Posted: 10:51 am Saturday, May 17th, 2014

Fan talk: Offensive line talent, defensive backfield concerns, true silver britches and Jacksonville! (Updated) 

By Bill King

George Foster went in the first round of the NFL draft. (Associated Press)

George Foster went in the first round of the NFL draft. (Associated Press)

Let’s get straight to some of this week’s Junkyard Mail. …

Larry Tucker writes: Bill, Any thoughts on why we seem to miss out on so many O-Line prospects? This year the state is loaded and already the top 5 are committed to out of state schools. When was the last time we have had an O-Lineman go in the first round of the draft?

First of all, Larry, I think it’s way too early to be fretting about the 2015 recruiting class. However, you’re not alone in worrying about how the OL will perform this coming season, particularly considering all the shifting that went on during spring practice. And, yes, the offensive line has been a perennial area of concern during the Mark Richt era, perhaps due in part fo a fair amount of turnover in OL coaches. Current coach Will Friend was hired in 2011, replacing Stacy Searels, who came to Georgia from LSU in 2007, replacing Neil Callaway, who was named offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at UGA when Richt assembled his original staff in January, 2001.

But Georgia has had some NFL-worthy talent on the OL during that time. To answer your question, the last Dogs offensive lineman to go in the first round of the NFL draft was George Foster, who was taken by the Denver Broncos in the first round of the 2003 draft and spent eight years in the league. (Before Foster, the last first-round pick was Matt Stinchcomb in 1999, during the Jim Donnan era.) The next highest OL draftees in the Richt years were Cordy Glenn, taken in the second round in 2012, and Jon Stinchcomb, taken in the second round in 2003. But, working our way back, Georgia has also had Ben Jones, Justin Anderson, Clint Boling, Chester Adams, Ken Shackleford and Max Jean-Gilles drafted off its OL.

Of course, it would be great for the Dogs to get more five-star OL recruits like John Theus, but, as he told the Macon Telegraph recently, Richt doesn’t think a dominating offensive line is a necessity. “I’ve coached offensive football a long time,” the coach said. “I don’t want to make anybody mad at Florida State, but we didn’t have dominating offensive lines, but we had some great skill people that were able to make some great plays. If you have a bunch of linemen that know what to do, and can stay coordinated and get their hat on the right guy, and fight like mad, you can neutralize a defender for long enough for a great skill guy to get on by, or get the ball off, whatever it might be. I mean, I’d rather have five guys that are in sync, that are a little above average, than three of them that are superstars and two guys that can’t play. You’re not gonna get it done. Because all it takes is one guy to blow it, and you’ve got a negative-yardage play. It can be very frustrating.”

Jim P. writes: Bill, Simple question … Who the #%!! is going to man our defensive backfield this year? … I’m afraid our promising season can be derailed again by our defense. Regardless of Coach Pruitt’s influence. Doesn’t matter who the coach is, if they don’t have enough players to man their positions.

Corey Moore is the likely starter at strong safety. (John Kelley / UGA)

Corey Moore is the likely starter at strong safety. (John Kelley / UGA)

It’s certainly a major concern, Jim, what with Josh Harvey-Clemons and Shaq Wiggins gone from the team and Brendan Langley moving over to offense. Right now, you can pretty much figure that the pair of seniors in the secondary will start: Damian Swann at one of the cornerback positions and Corey Moore as one of the safeties. The other safety is likely to be Quincy Mauger or Tray Matthews (who faces a possible suspension for Checkgate), though senior walk-on Lucas Redd made a move during the spring and Tramel Terry, who came over from the offense, could be a factor once he learns the position. It looks like the nickel back or “star” will be another recent defensive convert, J.J. Green. But predicting the starter at the other cornerback spot is pretty much a crap shoot. Redshirt-freshman Aaron Davis, a walk-on, wound up the spring on top of the depth chart, but Sheldon Dawson, Devin Bowman or Kennar Johnson could get playing time, and Reggie Wilkerson, returning from ACL surgery, also will be in the mix, possibly backing up Swann. One thing I would count on: Incoming players Malkom Parrish, Shattle Fenteng, Shaq Jones and Dominick Sanders will get the opportunity to battle their way up the depth chart at cornerback or safety right from the start. Like I said earlier this week, Jeremy Pruitt has his a big job ahead of him.

