UGA’s Mark Richt on recruiting momentum: “I think there’s more to come”

Other than to put UGA in position to reach the SEC championship game, maybe the best thing to come out of the team’s current eight-game winning streak is the positive impact it has had on recruiting.

Somehow, some way, UGA was able to weather a storm on the recruiting front after the dreadful 0-2 start and rampant speculation over Mark Richt’s future.

Not only were the Bulldogs able to keep a stranglehold on all 13 of their commitments from over the summer, they added two more during the season — 15 total now, with UGA projected to sign a full class of 25 in February.

“We’ve got some momentum with recruiting, and I think there’s going to be more to come,” Richt told the AJC on Wednesday. “Well, let’s say I hope there’s more to come.”

Mark Richt has weathered a storm on the recruiting front after an 0-2 start (AJC)

Mark Richt has weathered a storm on the recruiting front after an 0-2 start (AJC)

The last few months have been a recruiting whirlwind for Richt. The 0-2 start was so intense and worrisome for recruiting that UGA’s top commitment, 5-star offensive lineman John Theus of Jacksonville, decided to go ahead and take an official visit to Notre Dame – just in case something happened to Richt. Other UGA commitments were also beginning to establish communications again with other schools.

As bad as the 0-2 start was for UGA in trying win over the hearts and minds of young recruits, the eight-game winning streak has been equally as powerful as a positive. Winning solves a lot of problems, especially when it comes to recruiting, Richt admitted.

“I think kids were certainly cautious at the beginning of our season and maybe took a little bit of a wait-and-see attitude,” Richt said. “Now that we’ve had a lot of success, you don’t really feel that as much. You know, the more you win, the more I think people are interested in your school.”

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Last week’s win over Auburn was one of the best atmospheres for recruiting at a UGA game in years. The Bulldogs played nearly flawless against their rivals, the Stanford Stadium crowd was unusually loud – and the 30-plus recruits took notice. UGA entertained two prospects on official visits and the weekend was so successful that one Florida athlete committed before leaving campus and a 5-star defensive end moved the Bulldogs near the top of his shortlist of schools. UGA’s success has also put the Bulldogs “in the mix” for the nation’s No. 1-ranked prospect for 2013.

Richt cannot comment on prospective student-athletes due to NCAA rules, but was thrilled with last weekend’s recruiting efforts.

“It went great,” Richt said. “It was good for the fans, it was good for the team, it was good for the coaches and it was good for recruiting. It was good for the University of Georgia really. It was a wonderful weekend all the way around, from everyone from the alumni to the Redcoat Band. It was a good day to be a Georgia Bulldog and I think the kids and everybody got to see that first-hand. It was invaluable for recruiting, I think.”

UGA has had a stanglehold on its commitments, including 5-star OL John Theus

UGA has had a stanglehold on its commitments, including 5-star OL John Theus

With as many as 10 scholarship spots left to fill at Georgia before February’s signing day, we asked Richt what message he would want to get across to any recruits out there listening. “I would just say that we are very sincere about the total man. We want to not only see you realize all of your dreams on the football field, but also academically and socially. We want you to leave the University of Georgia as a full-grown man, ready for life. We’re serious about the football part, and everything that goes along with it.”

RELATED RECRUITING STORIES

  • The No. 1 remaining target on UGA’s recruiting board is Keith Marshall of Raleigh, N.C., who is ranked as the nation’s No. 1 running back. Marshall had UGA fans following his Twitter account both happy and scared on Wednesday. First, Marshall announced his finalists, tweeting, “My finals schools are UGA, Clemson, Florida, Notre Dame, UNC, and South Carolina in no particular order.” UGA is considered the frontrunner for Marshall, but Clemson appears to be coming on strong. Some UGA fans were concerned that Marshall retweeted  a comment by Clemson freshman WR sensation Sammy Watkins that said “Shout out to yo boy … Keith Marshall he’s a beast should go check out he going to be a great college player anywhere he go….”
  • UGA is “in the mix” for the nation’s No. 1 football prospect (click on story link)
  • How about some recruiting drama? Several hours before the midnight deadline, Georgia’s top basketball prospect changed his mind and signed the papers. Guess where’s he’s going? (click on story link)
  • Georgia Tech could add two more to its Top 15 recruiting class this spring (click on story link)
  • If you love recruiting, don’t forget to watch Friday’s high school football game at 7:30 p.m. on WSB-TV’s digital channel 2.2 or at www.wsbtv.com. It will feature the nation’s No. 1 junior (Grayson DE Robert Nkemdiche) and Georgia’s No. 1 senior (Lowndes S-LB Josh Harvey-Clemons)

