Richt's Recruiting- TE edition

Richt's Recruiting- TE edition

HurricaneVision
Now that we have the majority of the coaches named and we know basically the offensive and defensive systems we will run I wanted to take a look at Richt’s recruiting during his time with Georgia. I’ll be going through his recruiting position-by-position until I get through all 293 recruits from 2002 to 2014. I chose 2002 to start for a couple of reasons:

- It’s easier because most of the sites start at 2002
- It’s difficult to evaluate him on the 2001 recruiting class due to limited time to put a class together

I’ve covered the QB's, RB's, and WR's so now I'll move on to the TE's:

Richt recruited 16 TE's and they averaged 6-5, 237 and averaged 3.34 stars. Here are the 16 recruits:

Michael Turner- 6-5, 250 and 2.50 average stars. From GA and made 4 career starts.

Leonard Pope- 6-8, 240 and 4.00 average stars. From GA, made 34 career starts and was All-SEC and drafted.

Trahern Holden- 6-4, 240 and 3.00 average stars. From GA, made 0 career starts and left program.

Coleman Watson- 6-6, 250 and 3.00 average stars. From GA, made 0 career starts. Came in as DL, moved to TE, had one career catch, but stayed all four years.

Tripp Chandler- 6-5, 227 and 3.00 average stars. From GA, made 17 career starts. Was a good player.

NaDerris Ward- 6-5, 247 and 4.00 average stars. From CA, made 0 career starts and left program. Transferred to Oregon and moved to OL.

Bruce Figgins- 6-4, 240 and 3.00 average stars. From GA, made 3 career starts. His career starts came at FB.

Aron White- 6-4, 215 and 3.67 average stars. From MO, made 18 career starts.

Bryce Ros- 6-4, 233 and 2.67 average stars. From GA, made 0 career starts and never played. Toe injury from HS forced to retire.

Orson Charles- 6-3, 216 and 3.67 average stars. From FL, made 29 career starts and was All-SEC and was drafted.

Arthur Lynch- 6-5, 240 and 3.67 average stars. From MA, made 30 career starts, and was All-SEC and was drafted.

Jay Rome- 6-5, 255 and 4.00 average stars. From GA, made 5 career starts. 30 career receptions, bit of a disappointment thus far.

Ty Smith- 6-3, 225 and 3.33 average stars. From GA, made 0 career starts. Left program.

Jordan Davis- 6-4, 225 and 3.00 average stars. From GA, made 0 career starts thus far.

Hunter Atkinson- 6-5, 250 and 3.00 average stars. From GA, never made it to campus.

Jeb Blazevich- 6-5, 240 and 4.00 average stars. From NC, made 21 career starts already. Freshman All-SEC.

What can we learn from this?
It's apparent that Richt loves height in his TE's. With the way his offenses threatens the seam, it's important for him to have a tall, straight line receiver available to him. He has had a few who can fill the H-back role that Chris Herndon is perfect for. Richt basically has two types; the tall, heavy types who threaten the seam and the more agile, H-back types.

Only 10 TE's stuck with the roster?
Of the 16 recruited TE's, 6 left the program early. Over the course of 13 years he averaged bringing less than one new TE to the roster per year. This is partially due to the fact he didn't emphasize them heavily in his offense, but also because he tends to have a particular starter and then plays them heavy snaps. With as much 21 personnel he likes to play (two RB's, one TE), if you aren't the starter you're basically a special teams guy and scout player.

Overall thoughts
Richt has brought in a few excellent players, but for the most part his TE recruiting has been average. Using the TE's as an extra OL often- and a seam stretch for his crossers to work underneath them- the TE's do not get a ton of targets. For those who might be wondering what "threatening the seam" means, it is when a TE lines up in the slot and runs a vertical route just to the outside of the hash marks. Typically, an OLB will have underneath coverage on the slot TE and then a S will pick up the TE once it's apparent the TE is running a vertical route. Now that the TE is running vertical and getting the S to go with him, it puts the LB in a difficult situation. He has to either drift deep enough to impact the zone that the deep crosser is entering, but also have the eyes to come up and hit the shallow crosser as well. It's an excellent design and will work quite often for moving the chains on 3rd down- especially against college LB's who tend to come up too early when they see the shallow crosser, leaving the deep crosser behind them open for easy completions.

What Richt does an excellent job of is identifying the players who fit exactly what he wants at the position; he wants a big, strong TE who can function as an extra OL the majority of the time, but also big and tall enough to make life hard when running down the seam. Due to the nature of the route, the QB needs a tall target to throw to because often times they are trying to throw it in a spot between when the LB leaves the coverage and before the S can enter it. Since it is along the hash, a shorter player makes this a tougher throw given the proximity and angle from the QB, while also being a route that tends to take more hits.

Given what Richt has traditionally does at this position, I'd expect Dobard to play a lot in the base offense. Njoku will play quite a bit at split end, which is a glorified receiver position that is split out wide and asked to do a lot of blocking on the edge. Herndon is perfect for the H-back position that will exploit that shallow crosser so often, while also running out routes against LB's who don't have the range to run him down in the flat from across the formation (off play action, which freezes the LB).

