The academic rumor mill has been churning strongly in Athens, with rumors of projected starting RB Caleb King, projected starting LT A.J. Harmon, and incoming JUCO transfer and projected starting NG "Big" John Jenkins all coming up short in their academic obligations.
While nobody knows for sure the status of Caleb King or A.J. Harmon, the "biggest" rumor of the 3 was squashed today, in an interview from the AJC's UGA beat writer Chip Towers with John Jenkins.....
“Yeah, I don’t know exactly where that came from,” Jenkins said Tuesday. “Everything is good. Everything is straight. I’ll be there in June. All it is is rumors. I don’t know where it starts. Regardless, I’m going to be playing against Boise State and that’s all I’m thinking about right now.”
This news comes with a giant gasping sound coming out of Athens. I believe John Jenkins was the single most important signee in UGA's 2011 signing class. Todd Grantham's 3-4 defense relies heavily on a big NG in the middle to take away the run-up-the-middle option from opposing offenses (see Marcus Lattimore DESTROY UGA with this tactic this past Sept), which was sorely lacking last season. The arrival of an experienced NG will allow DeAngelo Tyson, the fill-in option last season, to move back to his more natural position of DE.
So breathe Dawg Nation, breathe.
As far as the early commitments, I was a little ashamed that UGA recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner, and new LB coach Kirk Olivadotti did not make more of an effort to recruit 4 star LB Dillon Lee out of Buford..... especially considering Dillon's brother, Dallas, ALREADY PLAYS AT UGA!!!
I have been a believer for years that Rodney Garner "knows what he is doing", but his delayed tactics not to be the first offer for the easily influenceable in-state talents is in serious need of addressing. I am also a firm believer that many kids are intrigued by the thought of playing away from home, and cutting their own path, but we need to at least make them feel we want to keep them at home. Here's hoping a better LB is still available come Signing Day, 2012.
GO DAWGS!!! 108 short days til kickoff!!
In the wake of these rumors, I am working on a piece going over how social media is effecting the way rumor's spread, as well as how it is influencing recruiting. STAY TUNED