Georgia Bulldog News - The Blawg House

The Sanders Commings Incident & Impacts

Commings (19) was arrested for domestic violence

Georgia could be without one of its starting corner backs going into the first two games of the season. If you haven't heard, Sanders Commings was arrested Saturday morning for an incident involving domestic violence early Saturday morning. Here is part of the article from the AJC.com:

"UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson said his officers were flagged down a little after 1 a.m. Saturday by persons in a vehicle in downtown Athens. At that time the female victim and four witnesses were interviewed by police. Commings had left the scene.

“Talking with [witnesses] there was some kind of interaction between [Commings] and a woman and they intervened,” Williamson said. “At some point in time he struck her. Based on the witness statements and interviews with the involved parties, that’s why he was arrested.”

Williamson said officers then obtained a warrant from a magistrate judge. Commings was taken into custody later at his apartment."

I've read a bunch of articles and opinions and just wanted to say there are two things that need to be clear regarding this incident. One, there is no room anywhere for domestic violence. Men should never, ever hit women - period. Two, let us reserve judgement on Sanders until the entire process goes through the system - every human being deserves that.

I'm sure there are many sides to the story, but, when it comes to domestic violence, the law will always side with the female first - and then figure everything out. Regardless of the outcome, however, this will be a very important lesson for this young man - and others on the football team - to learn. No matter how good you are, trouble is always lurking around the corner - especially in Athens, Ga. Guys need to remember, everything in their lives is under a microscope, so anytime they make a mistake, it will be front page news.

As for the impact of the season, it will definitely hurt. From what I've gathered, the incident will lead to a 1-2 game suspension - but, again, nothing is finalized or formal until the process is played out. What it will do is give a guy like Nick Marshall the opportunity to shine. Remember last year when our two starting ILB's went down, it was a chance for Amarlo and Gilliard to step in and rise to the challenge. You always want to build depth, but you just don't want to go throwing guys into the fire. It looks like that may have to happen!

Looking at Georgia's Remaining Targets

Harvey-Clemons is Georgia's Top Target

With National Signing Day right around the corner, it is important for Georgia to finish strong and get some quality guys to round out an already good class. 

Although Georgia does not have a lot of quantity in this class, but the class is high in quality. Guys like Theus, Marshall, Gurley, and Jenkins make this class a definite top 10 class - however, a couple of commitments from some of the guys below could make it a top-5 class. Seth Emerson went ahead and broke down some of the last Georgia targets:

"OLB Josh Harvey-Clemons (6-5, 200), Valdosta, Ga. .... 4 stars
Florida and Georgia are making a hard run at Clemons, who is good enough to get some time as a true freshman.

OT Avery Young (6-6, 281), Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. .... 4 stars
He would be a candidate to play right away for Georgia, which obviously needs the healthy bodies on the line.

WR Cordarelle Patterson (6-3, 205), Hutchinson Community College, Kan. .... 4 stars
According to Rusty Mansell of Dawgs247.com, the favorites for Patterson have been Tennessee and Georgia.

DE Dalvin Tomlinson (6-3, 270), McDonough, Ga. .... 4 stars
This is one of the new additions. Despite the commitment of Jenkins, Georgia continues to target ends. Georgia Tech is also pursuing Tomlinson.

DE Kenderius Whitehead (6-5, 210), Lithonia, Ga. .... 4 stars
Whitehead grew up around Athens, and it's between Georgia, Clemson and perhaps N.C. State for his services.

ATH Sheldon Dawson (5-11, 178), Memphis, Tenn. .... 4 stars
Dawson can play tailback, cornerback or perhaps another position if a team sees fit. He's officially committed to Memphis.

CB Will Redmond (6-0, 180), Memphis, Tenn. .... 3 stars
Officially committed to Mississippi State. The longer he stays that way, the more likely he doesn't become a package deal with Dawson.

DE Josh Dawson (6-4, 220), Tucker, Ga. .... 3 stars
The Vanderbilt commitment is now flirting with his homestate team."

So, instead of just completely ripping off Seth, I thought I'd add my own thoughts from what I've been hearing about a few of these guys. 

As you can see, I went ahead and crossed out Kenderius Whitehead. Reports are out that the 4 star DE is down to just Clemson and NC State. Something has happened to put Georgia out of the race for the MLK DE.