Matt in Brisbane, Australia, writes: Greetings, Mr. King, from the Land Down-Under. I suppose as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to appreciate the value and the excitement of the individual football games more and more. The stories, the outrageous characters (who can’t appreciate having Spurrier, The Hatter, and Reverend Richt all in the same conference?!), the rivalries, and the heroism of the players — they all are what make college football transcend all other sports. I am concerned that the recent obsession with the national title has taken the shimmer out of lots of wonderful games. I would be so proud if Georgia could finally win a title, but I would much prefer it if every game were REALLY a new contest, independent and exciting, regardless of the national title prospects of the teams playing. We all know deep down that the individual game is the most exciting thing. Remember two or three years ago when James Franklin at Vandy was UGA’s Enemy #1, and we barely got by in Nashville? That was exciting. Compare that to Bama’s recent thrashing of Notre Dame in the NC game. Just sayin’…. Anyway, I agree that it makes football way more exciting if you have teams with a lot to lose playing each other, but have we gotten a little crazy? As a side effect, that is obviously why the SEC is hesitant to play more good games. Maybe I’m being sanctimonious, but maybe the national title will soon ruin the spirit of college football. Conference titles, though, I think are fantastic. Even still, I’ll be missing and craving all the excitement come fall.

I agree completely, Matt. I know there is a contingent of Dismal Dawgs who declare the entire Richt era a failure because he hasn’t brought a national championship trophy back to Athens. But if you take that very limited view of what constitutes success in college football, you’re going to generally be unhappy, no matter what school you support. I like your way of looking at it, and I hope you’re able to follow the Dogs this season Down Under.

John David writes: Bill, I know that UGA is currently working with Nike to bring back true silver britches, which excites me to no end. That leads me to two questions. 1) What is the current state of that effort? I seem to remember hearing something a couple years ago about trying to have them ready for 2014, but I haven’t heard any news lately. 2) Also, I would love to see the Dooley-era red pants return (with stripes, not the solid mess from the Boise game a couple years back), but ONLY for a few away games each year. Thoughts? Thanks, love the Blawg.

Would you like to see the red road britches worn by Herschel Walker brought back? (UGA)

Would you like to see the red road britches worn by Herschel Walker brought back? (UGA)

Thanks, JD. Athletic director Greg McGarity said back in March that Georgia is “working with our partners at Nike to create a more ‘silver’ silver for the Dawgs’ silver britches,” and this week I checked with Senior Associate Athletic Director Claude Felton, who said: “Uniform design and production is quite a lengthy process these days but the new ‘silver’ should be good to go for the 2015 season.” So, not this season, but next. As for the red britches, I’m with you in supporting the idea of occasionally wearing them on the road with the white jerseys (never at home with the red tops), but McGarity has indicated he’s less inclined these days to mess with Georgia’s traditional uniform after “our one experiment in Atlanta wasn’t very popular” (a reference to the infamous Power Rangers uniforms against Boise State).

Rick Martin writes: Bill, I am sick and tired of hearing people complain about UGA’s home schedule. All of this could be solved if they would just move the Florida game to home-and-home. I also would ask the fans, would you rather have to drive 6 hours after a win or a loss?

Rick, as I said a couple of weeks ago, I don’t think there’s any strong sentiment among athletics officials at either UGA or UF to move the game out of Jacksonville now, although if the SEC were go to to a nine-game conference schedule, that could change, possibly to an arrangement that alternated Athens, Gainesville and Jacksonville. However, if you take the game out of Jacksonville — with the 50/50 split in seating and the surrounding party atmosphere — it no longer would be one of college football’s marquee events. It would be just another important game in the SEC East.

Finally, I wrote the other day that Richt told fans in Albany he wasn’t afraid of attrition, but he didn’t actually make that comment in his address to the fans at UGA Day. Rather, he said that in a one-on-one interview with Gentry Estes of Dawgs 247 before the fan event. So, here’s credit where it’s due.

