Richt plans Dream Team II

ATHENS –- Georgia coach Mark Richt was asked who first came up with the idea of pitching a “Dream Team” in recruiting.

“I really don’t remember whose idea it was,” he said.

“It was actually yours,” recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner said.

“It was my idea?” Richt said. “I didn’t want to take credit [if] someone else thought of it first.”

Georgia built its 2011 recruiting efforts, which culminated with Signing Day on Wednesday, around the high-profile notion of assembling a Dream Team of in-state talent. The Bulldogs wound up signing the state’s top three prospects, four of the top five and eight of the top 12.

The concept of a Dream Team was born almost a year ago as Georgia coaches embarked on what they knew would be a crucial recruiting season in a talent-rich state.

His memory jogged, Richt said: “As you’re looking at the guys you really want the most, you kind of dream about that as a coach, and that’s where I just came up with the idea: ‘This is my Dream Team. This is our Dream Team at the University of Georgia.’ We literally had names and pictures targeted that we could look at and shoot for, and we actually nailed it pretty good. You never get them all, but we came pretty darn close. And I would certainly say the dream came true.”

Richt said the concept resonated with recruits, who “bought in and got excited about it . . . and wanted to be on the Dream Team.  I think it was effective.”

He acknowledged there was a risk of the concept backfiring if Georgia had signed a less-than-stellar class. In that case, he said, people might have “called it a nightmare class or whatever.”

“But we just said, ‘You know what? Let’s go for the best and go with reckless abandon and not care what anybody says.’”

Richt plans a Dream Team encore next year.

“Quite frankly, we’re in the process of putting together the 2012 Dream Team,” he said. “We’re formulating ideas and looking at film and deciding who’s going to be on that team.

“I hope ninth graders right now are looking at this thing and saying, ‘I want to be on that Dream Team when my time comes.’”

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Garner gave a lot of credit for the success of the Dream Team concept to Ray Drew, a five-star outside linebacker from Thomas County Central who not only signed with Georgia but enthusiastically lobbied other players to do so as well.

“Even though [last season] sort of tarnished us,” Garner said, “he was able to recognize that the University of Georgia is still gold. We just need to shine it up. We just need to get the glitter back.”

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Speaking to fans at the Butts-Mehre building, Richt offered some insight into recruiting in this state:

“One of the hardest things for us to do is to evaluate and nail down who you’re going to go after, especially in our own state. A lot of the out-of-state teams will just come in and just offer like mad. They’ll come in and just offer like candy. Quite frankly, I’m not going to name names of schools, but a lot of them will do that just to get in the fight. And if the kid commits too soon and they’re not sure they want [him], they’ll just tell them, ‘That’s not a committable offer.’ Whatever the heck that means.

“If we offer a kid in our state and he says he’s coming, we want to take him, OK? Sometimes we’re a little bit slower to offer maybe than some out-of-state schools. Sometimes that might hurt a kid’s feelings. Sometimes that might hurt a coach’s feelings. That’s not our intention. Our intention is to have integrity when we offer a kid and be able to follow through.”

– Tim Tucker, UGA Blog

305 comments Add your comment

heyberto

February 3rd, 2011
9:48 am

Heck, I want to be on the dream team!

Georgia

February 3rd, 2011
9:49 am

Doing it the right, honest way.
In Richt we Trust.

Beach Dawg

February 3rd, 2011
9:50 am

I love CMR’s approach

GO DAWGS!!!

February 3rd, 2011
9:50 am

LOOKOUT! We are going to be on the warpath in 2011! Great job Richt & staff!

Brandon

February 3rd, 2011
9:55 am

I hate to break to all u Uga fans but most of the time u don’t see a big turn around right after a good draft class. It will Prolly take a year or 2.

the Green Bay G surrounded by red and black...

February 3rd, 2011
9:56 am

…stands for Gimmick

JB

February 3rd, 2011
9:56 am

Saw Paul Johnson on the news last night. As usual, he said this class was fair, but the Fish they cooked this year for the press were really good…..And so were the Hushpuppies.

