The Georgia football program, like any other major university’s, goes through change in the offseason. Some of it expected, some of it surprising, and some of it demoralizing. But UGA has had an unusual amount of turnover this year, and fans have become uneasy about the state of the program.
Players have been dismissed (Tray Matthews and Josh Harvey-Clemons), transferred of their own volition (Shaq Wiggins) or just gave up football completely (Brandon Burrows and Hunter Atkinson), and left many wondering if Mark Richt and his staff were losing their grip on this football team.
Many fans have been waiting for a player to speak up and say that everything is fine in Athens, and that the team has become a more tightly-knit unit because of the numerous defections.
Outside linebacker Ryne Rankin did just that, and was quite blunt about where this team stands, in an interview with UGA insider, Radi Nabulsi, via 11alive.com.
“I don’t think there is an issue,” Rankin told Nabulsi. “You just have to act right. It’s not hard to act right. I was always raised to act right, if I didn’t act right, I was getting hit. My parents put me in line and I am thankful for that. If kids can’t act right then I guess you are going to see some consequences.”
“We got the players we got now,” he continued. “We ain’t going to sit here and look at people who are gone…get on the team or get left. That is what it is. You have to act right when you are in college, especially when your scholarship is paid for and everything is free.”
Can we get an “AMEN” on that, please?
For too long, the air of entitlement has wafted around the locker rooms and fields of not just Georgia, but so many other programs in the nation. The privileged have had the run of the roost for far too long, and their dismissals and exits will bring far more good than harm. Rankin’s statement only solidifies that thought.
In the end, the coaches have the players they want and who want to be here to do things the right way. Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt doesn’t need a field full of blue chip players to make his system work, he needs more players like Ryne Rankin who have the maturity to know how do do things the right way.
For more on all the happenings in Georgia Athletics be sure to follow DawnoftheDawg on Facebook, Twitter, and use our Android/iOS app to get updates directly from Fansided. Or you can receive email updates from DawnOftheDawg.com, by completing the following form here.