Sunday, February 6, 2011

First the ACC, now the World!

After failing to be invited to any of the postseason collegiate All-Star Games, former 2-time "All-ACC" center and walking human-interest story Sean Bedford has silenced all the doubters and is now playing professional football!

In Spain.

Bedford is playing "futbol Americano," near Madrid, Spain, for Los Osos Rivas. Crowds are in the dozens. The team doesn't have a full practice field. Some players, who vary in age from 18 to 43 and weigh between 130 and 330 pounds, don't have cleats. Bedford plays four positions and was recently promoted to player-coach because one of the team's five coaches quit.


"One of our offensive linemen works as a cook at a local school, which allows us to use their cafeteria for lunch," Bedford said.

How quaint. I hear Bedford has actually become quite a popular player over there, as diving at the other guy's knee-caps really whips the "dozens" of Spaniards on-hand into a frenzy. No word on whether he's been plunked by any fireworks or urine bombs as of yet, but the season is still young.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Era of Good Feelings

For its participants, Wednesday's National Signing Day event in the Edge Center was all about feeling good: Feeling good about "where they are" as a program, feeling good about all the fine players they got, and feeling good about how things went exactly like they thought they would. As with most things Johnson, there was nothing exciting to speak of in the final moments; no Isaiah Crowells or Tony Stewards or Stephon Tuitts to thrill the crowd. That is, unless you classify plucking some linebacker away from Wake Forest as "exciting." Instead, it was the typically blissful circlejerk about all the "high character" young men who will no doubt empower snooty Tech fans to stick up their noses in future seasons as the ugliness inevitably unfolds on-field. But certainly Coach Johnson wouldn't have recruited a single one of them if he didn't "think" they could all play legitimate BCS conference ball? To hear him tell it, there was never a doubt, and the process was smooth sailing every step of the way:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The final score

“We want to be (recruiting) throughout the state. There are enough good players in the state of Georgia (that) if we can get the best players, we can be successful. If we can get the best players in Atlanta, we’ll be pretty good.”

Coach Paul Johnson, 2/3/10

A list of committed 2011 prospects holding offers from both Tech and UGA:
Data obtained from

Sterling BaileyDE45.8GAGeorgia
Devin BowmanATH35.7GAGeorgia
Chris ConleyWR35.7GAGeorgia
Watts DantzlerOL35.7GAGeorgia
Zach DeBellOL35.7FLGeorgia
Ray DrewDE56.1GAGeorgia
Amarlo HerreraLB45.8GAGeorgia
Nick MarshallATH45.8GAGeorgia
Xzavier WardOT35.7GAGeorgia
Justin Scott-WesleyWR45.8GAGeorgia
Quan BrayATH45.8GAAuburn
Chevelle BuieRB45.8FLEast Carolina
Anthony ChickilloDE45.9FLMiami(FL)
Xzavier DicksonDE45.9GAAlabama
Erique FlorenceDB45.9ALAuburn
Taylor GadboisOL35.6GAMiami(FL)
Doran GrantDB46.0OHOhio St
Carlos GrayDT35.5NCNC State
Demetrius HartRB56.1FLAlabama
Jeoffrey PaganDE46.0NCAlabama
Brian RandolphDB35.7GATennessee
Terrance SmithLB35.7GAFlorida St
Tony StewardLB56.1FLClemson
Ja'Juan StoryWR45.8FLFlorida
Stephon TuittDE56.1GANotre Dame
James VaughtersLB45.9GAStanford
Jabriel WashingtonATH35.7TNAlabama
James Wilder Jr.ATH56.1FLFlorida St
Karlos WilliamsDB56.1FLFlorida St

0 for 29 vs UGA (.000)

AJC Top 50 commits by school
In parentheses: Stars, Rating, Nat'l position rank, overall nat'l rank according to