Here's my opinion on the last few guys:

  • Josh Harvey-Clemons - Georgia is in a good position for the state top uncommitted prospect, however, don't be surprised if Florida snags the LB. If he was at Valdosta and not Lowndes, I'd say a definite Georgia guy... but, don't overlook the Valdosta vs. Lowndes rivalry that could carry over to Florida vs. Georgia. The kicker though is the rumors that Clemons has been recruiting guys for Georgia. Chances: 75%
     
  • Avery Young - I have felt for a very long time that Young was an Auburn guy, especially when he gave them more chances to figure things out after Malzahn left. After December, he stated he is wide open, and even could have Miami in the mix. My opinion, it is down to Georgia/Auburn - with Georgia actually snagging him. Mark Richt's in-home visit, to me, could seal the deal. Chances: 60%
  • Cordarelle Patterson - This is another guy who hasn't been extremely open about who he likes, however, Georgia is definitely in the mix. What worries me is Arkansas. They definitely have the offense that could sell a top WR. If Georgia can show exactly how he would be featured - which he is talented enough to be - they could get him. Chances: 50%
  • Dalvin Tomlinson - With J. Taylor already signed and some depth at DT, I definitely see Tomlinson going to GT. They've been the favorite throughout, and I think he'll go to the Jackets. Chances: 10%
  • Sheldon Dawson - Brandon Boykin and Brandon Smith both helped Georgia with Dawson. He wants to be a RB, which is why he's committed to Memphis, but Georgia needs DB's. However, if Georgia can use him like Boykin, it may sway him. Chances: 80%
  • Will Redmond - The interesting thing with Dawson and Redmond is the idea that Georgia is "full" at the DB position. With depth needed, Georgia must be pretty confident. In my opinion, both Dawson and Redmond switch over and become Dawgs. Chances: 80%
So, there are some of my thoughts. If we can get those 5 guys, I'd be very happy. It would give Georgia help at every position needed. What are your thoughts?

Michael Adams Wants the NCAA to Cut Football Scholarships

Pres. Adams leads a subcommittee by the NCAA

With the new 25-signee rule, Georgia will have a difficult time signing enough players over the next few years to really fill out their 85 scholarships - without awarding walk-on's scholarships.

However, apparently, Georgia's president, Michael Adams, has been leading an NCAA subcommittee that has proposed the idea of cutting scholarships in men's football, women's basketball, and cutting travel and non-coaching staff members. The reason behind it? The ability to pay student athletes $2,000 and award multi-year scholarships. Here is part of the story:

"Trimming scholarships wouldn't hurt football and women's basketball programs and would allow schools to move dollars into other areas that help athletes, according to the subcommittee, which is chaired by Georgia President Michael Adams.

Another rationale by the subcommittee: "The proposed scholarship reductions also will allow for athletics talent to be dispersed across more intercollegiate athletics programs." One argument by supporters is the change would allow more athletes to participate in their sport rather than sitting on the bench.

The subcommittee discussed reducing men's basketball's maximum scholarship number but decided 13 is appropriate. It's also proposing to eliminate offseason foreign travel for all teams and limiting non-coaching staff members in football and men's basketball.

In football, there would be a limit of 12 non-coaching staff members, such as videographers, strength and conditioning coaches, and operations and administrative personnel. It would not include athletic trainers, academic support and compliance staff members. Men's basketball would be limited to six non-coaching staff members."

What is interesting is following Georgia's history and signing under the max, and, now, seeing Michael Adams being at the head of leading this committee makes me wonder.

Is it actually Mark Richt & Georgia's ability to fill out their classes or are they having to take the lead from the school's president. There is no hiding the face that Michael Adams has been mixed in a lot of controversy around the Georgia football program. One thing is for certain, the SEC is definitely opposed to reducing scholarships.

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said his league would oppose reducing scholarships. "We're trying to provide opportunity through the cost of living (increase)," Slive said. "It's just inconsistent with everything we're trying to do."

Teaff and Slive acknowledged good football programs will still succeed with fewer scholarships.

"Clearly, you could make that argument," Slive said. "But I think you'll find that most leagues in our position would oppose the reduction."

As the article also mentions, the Division I Board of Directors did reject the proposal, but I do not care for the Georgia president being in the middle of this proposition. I cannot see where anyone in the football program or its supporters would appreciate seeing this. 

Cutting scholarships and staff members is definitely not the answer to funding the stipend proposal - Georgia needs all the depth it can get... Michael Adams must not have watched the SEC Championship.

Good Bye, Willie!

Defensive Backs Coach Looking for Job

So, remember when Willie Martinez was the most hated man in Athens? Well, ole' Willie has made history in Norman:

"Lost in all the fervor over Mike Stoops’ return and Brent Venables (possible) departure from Oklahoma was the untimely exit of a good coach, a good recruiter and a good man.

