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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Signing day blog

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 and sixth in 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. )


Anonymous said...

None compared to the two words that say it all... "Go Dawgs!"

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your hard work reporting on recruiting Mr. Blog Man.

Anonymous said...


Last year we offered and signed receiver Lonnie Outlaw on signing day. This was widely seen as an effort to get Nick Marshall this year (which they have), because they are friends/cousins and Outlaw did not qualify at the time. He later enrolled at GMC. With that in mind, are there any updates on Outlaw? Will he be coming in with the current class? Does his scholarship count towards this year?

Seth Emerson said...

Last I heard, Outlaw has another semester at GMC, and the earliest he would be at Georgia would be spring 2012. So no, he doesn't count towards this class.

Anonymous said...

Do LeMay and Conley actually have to fax in their LOI's? Can't they just walk them over from their dorm room or sign them @ the Athletic office? If they must be faxed, then do they send and receive on the same Athletic Assoc. fax #? On second thought, signing @ the Athletic office has to be some type of NCAA violation. Also, given that faxing is about to be an outdated technology - can they sign and send via email?

What happened before faxes? I guess signing day was kind of boring when they signed the LOI and put them in the mail. Did the reporters hang around the Athletic offices for days waiting for the mail?

I bet Andy Rooney liked signing day a whole lot better when the Pony Express not only delivered the mail with the new LOI's for the new signees but delivered it in shiny new cars paid off by SMU boosters and the former governor of Texas.

MarkS31 said...

Haha - I live in Tuscaloosa, and Bama has a fax cam so you can watch online as commits fax in their LOIs. I've never heard of that. Do the Dawgs have one of those set up? That must be riveting to watch.

masivatack said...

I was wondering about "Outlaw" the other day and checked out his receiving numbers at GMC. He was the leading receiver on a team that didn't throw the ball too incredibly much. At 6'6", I think that he could be a great red zone target once he is Athens in 2012 (assuming he keeps working and makes it here).

Here are his numbers:

Doug said...

Bama fax cam.

Anonymous said...

stupid question, but does it really have to be faxed? it can't be scanned and e-mailed?

Seth Emerson said...

Not a stupid question. I suspect by next year they'll be able to do that. The NCAA is allowing some players to do it this year if they're snow-bound and can't get to a fax.

Anonymous said...

So they only allow you to use technology if you're under duress? The NCAA, ladies and gentlemen!

Anonymous said...

Pagan would have been a DE, not the Jack OLB.

Anonymous said...

Did Corey Moore send his LOI?

Anonymous said...

Hey Seth for several years Richt done press
Conference earlier than 3pm he is doing it after
The Crowell announcement. Am I reading to much into it or do you think Richt is confident he gets him, don't think he would want to face media if he just lost him.

Brett said...

I have to believe that Crowell and Jenkins are silent commits. Wonder if we'll see any surprises other than possibly Turene?

Anonymous said...

Another odd question, how is Crowell pronounced? I think Rece Davis just butchered it by saying it Crow L. I've only ever read it and assumed it was cr-owell

Anonymous said...

It's pronounced the way Davis pronounced it (long "O"). I heard Crowell's coach say it that way, so I assume he's got it right.

Chris said...

Good to see Swann is in. Some recruiting services had him as a "soft verbal".

Anonymous said...

Turene to Texas Tech, wtf?!?

His Dudeness said...

I'm not sure that I'm all that excited to have a kid that walks in a room with a TTU hat and then signs with the Dawgs. And further, whether we get Crowell or not, I would like to see Ken Malcome emerge as a top back for the Dawgs in the fall. It's amazing how quickly players from recruiting classes of one year ago are written off when people start to drool over the next big thing.

Anonymous said...

Malcome was never a big time recruit or get last year was middle of road back uga saw as a maybe a future fb.

Anonymous said...

Seth! Some of us can't access twitter at work... keep the updates coming please!

I am hearing (from Dawg sports threads) that malcome mitchell and ken turene are in...

Any word?

His Dudeness said...

The point is it really doesn't matter how big of a recruit a kid is; some develop into being a lot more productive than their star rating would indicate. If I remember correctly Knowshown was a low 4 star and was not UGA's top priority at running back that year, one of the backs that signed with USC that year was.

How do you think some of the rising sophomore's feel about the "Dream Team"?? Hopefully the underclassmen on the team are excited about giving these new guys a dose of reality come fall and competing hard for PT.

Anonymous said...

Competition will make everyone better. I want to stock pile as much talent as possible. If we sign Crowell and malcome beats him out in practice I am all for him playing. Just because are pulling to sign more top guys does not mean have given up on any current players.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone been keeping an eye on Clemson's recruiting class? They've got a couple of 5-star commitments today, dayum.

Heyberto said...

I'm interested to see Mitchell at Receiver, as we're thin there.. but our secondary also needs a little help, so I guess that's hard to say.

PTC DAWG said...

I agree about the FAX. My work has basically phased it out. Scan and email is much more bettah. I use a little free program called cute PDF to make PDF files.

Anonymous said...

Crowell's got to be a done deal.

Anonymous said...

"and there was much rejoicing"

I see what you're doing there. . .

Anonymous said...

Yesterday, I talked to one of my former players who plays at Carver-Columbus now. Let's just say it will be a happy ending.

Anonymous said...

Hey Seth.... do you have a link to the live feed? Didn't see it on the website.

Anonymous said...

my bad... just found the link.

Anonymous said...

He's a Dawg!!!

OldDawg55 said...

...and now the work begins. Given the returnees and the great class just signed, I see nothing but challenges for the coaching class to mold our players into a championship team...we have the talent, now the sweat and study come into play. Hope Drew's challenge is felt by the entire team from seniors to newest freshman. To hell with redshirts, throw them in the fire and see if steel comes out. Go Dawgs, GATA!!