UGA to Penn State players: Come on down!

Mark Richt was unusually open about his interest in Penn State players. (David Tulis / AJC special)

Mark Richt was unusually open about his interest in Penn State players. (David Tulis / AJC special)

While Mark Richt has perhaps been the most up-front about his interest in picking up some of the Penn State players who are free to leave the NCAA-hammered program and play immediately elsewhere, Georgia certainly isn’t the only SEC school looking at that possibility.

In terms of players currently on the Nittany Lions roster, this is likely to play out rather quickly, as most schools will be starting preseason camp soon — UGA on Aug. 2 — and in order to have a realistic shot at anything close to immediate playing time a transfer would need to be on campus by then.

It’s not surprising that Richt is interested, but what did widen a few eyes among college football observers was how he wasn’t at all coy about it when addressing the subject at Monday night’s UGA Day fan gathering. In fact, he volunteered the news that as soon as they heard about the NCAA sanctions against PSU, the Georgia coaching staff went over Penn State’s two-deep roster to identify players the Bulldogs might be interested in.

The fact that Richt offered that tidbit up in public is an indication that, yes, Georgia is really interested. And why not, the Dogs have a depleted roster that numbers less than Southern Cal, which is on probation!

Penn State players apparently would be welcomed by the UGA team as well. All-American Jarvis Jones tweeted: “Penn State players feel free to b a Part of BullDogs Nation!!!”

While you can bet Nick Saban and other SEC coaches are moving just as quickly as Richt, if more quietly, Georgia does have what appears to be a couple of built-in advantages: Georgia has plenty of room on its roster and also has on staff John Thomas, who until recently was Penn State’s strength and conditioning coordinator for 20 years.

As for which players Georgia might talk with, early speculation has centered on defensive end Deion Barnes and linebacker Khairi Fortt, both of whom considered Georgia out of high school and reportedly took recruiting visits to Athens. And UGA has at least somewhat of a relationship with two Penn State commitments — defensive end Garrett Sickels and tight end Adam Breneman — since both were offered scholarships by Georgia.

Beyond that, the most obvious need the Dogs have is experienced offensive linemen, so I imagine that’s where the Georgia coaches looked hardest when they examined the PSU roster at their retreat Monday. But the Dogs also are in need of additional depth in the defensive secondary.

Of course, we don’t know that Penn State players will bail on the program en masse, though it certainly would be understandable if they did, and Georgia may wind up not picking up any of the school’s current players.

It’s quite likely, however, that Pennsylvania — which proved very fruitful territory for the Bulldogs in past generations with names like Sinkwich, Trippi and Rissmiller — is likely to get increased recruiting attention in the future from a lot of schools, including Georgia. And in addition to Thomas, secondary coach Scott Lakatos is very familiar with the area.

Aunt Pittypat might have been aghast at more Yankees in Georgia, but this is one case where they’re entirely welcome!

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

258 comments Add your comment

Taco Meat

July 24th, 2012
10:54 am

I’d be satisfied if we stole one or two OL, an experienced kicker, and a DB.

Room for more!

July 24th, 2012
10:58 am

We could take their starting 22 and still have room for a few more. So sad…..

Bama in Atlanta

July 24th, 2012
11:04 am

So are we going to start seeing “We WERE Penn State” bumper stickers?!?

Big Crimson 75

July 24th, 2012
11:09 am

Scandal aside, Penn St players traditionally are accustomed to a high level of Coaching, Discipline, Education, Team-Work, Integrity………coming to Athens will be laughable to them.

Dirty Dawg

July 24th, 2012
11:09 am

What’s not being said is that there’s a line – fine or not – between letting kids know that you’re available should they be interested in exploring options and looting the place in the midst of a disaster. And the difference says a lot about who we are.

beanster

July 24th, 2012
11:10 am

I hope something good comes out of this. If I had to guess, I would think the odds of UGA getting anyone notable out of this seem long at best. I hope I am wrong.

Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it

July 24th, 2012
11:12 am

Why would they want to go to a school that couldn’t beat a Big 10 team?

I guess if they wanted an easy schedule. GET MINE NOW THE EASIEST WAY POSSIBLE, the Georgia way and the reason your state sucks at sports.

Big Red 09

July 24th, 2012
11:13 am

Big Crimson, what’s laughable is an Alabama fan preaching about integrity.

Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it

July 24th, 2012
11:13 am

If you guys would quit whining about others’ successes and just sign more players, you wouldn’t be in this mess.

Geez, you’re like the occupy movement of college football.

beanster

July 24th, 2012
11:15 am

“I guess I have to say it. I’m not going to be the Alabama coach.” Nick Saban, December 21, 2006.

The definition of integrity, right BC?

Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it

July 24th, 2012
11:18 am

Will see how much integrity Rev Richt has when we see what players take the field against Missouri.

Right beanster?

