Mark Richt and Paul Johnson: Sales pitches to state’s loaded 2013 class of recruits

What is Mark Richt’s sales pitch to recruits from the state of Georgia? What would Paul Johnson say if he had a few seconds in front of the top high school juniors? We asked both coaches.

This is a big year for recruiting both UGA and Georgia Tech within the state. This is one of the state’s strongest and most high-profile classes ever – with around 200 prospects expected to sign D1 football scholarships next February.

It’s only March, but already more than 110 of the state’s high school juniors have early scholarship offers. Georgia is also home to the No. 1- and No. 2-ranked prospects in the entire country by Rivals, Scout and 247Sports with Grayson DE Robert Nkemdiche (undecided) and Troup LB Reuben Foster (committed to Alabama), while Dooly County DE Montravius Adams (undecided) is creeping up in the Top 10 nationally.

Mark Richt (right) and Paul Johnson are expected to have a lot of success with in-state recruitinng for 2013 (AJC photo)

Mark Richt (left) and Paul Johnson are both expected to have a lot of success with in-state recruiting for 2013 (AJC photo)

What would Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson say if he had few seconds in front of local blue chippers?

“I think there are a lot of attractions to Georgia Tech,” Johnson told the AJC. “The biggest thing we try to sell is that you can get a world-class education and have a chance to play on the BCS level in a great city … so we feel like we can check every box.

“You certainly hope [top prospects from Georgia] would take a long hard look at Georgia Tech and what it has to offer.”

Georgia Tech is still waiting for its first commitment for 2013 recruiting class but there’s no reason to panic. The Yellow Jackets may have one of their smaller classes this year with 14-15 signees. Georgia Tech has a lower rate of attrition that many other ACC and neighboring schools.

Next up is UGA’s Mark Richt, and here’s what he would say to homegrown recruits:

“I would tell the [2013 kids from Georgia] that they are some of the greatest human resources we have in our state,” Richt told the AJC. “If everybody stays home, we’re going to win. And they will be blessed if they go to Georgia – not only for their 4-5 years in college but for the rest of their lives, in my opinion.”

“Most kids, when it’s all said and done, they want to come home. It’s great to have a degree from your in-state university.”

UGA is off to a torrid start with its 2013 class, reaching nine commitments after LB Johnny O’Neal pledged to the Bulldogs this past weekend. UGA could have one of its largest recruiting classes with as many as 30 signing next year. The SEC has a 25-man “soft cap” and any additional signees would be early enrollees, starting UGA in January and “back count” toward the 2012 class.

JUST IN …

MARCH MADNESS, WHAT’S THAT? RECRUITING MADNESS!

WHILE YOUR BRACKETS GOT MESSED UP …

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

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427 comments Add your comment

FL Jacket

March 27th, 2012
9:37 am

Which sales pitch sounds better to you? I know which one is straighforward, honest, and factual… and which one is the emotional and touchy-feely one…

A) “The biggest thing we try to sell is that you can get a world-class education and have a chance to play on the BCS level in a great city … so we feel like we can check every box.”

or

B) “…they will be blessed if they go to Georgia – not only for their 4-5 years in college but for the rest of their lives, in my opinion…It’s great to have a degree from your in-state university.”

merbertmoover

March 27th, 2012
9:38 am

Dawginyomama

March 27th, 2012
9:46 am

FL Jacket,

I answer your question with another question. Which one has actually worked with today’s kids?

Dawginit

March 27th, 2012
9:47 am

FL Jacket,

Which one has had the better results when it comes to recruiting?

Spanky

March 27th, 2012
9:48 am

“Hey, come to Tech, where you will learn how to reach the the 13th level of World of Warcraft! We do have parties, but if you want one with girls,…Athens is only 45 minutes away!”

Ronnie 81

March 27th, 2012
9:49 am

Both schools have value. It’ just up to the student-athlete what he wants to do for the rest of his life. I will say this, with a degree from Tech, you will not have much problem finding a position. But in that sense, do what you love. Peace out Jackets and Dogs.

DawginLex

March 27th, 2012
9:51 am

Fl jacket

So richt is a liar now?

That’s rich

Richt does better in recruiting with his eyes closed than Johnson will ever dream of doing.

Richt is honest, has character and integrity.

Love the way Johnson dissed his own player at practice.Regarding Julian Burnett-”If he isn’t here, he isn’t playing.”

WOW. If that is “straightforward, honest and factual and that is what you like, congrats, you have your guy.

A person SMART enough to know......

March 27th, 2012
9:55 am

DiLex you know Johnson can’t talk about medical condition of players. It is a Privacy matter

A person SMART enough to know......

March 27th, 2012
9:57 am

FLJ didn’t call anybody a liar. You need to read it again. He said Touchy-Feely

DawginLex

March 27th, 2012
9:58 am

Yeah but come on. “If he is not here he is not playing”???

how about, “I really can’t discuss the situation with Julian.”

rduck

March 27th, 2012
9:58 am

DawginLex: That response was to the reporters that keep asking him about Julian’s status. It was not a shot at him for not being at practice. CPJ has said all along that Julian would be the one to say it is over, not him…

DawginLex

March 27th, 2012
9:59 am

“I know which one is straightforward and honest and factual”

If that does not imply the other one is not straightforward, is dishonest and filled with lies, not facts, I dont’ know what does.