UPDATE

COMMENTERS, PLEASE READ: In the switch over to the new system, there’s some fine-tuning going on with the Livefyre commenting system. In the interim, some of you are taking advantage and using language that isn’t appropriate for this blog. If you continue to do that, not only will your posts be taken down, but you will be banned from commenting. You’ve been warned. Thanks for reading the Blawg, but please keep the comments (and your commenting handles) clean.

Got something you want to discuss concerning UGA athletics? Or a question for the Junkyard Blawg? Email junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

256 comments
Dawg350
Dawg350

Baseball team lost a heart breaker....but they will be better next year...we just need a few hitters...our defense is pretty good.

Dawg350
Dawg350

I can't wait to see what Gurley...Marshall....Sony and Chubb are able to accomplish on the field! Let's go dawgs! We gonna have the best RB core in the nation!

NoAxeToGrind
NoAxeToGrind

In reference to Mr. King's "Commenters, please read" column of 1 day ago.

NoAxeToGrind
NoAxeToGrind

Mr. King: You realize that, if you do this, your column will be much less ineresting because you will have to kick off most of the charter members of the Richt Fan Club.....I will not call any names but everyone knows who they are.....because they are the ones, for the most part, who are guilty of such crude and unseemly behavior.

Dawg350
Dawg350

I've changed my mind...I'm moving hotdawg to number 1 as my favorite poster. Dropping Thomas brown to 4th.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Best Wishes to the golf team.

Go Dawgs!

SinceVince
SinceVince

Sure would've been great to have donned the true "Silver Britches" against Klimpson. Death Valley sure was loud and put on a show for the college football world last year when UGA played the Tigers. Klimpsons Defense is gonna be stout and I sure hope Boo Boo wont get vanilla on offense as he sometimes do in our opener.

FlatTire
FlatTire

I would really like to see the red pants every year at least at 1 away game; they look so much better with the red helmet and white jersey

bulldawg14
bulldawg14

I've always wondered why we end up with average and below average offensive lineman year in and year out. Used to think it was Friend's fault for not being a good recruiter. That quote by Richt tells the whole story right there though. It's a bigger problem than just a position coach, it's a head coaching philosophy. I usually support Richt 100% and I am in no way in favor of him getting the boot, and I don't even think his tenure has been a failure by any stretch of the imagination. It's been a great run, and I'd like to see it continue, but I will never agree with that particular piece of his philosophy. The offensive line is one of the most important positions on the field, and to put the recruitment of those guys on the back burner, quite frankly, pisses me off a little. Sure, having big time skill guys is great, but if your 5 star QB only has 2 seconds in the pocket and your 5 star RB has a mob of defenders on him every play, their not going to look like 5 star recruits for very long.


If you need any proof at all, look at Bama and what they have done since Saban got there. 5 star OL across the board year in and year out. Needless to say, they make their skill guys look like superstars. John Parker Wilson, AJ McCarron, Glenn Coffee, Mark Ingram, Eddie Lacy, Donta Hightower, all 3 and 4 star recruits out of high school yet they all ended up having outstanding college careers. The game really is won in the trenches, especially the big ones. And that's coming from somebody that was a skill guy all of his life.

BillKing
BillKing moderator

COMMENTERS, PLEASE READ: In the switch over to the new system, there's some fine-tuning going on with the Livefyre commenting system. In the interim, some of you are taking advantage and using language that isn't appropriate for this blog. If you continue to do that, not only will your posts be taken down, but you will be banned from commenting. You've been warned. Thanks for reading the Blawg, but please keep the comments (and your commenting handles) clean.

Dawg350
Dawg350

Josh Murray is doing well on the bachelor show! We are going to have a great recruiting class this year. I can't wait to see Todd Gurley run some people over in the fall!

mgadawg
mgadawg

First, I find it hard to believe that it is this hard to get true silver silver britches made.  Along the lines of jerseys, I would really like to see a change up once or maybe twice a year.  I'm not saying go scifi like the power ranger jerseys, but have the same style but in a black jersey or red pants.  The reason the power ranger jersey was so bad was because of the style, not the colors.


Second, I do agree with richt that having a couple superstar offensive lineman and the rest scrubs is not a good thing.  However, can we not get a couple of superstar offensive lineman and a couple average hardworking lineman instead of all average offensive lineman?  I say shoot for the stars at every position, don't ignore one whole group.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Yep. And the deficiencies are discussed as concerns between "clubbers". Not as things that can"t be overcome. The anti crowd berates a negative to death. And then continues the same.