Our roster sets up perfectly for what Richt wants to run, and gives him time to find the next fits for his offense.
 

Comments (16)

An additional note; due to the leaping ability of Njoku, he is also a great fit for the slot TE position to threaten the seam as well. I really wanted to have an example for each player can fit the best. Dobard was listed as the standard TE due to the fact he is a much better blocker than Njoku, but I can definitely see Njoku in the slot on 3rd downs. That player opens up so much for the offense, just having him run the route is important- even if he isn't open or targeted.
 
He also added Ben Watson as a transfer from Duke in his first year. He coached him for 3 years.
 
He also added Ben Watson as a transfer from Duke in his first year. He coached him for 3 years.

That's true, he did. I didn't include all transfers for the purpose of this exercise. Also, I didn't include players from his first season of 2001 due to the short timeframe he was afforded after being hired to the position etc.
 
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While he did not recruit Randy McMichael, Richt coached him for 2 years, 2000-2001. All SEC and had a long NFL career...
 
There are obviously some individuals misunderstanding the entire point of this exercise.
 
There are obviously some individuals misunderstanding the entire point of this exercise.

I apologize. I didn't realize you weren't including transfers. I figured that Watson would have had be recruited. He was a highly touted recruit that would have had multiple suitors when transferring. I thought it spoke to talent recognition/evaluation.

Edit: Upon further research, Watson would have sat out the 2000 season while transferring, making him at UGA before Richt. Therefore, not brought in as a transfer under Richt. This only speaks towards talent development, not recruiting.
 
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There are obviously some individuals misunderstanding the entire point of this exercise.

I apologize. I didn't realize you weren't including transfers. I figured that Watson would have had be recruited. He was a highly touted recruit that would have had multiple suitors when transferring. I thought it spoke to talent recognition/evaluation.

Edit: Upon further research, Watson would have sat out the 2000 season while transferring, making him at UGA before Richt. Therefore, not brought in as a transfer under Richt. This only speaks towards talent development, not recruiting.

No worries. I'm focusing on the players Richt purposely recruited and have options on recruiting them.

Watson didn't fall in the timeframe I am evaluating or I might have added him in.
 
A trend emerging across positions is that Richt lets kids play early if they are the goods. A lot of guys on your lists are 3-4 year starters. At first blush this list looks like he has a low hit rate on TEs, but a little analysis shows that his starter is almost always a stud at the college level and starts for multiple years---and the backup is usually a 4 star type of player.
 
"What can we learn from this?

It's apparent that Richt loves height in his TE's. With the way his offenses threatens the seam, it's important for him to have a tall, straight line receiver available to him. He has had a few who can fill the H-back role that Chris Herndon is perfect for. Richt basically has two types; the tall, heavy types who threaten the seam and the more agile, H-back types."

Besides Nick O'Leary they don't really make short TEs anymore.
 
The only guy I can think of that would not play kids early unless he was forced to was Al Gorlden.

A trend emerging across positions is that Richt lets kids play early if they are the goods. A lot of guys on your lists are 3-4 year starters. At first blush this list looks like he has a low hit rate on TEs, but a little analysis shows that his starter is almost always a stud at the college level and starts for multiple years---and the backup is usually a 4 star type of player.
 
Looking at that list, Richt's never had a guy close to as dynamic as Njoku. Njoku is going to be our next major NFL monster. He's a nasty sumbytch too the way he likes to crack people in the blocking game.
 
There are obviously some individuals misunderstanding the entire point of this exercise.

I apologize. I didn't realize you weren't including transfers. I figured that Watson would have had be recruited. He was a highly touted recruit that would have had multiple suitors when transferring. I thought it spoke to talent recognition/evaluation.

Edit: Upon further research, Watson would have sat out the 2000 season while transferring, making him at UGA before Richt. Therefore, not brought in as a transfer under Richt. This only speaks towards talent development, not recruiting.

No worries. I'm focusing on the players Richt purposely recruited and have options on recruiting them.

Watson didn't fall in the timeframe I am evaluating or I might have added him in.

Some further digging to add to the data. Martrez Milner came in 2002 as an athlete to UGA. He played TE from 2003-2006. He was 2nd team All SEC in 2006. He had a solid junior and great senior season before being drafted by Atlanta in the 4th round. His recruiting bio is here:

Martrez Milner - Yahoo! Sports
 
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2021 Commits

S
6'5"
220
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DT
6'4"
255
Miami, FL
OG
6'2"
295
Miami, FL
DT
6'4"
290
Miami, FL
WR
5'9"
190
Miami, FL
DE
6'5"
210
Miami, FL
WR
6'2"
180
Miami, FL
RB
6'0"
225
Hollywood, FL
TE
6'4"
210
Frisco, TX
STR
6'3"
190
Melbourne Senior, FL

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