I don't think it has been that difficult to be honest because they have been down this road before. They have handled the process the same way each time, so I think they know how it works. The difficult part may have been trying to figure out who he had offers from, who he didn't, where they were going to visit, and when the visits were going to take place. That is something every recruit has to deal with though, so I do not think it was all that difficult to be honest. That just did things at their own pace and it really paid off for both Kwame and Georgia because the Dawgs became a serious player after signing day. The Geathers family is quiet and reserved, but it has been a pleasure covering Kwame over the past six weeks or so. Friday is a big day for them and I think things got a little hectic this last week, so I think they will all be relieved as soon as he signs the papers on Friday and makes everything official with the school of Kwame's choice.
It looks like Georgia is going to have to fight to keep the top in-state recruits from looking out of state to other programs. That may not be unique to 2010, but can you recall a year where Georgia was in this sort of fight this early?
Georgia fans do not want to look back to 2007, but that is the year that comes to mind. Many thought Georgia would do better with the top in-state talent than they did early on, but most knew it was going to be a fight. Eric Berry's father played for Tennessee, so everyone knew the Vols would be tough to beat, Cameron Heyward's step-father was from Ohio, so Ohio State became an even bigger threat to the Dawgs, and Morgan Burnette said from the beginning that he did not know if he wanted to play where his brother played. Those are just three that went on and played at other institutions and all thre have had big impacts at the schools they chose. Alec Ogletree, Mack Brown, and Markeith Ambles are my top three players in Georgia at this time and the Dawgs are in a fight already for Ogletree and Brown and they have yet to offer Ambles. Georgia is very much in the race, but it is not going to be easy to reel in the top Peach State talent in 2010 became many others are going after these special athletes.
Who is the 2010 recruit no one is talking about now who will pick up steam after coaches get a closer look this spring?
For me, this one is easy... It is Jalen Fields out of Dalton, Ga. I have been a part of Scout now for close to two months and I may have seen his name two to three times total. He is a guy that has an NFL like body, he has big time potential, and he could be one of the top defensive ends in the South if he chooses to. He has the ability as long as he dedicates himself to being a football player. If he plays each play like it is his last and gives full effort for four quarters, then he can go a long way.
In your overall dealings with recruits regarding Georgia, what has been the consensus strong point for the Dawgs - what is that one thing Georgia "sells" best?
Honesty. Recruit after recruit that talks about Georgia always mentions things like, being up front, being straight forward, not promising me anything, telling me like it is, and things like that. Georgia coaches have a very good reputation about being honest and not telling these recruits what they want to hear just to get them on their campus. They try to prepare them as best as they can for day one when they arrive in June if they choose Georgia. I hear other strong points about the staff from recruits, parents, and high school coaches, but just Georgia being honest is what I hear the most.
Tennessee has certainly been in the spotlight lately - for negative reasons. Still, are recruits sort of re-discovering the Vols as a result, or is this a negative thing all around for Tennessee?
I definitely think it has been more bad to good for Tennessee. Maybe not to the recruits that are handling the process alone, but for those that have adults involved, then I know they are taking notice of what is going on in Knoxville. I have talked to numerous high school coaches that have brought this subject up and they were not fond of it. These coaches play a role in these kids taking visits, going to camps, and talking to college coaches on the phone, so it seems what Lane Kiffin has doen at Tennessee to this point has hurt him and the Vols moreso than help them. I do think prospects want to see how things go in Knoxville though and whether it has been good or bad up in Rocky Top, it has brought the Vols back to the forefront for a lot of recruits around the nation.