Mark Richt sings “Happy Birthday” to 4-star safety

How often do you get to have an SEC head coach sing “Happy Birthday” to you?

A few times, as it turns out, if you’re an elite football recruit.

Mark Richt, for the second year in a row, catches a recruit's attention by singing "Happy Birthday" to him (AJC)

Mark Richt, for the second year in a row, catches a recruit's attention by singing "Happy Birthday" to him (AJC)

For the second year in a row, UGA’s Mark Richt made a big impression by crooning to Tray Matthews, a 4-star safety who is committed to the Bulldogs.

On Thursday, the senior from Newnan High School turned 18 years old and got a phone call from UGA’s coaches. “My coach called me from lunch and said ‘Hey, Mark Richt and them want to holler at you,’” Matthews told the AJC.

“Coach Richt said hello and started singing again. He tried to hit a real high note this time. It was so funny. I mean, he tried real hard to get that high note. And I will give him the benefit of a doubt … He did all right singing.”

Even though Richt belted out the same tune last year, Matthews claimed he was caught off guard on Thursday:

“I didn’t know it was coming this time, I really didn’t. I was very, very surprised. After he did it last year, I was thinking Coach Richt probably won’t do that ever again. I wasn’t even thinking about it when I got on the phone with him. It surprised me, for sure.”

And just like last year, Richt’s unique recruiting tactic appeared to work with the highly-regarded recruit:

“It means a lot for Coach Richt to do that,” Matthews said. “They don’t do it for every recruit. It shows me how much they want me. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to have good coaches around me, and to be committed to the University of Georgia.”

Which SEC head coach do you wish would sing "Happy Birthday" to you?

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RELATED: What’s the latest with Tray’s recruiting? He remains “100-percent committed” to UGA, but confirmed again with the AJC on Thursday that he will take all five official visits. “My mom is setting up everything. I’m going to Florida, USC, Tennessee, Miami and a couple of other schools I can’t remember right now.” What would it take for another college to lure him away from UGA? “If they have coaches that are identical to Mark Richt and that whole coaching staff … and if that other place was just like Athens, Ga. But there probably aren’t any coaches or any places exactly like that.”

  • Back to the topic: Now it’s your turn. What do you think of Mark Richt’s creative recruiting tactic? Which SEC head coach do you wish you could have call you on your birthday and why? Please post below.

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251 comments Add your comment

1970 Dawg

October 18th, 2012
8:27 pm

Very Cool!!! Looking forward to seeing Tray between the hedges next season.

Harry Jim Jim

October 18th, 2012
8:28 pm

Good, classy move!

JRW7

October 18th, 2012
8:37 pm

CMR sure can recruit, he’s the best recruiter in college football, he’s a great recruiter, but he’s just a average coach!

Tide ATL

October 18th, 2012
8:45 pm

This was creepy when I read this last year, and it’s creepy this year, too. I will tell you that Coach Saban would not resort to this comedy act of recruiting.

GATOR CHOMP

October 18th, 2012
8:55 pm

Hey losers I heard Saint Richt also sung The Jail House Rock to the kid also. When are you stray mutts going to can that tool? GATORS or DIE!!!!!!!

Vampire Bill

October 18th, 2012
8:58 pm

How bout Lane Kiffin’s wife? Major hottie

JDawg

October 18th, 2012
9:00 pm

We shoud fire Rick. We need to hire a reel caoch like Saban or Belicheck. We need a coach that will yell at peeple and get in there face. We lost a gaim this yeer its time to cleen house. We dont want to haf to put up with this any more. Why dont the coaches realise that us geneusis on the blogs now how to call plays and they shood lisen to us. We know what UGA shoud do but now one listens to the smart fans like us.

Big Crimson 75

October 18th, 2012
9:01 pm

CMR sure can recruit, he’s the best recruiter in college football
——
Not even close.

GATA

October 18th, 2012
9:01 pm

Maybe it’s just me, but I HATE this kind of crap. Can you honestly see Saban, Spurrier or Muschamp doing this? The player may like it, but how does this foster respect for the HC?

Big Crimson 75

October 18th, 2012
9:06 pm

The player may like it, but how does this foster respect for the HC?
—–
It doesn’t.

Blackoutanyone?

October 18th, 2012
9:08 pm

I’m embarrassed for all you Dwag fans.

JDawg

October 18th, 2012
9:08 pm

Yea GATA. you hit the nale on the hed. Saban and these other winner coaches wood call this recrute and yell at his face. Thats how you get respct!

JDawg

October 18th, 2012
9:10 pm

You too Big Crimson. We need to be more like you and Alabama.

GATOR CHOMP

October 18th, 2012
9:11 pm

I wonder how much dough Reverand Richt rained down on him. See you flead out mutts in Jacksonville after the MIGHTY GATORS give you clowns another beatdown. Gators 28 Mutts 10 “BOOK IT”

JDawg

October 18th, 2012
9:14 pm

Amen Gator. I wood normally hate you but i have to agree. We pay players and suspend them for noting. You guys prooved after beeting UT and LSW that you reely are mumber 2. Its amasing how evem thouh we pay players and you guys have a flowless record you still beet us constently.

