Running around to Give you the Reacharound
Making Sense of a Senseless Process
Like every other sane person, I claim not to care much for college football recruiting. Worrying about where 17 and 18-year-olds I've never heard of, whose names all sound the damn same, are heading to college seems like, and has proven to be, a colossal waste of time. Yet every year seems to play out the same way for this Dawg fan:
Winter-Spring-Summer: Georgia starts to receive verbal commits from 3 and 4 star recruits, mostly from in-state. Barely an eyebrow is raised, as every player sounds the same. Explosive speed! The (15-30th) ranked (position) in the (region)! A Georgia fan for life! Fills this need!
Occasionally a player's stats will blow your mind, like Matt Stafford's HS numbers, or in the case of this year, RB Washaun Early's. Actually what intrigued me most about Early and his HS teammate Dexter Moody was that they were from a town called Twin City, GA. Where the hell is that? Oh. Never seen a street view on GMAPS of a town square that prominently featured a tool shed and an abandoned parking lot.
This group also usually features the blue chip prospect (Murray, Stafford, AJ Green, D'Angelo Tyson) that Richt seems to stick his claws into early in the process. The type of player that if he signed with us on signing day, Georgia fans would be turning Japanese over, but we seem to take for granted early in the process. Probably because NOBODY HAS EVER SEEN ANY OF THESE PUBESCENT RUNTS PLAY AND/OR BARELY KNOW THEIR NAMES. THEY'RE HIGH SCHOOL JUNIORS FOR CHRISSAKE, YOU FREAK.
Late Summer-Fall: Georgia continues to fill out their class with top talent from across the southeast. For some reason, this seems to include a bevy of wide receivers best described as anywhere from 'mediocre' to 'above average.' And, oh yes, a bunch of white offensive linemen. Maybe even an undersized corner with blazing speed, as well as way too few defensive linemen.
Somewhere in late summer, you'll probably check the rankings for the first time to see where we stack up against the national powers.
"Oh...#9...cooool, basically where we end up every year, in every ranking."
"USC, LSU, Texas all up there? Of course. Fuckers."
"Good to see Notre Dame can still afford to buy players...ditto Ohio State and Ron Zook."
"Why is it Steve Spurrier always seems to recruit a good class at SC and yet they consistently blow?"
"Holy hell, why the hell would anyone want to go to FSU???"
Et Cetera. Once the real season starts, recruiting is nary a thought until you read a story about a top-ranked recruit sitting in on a particularly bad loss. Then you cringe.
January: The season is over. In the search for an ounce of football, your remote pauses on one of the fifty high school all-star games televised regionally or nationally. You see kids announcing their college choices on the sideline and wonder why the fuck your school didn't sign that guy. JEE-ZUS I THINK THAT'S THE 10TH GUY THATS SIGNED WITH ALABAMA DURING THIS FUCKING GAME. WHAT THE HELL ARE OUR COACHES DOING? FIRE WILLIE MARTINEZ!
The AJC starts covering high school recruiting like they would if there was a panda orgy at Zoo Atlanta. You can't help but read and be intrigued by the quotes of the young'uns on where they visited and what they thought. You start getting excited when some player (a 4-star!) says he's seriously considering your school. The same names start appearing over and over again, and you can now differentiate between the 'Jarvis Jones' and the 'Abry Jones.' Kids start flip flopping. You begin to hate all 17 and 18 year-olds, espicially the little fucker driving daddy's Beamer in front of you. You begin to resent Pete Carroll and his built in recruiting advantages, while acknowledging that if you were a big-time college recruit, you'd prolly pick USC in a split-second for said advantages.
Signing Day/Today: Georgia wiffs on some big names.
WHY THE HELL IS A WIDE RECEIVER COMMITTING TO TECH??? ENJOY WORKING FOR ERNST & YOUNG IN 4 YEARS, BROTHER.
SERIOUSLY...OTHER THAN THE NEW HUMMER, WAD OF CASH, A NEW HOUSE FOR YOUR MOM, AND ACCESS TO TRAMPS THAT ARE INTERCHANGEABLE AT ANY CAMPUS, WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF GOING TO FSU NOWADAYS? NAME THE LAST GREAT PROSPECT THAT LEFT THAT SHITHOLE AS HIGHLY REGARDED AS HE CAME IN. GOOGLE 1999 IDIOT.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE FENCE AROUND GEORGIA??? AW, FUCK THIS.
Then you begin to realize what I mentioned above. If the Earlys, Staffords, Greens, Murrays, etc. had just committed on signing day instead of early in the process, we'd be ecstatic. And isn't it better that they committed to Georgia so soon? Doesn't that signal their desire to be 'true Bulldogs' and their overall commitment to Georgia? Of course! And look, we still have a Top 10-15 class, Richt is a great coach, Garner is a great recruiter; and who knows, we might still get another guy, but if we don't, we didn't have many 'ships to give this year and we locked up a nice class early. I'm sure we'll be ahead of the game in 2010 too.
HOLY SHIT. MARLON BROWN. 6'5-205. LINING UP OPPOSITE 6'4 AJ GREEN. NO STARTING KRIS DURHAM! I LOVE SIGNING DAY.
(By the by, note "competitiveness" as one of his weaknesses. How the hell do you gauge that in a 17 year old? I once bullshitted my way out of almost a week's worth of practices in high school to hang up homecoming signs while flirting with girls. Dude has probably been the best athlete on every athletic field he's sniffed since he was seven years old. Who cares if he doesn't go across the middle in the 3rd quarter of a 42-0 game? Gimme a break. And also... dap to Brown for this prank.)
At the end of all this, Signing Day boils down to one day, between January and August, when College Football is King again. And no matter all the creepiness and empty emotion that is involved in this unique process, more college football is always a good thing. Fin.