Faithful Dawg 86

July 24th, 2012
11:19 am

Would love to pick up a few O-linemen and Silas Redd would be a welcome addition to the backfield… Sad for these players and their families! I read a blog yesterday where all the commenters were blasting Richt for not moving fast enough on this and another one this morning where everyone basically called him a vulture… poor guy can’t win. I wish all the idiots would just shut the h*ll up and let the man do his job. Go Dawgs!

Faithful Dawg 86

July 24th, 2012
11:21 am

Tide is Rolling: Go haunt your own blogs, you moron!

UGA Dawgs

July 24th, 2012
11:24 am

i would love for UGA to get 2 or 3 experienced OL, 2 or 3 experienced DB, an experienced K/P, an experienced TE….and anyone else who can help us win a national championship!!!

Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it

July 24th, 2012
11:25 am

Occupy the 33% of real SEC teams that have won championships in the past 10 years!

UGA Dawgs

July 24th, 2012
11:26 am

add a RB & FB to that list

beanster

July 24th, 2012
11:29 am

CNS made a public statement that turned out to be a lie a week later. You question CMR’s integrity based on hearsay and conjecture. There really isn’t a comparison.

You know what I heard? The cops in Tuscaloosa cover for the football team all the time. The headlines would be filled with stories of dirty deeds committed by UA football players if it weren’t for the cops keeping it all under wraps. It must be true because I’ve read the same story on several different message boards.

Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it

July 24th, 2012
11:30 am

You know what I heard? The cops in Tuscaloosa cover for the football team all the time. The headlines would be filled with stories of dirty deeds committed by UA football players if it weren’t for the cops keeping it all under wraps. It must be true because I’ve read the same story on several different message boards.

This is UGA Football! Home to the most excuses of any team in the country.

Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it

July 24th, 2012
11:30 am

integrity based on hearsay and conjecture

What the @#$% is “you know what I heard”

CritterDawg

July 24th, 2012
11:31 am

Make a deal with the entire offensive line! Tell them that if they like, we will keep them intact if they will come to play with Georgia.. Lord knows we need an offensive line that has chemistry.

Big Crimson 75

July 24th, 2012
11:31 am

beanster — if you read on the same message boards then it must be true.

Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it

July 24th, 2012
11:34 am

You guys should actually be proud. The program is a fairly good representation of your state for the whole Nation to see.

Penal colony = 50 arrests in 4 years.

beanster

July 24th, 2012
11:36 am

It’s called sarcasm Tide. BC. I know reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit but slow down and read again.

Pilfer Dawg

July 24th, 2012
11:36 am

BC and tide is rolling- You both are sad individuals because your own life is so pathetic you rummage around on a UGA blog. A UGA BLOG??? Really? You both need a prayer and a hug.

Old Dawg

July 24th, 2012
11:38 am

Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it: Just to set the record straight, since 1988 UGA has a 7-1 record vs the Big 10. Bama is 4-3 against the Big 10.

As for integrity, a parent’s is often judged by the actions of their children. And Saban’s daughter is an absolute jewel!

Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it

July 24th, 2012
11:41 am

Hmm, 1988 seems to be the year that most statistics start… Now if nothing happened before then, what does that say about your program?

Moobs Johnson

July 24th, 2012
11:42 am

I’ve heard that Coach Richt is really looking hard at the walk-ons at Penn State. What a feel good story that would be to award a walk-on from Penn State a full ride at UGA.

Old Dawg

July 24th, 2012
11:46 am

Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it: That’s when tie-ins with the Big 10 and SEC started. I checked and there weren’t a lot of bowl games between the conferences before then.

And the Big 10 only allowed the winners of the conference play in a bowl (Rose) until the 1970s.

Bama did play Penn State several times before the Lions joined the Big 10, so I didn’t count those.

Deano

July 24th, 2012
11:52 am

Enter your comments here

Gater Hater

July 24th, 2012
11:52 am

Allowing any of the players to join our team would be doing them a big favor as well as helping our team. Richt is not being a vulture, he is offering an opportunity to players from a decimated and embarrassed football program to play competitive ball, increase their chances of success and possible make it to the NFL. You obviously need to “move fast” in this situation for all practical reasons.
****Trolls disappear when ignored****

Ole Big Dawg

July 24th, 2012
11:53 am

I will give tide a hug….a bear hug! Pick him up and watch him gasp…lol!

Big Crimson 75

July 24th, 2012
11:53 am

Is that what it’s called?? I’m “rummaging” around a ga blog!!

Gater Hater

July 24th, 2012
11:53 am

As said by others it would be great to pick up some experienced linemen and maybe a kicker

Spike 80DF

July 24th, 2012
11:55 am

wow, if your team won 2 of the last 3 championships, would you be trolling a message board for a team not in your division or even on your schedule that supposedly isn’t even on your level?

Big Crimson 75

July 24th, 2012
11:58 am

spike — if you were born & live in Atlanta and you’ve read the ajc your entire life — possibly.