Willie Martinez hit the road. Bob Stoops was careful to call it a resignation. Said Martinez would pursue other opportunities.

But semantics aside, Martinez is the first assistant coach Bob Stoops has fired in his 13 seasons steering the Sooners’ immense and frequently unwieldy vessel."

I'll repeat that last part:

"... Martinez is the first assistant coach Bob Stoops has fired in his 13 seasons..."

I know they needed to make room for Mike coming on board, but, damn. You must be pretty bad to be the first guy a coach has fired in 13 years. In hindsight, probably best Willie left Athens.

Gurley Makes Big Jump in Rankings

Gurley's Rise is the Biggest Jump in Rivals' History

First off, if you are not subscribed to UGASports.com, you really should be. They do some great reporting and are some of the best when it comes to covering Georgia sports. 

If you're not a Rivals subscriber, then you may not have heard, but the new Rivals 100 (top 100 players in the nation) has 5 UGA commitments on the list. Sicemdawgs.com has the scoop:

Rivals.com has released their final Rivals100 rankings for the class of 2012. Five current Georgia Bulldogs football commitments are listed in the Top 100.

Running back Todd Gurley, who committed to Georgia last week, made a huge jump from unranked to 42nd in the Rivals100. Gurley also gained a star and is now a 4-star recruit.

Other UGA commitments in the Rivals100 are John Theus (23), Keith Marshall (48), Jordan Jenkins (56) and Jonathan Taylor (72).

The Bulldogs are currently trying to gain commitments from several other recruits in the Rivals100, including athlete Josh Harvey-Clemons of Valdosta, GA (31) and offensive lineman Avery Young of Palm Beach Gardens, FL (74).

Gurley's huge jump is attributed to how good he really is. His work in the all star games and the season is definitely paying off for him. In fact, Rivals now has Gurley ranked ahead of Marshall. Regardless, though, Georgia has really got some good one's committed.

If the Dawgs can get JHC and Young, it'd be great. If they can get some more ILB and DB help, I would jump for joy! A WR thrown in and we'd be looking at a top 3 class.

Bad Press & Over-Signing

Justin Taylor - The Face of the 25-Rule

A lot was made about the AJC story about Justin Taylor being the first "casualty" of the 25-signee limit in college football.

The long-time Alabama commit (he was the 7th to commit in his class) was told recently by an Alabama coach that he would not be able to sign with Alabama this year, but could come in as an early enrollee in the 2013 class. The reason? Alabama has 27 guys committed, so they had to tell someone no. That person just so happened to be the guy who was the 7th commit in the 2012 class, but tore his ACL and missed his senior season.

Well, in return for his patience, Taylor was going to get a note that was a "promise" that he could come in for the 2013 class and Bama even promised to find him a job while he was waiting around - yes, it is legal.

However, after a series of stories and backlash, it appears now that Taylor is changing his mind about good ole' Bama and Tricky Nicky.

“At first I was cool with it but the more I thought about it, the less I liked it,” Taylor said. “I have already missed an entire season of football because of my injury. I decided I just can’t miss another season. It’s no hard feelings against Alabama but I just decided it’s best for me if I go somewhere that I can be at least practicing with the team this year, even if I have to redshirt. I haven’t talked to any other schools yet but I will start looking right now.”

We asked Taylor for clarification on whether or not he was still committed to Alabama. He responded via text message on late Monday night: “Yes, I’m still committed [to Alabama].”

So, I usually don't touch on "hot button" topics like play-offs and over-signing because, really, they just get people really upset and opinionated. They're like discussing religion and politics, I just don't do it.

However, I do want to touch on this issue - from a coach's stand point. I'll tell ya, I've sat in those offices when guys get the news that they didn't get an offer from a school they want. I've sat in the office when guys get offers. Both a very different, extreme emotion. For a school to extend that offer and for a guy to commit, that is an amazing thing for a coach. Not only have you been able to help that kid out to make his dreams of playing college football true, but you really care and are emotionally tied - at least I am - because my players are like my kids.

So, if a school, after all this time, decides to pull a kid's offer - a kid who shut down his recruiting, made a strong, early commitment, and did nothing wrong - it would literally make me want to punch someone. It is so wrong to do that to a kid just because you want to offer everyone under the sun and don't know how to manage your numbers. 

Say what you want, and I know the titles speak for themselves, but I am so glad Georgia does not practice over-signing. If we ever did this to a young man, with no reason, then I would be highly disappointed. College football is a business, but, when you're dealing with high school students, it is definitely not fair. I hope soon the NCAA does something to keep this from happening in the future.

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