"Yeah," Wages said.
"All right! Put him up!"
And amid much shouting, an index card listing Simon's statistics was slapped onto a bulletin board on the lounge's dance floor.
Quiet for more than an hour, the fax machine in the S.I.D.'s office came to life again at 2:50 p.m. with three commitments, which brought the total to 23. One of them was Matt Stinchcomb, a 6'7", 300-pound offensive lineman from Lilburn, Ga. Like Simon, he was named to USA Today's all-prep national first team.
After doing four TV interviews on the deck outside his office, Goff entered the team meeting room at 4 p.m. to face the print media. Before speaking, he was informed that three junior college recruits had faxed in their signed letters. A little later Georgia's last signee of the day became Alex Vega, a 6'8", 373-pound offensive lineman from Bayonne, N.J., out of Merced ( Calif.) Junior College. "Absolutely the biggest human being I've ever seen," said Goff, adding that he was especially pleased to have signed 13 linemen on both sides of the ball.
But are they good enough to help him save his job?
"Until the last two weeks of recruiting, I didn't have one person ask me that question. I just told them that I've been at Georgia longer than any other coach has been at any other school in the SEC. I've coached against two coaches at Florida, two at Auburn, two at South Carolina, two at Georgia Tech...." He shrugged. "Change can happen anywhere."
The next day's newspapers reported that—surprise!—Notre Dame had harvested the nation's best recruiting class, followed by Florida State and Auburn. But it was duly noted that Georgia had done itself proud. "The most important recruiting class of the Goff era," reported The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In Athens the Frog Pond Lounge was quiet, the Dog Catchers having returned to their lives and jobs. But before they left, they pored over lists of next year's most promising high school seniors. "We can't help ourselves," said one of them with a shrug and a smile. "We're sick. You think we should start a chapter of Recruiting Anonymous?"