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February 2, 2016

Curious Moves from the Past

From Blake Barnes to Aaron Murray to Jacob Park, Coach Richt 
had a tendency to land out-of-state quarterbacks, all while 
curiously signing an insufficient total number of signal callers.
Looking through an overload of historical data while preparing for the upcoming National Signing Day, something regarding Georgia's quarterback signees from the last decade or so really grabbed my attention: 

Beginning with Blake Barnes (Baldwyn, MS) in 2004 and including Jacob Eason (Lake Stevens, WA) this year, nine of the Bulldogs' 12 quarterback signees the last 13 years hailed from outside the state of Georgia. 

Wondering if the Bulldogs' desire for out-of-state quarterbacks during the Coach Richt era was an unusual tendency compared to previous coaching regimes at the school, I began with 1977or, the first season the NCAA limited scholarshipsdiscovering every Georgia quarterback signee, and the hometown of each. 

Comparatively speaking, I found the out-of-state trend regarding Bulldog signal callers has indeed been rather unusual (the percent of QB signees being from out of state is followed by the Georgia head coach and his measured seasons):

25 percent (10 of 40)Vince Dooley, 1977-1988
15 percent (2 of 13)Ray Goff, 1989-1995
22 percent (2 of 9)Jim Donnan, 1996-2000
62 percent (8 of 13)Mark Richt, 2001-2015

Still, I would become even more so bewildered...

Coming on the heels of discovering Georgia's average signing class consisted of nearly one-and-a-half fewer offensive linemen from 2008 through 2015 (averaged 3.6 OL signees per class) compared to 2001 through 2007 (averaged 4.9 OL signees per class), I was first taken aback when noticing as many quarterbacks were signed during the Goff era as Richt's (13)and, Goff's regime lasted less than half as long as that of the recently departed. 

Never mind their hometownsagain, comparatively speakingwhy did Coach Richt sign so few quarterbacks? (the annual average number of QB signees followed by the Georgia head coach):

3.33 (40 QB signees in 12 seasons)Dooley
1.86 (13 QB signees in 7 seasons)Goff
1.80 (9 QB signees in 5 seasons)Donnan
0.87 (13 QB signees in 15 seasons)Richt

So, maybe times had changed; no longer needed was an average of nearly two quarterbacks signed on an annual basis, and certainly not more than three as was the case during the last half of the Dooley era. In this age of college football, perhaps it was quite normal for a major program to average less than one quarterback signee per year.

Not really.

Knowing Georgia had ranked sixth among current big-5 conference schools in overall winning percentage during the Richt era, for a sampling, I looked up the number of quarterback signees from 2001 through 2015 of the five schools which ranked ahead of the Bulldogs in winning percentage: 1) Ohio State, 2) Oklahoma, 3) LSU, 4) TCU, and 5) Oregon.

Compared to Georgia's total of 13 QB signees the previous 15 years, or 0.87 annually, the five other programs averaged exactly 17 QB signees from 2001 to 2015, or 1.21 annually. The difference isn't necessarily significant like when compared to Georgia's previous coaching regimes; still, it's inconsistent enough to mention. 

Therefore, why do I even make mention?

Honestly, it's in no attempt whatsoever to "pile on" our previous coaching and support staffto "hate" on a head coach who left the school two months ago. Georgia has a new head coach, the old one is now in Miami, and I hope only the best for Mark Richt.

Still, I'm left to wonder how a former quarterback, and a coach of quarterbacks for years, who just said last May, "I think I'd always feel better with four or five [quarterbacks] on scholarship, quite frankly, just as a normal practice," did not sign an adequate number of quarterbacks as "normal practice"? More so, at the same time for nearly a decade, he signed an insufficient number of offensive linemen, as well?

And, Georgia sure could have used some extra offensive linemen and another quarterback or two this past seasonwe can all agree to that.

The previous coaching regime undoubtedly did some wonderful things for the University of Georgia and its football program for a lengthy, 15-year period. However, it made some rather curious maneuvers as well. Some of these questionable moves finally caught up with the program last yearthat was evident. 

Unfortunately, such actions from the previous leadership will seemingly impact the current staff. The question is, how long will it take the current leadership to stop the bleeding?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The 2 SEC championships under Richt were QBed by 2 Georgia boys-Green and Shockley.