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

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115 comments Add your comment

NewnanRxDawg

November 17th, 2011
4:03 am

What would really help in recruiting is if/when Richt get his contract extension after the season if not after the SECCG. Then the recruits and especially their families will feel at ease with committing to the dawgs. Contract years are always a little down for college coaches. So when you add the winning percentage the past couple of seasons, sure, it might take a while to get the ball rolling full bore again.
If by some divine miracle LSU comes out flat in the SECCG and UGA get them in a close one – watch and see the top tier recruits’ head turn and take another look at Richt’s program.
GO Dawgs!

LeftCoastDawg

November 17th, 2011
4:13 am

Second……not so bad, just ask the Lamecocks

LeftCoastDawg

November 17th, 2011
4:21 am

We know very well that Keith Marshall is the #1 remaining target but tell us about #’s 2, 3, & 4 please.

Bubba

November 17th, 2011
4:33 am

Stinger2

November 17th, 2011
4:59 am

Nowdays college recruiting is out of control of the schools. The process is to the point that the tail is wagging the dog. High school kids(some only 16-17 years old) are telling a given school its on their short list. Some call news conferences or at least make a point to tell the media so that a big deal is made of it.

The point is these kids (and their parents) are so
full of themselves that some of them think they
are the chosen ones.

Tater Tot

November 17th, 2011
5:04 am

Throw me a bone

November 17th, 2011
5:26 am

Nub

November 17th, 2011
6:15 am

Come to UGA and leave a legacy for all to remember…. We are still talking about our 1980 NC team! …… Believe me your life will be better playing between the hedges!

Destin Dawg

November 17th, 2011
6:18 am

Parade magazine says ” UGA #2 large State University education, plus big time sports ” in a great college town.. Athens, Ga. Go Dawgs !!

Old Dawg

November 17th, 2011
6:22 am

things are going up hill in Athens… Todd Grantham’s Junkyard Dawgs are special…better S & C and diet .. attitudes.. SEC champs THIS year.. Go Dawgs !!

slydog

November 17th, 2011
6:33 am

Sorry folks. I have to be the voice of realism and the party pooper.. We have traveled down this road of top recruiting classes and recruiting momentum before. The only thing left to accomplish is a #1 class overall. I absolutely love how CMR proved me wrong and helped get that “winning” itch back into the program. It is time to compete for National Championships on a consistent basis. With UGA’s resources and CMR’s coaching abillity, 9 and 10 wins are a given 7 out of 10 years. We all know that for a fact now. But is Les Miles and Chris Peterson that much better? I don’t believe so. 13-0 at least once in the next 2-3 years should be achieved. And it’s not kool-aid. There is not one college football who could possibly disagree with what I just said, even Kirk Herbstreit…lol

Dawgz4Life

November 17th, 2011
6:35 am

Proud of the HC and what he has done in leading the Dawgs back from such a rough start this season.

Go Dawgs!!

slydog

November 17th, 2011
6:35 am

BTW, I know Keith Marshall is the #1 target, but 2013 target, the kid from Grayson, needs to A LOT OF LOVE from CMR and a big brown paper bag from Rodney Garner.

Greg

November 17th, 2011
6:38 am

The dreadful 0-2 start? They lost to two teams that have been in the top 10 for the majority of this season…and SC might still be there if Lattimore hadn’t gotten hurt. The past two seasons were the dreadful part and that’s what created all of the negative recruiting against Richt and UGA.

Da'Rick is 0-2

November 17th, 2011
6:48 am

Ask Da’Rick Rogers or Dewayne Allen what they should have done!

Proud-Dawg

November 17th, 2011
6:54 am

2012 may be lacking the “big names” thus far, but we are in a great position for many top recruits. My guess, Keith Marshall, Avery Young, Josh Harvey-Clemons, Todd Gurley, Kenderius Whitehead and Cordarrelle Patterson. We have an outside shot at Nelson Agholor and Jordan Jenkins and slim chance of flipping Ricky Parks.

Quote by Keith Marshall yesterday: “wish I could go to Athens again this weekend to get one last look with my bro @TG1UNO (Todd Gurley) before decision time !” Sounds promising to me

Proud-Dawg

November 17th, 2011
6:57 am

Forgot one more, LB Ukeme Eligwe will be at UGA for the Gala December 9th, I really like our chances flipping him. I’m hoping Dillion Lee, who seems to be in Athens every weekend (I know his brother is on the team) and talks up UGA.

