in past cases they must learn and move forward .Hopefully that is what this season is about ,doing the things we done poorly in the past,better in future

Anonymous said...

Can someone remind me when Stafford "came through." Was it all of those SEC championships (not to mention the BCS Championships).

And don't give me this "first overall draft pick" crap. If that's the measure of success, then JaMarcus Russell is wildly successful.

Anonymous said...

What are the rumors about Belin leaving the staff?

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:39- yeah Stafford won 30 games in 3 years and finished number 2 in the country his sophomore year, in the toughest league in college football with a poor team around him. ( note Georgia's 14-12 record without him. Did I leave out we tied for first in the SEC east and won a BCS bowl game with him at the helm.) Since then he's cashed a 100+ million dollar contract at 21 years old, and he was just short of getting his degree, plus come back for big games, and been an all around loyal Dawg. What have you done for Georgia? Crickets.

Joeski said...

A couple of fleeting thoughts:
1) I agree with heyberto- the fact that Ray Drew has already established himself as a leader at least among his peers is a very encouraging sign
2) Crowell seems to have a sense of the moment and a good head on his shoulders for handling a big moment. The Bulldog puppy was a brilliant idea-- that picture is making a the rounds in the media, which means pub for UGA. (And it had the bonus effect off pissing of Herbstreit.)
3) I wouldn't worry overly much about pass blocking: it looks like Crowell was used a lot more on flare-outs and screens in passing situations in HS. Odds are, UGA will do the same with him. If they're going max-protect, I imagine we'll see King in there.

Anonymous said...

Just got mt degree and donated to the general scholarship fund, no biggie.