DIT

July 24th, 2012
12:01 pm

A kicker would be great. I’m sure our incoming freshmen are good, but lack experience.
Of course any coach can’t “go after” players from PSU until the proper procedure and notifications are in place. So people can’t just start contacting their players. They are still under a scholarship with PSU. Do so and pay the price.

BKbroila

July 24th, 2012
12:04 pm

Bama fans, don’t you still have to cut a scholarship player before the summer is over? You could get some of the Penn State boys if you hadn’t oversigned the last 4 years….

Buckeye

July 24th, 2012
12:04 pm

So, you dogs want the slow guys from the Big 10?

Ha!

Glory between the Hedges

July 24th, 2012
12:09 pm

Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it,
Just stop..You are embarrassing yourself. You come in a UGA blog and spit nonsense to a state that is vital to your success. Nick Saban could come to

Say what you want to Dawg Fans

July 24th, 2012
12:15 pm

With the Battle Hymn of the Republic the UGA fightsong, any Yankee football player would want to play here.

Gater Hater

July 24th, 2012
12:20 pm

buckeye, yes just linemen and a kicker. no wr rb db or qb

Glory between the Hedges

July 24th, 2012
12:22 pm

Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it,
Just stop.. You are embarrassing yourself. You come in a UGA blog spitting nonsense to a state that is vital to your success. Nick Saban could come to Georgia right now and do the exact same thing that he is doing at Bama, if not more. So stop acting as if anyone is impressed with your school. I didn’t even see Alabama fans on AJC before 2008. Now you flock to here and give the real Alabama fans a bad name. PLEASE get through LSU this season and make it to Atlanta. Im begging you!

Glory between the Hedges

July 24th, 2012
12:25 pm

Say what you want to Dawg Fans,
And nobody can play their version better than the Redcoats.

Desert Fox

July 24th, 2012
12:36 pm

BK. Add to your list another PA player that came to UGA: John Kasay, former OL and also asst coach for many years.

Hope the dawgs have better luck w/PSU players wanting to transfer then they did w/the MD OL (forget his name) that chose FSU I think, and he was from GA. There will be plenty of opportunities at UGA for PSU transfers after 2012 season w/graduation and potential jumpers to the NFL. Dawgs have good chance to lure some players to UGA w/ties to PSU on current ga staff, history, and opportunity to move in and get playing time. Go get’em!

doug dawg

July 24th, 2012
12:42 pm

HI, DOUG DAWG HERE. SORRY FOR THE ALL-CAPS. BUT I JUST HAVE ONE STATEMENT, AND IT REALLY BOTHERS ME. I HAVE BEEN A UGA DAWG SINCE HIGH SHCOOL IN 1956. AND I HAVE NEVER, NEVER, SEEN SUCH A LACK OF ENTHUSIASM FOR A SEASON AND A TEAM AS I SEE THIS YEAR. IT IS ALL SO NEGATIVE, SO BLAMING, SO POINTING OF FINGERS FOR SO MANY PERCEIVED WRONGS AND WEAKNESSES. I ALMOST NEVER SEE ‘GATA’ ON THESE POSTS AMYMORE; NO MORE POSITIVE THOUGHTS. I AM AFRAID WE ARE DOOMED BEFORE WE START. LOST TO MISSOURI ALREADY, LOSE TO SCE, LOSE TO TENNESSEE, AND ON AND ON. IS OUR BELOVED SANFORD STADIUM GOING TO BE A ‘FUNERAL HOME?’ WE HAVE SO MUCH TO LOOK FORWARD TO, AND YET WE DON’T SUPPORT IT. COME ON, DAWGS, THE BEST CAN BE, CAN BE, YET TO COME. WHERE IS THE FIRE, OR ARE WE TOO CYNICAL? BETTER PUT THAT ASIDE OR WE’LL BE WAITING FOR THE SECOND COMING OF ‘HERSHEL’ UNTIL WE ARE IN THE COLD, COLD GROUND.

GTDog

July 24th, 2012
12:48 pm

I can’t wait until the next time UGA plays Bama…

Really?

July 24th, 2012
12:48 pm

50 arrests in 4 years? My challenge to those who post this is to document it for all to see. Otherwise you are either ignorant or willfully posting falsehoods, neither of which is admirable.

It is ironic that a supposed Bama fan (may be a fake) would lecture anyone about discipline when their drug testing policy is lenient enough those that fail don’t have to sit out even 15 minutes of an actual game.

The Tide is tRolling and nothing can stop it

July 24th, 2012
1:04 pm

LA Monroe
Utah

that’s all

RHall55

July 24th, 2012
1:18 pm

Desert Fox….OL’s name is Max Garcia….chose FL not FSU….will be interesting to see where these players go (if they do??); if they do….and UGA strikes out then the peeps can harp especially w/ the connections the staff has!! C’mon man!!

Fan of Schultz

July 24th, 2012
1:20 pm

bama followers ripping UGA’s schedule is laughable.

do they ever mention that they’re missing the top 3 teams picked to finish atop of the east? of course not.