Not every problem is solved in a season.

Oh, well. Does that mean give up, give in.? Or say we're a bad team, when we're not.?

Why the need for the negative ones to want to make all others negative?

Wallow in your own miserable attitude.

I say bring on the season with a positive outlook.

I appreciate every season. So much more to it than the negative garbage.

ColumbusDawg
ColumbusDawg

Mark Richt says he hopes the fans of UGA Football will not temper expectations for the 2014 season. That is a surreal comment from Richt, because I know for a fact that three LARGE UGA Hartman Fund donors told Richt that their expectations for 2014 are sky high, and that they expect a serious run at it this year. They now that much will be lost from this team after this season. If Gurley leaves UGA after the season without a championship, Richt's choke collar will be tight. There is not nearly as much slack in that chain as some think. Now, Richt may have been referring to fans that casually watch Georgia play football, with no real reason to have any such expectations based on what they have seen from Richt's teams over the years, but not those close to the program. 

As far as running over Bama next season, the Dawgs will be starting a new QB with no experience, the defense will lose much from front seven, I'll wait on that prediction. If Georgia s to sniff one in near future it needs to be THIS season.    

NoAxeToGrind
NoAxeToGrind

I think the Fan Clubbers, especially the charter members, should worry aout 2014 at this point and not worry about 2015 yet. Judging from the past, they will have plenty to worry about once 2014 kicks off.

RED DOG 77
RED DOG 77

I click on tonight and lo and behold three DGDs are lettin' 'em rip...........that is, standing up to these belly dragging trolls, these imposters who would love to ruin your joy of Georgia football.............You're doing great guys just like "our" GEEEEOOOORRRGIA  BULLDOGS are gonna do this season............I'm proud to stand with you guys...........and I don't give a rip what they say either......... Thanks DawginCo, Dawg350 and HotDawg................Regards.........RED

Dawg350
Dawg350

I agree with hotdawg! UGA is going to run all over Bama in Athens! Lorenzo carter will be in his 2nd year and will take the bama qb's head off. I love UGA and I think we will go undefeated this year. I'm not changing for anybody...I believe in the G! Being positive is better than being a big blow hard like flat and dawg fan!

RED DOG 77
RED DOG 77

@Dawg350 I'm with you, I just hope the coaches are able to keep those kids egos in check long enough for all of them to be successful. I'm thinking, how cool would it be for Bobo and Richt to have an available, strong, and healthy Gurley for the SECCG...........There is plenty to go around, I just hope the kids know it.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Thanks 350. It's those high standards. Lol

It's all about everything UGA!

RED DOG 77
RED DOG 77

@bulldawg14 Do you mind sharing "that quote by Richt"?......I know what he said..........are you sure you got it straight?............thanks...........RED

NoAxeToGrind
NoAxeToGrind

@BillKing

Mr. King: You do realize that, if you do this, your column will be much less interesting because you will have to kick off most of the charter members.....I won't call any names, but everyone knows who they are.....of the Richt Fan Club since they are the ones who resort to such crude and unseemly posts.

NoAxeToGrind
NoAxeToGrind

@BillKing

That's a good idea, Mr. King. But you do realize that your column will be a lot less interesting when you kick off the charter members of the Richt Fan Club.....I won't call any names......because they're the ones, for the most part, that are guilty of such behavior. I haven't read where Flat Tire and dawgfan, whom they especially despise, have degenerated to the same level.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@BillKing  

Just glad to see the change to a format that doesn't constantly eat posts for no discernable reason(s).

That aside, I believe most of us on here appreciate your efforts to foster lively discussion about UGA/college football. Monitoring a blog for inappropriate commentary has got to be a tough and thankless job; hats off to you for handling it.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@BillKing By the way Bill, thanks for unbanning me. Your a pretty good fellow, even if you are a dawg. OK i will shut up.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Thanks, good to see ya RED.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@HotDawg Try winning something before you go running that yapper.

