UGA’s No. 1 recruit is not hearing as many negative things about the Bulldogs and Mark Richt’s future after they recovered from an 0-2 start with five straight wins.
“You don’t hear as many people these days saying ‘Oh, Mark Richt is on the hot seat,’” said John Theus, the 5-star offensive lineman from Jacksonville who committed to UGA last summer.
“It was really intense when they were 0-2 but they had played two good teams. Now that Georgia is 5-2, not as many people are saying things like that, which is really nice. Hopefully, they have a chance to win out the rest of their games. Hopefully that can happen and Coach Richt’s job can be pretty secure.”
Flashback to six weeks ago: The 6-foot-6, 290-pound Theus was hearing so much speculation about UGA after the 0-2 start that he agreed to take an official visit to Notre Dame. Theus made the recruiting trip to South Bend last weekend to see the Irish play USC.
“Notre Dame has been recruiting me hard ever since the beginning; I told them ‘As long as Coach Richt is at Georgia, I’m a Bulldog,’” Theus said. “I was upfront and honest with them. They still wanted me to go there and take an official visit in case something happened, which I did.”
Before word got out, Theus called Richt personally to let him know about the impending visit to Notre Dame. “I wanted him to hear it from me before he found out about it somewhere else, and to let him know I was still committed to Georgia and everything,” Theus said. “He was happy that I called and told him. He told me to go up to Notre Dame and have a good time.”
So how was Notre Dame last weekend? “The game was electric and crazy,” Theus said. “It was a cool atmosphere. Probably another main thing was, Notre Dame was definitely the prettiest campus I’ve ever seen. It was beautiful. It was a lot of fun to be up there and see all the traditional and historic places.”
What about Florida? The Gators haven’t given up recruiting Theus since he committed to Georgia. “I will probably go to the Florida-Florida State game. I don’t know yet whether it will be an official or unofficial visit. It will probably be an unofficial. I have to sit down with my family and talk about it, see what I have planned with [my high school team]. I know it’s during our playoffs.”
Theus has been to every UGA home game this year, and also attended the opener against Boise State at the Georgia Dome. This Saturday, he will go watch Georgia-Florida a few miles down the road in his hometown of Jacksonsville.
“”This will be my second year going to Georgia-Florida, and it’s nice to not have to drive that far to see Georgia play,” Theus said with a laugh. “That game being in Jacksonville didn’t have anything to do with my decision to sign with Georgia but it’s definitely a bonus. It’s going to be nice to come back home every year, especially with my brother [UGA freshman long snapper Nathan Theus]. We’ll have eight tickets each year, and it will be a big time for our friends and family. It’s definitely a benefit to come home every year to play in a stadium that I grew up watching the Jacksonville Jaguars play in.”
What about Theus’ official visit to UGA? The Bulldogs are trying to host the majority of their top prospects on Dec. 9-11, the same weekend at UGA’s football gala. “I know I’m going to take mine after my high school season, but I haven’t scheduled it yet,” Theus said. “Hopefully, it won’t be that Dec. 10 weekend because that’s the same time the state championships are scheduled. Hopefully I won’t be able to make it because we’re playing in the state championship, and I will visit Georgia instead in January.”
Other than winning a state title as a senior, Theus has one other main goal: To convince other elite prospects to join him at UGA. There are two in particular. Said Theus, “Definitely two of the bigger recruits we need the most would be, of course, Keith Marshall [5-star tailback from Raleigh, N.C.]. Everybody knows about him. That kid can fly. He’s a good kid. And I’ve love for us to get another offensive lineman from my state of Florida, Avery Young [of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.]. They are both good guys and good football players. Hopefully, both of them will join me at Georgia.”
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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