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Georgia’s Richt At The Podium – 7/19/12

Finally.  Just one more session to go and that’s with Georgia’s Mark Richt.  Expect questions about Isaiah Crowell, preseason expectations, his job status with a new contract, etc.

Also expect Richt to be laid-back as ever…

* Richt called it a “blessing” to be going into his 12th season at Georgia.

* Richt said the fact that so many veterans looked at the NFL and then chose to come back speaks well for the type of leadership his team can have this year.

* Asked if he’d rather play seven games at home or pay a big non-conference foe on the road, the coach said long road trips really “take a lot out of you.”  He said, “I’d like to have 12 home games if I could.”  What’s a coach going to say to that question?

* “I hope the media’s right” in their picks “this time,” Richt said.  He also said his team hasn’t done a thing yet.

* Richt was asked about new LSU quarterback and ex-UGA QB Zach Mettenberger and said he’s known him since he was a little “peanut.”  He said he hopes he wins every game he plays unless he’s up against Georgia.  Classy comments.  He also said Mettenberger would be competing for the starting job if not starting if he were still in Athens.  (Richt dismissed Mettenberger after an off-field incident.)

* The coach said that he thinks UGA is capable of winning the East Division each year.  He also said after Year One he felt that way which was a small bone tossed to Jim Donnan.

* Just got another “we” remark from a “media” member.

* Asked about UGA’s drug policy and if he’s lobbied for a uniform policy in the SEC, Richt said no.  He said he feels it’s up to the institution.  “I do think we’re doing the right thing for Georgia” he said of the Dawgs’ strict policy.

* Asked about interviewing at Missouri years ago, he said he didn’t turn down Mizzou and that the Tigers picked Gary Pinkel as the best man for that job… and they were “obviously correct.”  Can this guy give a non-classy answer?

* Richt said he wouldn’t have a problem with a commissioner being able to fire a coach.  (Yeah, but 99.9% of fans would.)

* The coach says Malcolm Mitchell will start out as a defensive player and then play more offense as the season goes on.  Richt said he went back and looked at Champ Bailey’s two-way stats while he was at UGA and found that he played more than 100 snaps per game after the first three games in a season.  He doesn’t know i

* Richt said he won’t update anything on suspensions today.

* Richt says quarterback Aaron Murray loves preparing for games as much as enjoys playing.

* Short and sweet.  Not a lot of questions for UGA’s coach.  Just 20 minutes.  Couldn’t be that folks are already leaving Hoover and headed home could it?  Nah.

 

Our overall grade of Richt’s “performance” based on comfort, friendliness, openness… we’ll give him a 5.  (Either we were easy this year or folks were much better.)  Richt answers what you throw at him and always seems to take even tough questions in stride.  He’s Ward Cleaver, Jim Anderson, Mike Brady, Cliff Huxtable.  If you had to pick a neighbor, deacon, or dad, Richt would be high on the list.

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SEC Headlines – 7/5/12

1.  Ex-Georgia running back Isaiah Crowell is reportedly already planning a move to Alabama State.  (UPDATE — But his mama says he hasn’t made up his mind yet.)

2.  This writer says South Carolina’s next athletic director is already set up to succeed.

3.  Alabama offensive tackle DJ Fluker is one of the SEC’s best players.

4.  Wisely, soon-to-be Texas A&M AD Eric Hyman plans to take stock of his surroundings before making any changes.

5.  Everybody continues to beat the hell out of the Aggies for their “Welcome to our new SEC Family” video.  (I’ve seen worse, people.  At least R. Bowen Loftin didn’t rap.)

6.  Sorry Rebel fans, but it’s rebuilding time again in Oxford.

7.  Two of Mississippi State’s best players also happen to have the best names: Ferlando Bohanna and Benardrick McKinney.

8.  This scribe says Arkansas’ new hoops practice facility is worth the time, effort and money.

UPDATE — Pro stadiums will now show the same replays that officials use to review calls.  (How long before the college game follows suit?)

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Georgia Tailback Thomas To Transfer

Georgia tailback Carlton Thomas announced on Tuesday he plans to transfer and will look to play at another school next season.

