What commitment means: Georgia coach Mark Richt gives his opinion

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson hit on a hot-button issue when he made it a point to talk about what “commitment means” on signing day.

UGA coach Mark Richt was recently asked what “commitment means.” 

“When we offer a kid, we don’t ever want to renege that offer,” Richt said. “If we offer a QB, and we’ve assigned one scholarship to that position, and we offer five or six, we tell each one of them that ‘We’re looking to sign one.’ When one gets committed, and we trust that he’s solid, then we let everybody know we’re full. I don’t really look at that as reneging an offer. I think everybody offered has the chance to take that one. It one of those ‘whomever takes it first, gets it’ type of things.”

“That’s why I tell our coaches ‘Don’t be quick to offer. If you offer him, and he commits, he’s ours. We’re not backing off that. So, at times, we probably offer a little bit slower, in some cases, than other schools.”

“You hope that a young man is going to stand firm with his commitment. The [prospects] are going through all kinds of pressures. And there are a lot of other people besides these young men that get involved, and it can get crazy and confusing.”

“When I talk to a young man, I’m not one to press a kid really really hard to commit. Because if he does, and I pushed him into it, then they usually walk out the door saying ‘Man, I don’t know if I should’ve done that or not.’ Automatically, they walk out the door with some kind of doubt. Our style is more to lay it out there, and say ‘If you want to [commit], that’s fantastic. We want your heart, we want you to be serious about it. And if you don’t want to decide today, then call me on your way home. Call me tomorrow, call me next week, call me when you’re ready.’ I’ve had [many] guys walk out of my office saying ‘I wish I would’ve committed instead of walking out.’ Then we’ll get a call from a kid on his ride home from an unofficial visit where it’s ‘Coach we want to come to Georgia.’”

“So, I think that’s part of it, too. You don’t try to squeeze the commitment out of him. If I can talk him into committing to me, then probably someone else [another college] can probably talk him into de-committing.”

What did Paul Johnson say about what “commitment means?” He touched on it when discussing quarterback Dontae Aycock of Tampa, who had “secretly committed” to Tech in mid-January. However, less than a week away from signing day, Auburn entered the picture with a last-minute scholarship offer. 

“I reiterated that to him: ‘Dontae, don’t get on that plane [to Auburn].’ His high school coach told him, ‘Dontae, don’t get on that plane,’” Johnson said. “When he chose to do that, he was telling me, in my mind, he didn’t want to come to Georgia Tech, and so we moved on [rescinding Aycock's scholarship offer from Tech].”

Johnson explained that Tech recruited Aycock for nearly a full year, which included visits by Aycock to Tech for spring practice last year and to a summer camp. During Aycock’s recruiting trip last month, Johnson said he explained “commitment” to the prized prospect.

“We talked about what that meant,” Johnson said. “That commitment means, especially two weeks before signing day, is that we’re through with the recruiting process. … I’m giving you my word you’ve got a scholarship. You’re giving your word you’re coming.”

Aycock signed with Auburn.

19 comments Add your comment

[...] or by hard salesmanship.  Along those lines, take a look at what Mark Richt has to say about how he recruits and handles commitments. “When I talk to a young man, I’m not one to press a kid really really hard to commit. Because [...]

[...] ExtremeCentre.org wrote an interesting post today on UGA coach Mark Richt talks about what commitment meansHere’s a quick excerptGeorgia Tech coach Paul Johnson hit on a hot-button issue when he made it a point to talk about what “commitment means” on signing day. [...]

[...] Georgia head coach Mark Richt takes the word “commitment” to heart. [...]

Around The SEC East - 2/18/09 | MrSEC.com

February 18th, 2009
10:21 am

[...] it’s been the case for more than a year.UGA:  In football news, Mark Richt tells you exactly what “commitment” means when it comes to recruiting.UF:  Florida’s inside players have been outrebounded in their [...]

Dawg Tired

February 18th, 2009
12:00 pm

Coach Richt’s comments are revealing. I think they help me understand why we seem to not have a lot od “de-commitments.” Obviously, coaches who put severe pressure on these 17 to 18 year old kids should be doing something else. I like what Coach Richt had to say. He’s got this right.

[...] coach Mark Richt talks about what commitment means UGA coach Mark Richt talks about what commitment means | College Football Recruiting Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson hit on a hot-button issue when he made it a point to talk about [...]


February 18th, 2009
6:35 pm

Both of these fine coaches have got it right. To build a championship team you must commit to the teams goals and objectives. It is a great standard to recruit by and to live by. This format will pay dividends that create consistant winning and admired football programs. There is alot to be said for good old fashion beliefs and true life lessons.

Commitment and Ethics | MrSEC.com

February 19th, 2009
10:21 am

[...] starts things off with a recruiting conversation where he talks about the meaning of commitment to him in recruiting. Also on the topic of commitment, the ABH talks about the change of culture [...]


February 19th, 2009
6:27 pm


Carolina Jacket

February 20th, 2009
6:06 pm

Coach Richt certainly appears to have a classy approach to recruitment. And it is surely effective. He should certainly get credit for that. But, I’m not sure that UGA tends to hold off it offers more than other schools. Last year, at least 14 players were not only offered but committed before September. I assume that some of the others had been offered, but had not yet committed. They had a great year, but many were offered early — for what its worth.

[...] is fine for the triple option. Jump to Comments For some reason, this post about what it means to commit by Michael Carvell at the AJ-C’s recruiting blog was relinked yesterday on the paper’s [...]


February 21st, 2009
8:36 am

I’d like to see the commitment go both ways.
The school has committed to the kid a free college education, so the commitment from the kid should be to stay and graduate.


February 22nd, 2009
9:19 am

Most high school juniors are not capable of committing to anything, but there are exceptions. It would be better for everyone if colleges waited until after the recruit’s senior football season to offer scholarships. Offering a scholarship to a 10th grader is absurd. If the 10th grader in question is injured in high school and can’t play, will the school still honor the scholarship? I don’t think so.

SEC fan

February 22nd, 2009
11:02 am

Speaking of commitment, what is the latest on Orson Charles? Did USC become a serious contender after this weekend? When is he planning on announcing his decision? Tks.


February 22nd, 2009
1:47 pm

Hey, Coach Johnson… did you worry about the definition of “commitment” when you signed Jaybo Shaw in your 2008 signing class? You remember the kid… the one that had previously “committed” to Middle Tennessee State before you recruited him, had him “commit” to you, and sign him?

Seems to me like the definition of “commitment” isn’t something you need to be worrying about… what you should be doing is pulling out a dictionary and looking up the definition of “hypocrite”.

Lil Indian

February 22nd, 2009
8:01 pm

Although the article was somewhat interesting, I was more intrigued by the photo of Michael Carvell… He is extremely hot!!

[...] to make the right decision is what builds loyalty among those who choose to stay. It’s the same way in which Richt approaches recruiting, and it’s been a consistent and successful [...]


March 19th, 2009
12:25 pm

brandon gunter

October 3rd, 2009
7:43 pm

Hey Coach Richt…I am only 11 years old, but one of your best fans. I would love it if the dawgs could wear black when we face the Gators and also play the song “Who Let The Dogs Out” as we enter the field! That would be awesome….Go Dawgs! Sic ‘Em…Beat Florida! Thanks for a wonderful season so far…tell the dawgs to keep up the hard work!