Let’s start the week off with a dash of perspective.
It is pretty clear DawgNation is not happy with the team’s record and offensive output. The quarterback position has been a target, but I’d like for everyone to consider the following questions. That should determine their own inner strife regarding UGA football.
- UGA brought in a transfer quarterback this summer. He won the job. What does that say about the quarterbacks in the program? (HINT: There are not three future NFL draft picks duking it out for playing time.)
- UGA lost Heisman Trophy contender Nick Chubb to a season-ending injury. That exacerbates the issue above. His talented backup, Sony Michel, has also endured nagging ills of his own.
- Scan the depth chart at receiver. The cupboard essentially just has a big box of Malcolm Mitchell. That’s it as far as potential impact players who have shown glimpses this season. Mitchell is a senior. Terry Godwin is a freshman. Junior Reggie Davis also has shown potential as a deep threat. The previous two issues (QBs, Nick Chubb injury) are only magnified by the lack of playmakers at this position.
- What sort of offensive output should be expected given those warts in the baddest conference in the land?
The current crop of incoming recruits should serve as immediate triage to each of those problem areas. They are potential impact players at quarterback, running back and certainly at wide receiver. The depth there is so shallow UGA could sign five or even six receivers in this class.
Wait ’till next year. Wait until these new recruits arrive. Those are the same tired lines, but those who follow college recruiting for a living are quick to point out that UGA’s in-state and out-of-state recruiting is operating at an extremely high level. A coaching change would no doubt spoil that future. Banking on freshman recruits has never been good for the business of winning games in the SEC, but the recruiting plan of the current staff is working. That’s the best chance for UGA to match up with what DawgNation hopes to see on the field in 2016 and 2017.
Those personnel issues are being addressed with exemplary recruiting. UGA should finish this year with a Top 5 recruiting class. At least.
Can FSU’s loss be UGA’s gain?
The story involving 20174-star linebacker Vandarius Cowan is today’s latest example that the hearts and minds of teenage boys will always be a very fickle science. Cowan visited Miami (Fla.) over the weekend and promptly de-committed from FSU. It likely didn’t have a thing to do with watching the Hurricanes get thumped, but maybe FSU’s heart-wrenching loss to Georgia Tech played a part.
Truth be told, it is not outlandish to think that Cowan just had a change of heart and decided his inner conflict was enough to re-open his recruitment. Cowan told DawgNation at Dawg Night that UGA was his No. 2 school. He also said the only way he’d de-commit from FSU was if the school burned down.
Well, let’s just say that the campus in Tallahassee is still intact. We really just never know with these guys.
Future looks bright: The weekly Jacob Eason sunshine
Jacob Eason, the 5-star quarterback commitment, continues to excel with a lot of eyes on him. Eason produced five touchdowns with his arm and another score on the ground in front of an ESPNU audience. His weekly DawgNation highlight reel continues to red-line the optimism.
UGA offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer also visited Eason way out in Washington at his latest game. Tony Eason, Jacob’s father, told DawgNation that he can see those two guys having a life-long friendship.
UGA Honor roll shines light on a commitment excelling at a new position
Deejay Dallas, a junior at Glynn Academy, committed to UGA back in July. He was projecting to be a safety or a receiver on Saturdays. Well, he’s showing off a whole new skill set on Friday nights this fall. Dallas was handed the reins at quarterback and told to make plays.
Dallas has played so well in his new role that his head coach said he could be another Nick Marshall at the position. He ran for more than 200 yards on the ground in his latest start and his coach also believes that Dallas has an SEC arm and impressive leadership qualities.
UGA needs to add another quarterback for the 2017 class. DawgNation also usually clamors to recruit more dual-threat quarterbacks. Could an answer to both issues already be committed to UGA?
ICYMI: Kyle Davis did not commit last week
The biggest recruiting story of last week was supposed to be finding out what 5-star receiver Kyle Davis was going to do. Archer’s talented senior prospect was set to choose between UGA, Auburn and Tennessee. He planned to make his announcement after the Central Gwinnett game but then tweaked that plan to wearing the hat of his chosen school onto the field prior to the game.
Davis then opted out of that plan and stated he needed more time. He will enroll early so expect his decision to come sooner rather than later. Davis has been rated by at least one service as the No. 1 receiver in the nation for 2016.
Injury updates among the 2016 commitments
Elijah Holyfield, a 4-star running back commit, returned to the field last Friday and even reached the end zone. He was back after missing almost an entire month due to a foot injury.
The news wasn’t so good for UGA commitment Chauncey Manac. The 4-star defensive end and linebacker prospect injured his ankle two weeks ago against Turner County and was sidelined on Friday night. His status has not yet been determined for this week’s game against Charlton County.
Good news with the best safety in the state of Georgia
Peachtree Ridge safety Nigel Warrior rates as a 4-star prospect and is also ranked as the No. 4 safety in America for 2016. The son of Tennessee great Dale Carter is a tantalizing prospect at safety. His skill set and instincts are off the charts.
He told DawgNation on Friday night that UGA is in his Top 6 and said that the program was one of a handful of teams who have increased their chances at signing him of late.
UGA commit is testing the waters but states his commitment is solid
Senior defensive back Chad Clay has been committed to UGA since April. He patrols the same high school secondary with Warrior. He told DawgNation that he really enjoyed his official visit to UGA for the Missouri game, but still plans to take official visits to Mississippi State and Oklahoma.
That’s concerning, but it should be seen as a recruit doing his due diligence. He said that he’s “pretty locked in” with UGA and it would take a tremendous showing by Mississippi State or Oklahoma to make him reconsider his commitment to UGA.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.