FlatTire
FlatTire

@HotDawg   Let me know when UGA decides to "man Up" and start beating ranked teams before you go calling Bama "man enough"

maconexpress
maconexpress

CMR's quote - “I mean I’d rather have five guys that are in sync, that are a little above average, than three of them that are superstars and two guys that can’t play. You’re not gonna get it done. Because all it takes is one guy to blow it, and you’ve got a negative-yardage play. It can be very frustrating.”

I know CMR's quote has nothing to do with recruiting but I can see why some would be baffled by it because it's rare to have  3 five star OLs on the same team that can't play. That seems more like  a coaching's problem than a player's problem to me.

As far as recruiting goes,  I will certainly recruit a 5 star over a lower star if I can recruit them.

FlatTire
FlatTire

@DawgNole  To finish our conversation; I can tell you if a 1 loss Michigan who played only 1 good team all year is up against a 2 loss UGA team who played and beat 4 or 5 top 25 teams including the SEC championship. Dont be surprised UGA will be sitting at home.

I can hear it now oh but Michigan beat #16 ranked Northwestern

BillKing
BillKing moderator

@gtcaryd @BillKing  Most (not all) of the Blawg's past commenters are being given a clean slate with the launching of the new system. But those who've been banned in the past should consider themselves on notice that if the comments become inappropriate, they'll be gone again. Just for everyone's benefit: bad language, creatively spelled substitutes for bad language, sexual comments, homophobic comments, racist comments, political comments and personal insults are considered inappropriate. Also grounds for banning: clogging up the comments with super long cut-and-paste posts, and posting under multiple handles in the same conversation in order to bolster your own position (we had one past commenter who would agree with and compliment himself!) As long as you follow the rules, I don't care which team you support or whether you agree with me or not. Thanks again for reading!


HotDawg
HotDawg

Gt, take your own advice.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Is UGA supposed to be afraid of bamards?

Give me a break.

UGA fears no opponent.

Never have, never will.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Flat and card....you two can get on your knees and knock yourselves out on bama....

I don't bow to those in-breeds.

HotDawg
HotDawg

They beat ranked teams last season.

bulldawg14
bulldawg14

@maconexpress  How does that not have everything to do with recruiting? I'm not even sure how you could spin it any other way, the quote clearly depicts the fact the he does not prioritize the value of good offensive lineman. He's basically saying that as long as he has good skill guys, he just needs 5 big boys to get in the way long enough for the skill guys to make plays. That mentality will never sit right with me. Your offensive line needs to be an area of focus for recruiting and it's obvious that isn't the case at UGA.

Natureboy809
Natureboy809

@maconexpress  You would have thought that the 2012 SEC Championship Game would have changed his mind, huh?

FlatTire
FlatTire

@DawgNoleWere on the same page.  I agree with most everything you have said.  I dont like the new format of playing LSU or Bama once every 12 years (or however long it is now we get to play them)

All Im saying is I dont want hear about Ohio St beating a way over ranked Northwestern Team (like the media tried last year with gameday showing up and all) and having one loss; then jumping ahead of a 2 loss SEC champion just because they beat Iowa Northwestern Minnesota Indiana Illinois Wisconsin and a Michigan team that would have had 5 losses in the SEC that year

DawgNole
DawgNole

@FlatTire @DawgNole  

Not sure we're on the same page here. All I want is an improved OOC schedule, which means our favorite FBS teams must put an end to the shameful practice of buying Ws from softies. And I think we're moving in that direction--albeit at a snail's pace.

Adding a ninth SEC (or ACC) game further reduces the opportunities for those favorites of ours to shell out $$$ simply to pad their schedules with wins over weaklings.

FlatTire
FlatTire

@DawgNole  you can add Iowa Wisconsin Maryland as well most years they arent that good

FlatTire
FlatTire

@DawgNole  FSU and Tech are much tougher than Indiana Illinois  Minnesota North Western and Rutgers especially when they are rivals

DawgNole
DawgNole

@FlatTire @DawgNole  "Teams like UGA and FL already really play 9 tough games they dont need another."

___________________

I respectfully disagree with you on that one, Flat. NINE tough games?! Guess it depends on your definition of "tough."

I'll tell you this, though, EVERY cupcake an SEC team plays will count heavily against that SEC team come playoff time. Let's take that part out of the equation by dropping these bought-and-paid-for marshmallow Ws--once and for all.