LakeDawg

October 18th, 2012
9:17 pm

Geez. Can we get a football coach in here?

JDawg

October 18th, 2012
9:19 pm

Aman Gator. We pay players all the time but you have perfict peeple play for you. Its amasing that even thouh we cheet like we do and you never do that you still own us. One moor reeson to fire sant Rick!

Big Crimson 75

October 18th, 2012
9:22 pm

If y’all collapse(which is quite possible), Jim Tressel’s chomping at the bit!!
Who started all this Willie Taggart non-sense?

Score Check

October 18th, 2012
9:28 pm

JDawg, very funny! But what school are you really a fan of? gt , bama, barn, fu ak.a. uf?

Score Check

October 18th, 2012
9:30 pm

Saban to the Browns? Will never happen because he never ever lies. LOL

Mmmm. Seems like he said on many many occasions he would never leave the Pros for bama. LOL

Dawg-Gawn

October 18th, 2012
9:30 pm

Tunsil, Crowder, Kamara, Adams, Johnson, Shumpert, and Stevens love it!

Does Mark Richt have a pilot license… when does UGA get their own airplane or better yet, blimp?

“Trigga all Dawg”

“BELIEVE” in the “G”

MichelleWilliams

October 18th, 2012
9:33 pm

Jdawg, You should use SPELL CHECK before posting your comment(s). WOW!

DawgNole

October 18th, 2012
9:40 pm

Score Check
October 18th, 2012
9:30 pm

Saban to the Browns? Will never happen because he never ever lies. LOL

Mmmm. Seems like he said on many many occasions he would never leave the Pros for bama. LOL
____________________

I don’t see Saban going back to the pros. He failed miserably his two years there, and–like spurrier–he doesn’t deal well with failure.

DawgNole

October 18th, 2012
9:42 pm

MichelleWilliams
October 18th, 2012
9:33 pm

Jdawg, You should use SPELL CHECK before posting your comment(s). WOW!
___________________

It likely wouldn’t help much–if at all. You have to know which replacement word to select.

HottDawg39

October 18th, 2012
9:42 pm

Hey Jdawg, you really need to learn how to spell. You
may as well be a Gator fan yourself cause you are illiterate and stupid like all other gators! Dawgs for life!!!

GATA

October 18th, 2012
9:48 pm

Let me clarify my comment. First of all, I like Richt. I want him at UGA. But I’m sick of all the recruiting nonsense that goes on, mostly with prima donna 4-5 star recruits program-shopping, committing, de-committing, holding press conferences for their selection and all the rest. When a coach sings happy birthday like that it is demeaning and no one respects that. Winning the “big games” is how a coach gets respect.

Big Crimson 75

October 18th, 2012
9:54 pm

Score — If he bounces, he bounces.
Personally, if he went back, I hope it’s here to the Falcons(if we don’t get a win in the post-season again this year).
He said NO to the Bucs this off-season.
The Browns could be a player. He has ties to the Organization. The best player we’ve had @ Bama in his tenure is there.
I just hope he doesn’t leave for the Cowboys.

We couldn’t ask for better than what he’s done at Bama. It would be on Mal Moore to make the right hire replacing him.

Gigi

October 18th, 2012
10:03 pm

Happy birthday to u

Happy birthday to u

The gamecocks will whip us

And the gators will tooooooooooo

hit a single

October 18th, 2012
10:05 pm

I guess that is why I will never be a college coach. I would be a terrible recruiter. Dang if I would sing to an 18 year old kid.

hit a single

October 18th, 2012
10:06 pm

College coaching is becoming a kiss ass profession.

I want my baby, my baby back ribbbbs

October 18th, 2012
10:20 pm

Oops, I posted under my gmail acct and forgot that ice cream tough-guy my-call Caravel must have banned my email for posting facts that he’s a joke.

Don

October 18th, 2012
10:23 pm

I would hope The Coach realizes sooner than later, that he had better start singing to Offensive and Defensive Lineman rather than the glamor position guys. Look at SC that just totally whipped our tail, Alabama, LSU, Oregon, … They all have GREAT Lines, you build you house on a great foundation and that is the same way you MUST build a football team. He keeps getting $1,000,000 upstairs and builds it on top of SAND. When will he learn, use your scholarships on Lineman and NEVER turn away a good prospect like he did recently. Steve S. at SC was so happy he grabbed him up in mear hours. He understands how to build a football team.

Tampa Gator

October 18th, 2012
10:25 pm

Tunsil is headed back to Gainesville this weekend for the SC game. Went to the LSU game as well. Hummmmmmmmmmm…………..

Delbert D.

October 18th, 2012
10:25 pm

So this is what college athletics has come to. I really hope this is an exception limited to this one coach.