Proud-Dawg

November 17th, 2011
7:01 am

@Da’Rick is 0-2….Dwayne Allen is projected as a 1st round pick in the upcoming draft, he’s done pretty well at Clemson. He is a stud TE. Could you imagine if we had him in our offense?….Da’Rick, IMO, is overrated. He will make a great play followed by a bonehead play. He has an issue with drops, but then again so did Cris Carter. I still think he leaves after his junior season and is drafted anywhere between the 2nd-5th round.

Dabo and THE REAL DREAM TEAM

November 17th, 2011
7:09 am

Marshall is Clemson Bound. Bet the house on it !

slydog

November 17th, 2011
7:12 am

Even though I hate what Da’Rick Rogers did, I will not hate on him. He is obviously very very talented. It’s easy to jump on a kid when he doesn’t have a QB. He has the same problem as other “over” talented kids have: lacking work ethic. But there is a reason why. He doesn’t have to work as hard as the next guy and that’s just keeping it real. If he continues to show improvement next year, ike he did to start the year (don’t forget, they lost Justin Hunter early), he will have a good to great season in 2012. His measurables alone make him a for sure 1st or 2nd rounder, no lower. Just look at all the other talented WR’s that are eligible to be drafted this. Woods, Blackmon, Broyles, Maze,etc. Without bias, Da’Rick is more physically gifted than them and more naturally talented. He should have came to UGA but Tennessee’s brown bag was bigger. It was business and it turned sour….lol

slydog

November 17th, 2011
7:17 am

Let me add Alshon Jeffrey to that list. He only runs a 4.7

Proud-Dawg

November 17th, 2011
7:20 am

@slydog…I agree hating on Da’Rick is not right. He is a really good wide receiver, but I completely disagree with you on your comparisons. Have you seen Woods and Blackmon play? They are far superior to Da’Rick in every aspect of the game. Don’t forget about Alshon at the fake USC. No way he goes in the 1st round. Only stud WR’s like AJ and Julio go in the 1st round. Da’Rick is nowhere near them in production or ability. IMO, Da’Rick is the 2nd best WR on his team. Justin Hunter, if he can stay healthy, has that big play ability and you rarely see him drop the ball.

Richard Alpert

November 17th, 2011
7:22 am

To hell with Da’ Rick, no one wants that punk around. Ask CALVIN JOHNSON what he should’ve done! Imagine if Stafford had been able to target his future teammate in 07 and 08…

Proud-Dawg

November 17th, 2011
7:22 am

@dabo….will we see you back here after Keith commits?

slydog

November 17th, 2011
7:31 am

Robert Woods maybe, but Blackmon runs a 4.7 in the 40. He looks fast in college. He isn’t a prime draft prospect. He is a superior route runner but you know the NFL. And they do have good reasons for picking the superior athlete over the better football player. Now Justin Hunter was a bit of a surprise but let me tell you his achilles heel: Weight and mass. If Da’Rick can just stay out of trouble, un-injured, and consistent, he will be gone on Day One of the draft. Look at all the others drafted off ‘potential’ and upside.

Proud-Dawg

November 17th, 2011
7:45 am

@slydog…unless you’re Al Davis (RIP) forty times mean very little. To be a successful wide receiver, it’s all about body control, route running and catching the ball. Blackmon, according to ESPN: 40 Time: 4.54 40 Low: 4.45 40 High: 4.64. He certainly has the speed….Weight and mass is Hunter’s achilles heel? IMO, if that’s the worst thing someone can point out, he is doing okay. I remember some people saying the same thing about a former UGA WR, but he went number 4 in the 2011 draft…Potential and upside did wonders for Heyward-Bey, Mike Williams, Charles Rogers, Yatil Green, etc. I think we agree on few things, Da’Rick is a good player and will def be drafted. Have a good!

Proud-Dawg

November 17th, 2011
7:46 am

*Have a good day

GT Joe

November 17th, 2011
8:01 am

Why are GT fans such crybabies?

BobDawg

November 17th, 2011
8:05 am

Beating UF always acts as a springboard to the rest of the season…Like a snowball going downhill and gaining speed…. Let the good times roll!!!! Now I gotta find more Makers for the game!

IPTAY Dude!

November 17th, 2011
8:07 am

Here is the scoop – T. Gurley to UGA, Marshall to Clemson – write it down.

Dwayne Allen is a beast and made the right decision to play at Clemson = where he has developed into a premier TE’s and will be a high draft pick.