UGA_2001

February 3rd, 2011
9:57 am

Drew is the star of this class. Kid is gonna be a leader and a force off the edge!

Thank heavens we have a class act in charge at UGA, not used car salesmen like they do at UF and Aub!

Al E.

February 3rd, 2011
10:00 am

Nice class, Dawgs. Almost as good as my Tide’s!

As for Tech, all I can say is,” wow.” Are you sure your school is in Atlanta?

Jesup

February 3rd, 2011
10:01 am

Yep……I think Saban has offered every kid in the State….you know….he will CULL his later.

Preston

February 3rd, 2011
10:07 am

I hope all these in-state athletes read this and understand where coach is coming from and respect how he goes about his business! There isn’t a more honorable coach in football! I hope the dawgs get things back where they belong this year so we can keep him around.

SouthSide Dawg

February 3rd, 2011
10:10 am

Regardless of all of the rules of engagement and questionable ethics from out-of-state schools, etc. I am excited about this class, I believe in this coaching staff for the 2011 season, and I believe that UGA needs to do what it takes to keep up with the recruiting efforts of other SEC schools (short of pay-for-play schemes or free Trans Am’s). Heck I’d rather see the other schools work to keep up with our creative recruiting efforts. Congratulations to the UGA staff for a job well done. Cheers.

Buckeye

February 3rd, 2011
10:11 am

Hey Coach, what about the Pee Wees in the Sharon Park league?

Hankie Aron

February 3rd, 2011
10:15 am

Buckeye- you have once again chosen this special place to publicly humiliate yourself and we thank you for that…….

Hankie Aron

February 3rd, 2011
10:16 am

Considering Ohio State calls SEC teams their daddy or papa, however you want to word it.

TXDawg

February 3rd, 2011
10:16 am

Just remember what happened the second time you pulled out those BLACK JERSEYS….just sayin.

Hankie Aron

February 3rd, 2011
10:17 am

And old Herbie can’t get that 93 Citrus Bowl out of his head to save his life

Vinny D

February 3rd, 2011
10:18 am

Can we cut the whole “dream team” thing? I sure hope we don’t try to use that again. Yes, we had a very good class but thats all it is. Its a bunch of HS kids who have potential. Its not like we were a consensus number 1 by a mile, we were a top 5 (after Jenkins hopefully). If they call next year “dream team II”, I may….well, I won’t really do anything honestly except pout.

Just Asking

February 3rd, 2011
10:18 am

What is the difference between this 5th rated class nationally(rivals) and the numerous other top 5 classes? They mostly come from within the state of Georgia.

The biggest item for Georgia, their staff, their current players and incoming freshmen is to play as a team and alter their current system to fit the players currently on the roster.

My personal opinion is the Georgia Bulldawg nation will support the staff up until the first big loss and then the same mantra in the previous 3 seasons will heat up again. There will be those who want to hang on to what Mark Richt has done in years long ago and others who will want to see a new regime enter the equation. Either way this fall is going to be a defining season for the current staff at Georgia.

If the improvements in records is not see as a success the 2012 Dream Team will be just that a Dream for Mark Richt and his staff.

Cuz

February 3rd, 2011
10:20 am

The second time for the black jerseys we annihilated Hawaii. Thanks for the memory TX.

82Dawg

February 3rd, 2011
10:20 am

@Jesup …what is the real scoop on Lambert? I have read a lot of different stuff on him some good some not. Very seldom do I get back down to see a high school game..

Hankie Aron

February 3rd, 2011
10:21 am

Well said Just Asking. Regardless of this class, it’s most definitely do or die. It’s tough to do so, but how many wins does it take for Richt to keep his job? Or do they simply have to be competitive in all the games and win some?