Thomas, who rushed for 361 yards and and two touchdowns as a junior in 2011, has one season of eligibility remaining. Thomas said in a statement:

“This decision was based solely on the fact that this is my last year to play, and my parents and I felt like it was the right move to make. I want to make more of an impact on the field.  I didn’t want to disrupt Georgia’s team and preparation for next season so I made the final decision to leave earlier rather than later in the year.”

It’s certainly questionable how much of an impact Thomas would have been able to make at Georgia in 2012. The Bulldogs return standout sophomore Isaiah Crowell and welcome highly-touted freshmen Keith Marshall, who enrolled in school in January, and Todd Gurley.

Ken Malcome, Richard Samuel and Brandon Horton will also return and compete for playing time in a crowded Georgia backfield.

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SEC Commitment Comparison – 1/31/12

National Signing Day is just hours away and that means it’s time for one last check of the current SEC commitment lists.  The new Big Board reflects movement at six different league schools since yesterday.  How much more shuffling can we expect in the next 24 hours?  You’ll have to stay with us right here at MrSEC.com all day tomorrow to find out.

We’ll be bringing you updated signing lists from all 14 league schools — including Missouri and Texas A&M all day — so you can keep up with your own school as well as your rivals.  We’ll also provide running blog updates as the last big name players make their announcements.  Will there be a Cyrus Kouandjio surprise this year?  Will use a mascot for a prop as Isaiah Crowell did a year ago?  We’ll have ya covered all day starting bright and early tomorrow morning.

All that said, here’s our final look at the SEC’s commitment lists according to quantity, quality, and high-end stars… followed by our pre-signing day rankings.  (As always, we’re using the star-rankings provided by Rivals.com.)

First, a look at the quantity of each school’s class:


School
Commits
5-stars
4-stars
3-stars
2-stars
1- & 0-stars
Total Points
1 Alabama
27
3
12
12
0
0
99
2 S. Carolina
25
0
8
15
2
0
81
3 Miss. State
26
0
3
20
3
0
78
4 Florida
21
2
11
7
1
0
77
5 LSU
22
0
9
12
1
0
74
6 Vanderbilt
22
0
4
18
0
0
70
7 Arkansas
22
0
2
19
1
0
69
8 Tennessee
20
0
10
8
2
0
68
8 Texas A&M
20
1
6
13
0
0
68
10 Kentucky
23
0
1
19
3
0
67
11 Georgia
17  1  5 10 1 0
57
12 Auburn
15
0
9
6
0
0
54
12 Missouri
18
0
1
16
1
0
54
14 Ole Miss
17
0
2
11
4
0
49



Next, a look at the quality of each school’s class:

School
Commits
Avg. Pts Per Commit
1 Florida
21
3.67
2 Alabama
27
3.66
3 Auburn
15
3.60
4 Tennessee
20
3.40
4 Texas A&M
20
3.40
6 LSU
22
3.36
7 Georgia
17
3.35
8 S. Carolina
25
3.24
9 Vanderbilt
22
3.18
10 Arkansas
22
3.13
11 Miss. State
26
3.00
11 Missouri
18
3.00
13 Kentucky
23
2.91
14 Ole Miss
17
2.88



And now a look at the high-end players only, the four- and five-star prospects:


School
5-stars
4-stars
Total
1 Alabama
3
12
15
2 Florida
2
11
13
3 Tennessee
0
10
10
4 Auburn
0
9
9
4 LSU
0
9
9
6 S. Carolina
0
8
8
7 Texas A&M
1
6
7
8 Georgia
1
5
6
9 Vanderbilt
0
4
4
10 Miss. State
0
3
3
11 Arkansas
0
2
2
11 Ole Miss
0
2
2
13 Kentucky
0
1
1
13 Missouri
0
1
1



And finally, we combine the rankings above to come up with our own final pre-signing day MrSEC.com Recruiting Rankings:


School
Quantity Rank
Quality Rank
High-End Rank
Total Points
Last Week’s Rank
1 Alabama
1
2
1
4
1
2 Florida
4
1
2
7
2
3 LSU
5
6
4
15
3
3 Tennessee
8
4
3
15
3
5 S. Carolina
2
8
6
16
5
6 Auburn
12
3
4
19
7
6 Texas A&M
8
4
7
19
6
8 Miss. State
3
11
10
24
8
8 Vanderbilt
6
9
9
24
10
10 Georgia
11
7
8
26
8
11 Arkansas
7
10
11
28
11
12 Kentucky
10
13
13
36
13
12 Missouri
12
11
13
36
14
14 Ole Miss
14
14
11
39
12



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Richt All Smiles Over New UGA RB

Georgia’s latest five-star running back is already on campus, in class, and giving his head coach reason to smile.  Here’s what Mark Richt had to say about Keith Marshall yesterday:


“He’s a very talented young man.  He’s very focused.  As a matter of fact, I walked into the meeting last night and he had a playbook in his hand and he was looking over assignments.  It just gave me a moment to grin seeing how excited he was about being at Georgia.