Clemson is on the rise and the atmosphere at Death Valley is superior to Stanford.
Death Valley is much louder – better tailgating and a much better setting.
Our fans are passionate – but do not hate like UGA fans do as evident on these blogs.

UGA is coming up on our schedule – let’s see if they do not chicken out like they did when they ended our annual home and home.

dap01

November 17th, 2011
8:25 am

UGA offers a coach with character, a great school and a rising football team. Go Dawgs!

Rampdawg

November 17th, 2011
8:27 am

IPTAY, IPTAY,IPTAY
Clemson is (17-41-4) against Georgia

1eyedJack

November 17th, 2011
8:29 am

“The Bulldogs played nearly flawless against their rivals, the Stanford Stadium crowd was unusually loud – and the 30-plus recruits took notice.”

SANFORD Stadium. Hello. ;(

JB

November 17th, 2011
8:33 am

10 spots left……………….Kieth Marshall, if not a lock, we need him and one more tailback….bad. We have a couple of OL already, but I would like to see that list grow by at least 4 more. Another nose tackle and DE would be nice. and a DB and LB should round out a nice class.

JB

November 17th, 2011
8:39 am

This is the position commit list as of today.

DT: 2
K: 2
QB: 1
OL: 2
DE: 2
RB: 1
TE: 1
LB: 1
ATH: 1

There are 2 missing not on the list from the site I used ( Bulldawg chat)

tide roll

November 17th, 2011
8:44 am

WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE. You guys had Matt Stafford and Knowshon Moreno and couldn’t even win the EAST. RICHT and BOBO have had every opportunity to emulate the best and most athletic offensive line in UGA History, and what do they do? They ignore the likes of JAMES CARPENTER, CHANCE WARMACK, and let them lead BAMA, not Georgia, to a National Title. They ignore the likes of ROKEVIOUS WATKINS and let him lead the Gamecocks over UGA two years IN A ROW.! They ignore the likes of JASON PEACOCK, who starts for Arkansas and is one of the best left tackles in the SEC. They ignore the likes of Under Armour All-American BRANDON GREENE who commits to BAMA, VADAL ALEXANDER, who commits to LSU, JOE HARRIS, who commits to SOUTH CAROLINA, and DAVIN TOMLINSON, who, and they know this, would be an All-American at Center. Instead of re-creating this years offensive line ( BEAN ANDERSON, CORDY GLENN, CHRIS BURNETTE, AND KENARIOUS GATES), that basically saved their jobs, they go to out of state private schools to land the two Theuses, the two Longs, Greg Pyke, and David Andrews among others! You’d have to have your head in the sand to not recognize what’s going on here. It’s disgusting and has no place in college football today. And it’s the MAJOR reason you haven’t won a NATIONAL TITLE in 31 friggin years! What a backward program. When you behave in this manner you get what you deserve. God sees to it. Richt claims he knows about these things. When you see this pattern of decision making, I’m not so sure, are you?

1eyedJack

November 17th, 2011
8:46 am

JB, Scouts lists 14. Are you counting Jalen Fields?

DawgByte

November 17th, 2011
8:46 am

Just beat Kentucky… we do that and everything will fall into place!

1eyedJack

November 17th, 2011
8:48 am

tide roll, I’m going to ignore the fact that every one of those players you list are black. And I’m going to ignore the fact that you are a doofey racist pinhead.

roughrider

November 17th, 2011
8:49 am

CMR has always been a better recruiter than coach.

BG

November 17th, 2011
8:49 am

Ron Berry

November 17th, 2011
8:54 am

I wonder where the recruits got the idea that Mr. Richt’s job might be in jeopardy? Mr. Bradley– do you have any ideas???

RedandBlackDAWG

November 17th, 2011
8:59 am

I think Marshall will end up at UGA and the selling point is CMR. As for the Clemson fan saying Clemson is on the rise; Let’s see some consistency against the big boys, not the ACC before you proclaim that. Clemson over the years, has consistently never met expectations, even in the ACC. Maybe you have the coach now to start being a top 10 program but one season of success, even if it is in the ACC, does not a power house make. How well would Clemson have survived, even this year in the SEC. You got beat by Georgia Tech. this year so how much does that say about you. Please wait until you have something before come onto a UGA or any SEC blog and bragging. Mighty power houses like Wake Forest, Duke, Virginia and Boston College, aren’t exactly the teams that appear to be legitimate tough teams that propel their victors to the upper echelon of the NCAA football world. Don’t tell me about the polls either as we all know, they are widely inconsistent, year in and year out, anytime a human gets to vote. There is favoritism shown by both pundits and coaches alike with a bias towards their conference and region.