You're right about Auburn getting hosed in '04, but that's because we didn't have a playoff then. Wouldn't happen this year with 3 (or even 4) undefeated power conference teams.

FlatTire
FlatTire

@DawgNoleIm totally for 9 games especially since we wont be playing LSU again until 2025 which is sad (correct me if I'm wrong on what I heard today)

I think it is still is pervasive.  Have you not watched College live or listened on the XM college stations berating the SEC almost daily.   Yet nothing about the Big12 having no conference championship and only 9 teams. Teams like UGA and FL already really play 9 tough games they dont need another

Im telling you the same push that kept Auburn out of the national title in 04 is the same one being played here; they know the likely hood of the SEC going to 9 games will lead to a 2 loss season and an undefeated or 1 loss Big 10 Big 12 Pac 12 team sitting at number 5 will be debated to jump ahead

DawgNole
DawgNole

@FlatTire @DawgNole  

That's the ol' "Big 10 bias" all us SEC/ACC fans know and despise. But I don't think it's as pervasive as it used to be--thanks to overrated blowhards Ohio St and Mich generally getting their azzes handed to them when they finally are forced to meet decent competition.

In any event, NONE of it excuses buying OOC Ws, which is what most FBS teams have fattened their records with for too many years. One more conference game is one less cupcake--especially with playoffs looming--and that's good for FBS football.

DawginCO
DawginCO

@BillKing @gtcaryd well it is just a matter of time before TB is gone = "clogging up the comments with super long cut-and-paste posts"  lol

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@BillKing @gtcarydI think it would be more productive to post and then disagree with yourself. Thanks Bill.
 

RED DOG 77
RED DOG 77

@HotDawg You got it HotDawg, he hates Georgia with a passion..........he's on this site only to "game" us..........I'm like you...........I'm not going to let him take my joy of Georgia football away, no how, no way...........GO DAWGS!!!

HotDawg
HotDawg

So.... you get mad because coworkers laugh or talk "bad" about UGA.... then you come in here and get mad because people on a UGA blog talk "good" about UGA?????

Flat you are screwed up. Admit you're just a fake.

Everyone here knows you hate UGA .

HotDawg
HotDawg

Flat....go blast GA along with your co-workers. That's all you do here. You sound more like they do. Stand with them at the watercooler all day and laugh with them.

You say you laugh at and criticize fans in here, so who are you trying to fool?

or else get new friends and work somewhere else.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Btw....you never have to repeat anything. You choose to. We've all read your garbage the first time.

Like a slug and troll.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Tough. You don't sound like you care too much about UGA in here. You criticize practically everything and everyone (except the troll anti-GA bloggers).

Fans are fanatics. They are overzealous. They cheer for their team through good and bad.

Who cares? Good for them.

I don't care if somebody says "we're #1" every year, every month, or every day....

Beats the heck out of hearing some dweeb bitchin' every day like yourself.

FlatTire
FlatTire

@HotDawg cause I have to hear it on a monthly basis from friends and co-workers laughing about how the UGA fan base always talks big about next year yet cant go a season without losing several games

HotDawg
HotDawg

Do you just like being a sarcastic, jacka.s to others that enjoy their team? Very troll ish.

FlatTire
FlatTire

@HotDawg I wouldnt have to repeat some things if all the big talk  fans would stop trash talking and promising next years the year we win it all with nothing to back them up

HotDawg
HotDawg

Flat...I personally don't give a crap what you think. You repeat yourself in every blog.

Get new material.

HotDawg
HotDawg

They're in hybernation.....lol

FlatTire
FlatTire

@HotDawg I dont bow down to Bama I just find it hilarious to read someone posting big talk with nothing to back them up in 30 years except 1 one loss season

DawgNole
DawgNole

@HotDawg  

I thought it was Tenn that did all that inbreedin' up in them thar hollers? No?

HotDawg
HotDawg

Doesn't matter. I'll be happy to face them.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@FlatTire @HotDawgHeck Flat we're on the same page tonight. You run a little hot and cold with those dawgs huh?

FlatTire
FlatTire

@HotDawg 6-17 vs ranked teams in the last 5 years isnt much to be talking about a program that has won 3 National Titles recently