Where was Mark Richt the day after the SEC Championship game?
The UGA coach was busy recruiting.
Last Sunday, one day after the heartbreaking last-second loss to Alabama, Richt and two assistant coaches made an in-home visit with Josh Cardiello, an offensive lineman who is committed to the Bulldogs.
“That was crazy, that he was here the next day after a huge game like that,” said Cardiello, a 6-foot-3, 280-pound senior from Buford High School.
“For Coach Richt to come to my house after that, it really meant a lot.”
Richt, accompanied by offensive line coach Will Friend and running backs coach Bryan McClendon (who recruits Gwinnett County), showed up at 2 p.m. Sunday and stayed for more than two hours.
“It went really good; we talked about the game on Saturday and had a good time,” Cardiello said.
What did Richt say about the game? “He was just talking about how good they played, and that it was a great game. He wishes they could’ve had a couple of more seconds. But he thought they played great and everything. You could tell he was still a little disappointed about losing that game but he had great things to say.
“You know Coach Richt – he’s kind of calm in every situation. He didn’t really show it much, but you could tell he was still a little bit disappointed. I think he was happy about how they played. They had a lot of opportunities to win.”
What was Richt’s evaluation of his offensive line’s performance versus Alabama? “He said they played good. He said everybody played their hearts out. He said Alabama was a great team, and that, you know, you can’t win them all. But he was proud of the team’s effort.”
When Richt first arrived, the coaches and Cardiello’s family watched a little bit of the NFL game between the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins. “We were talking about how the Dolphins are surprising a lot of people,” Cardiello said. “They’re playing a lot better than a lot of people thought they would – you know, since they were on the ‘Hard Knocks’ TV show. Coach Friend was saying ‘They’ve come a long ways from that show.’”
For the rest of the in-home visit, the group ate some BBQ together and exchanged stories. Richt had everybody laughing with a story about his Christmas tree from a few years ago.
“He said one time he got his tree, brought it in the house, put it down and a snake fell out,” Cardiello said. “It was a baby snake and it scared him. I thought that was pretty funny.”
Cardiello will play offensive guard or center at UGA. He is one of at least 17 UGA commitments that plans to enroll in college in January. The Bulldogs have 30 commitments overall, and could sign as many as 36.
“Coach Richt said he’s really excited about everybody coming in,” Cardiello said. “He thinks this class is going to make a big difference. He wants to get us there and for us to hit the ground running.”
On Wednesday, Richt is scheduled to make an in-home visit with another early enrollee, RB-WR Tramel Terry of Goose Creek (S.C.) High School. Terry had twice committed to UGA and nearly announced for a third time. He was heavily considering Clemson after taking a recent official visit with the Tigers, according to Dawg Nation’s Kipp Adams. “I was trying to do the smart thing and look at Clemson because of how I could fit in. If I would have gone there I probably could have started right away. I would have been a fool not to check them out.” However, Terry finally ended the drama on late Sunday night by declaring he was sticking with the Bulldogs. Terry said that a major reason was UGA assistant John Lilly showing up at his school last Friday – the day before the SEC Championship. “They had a big game the next day and still showed that I was a big priority.”
THIS JUST IN
WE’RE LESS THAN TWO MONTHS AWAY FROM SIGNING DAY
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