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.
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.”
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.”
WE’RE LESS THAN FOUR MONTHS AWAY FROM SIGNING DAY
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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