I’m sure he’s a little nervous, too, like a lot of guys.  I remember my first night I spent away from home.  There’s a little bit of anxiety, but it’s mixed in their with a lot of excitement.”


Speaking of nervousness and anxiety, sophomore-to-be tailback Isaiah Crowell — the Dawgs’ five-star signee from a year ago — might want to pay attention to his coach’s praise of Marshall.  If Crowell doesn’t live up to his promise of becoming more responsible, it’s his playing time that Marshall might nab.

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SEC Headlines – 12/7/11

Between housework and business meetings, today is going to be an abbreviated one here at MrSEC.com.  As a “sorry ’bout that,” here are a few more headlines than usual:


1.  This writer would like to see a committee used to pick the teams for the BCS Championship Game.

2.  The Florida basketball team hosts Arizona and one of Billy Donovan’s best buds tonight.

3.  No joke: A woman who named her son Spurrier Urban wants to change his middle name now that Urban Meyer has signed on with Ohio State.

4.  As folks in Georgia sour on flighty tailback Isaiah Crowell, the next next Herschel Walker is ready to come onboard.

5.  UGA and Georgia Tech will take their rivalry to the hardwood tonight.

6.  This coach-turned-analyst believes Kentucky’s Terrence Jones needs to give more consistent effort.

7.  Sasquatch?  The Loch Ness Monster?  Well, no, but how ’bout some video of Rick Pitino and John Calipari actually shaking hands and speaking?

8.  South Carolina might miss former running backs/tight ends coach Jay Graham on the recruiting trail.

9.  For Tennessee, landing Graham is big step in the right direction

10.  There’s a chance Vanderbilt center Festus Ezeli will be back in action against Davidson tonight.

11.  On the football front, Vandy’s opponent in the Liberty Bowl — Cincinnati – might have its starting quarterback healed up and ready to go come kickoff.

12.  There are a whole lot of players transferring away from Maryland right now… might any of them land with ex-Maryland assistant James Franklin?

13.  Anthony Grant will face his alma mater when Alabama visits Dayton tonight.

14.  At Arkansas, Garrick McGee, John L. Smith and Willy Robinson are leaving while Paul Petrino returns.

15.  This writer says the Hogs will need to replace the positive energy provided by McGee and Smith.

16.  Heisman candidate Tyrann Mathieu has won the admiration of former LSU Heisman-winner Billy Cannon.

17.  Arnett Moultrie — a transfer from UTEP – is averaging 16.7 points and 11.1 rebounds per game (that last number is tops in the SEC) at Mississippi State.

18.  Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze is busy assembling his coaching staff (and he’s bringing another Kiffin into the SEC to boot).

19.  The new Rebel coach wants his offense moving at an uptempo speed.

20.  The SEC’s football coaches have announced their all-conference team.

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#1 RB Marshall Commits To UGA

Last offseason, Isaiah Crowell was the nation’s #1 rated running back and he inked with Georgia.

This past season, he’s been suspended and injured time and again and despite earning Freshman of the Year honors in the SEC, he’s anything but a sure thing moving forward.

Enter Keith Marshall.  Marshall is this offseason’s #1 rated running back and he announced today that he will be attending Georgia, too.

Mr. Crowell, you have some competition.

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SEC Headlines – 12/1/11 AM Edition

1.  Harris Poll voters don’t expect to see Oklahoma State jump Alabama.

2.  Roy Kramer — the Father of the SEC Championship Game — talks about his baby and the BCS — which he also helped create — right here.  (Great read… like everything else from Jon Solomon of The Birmingham News.)