1. RB Isaiah Crowell (5, 6.1, 4, 23)
2. DE Ray Drew (5, 6.1, 1, 9)
3. TE Jay Rome (4, 5.9, 4, 56)
5. ATH Nick Marshall (4, 5.8, 15, NR)
6. WR Malcolm Mitchell (4, 6.0, 1, 30)
9. OL Xzavier Ward (3, 5.7, 42, NR)
11. WR Chris Conley (3, 5.7, 37, NR)
12. CB Damian Swann (4, 5.9, 3, 47)
22. S Corey Moore (4, 5.8, 5, 103)
25. DE Sterling Bailey (4, 5.8, 8, 105)
27. ILB Amarlo Herrera (4, 5.8, 13, 230)
29. WR Justin Scott-Wesley (4, 5.8, 32, NR)
30. OT Watts Dantzler (3, 5.7, 44, NR)
33. ATH Chris Sanders (3, 5.7, 24, NR)
41. C David Andrews (3, 5.7, 9, NR)

17. OLB Jabari Hunt-Days (4, 5.8, 11, 187)
19. ATH Chris Milton (3, 5.7, 22, NR)
39. RB Zach Laskey (2, 5.4, NR, NR)
49. RB Broddy Snoddy (3, 5.6, NR, NR)

And just for kicks...

15. TE C.J. Uzomah (3, 5.7, 20, NR)
16. DT Gabe Wright (4, 5.8, 13, 141)
18. RB Quan Bray (4, 5.8, 5, 109)
31. OG Thomas O'Reilly (3, 5.6, 43, NR)
46. OLB Justin Garrett (3, 5.6, NR, NR)

24. WR Demarco Robinson (3, 5.6, NR, NR)
26. RB Marcus Caffey (3, 5.7, 37, NR)
44. RB Josh Clemons (3, 5.6, 54, NR)
50. S Ashely Lowery (3, 5.6, 59, NR)

28. QB Martay Mattox (3, 5.6, 27, NR
31. S Kadetrix Marcus (3, 5.7, 30, NR)
43. OT Quincy McKinney (3, 5.6, 61, NR)
47. OG Kyle Harris (3, 5.6, 37, NR)

7. ILB A.J. Johnson (4, 5.8, 8, 136)
14. S Brian Randolph (3, 5.7, 32, NR)
21. OT Alan Posey (3, 5.7, 46, NR)
40. ILB Christian Harris (3, 5.5, NR, NR)
48. ATH Vincent Dallas (3, 5.7, 35, NR)

How sad is it that football powerhouses like South Carolina and Kentucky seem to be recruiting the state of Georgia just as well as Georgia Tech?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's like we're losing recruits to Wake Forest or Maryland or somebody

Georgia Tech has lost its fifth committed recruit in two weeks.

Southwest Guilford(NC) QB Airyn Willis confirmed to the AJC late Tuesday that he will be signing a National Letter of Intent Wednesday with (friggin') Wake Forest. Willis had been committed to Tech since April and had shown no public indication before Tuesday of having contemplated the switch.

From the AJC story:

“We [had] a really close relationship with Coach [Andy] McCollum and we hated to disappoint him,” Willis said. “But like my Dad told him, people have to understand we have to do what’s in my best interest. Somebody has to be disappointed and unfortunately it’s Georgia Tech.”

Indeed Coach McCollum was responsible for Willis's recruitment and dropped the ball once again, just as he did with Stephon Tuitt two weeks prior. Rivals also reports that McCollum was assigned, along with A-backs coach Lamar Owens, to the ill-fated recruitment of Tre Jackson. In fact does the above quotation not look all too familiar?

... somebody’s going to have to be disappointed and today it’s Georgia Tech. Tomorrow it’s going to be Georgia Tech and the next day it’s going to Georgia Tech because recruiting stops now.

Is Coach McCollum a crack recruiting coordinator or is he the proverbial "nice guy" who's "going to have to be disappointed" as the girl he loves chooses another man while he watches broken-heartedly from the "friend zone"? Poor schlub.

