December 13, 2009- Andrew Love writes that UGA has "gotten it's swagger back" and is on the up rise going into the off season.
Feburary 3, 2009- Andrew Love officially retracts the above statement.
Athens has been operating under Murphy's Law: What can go wrong, will go wrong." Even worse, it's all just gone terribly wrong for the president of Bulldog Nation, Mark Richt.
Let's back up to where things all began to crumble.
December 2, 2009 brought an end to the Willie Martinez era of "defense" at UGA. This was the answer to most bulldog prayers. Finally, Richt was going to hire the personnel that we needed to get this team back on track. Names started to float: Bud Foster, Everett Withers, John Chavis, and the crown jewel- Kirby Smart. Everyone, including the author of that aforementioned December 13th article, was ecstatic at the possibilities.
The names all came, and the names all left quicker than a star-studded college basketball player. It got to a point where every week, the headlines in the Red and Black would read: __________ turns down UGA offer to be Coordinator. But hope flickered. Early one morning in January, ESPN reported that Kirby Smart would be taking up UGA on it's offer. Late that day, ESPN reported that Kirby Smart would bitch slap Georgia and stay with Alabama.
So now, with a few weeks left to signing day, Damon Evans was forced to make a hire. The operative word there: forced. The liberty of choice was over. Georgia fans would have to meet their new Vice President of Defense: Todd Grantham.
Never heard of him? Don't worry. We haven't either.
Georgia fans are left with a WTF look on their face. So was star linebacker and leading SEC tackler Rennie Curran. Only he was faced with possibility of making millions of dollars in the NFL or playing for the new stranger. He chose the former, and that solid middle linebacker that had us all swooning for 2010, was now on the first train out of Athens. Mark Richt was watching his empire become breached by enemy forces.
Flash forward to today. Bulldog nation has come to live with the outcome of the dreaded winter and started our move onward to a slightly optimistic future. UGA was ranked as high as No. 8 on recruiting classes, and we were all ready to see the young guns take over. Rivals.com even included Georgia in it's conversation for best overall recruitment. Suddenly, Mark Richt and the Bulldogs didn't carry the negative connotation anymore. The coach was restructuring his fallen nation.
But you know who we were REALLY excited about? Who we REALLY wanted to see lineup between the hedges next fall? Da'Rick Rodgers. Top-10 in the nation recruit, five-star rated, blue-chip status. The big boy wide receiver was supposed to run train on opposing SEC defenses next year with AJ Green. We were about to have the one-two punch that we've been looking for all these years. Shake and Bake. Thunder and Lighting. Thelma and Louise.
February 2, 2010- Da'Rick Rodgers de-commits from Georgia to sign with Derrick Dooley and his gang of nobodies at Tennessee. The son of Georgia legend Vince Dooley has kicked UGA straight in the family maker.The son of Georgia legend Vince Dooley shouldn't be doing this. Three weeks ago, before he became the head coach of Tennessee, NOBODY even knew Derrick Dooley existed, much less had the ability to out recruit one of the game's most respected and best head coaches.
It's a moral loss more than anything.
The state of Georgia football is dark again.