I guess it’s just the journalist in me, but I just love a good quote. During Mark Richt’s tenure in Athens there hasn’t been a steady stream of bulletin board material coming out of Athens…and I’m sure that’s at least partly by design…but it certainly seems like it says a lot about the personalities that have been around Butts-Mehre during that time. Well, if the statements like those of new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, new DAWGS like Jakar Hamilton and new team leaders like Bacarri Rambo are any indication, it certainly sounds like media days in Athens are going to be very interesting over the next few years.
Everyone remembers the “man enough” quote from former Auburn head coach Pat Dye before Georgia’s road tilt with Alabama in 2002, but that one didn’t come out of Athens. In 2008, in the week leading up to the Alabama blackout game, when asked about Georgia’s special teams’ coverage, Javier Arenas asked a reporter “Have you seen my highlights?” Later that week in Athens, when asked about the Alabama defensive back’s skills as a punt and kick returner Coach Richt quickly responded with “Have you seen his highlights?” Without a doubt, my favorite Richt sound bite to date. Outside of that, I really can’t remember many shots that have been fired across the bow of DAWGS opponents. (If you can think of any please share.)
It seems the tide of mundane generalities flowing out of the football offices may be turning. Since arriving in Athens, Coach Grantham has consistently delivered what the DAWG Nation has long been clamoring for with promises of a best-player-will-play, attacking, tempo-setting style of defense that will take no prisoners and leave opponents thankful that the clock has finally reached all zeros and that they will not have to play Georgia again for a calendar year. What’s more, when new DAWG safety Jakar Hamilton signed on to play for Georgia, he made it clear that he intends to lay it on the line every time he takes the field for Georgia:
“I’m one of those players who just don’t care. I’ll throw my whole body even if I have to break something to do it. . . . If I have to catch a concussion, I’ll do it.”
You can read some of his other thoughts HERE.
As well received as those messages to the DAWG Nation were, it may be safe to say that they pale in comparison to the statements that have come out of Athens on Signing Day 2010. After of couple of high-profile defections at the very end of the 2010 recruiting process, we got a glimpse into what impact those decisions may have on the field in the years to come from a player that appears to be finding his voice as one of the new leaders on this Georgia team, safety Bacarri Rambo. DAWGS news warrior David Hale brought us the news on his live Signing Day blog on Wednesday:
10:09 AM -- Well, I guess we know how Bacarri Rambo feels about Da'Rick Rogers' departure, courtesy of Facebook: "Bacarri Rambo thinks is messed up how all of UGA high school commitments back out on us but I'm telling you now when I catch you on the field I'm going to knock fire from you."
Later in the day, Hale added these pearls from Hamilton’s press conference:
First, on his thoughts on Da'Rick Rogers and others de-committing late: "It's disappointing to have a high school player be committed for so long and come up at the last minute because it hurts. It hurts the football team tremendously and the recruiting class. In that case, another player could have had that spot or had a chance to come here and play. I'm not going to call it selfish because they're high school players. Most of them do it for the hype or to have their name out there. But it just shows you what kind of player that person is. Me, Coach Martinez left before I even got here. I could have easily said I don't want to go here anymore, I'll go to Alabama. But I gave Coach Mark Richt my word, and I told him I was committed here. That's what kind of person I am, and that's what I want people to see. I kept my word."
Second, on Bacarri Rambo's promise of a big hit in Rogers' future: "It's going to happen. Especially if he's going to play right off the bat. I just hope he's ready for it, because there's going to be a lot of people on the hit for him on this team."
And when reminded that Georgia swiped a late commit from Kentucky: "It happens a lot. But your in the SEC. You're going to get hit regardless."
Of course, right now this is merely talk. Anybody can talk before winter has turned to spring and what we’ve heard so far could be so much jibber-jabber. Coach Grantham has yet to put his schemes into place on the field, Hamilton has yet to put on those silver britches and Rambo…well, from what we’ve seen so far Rambo seems to have all the makings of a legitimate bad-ass and should be trusted until he gives us reason not to, but it would still be nice to see him back up all the promise flashed in his RFr season with a solid 2010 campaign.
The 2010 season promises to be an exciting one in Athens for a host of reasons and, for the first time since Coach Richt has been directing the charges, the preview sound rolling out of Athens may prove to be as entertaining as the other elements that make up your Saturday’s in the fall.