News of Willis's decision was first broken earlier in the day by the Greensboro News & Record, which cited "multiple sources" headlined by this damning quote from his high school coach:

"He was told in the spring (by the Georgia Tech staff) that he was going to play quarterback," Southwest coach Scott Schwarzer said Tuesday. "When he visited a few weeks ago they told him he was playing receiver."

If this is true, it wouldn't be the first time Johnson and company have lied to a recruit. A month ago, we highlighted a Colorado Springs Gazette piece which documented the negative recruiting and lies sold to recruits by the Navy coaching staff in Paul Johnson's final season at the Academy. This also makes you wonder, for instance, what kind of bunk Johnson has been filling in the head of a young man like Vad Lee, who has openly tweeted his intentions of being the first ever triple-option QB to be drafted in the first round(of the NFL draft, not the CFL, presumably).

Upon being awakened to the truth, Willis was surely met face-to-face with the prospect of being a "2nd receiver," if he was lucky, sentenced to a career of cut-blocking and catching 5 passes a year in the Cheese Ball Offense. He thus chose instead to try his hand at slot receiver in a more balanced attack at lowly Wake Forest. This illustrates yet another profound difficulty in recruiting for Johnson's offense-- while he may be able to advertise the successes of a supremely-gifted #1 receiver like Demaryius Thomas, it will be prohibitively difficult for him to obtain more than one halfway-decent receiving prospect at a time. This means Tech must generally place all its eggs in a single basket at the position, and if that one player turns out to be a dud(a la Stephen Hill), then there is no one else available who is talented enough to develop into a legitimate major league receiving threat.

But has the story been written or will there be further "surprises" as we approach recruiting's biggest day? As Stinktalk poster gtzulu asked, will "NSD" stand for "Now they Stop Decommitting"? Certainly Coach Johnson's bungling must have even the most die-hard of flunkies questioning all they thought they knew about the mechanics of college football recruiting.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Chuck Oliver blogger gets it, exposes Johnson Problem to larger audience

Kudos to blogger Chadd Scott on the Chuck Oliver website, who wrote a scathing piece last Thursday on Paul Johnson's recent misadventures in recruiting. Though we don't necessarily agree with his appraisal of the neanderthal-ish goon as a "smart man," that should in no way detract from the substance of his article.

Scott incisively dissects Johnson's "Aycock Rule" using arguments right out of the FPJ handbook, mentioning the antiquated nature of the practice, the extra recruiting impediment placed upon Georgia Tech, and the indecisiveness characteristic of 18 year old kids. He further calls on Johnson to "wake up, grow up and stop being stubborn."

Scott says that if Johnson is confident in his abilities as a recruiter, he should encourage his recruits to take other visits if that is their wish. He adds that Tre Jackson's visits to FSU and Miami did not necessarily mean Tech was out of the picture for his services-- a point which has only been accentuated now that Jackson may no longer be in line for a commitable offer from either school barring an 11th hour reach.

Scott then turns his attention to the poor overall quality of the 2011 class and to the talent drain which we have so feverishly cataloged:

Jackson is exactly the kind of prospect the Jackets need to be signing and aren't. He's a major talent at a huge position of need for a team that is suffering through a major talent drain.


it's plain to me that this program is in danger of a major downward spiral - if it hasn't started already. Look at what FSU, Clemson and North Carolina are doing in recruiting. They're getting playmakers sought out [at] all the top programs. Georgia Tech has too many commits from players choosing between it and UAB.

Cue the Slurpers ready to accuse Mr. Scott of being a secret "UGAGer" and of perhaps even moonlighting as the publisher of this very blog.

In all, we must say that Scott's article is an insightful read for any true Tech fan sensibly concerned with the program's welfare. Together with Ingram Smith's sobering assay of Johnson's 2011 class, it indicates Chuck Oliver's website as a welcome haven of objectivity in the often ingratiating world of recruiting news and analysis.

(Credit to WrecksNEffect for the heads up)