Honey

March 27th, 2012
10:00 am

Both are really not very good, Richt is living off his past record with Donnan’s players and Johnson has no personality.

rduck

March 27th, 2012
10:01 am

We all know that CPJ hates to have the same questions and topics thrown at him evry press conference. This was just a way to tell them that they need to move on and focus on the guys that will be playing this year.

JB

March 27th, 2012
10:01 am

If you believe Rivals, Tech has nowhere to go but up. Dawgs need to close on some of the elites available.

RxDawg

March 27th, 2012
10:02 am

I don’t really understand why Tech can’t recruit top talent anymore. I mean they get a few gems here and there, but for the most part they’ve really fallen. It didn’t use to be like that. They are in Atlanta so you’d think a lot of kids would like that. Who knows? Maybe Paul really is an arrogant jerk.
But UGA is my school. And I know without a doubt that Athens is awesome. Our school is awesome. Our football program is awesome. And we can almost always compete with any team in any given year. And we do things the right way. I’m proud to be a Bulldog. There are many others out there like me (although they don’t post on the AJC forums). I guess the kids know this, feel this, and want to be a part of it too. Go Dawgs!

HighTech

March 27th, 2012
10:02 am

Spanky knows what World of Warcraft is and how many levels it has.

DawginLex…I don’t think FL Jacket was calling Richt a liar. I am sure Richt is honest and sincere in his emotions. How did Johnson “dis” his own player?

A person SMART enough to know......

March 27th, 2012
10:04 am

That isn’t what FLJ said to imply Richt is lying. Just that Richt uses a touchy-feely emotional sales pitch and Johnson just says This is what TECH has A. B. C. not you should stay in the state because we will love you for it.

bham dawg

March 27th, 2012
10:07 am

9-0 almost matches our record over the last 10 years over that gnats. Until Georgia Tech changes coaches or offenses they will never be able to recruit against georgia.

HighTech

March 27th, 2012
10:09 am

bham dawg…there has been a coaching change within the past 10 years.

Moobs Johnson

March 27th, 2012
10:10 am

The elite recruits in GA can KMA. I’ve got bigger fish to fry.

Italian_29

March 27th, 2012
10:11 am

Wow, I know that the Rivalry is called Old Fashion Hate, but really guys? I think both coaches do a good job and I think that if the young men in this state would have some state pride and want to come to either GT or UGA then we would be competing for MNC most years on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I love the Dawgs, but I don’t hate GT and I have friends from both sides that feel the same. The only time I am not rooting for GT is if they are playing the Dawgs, I would like them to be undefeated each year when we play you guys. Try a little civility on these boards, it might go a long way. Go Dawgs and GATA!

bham dawg

March 27th, 2012
10:11 am

@A person SMART enough… So which way is working? Touchy Feely or A.B.C. Obviously Richt is doing something right maybe Paul should be a little emotional.

Coach MediocRe

March 27th, 2012
10:12 am

Come to Georgia where I’ll waste your talents. You’ll get to see the exotic bowl locations like Shreveport, Memphis, and Tampa.

bham dawg

March 27th, 2012
10:13 am

@HighTech… not so sure it was for the better.

Italian_29

March 27th, 2012
10:16 am

MC is the any new news on the OL transfer from Maryland, Max Garcia? Is he still a strong GA lean and if so, when is he making a decision? Thanks for all you do MC, we football fans appreciate it, especially this time of year, when ther isn’t much going on except bad news.

Fat Paul

March 27th, 2012
10:16 am

Come to Georgia Tech and get robbed at gun point.

A person SMART enough to know......

March 27th, 2012
10:18 am

bham dawg…UGa doesn’t have to recruit as hard in the state as does GT. Richt is doing better on some kids than Johnson but not as well as other SEC teams and coaches.

HighTech

March 27th, 2012
10:18 am

Italian_29…Thank you for a classy and sensible post. I would like to see Clean, Old Fashined Hate be more relevant nationally than the Iron Bowl. All it takes to stir the pot is for MC to do a compare and contrast of the coaches, each of whom enjoys a great deal of support from their respective school’s fanbase. Go Jackets!

Italian_29

March 27th, 2012
10:19 am

Classy Coach MediocRe, it looks like they like to do that as we are kicking your butts in recruiting this year. 0 commits this year, REALLY?

Spanky

March 27th, 2012
10:19 am

“Spanky knows what World of Warcraft is and how many levels it has.” ….yeah, and?

A person SMART enough to know......

March 27th, 2012
10:22 am

Spanky is a NERD.

bham dawg

March 27th, 2012
10:23 am

@Italian_29… Max was at spring practice last saturday, and from what he said he really liked it there and the intensity he saw at practice and with the coaches. I believe that this will come down to the dawgs and vandy.

