Has UGA’s new OC made splash in recruiting you expected?

Has new UGA offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer made the splash you expected this year in recruiting?

Many people have asked me that question over the last week.

Actually, the question was more like: Do you feel like Schotty has made the same type of splash as Jeremy Pruitt did after he was hired by UGA last year?

UGA's Brian Schottenheimer (John Kelley/UGA)

UGA’s Brian Schottenheimer (John Kelley/UGA)

With only a few more weeks to work with last year, Pruitt made quite the splash in the short time before signing day: He held off Miami for defensive tackle Lamont Gaillard, and made late additions with cornerbacks Dominick Sanders (truly a steal) and Shaq Jones. Of course, Pruitt’s most important accomplishment was sealing the deal for the state’s No. 1 prospect, defensive end Lorenzo Carter.

But maybe it’s not fair to compare Schottenheimer to Pruitt because Pruitt was hired by UGA while being one of the nation’s hottest names – fresh of helping Florida State win a national title, along with a few years under the legendary Nick Saban.

So let’s go back to the first question: Has Schottenheimer made the splash you expected this year in recruiting?

When his hiring was announced, it seemed to be a big deal to some recruits. He brought in impressive NFL credentials. And, by all accounts, he really came across very well in his introductory press conference. It was a heck of a first impression.

But has all of that translated to success on the recruiting trail?

Van Jefferson wondered aloud if the new OC was going to be run-happy or pass-happy – which amused me because the NFL is basically a passing league. And you have schools like Oklahoma State telling Chris Carson that if he wants to go to the NFL, then Stillwater, Okla., is a better option than Tailback U. Say what? You would think Schottenheimer would email his Wikipedia bio to Carson and say “Okie State may think they know what it takes to get to the NFL, but I know for a fact what it takes because I was there the last 14 years.”

And what about Darius Slayton? UGA lost its footing when Mike Bobo was promoted at Colorado State. If a kid ultimately wants to go to the NFL, wouldn’t Schottenheimer be equal or greater (and that’s nothing against Mike, who was terrific) than Bobo because he has been a lifelong NFL coach? And the same goes for all the offensive linemen that UGA courted at the last minute.

I haven’t been in the living rooms with Schottenheimer and recruits this past month, but some have suggested to me that NFL coaches go through an adjustment period with learning the ropes of the college recruiting process. Yes, recruiting is truly a headache that guys in the NFL don’t have to deal with. Is that what’s going? It doesn’t seem like it because he has gotten positive reviews from the kids I’ve talked with (well, other than being challenged by some hot wings).

What are your thoughts on this topic? Please post below.

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— By Michael Carvell, AJC’s Recruiting Blog

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