GO DAWGS and GATA

JB

November 17th, 2011
8:59 am

Go to the Kentucky message boards and read the ” Score prediction thread” and the Kentucky people have us beating their Wildcats from anywhere from 30 to 60 points. OUCH. They go on to comment that this is the worst Kentucky team in modern history, and we’ve had some bad ones they say. Some comment that Richt is a good man and will call the Dogs off after the first half, like they did Auburn. Gotta love that…..GO DAWGS.

UGA man here , class of 71 & 73

November 17th, 2011
9:04 am

DaRick Rogers went where it was best for DaRick Rogers. Period, end of story. STOP with the hatred toward certain kids that go elsewhere that they w-a-n-t to go. t is THEIR LIFE. Let them enjoy it, man.

Rogers? He is playing for UT, very likely enjoying Knoxville and all that goes with UT football. Besides, he would not necessarily have won a starting job last year. I am estatic with Chris Conely and Mike Bennett and Tavarres King and Orson Charles and Marvleous Marlon Brown and et al. THEY are at UGA and doing well.

Had Roger signed with UGA, maybe this TRUE FROSH ……Chris Conley, would have gone eslewhere and I DO KNOW that I like this young man’s future.

Gooooooooooooooooooooo Dogs.

gbal

November 17th, 2011
9:06 am

We are loosing OL this year to graduation and have had problems there with injuries as well over the past… seems lie 20… years.

Friend has shown that he is going to work a lot of people into the lineup and play time.

Big OLinemen… Take notice…. We need you..

And another note on recruiting… the team has made great progress this year and recruits ARE taking notice to the streak and where we are positioned going into the SECC game …..

THE ONE THING THAT COULD HELP US THE MOST AT THIS POINT IS FOR THE AJC TO LAY OFF OF THE NEGATIVE PRESS FOR THE SAKE OF BLOG HITS …AND I AM TALKING MB, CT AND JS. THERE HAVE BEEN NO LESS THAN 4 NEGATIVE SPIN HEADLINES PRODUCED FROM THOSE TWO OVER THE PAST WEEK+/- … “UGA ALREADY AN UNDERDOG”… “TG FOCUSING ON CONTRACT EXTENSIONS”…

IF UGA WOULD PUT THE PRESSURE ON THESE GUYS TO GIVE THE HOME TEAM SOME LOVE… IT WOULD REALLY HELP WITH RECRUITING… ID GIVE THESE GUYS THE SPURRIER, ZOOK TREATMENT WHEN THEY WALKED INTO A PRESS CONFRENCE IF I WERE RICHT.

dap01

November 17th, 2011
9:12 am

Blog hits does not equal journalism

gbal

November 17th, 2011
9:18 am

RON BERRY –

THE PRESS DEFINATELY OVERINFLATED THAT HOT SEAT TALK FROM THE START. YES, A LOT OF UGA FANS HAVE BEEN DOWN ON RICHT AND I CAN UNDERSTAND WHY…BUT THE INFO PRINTED BY OR AJC PRESS WOULD LEAVE YOU TO BELIEVE THAT ANTI RICHT FANS WERE IN THE 80-100% RANGE…. WHEN IN REALITY, (AND THERE WAS A POLL PUBLISHED BY ANOTHER PAPER) SUPPORT FOR CMR WAS IN THE 70% RANGE DURING THIS TIME.

I TELL YOU FOLKS, THIS NEGATIVE PRESS HAS A REAL EFFECT ON RECRUITING AND I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT… WE WONT STOP READING IT… I THINK UGA AND CMR SHOULD PUT ON THE PRESSURE TO ELIMINATE THIS.

CHALLENGE – READ THE SC PRESS FOR A WEEK OR SO AND SEE IF YOU GET THE SAME NEGATIVE TONE ON SUCH A REGULAR BASIS… I HAVE DONT IT AND KNOW THE ANSWER…

1eyedJack

November 17th, 2011
9:18 am

Gonna beat some hill folk Sattidy. ;)

gbal

November 17th, 2011
9:21 am

DAP – YOU ARE EXACTLY RIGHT. AND WHAT THIS GROUP HAS BECOME IS A GROUP OF BLOGOLAGIST…NOT JOURNALIST. – AND THE BEST WAY TO GET THE BLOG HITS IS TO WRITE A NEGATIVE SPIN UGA PIECE. PRETTY EASEY.