ATHENS –Mark Richt flew back into town from a recruiting trip, just in time for his pre-Liberty Bowl news conference today.
Here are a few of the topics he touched upon:
On former Georgia player Will Muschamp’s hiring as head coach at Florida: “I think Will is a very fine coach. I don’t know if he’ll admit [it] to everybody, but he’s still a Georgia man in a lot of ways. I think he’ll do well. He’s a very good coach and a very good person.”
On the changes in Georgia’s strength program (earlier this month Richt reassigned Dave Van Halanger and named Joe Tereshinski director of strength and conditioning): “First of all, I think Dave Van Halanger is an outstanding strength coach. He’s as good as any out there. . . . But I think there are different ways to do things, and I want to go a little bit more old school, I guess, and get after it a little bit differently. By no means am I saying it’s just the strength area we need to improve on when it comes to winning the fourth quarter and finishing, because it has to do with coaching, it has to do with a lot of things. But I’m sure that will be a big emphasis of our program — to make sure we truly finish the drill. We say ‘finish the drill,’ but are we really doing it? Did we do it this year? We did not.”
On starting offensive linemen Cordy Glenn and Trinton Sturdivant, among other underclassmen on the team, asking the NFL for a projection of their draft status: “I think every junior in America is kind of curious where they sit as far as the NFL is concerned. So there’s a lot of guys who want to turn in their papers and see where the NFL sees them. I think that’s not all that surprising.” He said the key is for players to get an accurate gauge of their NFL stock in order to make the best decisions for them. Losing players early is “just part of college football today,” said Richt, who noted it could be worse: “Basketball, they can be [in college] for one year and they’re off and running.” Still, “we certainly don’t want any of those guys to go, but we’ll just wait and see what happens here down the road.”
And from the recruiting trail, where he and his assistants have logged countless miles this month, Richt reiterated his belief that this is a special year for in-state talent: “I do think this recruiting year in the state of Georgia — even as we were mapping it out a year ago because you are looking that far down the road, this class in particular we thought was going to be extremely strong. And we still believe that. Not only strong in athleticism and ability, but very strong in character from what I’m seeing. I really like the young men we’ve been dealing with as people too. It’s been a very encouraging year in that way, too, which is kind of nice.”
– Tim Tucker