What We Are Hearing

ATHENS - Scoop from behind the scenes and Between the Hedges.

If Archer OL E.J. Price did something wrong to make Georgia’s staff upset with him it is news to a lot of folks at Archer as well as those on staff at Georgia.

I have tried for weeks to confirm that Price, who had committed to Georgia only to back off after what appeared like a great time at the Mark Richt Camp in June, had done something “stupid” that made Georgia pull his offer.

Not only have I not been able to confirm that Price did something wrong or stupid, but folks on both sides of the recruit-school side of things have said to me or someone I work with that absolutely nothing happened out of the ordinary.

If Price had been arrested in Athens-Clarke County we would be able to see that in a Police report. If Georgia had stopped recruiting him not only would he not have been at Dawg Night, but he also would not be a person that Georgia has, in fact, confirmed that they are still actively recruiting.

I have been told that Price got into a fight with a teammate. I have no idea if that is true or not - and I hesitate to even bring that into the conversation - but two things. A) If he got into a fight with a teammate he would be one of the dozens of high school football players to get into a fight with a teammate. I got into a fight with a teammate in high school… he’s an attorney in Manhattan, and I’m slumming at this job; we both are doing fine. B) The player he allegedly got into a fight with unequivocally denied that any fight took place.

So there was a lot of mystery about Price over the last few weeks, but it seems that he really and truly did just commit a little early (according to him), and its just that. I would argue that Georgia is still the team to beat for him. If Signing Day was Tuesday my guess would be that he would sign with Georgia - I’d feel about 90% on that one.

But he’s not the only one that has heavy ties to Georgia right now from Archer - that’s also the case with Kyle Davis. It is obvious that Georgia leads there in a big way.

Usually I feel like Georgia’s compliance department takes things a little overboard with restrictions on the media when we cover camps in Athens. Quick history: these restrictions were put in place when AJC reporter Chip Towers took a photo of Mark Richt and Zach DeBell in the summer of 2010 at Dawg Night after the youngster had committed.

DeBell and Richt, naturally, looked at Towers’ camera and smiled.

The compliance office felt like that because the AJC then, naturally, ran the photo that Georgia had promoted the recruitment of a prospective student-athlete… which, as you might imagine, is against the bylaws of the NCAA.

That’s when Georgia’s compliance tightened down on media coverage of Georgia camps. It was an innocent mistake and, quite frankly, an overreaction on the part of compliance that has ramifications to this day. One of the rules Georgia has in place is that there be no interaction with prospects. You can accidentally bump into a prospect - that’s going to happen… impossible not to happen - but you just explain that Georgia has rules that you follow. One very hard rule is to not interview prospects on camps.

“1.  Campers and their families are off limits to media from registration check-in until the camp¹s dismissal.  We request no communication be conducted with campers during the time they are on campus.”

I write all of that to say that I did think compliance was going overboard until I was leaving and saw an outlet just blatantly breaking that rule… rule No. 1 no less. There are people you compete against that you respect in the industry, and then there are people in the industry that you know are going to get you and the rest of your peers less access to these sorts of events in the future.

If you are wondering why covering events like Dawg Night at Georgia are more complicated now than ever before it is because of the actions of the irresponsible. I can’t say I was surprised. But if the vast majority of us follow the rules, then you could understand why it is so upsetting - actually pisses me off - that some clown would act that way after specifically being told not to do it.

Not the first time it is happened with this person. Hopefully it will be the last.

Another issue on Saturday night is that NCAA bylaws prevent Georgia from turning any prospect away from a camp. Exclusive or elite camps are not allowed at NCAA institutions. This used to not be an issue. Then when that rule was enforced Georgia went to two camps - one in the morning and one at night.

Saturday night was a logistical nightmare - and it certainly wasn’t the first time.

Georgia new it was in trouble before the camp when the lines were taking too long to get through. But the demand hit home when Georgia not only ran out of camp t-shirts, but also practice jerseys. Support staff had to resort to writing numbers on the back of leftover t-shirts.

That’s the demand to play at Georgia; that’s also the lack of understanding of your child’s talent by the vast majority of folks there Saturday night.

Georgia got so backed up because of the crowd that they were unable to do the 45-minute conditioning portion of the night.

Smart move. Running recruits for 45 minutes before a two-hour camp is total overkill and will do nothing more than run the players off. It would also be off to have Jacob Eason conditioning for 45 minutes before a camp. But holding out of the condition would be an even worse sign. I’m not saying you don’t condition guys and get them ready for the night with a rigorous pre-camp workout. I’m saying get to it and be done with it. The Mark Richt Camp in June was really the conditioning camp.

That’s just not going to sell to kids these days - not doing that was a very, very good move.

On the team front: I’d would be a stunning development to not see Brice Ramsey as the starter in 2015 and beyond - yes, over Jacob Eason, who is human and will also need time to develop… better figure out a punter sooner rather than later… seeing Leonard Floyd listed at middle linebacker on the depth chart shows how versatile he is, that Georgia plays a multiple defense and that no one player is sticking out at that spot… players like what they have seen from Trenton Thompson; he’s the name I hear more than any freshman - “what’s the big, massive dude’s name? Trent? Yeah, him, he’s going to start… soon.”

Basketball note: Keep an eye on Pace C Wendall Carter - he’s the No. 2 overall player in the country in the class of 2017. He has the massive offers from Duke, North Carolina and the like, but is likely a one-and-done. It is possible that Georgia could sneak into position with him simply because there are ten five-star centers in the top 25 of the 2017 class. Will Georgia sign him? Probably not, but the might be in the fight, and right now that’s about all you can ask for.

Dawg Post Top Stories