Italian_29

March 27th, 2012
10:26 am

High Tech, I have always tried to keep the blog posts about football, not bashing other team, IE you guys, Bama, Fl, Auburn, USCe, and others. I like to discuss football and enjoy talking with people that can give me some insight in to things that I do get to hear about and that mean that I like talking to fans of other teams, I cannot follow all of the D1 news. I would be divorced. :) I have always like chatting with you and a few others that are above the fray and don’t lower themselves to slinging insults. Have a GREAT SEASON. I know you are as ready as I am for the season to get here HT.

Italian_29

March 27th, 2012
10:28 am

Thanks Bham Dawg, any idea when he makes his decision?

1eyedJack

March 27th, 2012
10:28 am

I lived in the metro Atlanta area for 14 years and believe me, it ain’t all that. Besides, the place is overrun with zombies now.

bham dawg

March 27th, 2012
10:30 am

@A person SMART enough… I agree the UGA doesnt have to recruit instate as hard as GT because the school the football program and the facilities are just a step above GT. Also, the track record for putting players in the league speaks for itself. As far as recruiting vs other sec schools year in year out we are in the top 3 of the league in recruiting. We are talking about the difference in the number 5 overall class vs maybe the number 1. Sure we aren’t recruiting as well as Alabama but hell who is? Its very rare to see georgia outside the top 10 nationally in recruiting every year. Its also very rare to see GT in the top 50 every year. Which do you prefer?

HighTech

March 27th, 2012
10:31 am

Same to you Italian_29. Looking forward to Labor Day kickoff.

bham dawg

March 27th, 2012
10:32 am

@Italian_29… i believe he is taking visits to vandy and florida pretty soon. I would expect a decision early summer.

Italian_29

March 27th, 2012
10:32 am

Crack Zombies, the last time I was in downtown Atl, 1eyedjack. I won’t go down there in the dark, unless I am packing.

Italian_29

March 27th, 2012
10:34 am

Thanks for the info Bham Dawg, I hope we get him, he looks like a good one.

JM

March 27th, 2012
10:36 am

How can UGA sign 30? do they already have some kids who are enrolling in January?

Dekalb Fan

March 27th, 2012
10:36 am

These top Ga.high school recruits need to come on board of the Ga. Express. They need to stop rewarding Alabama with their talent and represent where they learned their trade. Alabama is a popular school because the media loves the Bear Bryant mentality of Saban. Win at any cost is Sabans strategy . I would not trust my sons life with this coach. The media at some point has to practice what they preach about atheletes being responsible for their actions. I’m sure a lot of coaches could over recruit and then weed out what they want at the end. How can any coach tell a kid I will offer you a scholarship if you commit this very minute. This guy is just like Bobby Knight , a bully(coward)!

A person SMART enough to know......

March 27th, 2012
10:36 am

bham in Top 10 recruiting and rarely in the Top 10 in the polls at the end of the season or Around top 50 in recruiting and usually in the top 30 at the end of the season. Great that UGa puts players in the league but what about all the players that don’t make it in the NFL? I just like Tech better for getting Players and Student farther in Life over UGa.

Bama Fan#2

March 27th, 2012
10:36 am

With all the great talent in the state of Georgia puts out
the dawgs or tech should be in the top ten fighting
for a NC. Tech has it easier to win in the weak ACC
but the dawgs has a harder time in the NFL SEC.
Having the best coach in college football Saban
next door does make it easy for the dawgs at all.
RTR

bulldogmaniac

March 27th, 2012
10:37 am

Hey…come to Tech where someone….maybe you….get’s mugged each and every day.

GTBob

March 27th, 2012
10:37 am

Until Georgia Tech changes coaches or offenses they will never be able to recruit against georgia.

Georgia Tech will never be able to recruit against UGA or any of the other SEC schools (and some ACC schools) regardless of the coach or offense. Did you just ignore all of the years before CPJ got here?

Blackoutanyone?

March 27th, 2012
10:38 am

FLjacket…….. today March 27th in the year 2012 at approximatley 0937 hrs you completed the first post of substance that I can actually agree with. Well done sir.

After reading CPJ’s pitch… I thought he presented a factual take on what GT has to offer and was actually impressed. On the other hand what is CMR saying to the kids he has brought into the program or is actively recruiting from neighboring states? Are they not blessed? Will they to not want to come home when it’s all said and done? Is it only great to have a degree from your instate university if you live within the state of Georgia? In my opinion CMR comes off desperate in this article. Thank god he has that extension. Do UGA fans feel the same way about Saban’s extension? Roll Tide!!

Big Crimson 75

March 27th, 2012
10:44 am

As many as 30 signing next year!!!!
It’s not roster management when Richt does it.

The Coach in the South is now locked down until 2020.
Roll Tide

HighTech

March 27th, 2012
10:45 am

bham dawg…within the ten-year period you mentioned, Paul Johnson coached Tech teams beat UGA 25% of the time. Chan Gailey coached Tech teams beat UGA 0% of the time. I’d say that’s an improvement. Would I like more wins over UGA than 1 in 4? Of course I would. Other than last season, the game is usually close. Tech is due for another win.