Dawg Night is Georgia's premiere recruiting event, which is staged in the middle of July. It has become a huge recruiting event, and it's getting closer and closer to rivaling Florida's Friday Night Lights as the top summer recruiting event in the South.
Georgia's recruiting pull from Dawg Night – John Theus, Brice Ramsey, Derrick Henry, Tramel Terry, Stanley Williams and Chester Brown – prove that Georgia's doing something right in the recruiting department… no question.
But Dawg Night could be better, too.
Some of the problems with Dawg Night in 2011 were out of the control of the coaching staff. Damon Evans' lack of vision made certain that when there was a concern about weather Georgia was stuck in terms of planning. After all, and thanks to Evans and company, Georgia doesn't have an indoor practice facility. That's not because Georgia can't or couldn't have afforded one, its because… actually I'm not sure why Georgia doesn't have one.
The other problem with Dawg Night was the separation of the media from the parents inside of Sanford Stadium. I understand the idea that the media was the reason the Bulldogs decided to turn themselves in for a secondary NCAA violation last year, but the restriction of parents from being able to roam Sanford Stadium is shortsighted. As the night drew to a close several parents wanted to see their sons, who were offensive and defensive linemen, go in one-on-one drills on the North side of Sanford. The problem? Parents were restricted to the South side of the stadium so as to not intermingle with the media.
The solution? Put the media on the field where they belong. Restrict them to the area the program wants them in (if that's even necessary) and then parents can roam with no issues. If there is something you want in recruiting it's happy parents, and trust me some of them were unpleased, understandably, that night.
The final problem is a more underlying problem with Georgia's recruiting. The Bulldogs need to remember who they are marketing their message to – young boys, usually young boys who are black. There is so much to market as it relates to Georgia with regard to young people, but I'm not sure Larry Munson alone is the best option.
There's no question that Munson is the lifeblood of the Bulldog Nation, but I'm not sure (and I could be wrong about this) that young people are going to A. Know who Munson is; B. Care about him when they find out. That shouldn't be considered an indictment of Munson – we all know how good Munson is and has been.
But with the tremendous local musical talent in Georgia, Sanford Stadium should be full of music from Atlanta and about Georgia. Ray Charles, Cee-lo Green, Lil Jon, Outcast, Ludacris, T.I., B.o.B., Usher and others come to mind immediately. In my view this approach would sell more to the kids than Munson alone does.
But at least the tremendous mistake that is playing Miley Cyrus wasn't repeated (Party in the USA was a song played before nearly every Georgia home game last year… I'm still not sure why), which is a step in the right direction.
Georgia needs to remember that they are in a fight with everyone else in the country to sign kids – every little thing matters and any little thing matters in recruiting.