Mr. SEC

February 3rd, 2011
10:21 am

I love the word Coach Richt used “integrity”, it goes hand in hand with the word “comittment”! This is an approach that high school coaches need to sell to their kids. UGA has made it clear that they want in-state talent and that they are not going to make an offer to a kid unless they mean it.
Give the UGA coaches credit, they took the high road to recruiting this year, and it paid off, hope it will continue.
I don’t always agree with former Coach Urban M. at Fla., but yesterday on ESPN he made the comment that “he did not like all of the drama that kids put into their late comittments to schools and all the signing day drama. It put’s the schools (colleges) and coaches in a hostage situation going after other recruits, thus, sometimes making a school have a bad recruiting year’! Perfect way of putting it, if a school wants you, they will put it out there for you to take, if you don’t take it then, you might not get a 2nd chance. It would be interesting to know the truth on just how many kids did not take offers when a quality team they liked made them an offer and they did not take it at first, and then they had to go to plan “B”! Signing with their 2nd choice instead of their 1st choice. That happen yesterday and in the past few weeks. (not just in the SEC, but all over)!
Good things happen to good people, Coach Richt and staff did a great job, now let them get to work!

Time

February 3rd, 2011
10:22 am

The CMR haters really need to stand back and give the guy some credit for this one. It really was a great idea to bring the class together in such a way that they all felt part of something special before they even signed on the dotted line. Took alot of guts for him to try this tactic as well. All the dream teamers could have ended up at Bama or UF or Auburn and Richt would have had egg on his face. Bradley would have had a field day making 10 so called “columns” out of the debacle had the dream team failed to materialize.

saban

February 3rd, 2011
10:24 am

Richt is a loser always will be. When you win a national championship then you have a dream team.

Till then you are a loser to Central Florids, and Boise State is a daddy in waiting.

Does anyone know how many members of the dream team can read and write?

I read somewhere that 3 can.

dmr

February 3rd, 2011
10:26 am

FORGET A DREAM TEAM…HOW ABOUT A DREAM SEASON…GO DAWGS!

SouthSide Dawg

February 3rd, 2011
10:27 am

I feel sorry for you, Saban.

Hankie Aron

February 3rd, 2011
10:27 am

You would be surprised how much sour grapes stink saban. Now get me some onion rings

catfish suppa

February 3rd, 2011
10:27 am

saban you sure got a purty mouth even with them dentures

Hankie Aron

February 3rd, 2011
10:28 am

True that dmr

Hankie Aron

February 3rd, 2011
10:28 am

Squeel like a pg Saban, Squeel

jaketekaj

February 3rd, 2011
10:29 am

TXDawg — The second time we pulled out the BLACK JERSEYS, we thumped Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl.

Sugar Bowl

February 3rd, 2011
10:30 am

Yeah TXDawg i remember what happened the 2nd time UGA wore there BLACK JERSEYS…They played there best all around football game under CMR and Destroyed Hawaii in The Sugar Bowl !!

SOWEGA DAWG

February 3rd, 2011
10:30 am

Richt is a great guy and a great recruiter. I wish he would stay as our OC. He will go out west and be a super heroe head coach, but he just can’t do it here in the SEC.

JB

February 3rd, 2011
10:31 am

Bama only signs 38… Fax ran out of paper…Had to cut it off at 38 !

82Dawg

February 3rd, 2011
10:34 am

@saban ….kinda like Bama is a loser to Louisiana Monroe

Mike

February 3rd, 2011
10:35 am

I agree please lets not start up with Dream Team II. It is like Blackout. First time great got us all juiiced. We had to do it again vs Alabama and Florida and it ended up being an embarassment. Recruiting and keeping kids in state is something we should have been doing in year one and not now year 11. I want to see this cutting edge philosophy and results not gimmics and 6-7 seasons.

Not a UGA fan but Respect CMR

February 3rd, 2011
10:35 am

I will say it up front. I am not a fan of Georgia, however I respect Mark Richt as a man and what he stands for. I was born in the state, raised in the state but attended and graduated another SEC school. Once I tell people from outside the south where I am from they bring up the Bulldawgs. Some are knowledgable of the SEC others just assume.