George Castanza

October 18th, 2012
10:33 pm

You gotta try out at camp to earn a offer from Saban. In other words he wants you to prove your worth a damn first.

Big Crimson 75

October 18th, 2012
10:42 pm

Tunsil’s all Tide.
Thanks D-Hen!!

Big Crimson 75

October 18th, 2012
10:44 pm

In other words he wants you to prove your worth a damn first.
—-
He’s definitely not singing Happy Birthday to OJ Howard.

Football

October 18th, 2012
10:54 pm

Warning: Do not read Jdawg posts! You may find yourself straining to read his “flowless” posts!

Dawg-Gawn

October 18th, 2012
11:00 pm

Wonder if coach Richt sang it PSY GANGNAM STYLE?

@Tampa:

Ain’t worried…. when Tunsil starts attending games in Tuscaloosa… might worry a little bit (*_~)

Saban would never stoop this low…. right!

How bout, 150 letters mailed to Kamara in one day or mailing photo’s of crystal footballs and Mark Ingram with his Heisman trophy in hand…. just as cheesy.

University of Oregon flying an airplane over HS stadiums at night, with lighted messages flashing under the wings, to various recruits playing in a game below…. equally cheesy!

“BELIEVE” in the “G”

Big Crimson 75

October 18th, 2012
11:07 pm

stuffing mail boxes > Krusty the Clown

TIDE ROLL

October 18th, 2012
11:19 pm

Hey DAWG fans: NICK MARSHALL, whom Richt and Booboo evaluated as a Cornerback and actually had covering Kickoffs and Punts for UGA, had over 600 total yards,, yes, 600 total yards, for Garden City, Kan. Community College in a game last week. AS A QUARTERBACK. Y’all have the most disfunctional, retarded football program in the history of NCAA football. 32 years. Is it any wonder!?

TIDE ROLL

October 18th, 2012
11:24 pm

360 yards passing, 3 touchdowns. 241 yards rushing,2 touchdowns. Yeah, Nick Marshall’s a corner, and Cam Newton’s a tight end. What a backwoods,backward thinking football program. 32 hilarious years. Y’all are truly a joke!

TIDE ROLL

October 18th, 2012
11:30 pm

CHARLIE WARD, SEAN JONES, HOMER JORDAN, AND CAM NEWTON. All in state kids who signed elsewhere and led their teams to NATIONAL TITLES as QUARTERBACKS. No program in the history of the NCAA, other than good ole UGA can claim this dubious distinction. Y’all should be ashamed and embarrassed, BUT YOU’RE NOT. Nothing phases you people. It’s bizarre.

Big Crimson 75

October 18th, 2012
11:40 pm

Tide Roll — All true, but they gave that dynamic duo a chance — James Jackson & Wayne Johnson!!!

HottDawg39

October 18th, 2012
11:44 pm

Hey Tide Troll, when a kid has a free ride to any D 1 college, he needs to appreciate the opportunity he has.He screwed up so he got kicked out period. Let me remind you about the integrity of your ball coach… That low-life allowed a rapist to keep his scholarship when his ass should have been behind bars. You must be very proud to rep the Tide loser

Rick James

October 18th, 2012
11:45 pm

@TIDE ROLL

CHARLIE WARD, SEAN JONES, HOMER JORDAN, AND CAM NEWTON. All in state kids who signed elsewhere and led their teams to NATIONAL TITLES as QUARTERBACKS. No program in the history of the NCAA, other than good ole UGA can claim this dubious distinction. Y’all should be ashamed and embarrassed, BUT YOU’RE NOT. Nothing phases you people. It’s bizarre.
———————————————————————————————————————–
.How many quartebacks left other states lead Alabama to tiles? Quite a few because there is not much high school talent there.How many have left Texas? California? Who’s to say that if the guys played at Georgia the team would have good enough win the national title.It’s not flag football.What was Georgia to do bench Matt Stafford for Cam Newton? How do we know he would not have gotten kicked of the team at Georgia like at Florida.Both were first overall draft picks but Cam won a national title.Why? because he played on a better team.Yet Stafford is the better Quarterback based on he way Cam is struggling right now.I know you’re just taking a swipe a Georgia because nobody,not even a Bama fan can be that stupid.

Big Crimson 75

October 18th, 2012
11:47 pm

hat low-life allowed a rapist to keep his scholarship when his ass should have been behind bars.
—–
What player are you talking about?

GT Girl

October 18th, 2012
11:50 pm

Charlie Ward played for F$U and SHAWN Jones played at GT and Cam the Scam at Aubarn. Who is Homer Jordan?

Rick James

October 18th, 2012
11:51 pm

Nick Marshall got kicked out of Georgia for stealing from teamates..I’m sure that would have been ok with Saint Nick.Saban.I’m really impressed by somebody putting up arena ball numbers at a JC.Let’s see if he’s playing quarterback at Bama next year.

Rick James

October 18th, 2012
11:53 pm

@GT Girl

Homer Jordan played at Clemson before you were born