3.  This writer says Gene Chizik is making excuses at Auburn and Tiger fans are “beyond irritated with the program’s apparent loss of even regional relevance.”  (Didn’t Chizik lead Auburn to the national championship less than 12 months ago?  A national title used to be a pass for life… now it only ups a coach’s salary.)

4.  Alabama’s hoops team will get a big test from visiting Georgetown tonight.

5.  Arkansas rolled past Mississippi Valley State last night and now focuses on UConn.

6.  LSU’s secondary features playmakers galore.

7.  Ole Miss will be at DePaul tonight as part of the SEC/Big East Challenge.

8.  Dan Mullen says he’d be okay with playing Southern Miss in the Liberty Bowl if things broke in that direction.

9.  Florida forward Erik Murphy won’t need surgery on his injured knee and could return to action next week.

10.  Mark Richt is tired of talking about his tailback situation — Isaiah Crowell’s rumored attitude issues might be one reason.  (Also, Georgia won’t be wearing their ghastly Power Rangers uniforms on Saturday.)

11.  Kentucky’s next two games with St. John’s and North Carolina will reveal a lot about the young Cats.

12.  Bruce Ellington is back with the South Carolina basketball team.

13.  The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that Tennessee receivers coach Charlie Baggett will not return in 2012.  (It’s rumored that star wideout Da’Rick Rogers showed him little respect this season.)

14.  Don’t go writing off Vanderbilt just because of two early season losses.

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One Massive Pre-Holiday Smorgasbord Of Headlines

1.  Alabama will have some guys playing through the pain in Saturday’s Iron Bowl.

2.  Freshman tailback Dee Hart — the subject of many a “he’s already off the team” rumors — returned to practice yesterday.

3.  For Auburn, “it would be great to spoil” Bama’s BCS championship hopes.

4.  One ex-Tiger player has taken to the media to campaign against current AU defensive coordinator Ted Roof.

5.  Arkansas’ offense is eager for its showdown with LSU’s defense.

6.  The Razorbacks felt Marshawn Powell’s absence last night as they struggled to a win over tiny Utah Valley.

7.  There are still multiple BCS scenarios for LSU, Alabama and Arkansas.

8.  Les Miles isn’t allowing either of his senior quarterbacks to speak with the media these days (which cuts out the fans as well).

9.  Mississippi State will try to make Ole Miss quarterback Barry Brunetti regret not picking the Dogs this week.

10.  MSU will be looking for some big plays to jumpstart its struggling offense.

11.  Houston Nutt is impressed with MSU’s defensive line.

12.  Brunetti’s days as a third-stringer have cost him precious snaps in practice all season… which could haunt Ole Miss on Saturday.

13.  Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis — despite a bad hip — plans to coach in Gainesville “for a while, unless you’re trying to get rid of me.”

14.  Will Muschamp and Jimbo Fisher — facing each other for the first time — have been joking about their co-owned beach house this week.

15.  Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo expects Isaiah Crowell and Carlton Thomas to be ready to play some tailback for Georgia on Saturday.

16.  Meanwhile, UGA’s defense is preparing for Georgia Tech’s triple-option attack.

17.  Tight end Nick Melillo has become an impact player on Kentucky’s offense.

18.  John Calipari says freshman point guard Marquis Teague needs time to improve.

19.  The winningest senior class in South Carolina football history wants to close out their careers with a third-straight win over Clemson.

20.  It’ll be strength versus strength when the Cocks’ defense and the Tigers’ offense are on the field.

21.  Mired on a struggling Tennessee offense, receiver Da’Rick Rogers has put up some impressive numbers this season.

22.  Ohio State has cancelled a future home-and-home football series with UT due to the Big Ten’s move to a nine-game conference schedule.

23.  James Franklin is once again having to defend his players from claims that they make dirty hits.

24.  Franklin and Derek Dooley have “hooked up jumper cables” to the Vanderbilt-Tennessee rivalry.

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UGA’s Crowell Apologizes To Fans For Suspension

Georgia freshman tailback Isaiah Crowell has opened up with the media for the first time since his one-game (believed to be drug-related) suspension last week.  He cut straight to the chase:


“I just want to say I made a mistake and it will never happen again.  I want to apologize to my family, friends and the Bulldog Nation.  I want to prove to the fans that they can trust me.  That it won’t happen again.”


Mark Richt has said Crowell will be his starter on Saturday against Auburn.

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