This past year many folks asked me what was up with UGA and as a SEC fan second, I immediate response was it looked from the outside that there was some internal issues along with the demoralizing effect of the AJ Green saga that played a role in their 2010 season failings.

From what one reads on these blogs it is easy to see the bulldawg nation was split up until the past two weeks with all the committments and recruiting news.

Will this change in the future, more than likely. However for the next 7 months almost to the day the Bulldawg Nation is behind Mark Richt, some more than others, but up until any bad news is published the Bulldawg nation is whole again.

JB

February 3rd, 2011
10:36 am

Bama forgets for that string of years between Stalling’s and Saban, they mostly stunk and stayed in trouble with the NCAA. Royalty my a$$….

Righting the ship to glory

February 3rd, 2011
10:38 am

CMR is getting this program back on the right track and i firmly believe he will succeed with a few more adjustments like more aggressive in his coaching and eventually demoting CMB back to just qb coach and bring in more a qualified OC. I think the last couple of years CMR and staff got lazy and just sat back and expected kids to come here. you have to get out there and watch these kids play in person and not just on film. I also think CTG and the new AD has a lot to do with these changes that are taking place at UGA. Go Dawgs!

JB

February 3rd, 2011
10:38 am

Mark beats Boise and SC, he’s home free. Get toasted in those two games, and the sweet smell and feel of this class will be long gone. We are a ” I want it now” type of society. and nowhere that is more true than SEC football.

gomdawg

February 3rd, 2011
10:38 am

I love the BLACK JERSEYS. LOSING THE GAMES HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE COLOR JERSEY WE WEAR. OR MAYBE YOU BELIEVE IN RABBIT FOOT FOR GOOD LUCK I DONT.

Cyrus' Mother

February 3rd, 2011
10:39 am

Mr. Louder, I can’t hear you, I am still waitin’ on the wire transfer.
I ain’t signin’ no letter of intent for Cyrus til’ I
receive the cash.

BAMA FAN #2

February 3rd, 2011
10:39 am

Mark Richt is a wonderful human being who I hope gets the Georgia program back to where it
wins the SEC east division and maybe one day WIN the NC!! RTR

gomdawg

February 3rd, 2011
10:40 am

JB LOOK WHAT HAPPEN TO VIRGINIA TECH LAST YEAR , YOUR SEASON IS NOT OVER TIL IT OVER. THINK POSTIVE WE WILL WIN.

Not a UGA fan but Respect CMR

February 3rd, 2011
10:40 am

Just to clarify something some one just posted: According to Rivals(Yahoo)
Alabama( Nick Saban) only signed 21 and still finished the Rivals rankings as No. 1.

Even as an outsider that is pretty impressive. Look at South Carolina, Auburn and Ole Miss who all recieved more than 28 LOI’s yesterday and one can surmise the arrows being pointed at the wrong guys.

The UGA class is impressive and according to the Rivals postings the only area of concern was on the Offensive Line Commits, my question is how set is UGA on their linemen in the next few seasons?

JB

February 3rd, 2011
10:41 am

FAN #2……Good post brother.

JBWright

February 3rd, 2011
10:41 am

Richt is in over his head. He should coach somewhere like Colorado. His only idea for inspiration is putting on black jerseys and getting pole-axed. He makes Pepper Rodgers look like Gen. Patton.

gomdawg

February 3rd, 2011
10:41 am

THANKS BAMA FAN #2

Les Miles

February 3rd, 2011
10:42 am

@ jaketekaj : that was Hawaii!?!?!? you still are bragging about beating Hawaii in a BCS game they had no business even being in. i’m surprised you’re still not choking on West Virginia’s junk after your other BCS appearance. Not ready for prime time; someone yesterday called you the Clemson of the SEC. a perfect analogy..mid-pack player in a conference of champions…nothing but a schedule filler for the big boys of the SEC>>>