Richt: O-line recruiting not an issue, happy with ‘guys we got’

Juggling a bunch of things at the moment so haven’t had much time to craft a comprehensive report for you. But in the meantime here’s is a raw transcription (please forgive typos) of some of the main points Mark Richt and his assistants made while briefing UGA fans in Heritage Hall a little while ago. About to have a session with richt and recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner so I’ll have more information coming soon. . . .

Richt on how many Georgia might sign . . .

“I don’t know for certain because the day’s not over yet. I know I’, thrilled about the ones we’ve already signed on the dotted line. The biggest issue we thought we had was at the tackle position and I feel like we did a tremendous job there.”

Offensive line coach Will Friend on his newbies . . .

“We’re real excited about the guys we’ve got signed. Mark Beard is already on campus and we’re real excited about him. We thought we did a good job with guys that are athletic who will start out at tackle but could be guards.

“John Theus, we’re excited about what he brings to us. He has athletic ability, he’s smart, tough, all those things. And Greg Pyke also.”

Friend on how many O-line offers that still have out there . .

“We have a few out. Not that many.”

Richt on recruiting rankings . . .

“I think recruiting rankings are way overrated. The bottom line with some of these services is it’s a points system and you’ve got to maybe 27 guys to have enough points to get ranked high. Some other services will look at it objectively by each individual and understand sometimes you can sign 18 and sometimes than you can sign 25. . . . I don’t get too caught up in that.

“The reason I’m telling you is we’ve got some really quality football players that are goijg to help us win. We’ve got some guys I thknk that are going to be able to make an impact right away. That’s the best news.”

Running backs Bryan McClendon on Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley:

“Keith is a great player. Not only him but Todd, too. We’re very pleased with them. Not only are they great players but they’re great people. They’ll come in and be great teammates and be instantly great people in the community. They’ll also bring depth and competition to the position and I think we need both of those.

“Keith has been working very hard and already picked up a bunch of weight. So we’re exited about seeing what he can do this spring.”

McClendon on fullback Quayvon Hicks of Pierce County . . .

“Quayvon is definitely a guy we need. A fullback is so important to do what we do on offense. He’s a guy that can go out there and get it done, to be honest with you. It’s not a very presrtigious position, but it’s very important nonetheless. We definitely think, after having him in camp and seeing him on film, that he’s everything plus more of what we were looking for at that position. With Bruce Figgins leaving and what we’ve had at that position in the past, with Brannan Southerland and Shaun Chapas and J.T. Wall, I dedfinitely think he can come in and be one of those type of players for us.”

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham (met with big ovation) on signing so many DE/OLB types . . .

“Defensively it’s about making plays. When you look at players, you can play players at multiple positions. The thing that we’re looking at is always signing the best athletes, and then we’re going to put them in the spots that best fit them as well as us. So we’re just going to recruit guys that can make plays. That’s the way we’ve done it the last two years and we’ll continue to do it that way.”

Richt on depth problems on offensive line . . .

“Let me tell you something, offensive line is a huge priority. But the thing is, if you’re going to try to sign the best you’ve got to recruit the best. There are times when you hit it on the head and there’s times when you don’t win the battle. We’re going against a lot of great programs. But I guarantee you, the guys that we’ve got are highly sought-after and guys we think can really help us.

“You can sign a bunch of linemen just to say you signed a bunch of linemen. But when we bring somebody in we believe he can compete and play.

“We’ve had some issues over the year unfortunately that were highly rated that had some injury issues. For whatever reason it happened and you can’t control it.”

Richt on redshirted offensive linemen . . .

“Zach DeBell and Xzavier Ward got redshiorted last year. Those are potential tackles for us.

“Xzavier Ward, people tend to forget about guys like that. Ward has probably put on 40 pounds and he’s been getting healthy. He looks good, big, tall, kid who’s very athletic. . . . Before you know it he’ll be competing for us.”

126 comments Add your comment

Herschel Talker

February 1st, 2012
1:06 pm

Now I’m seeing Josh Dawson signed with Vandy. What is the deal here?

And why has JHC not sent in his LOI yet?

chilidawg

February 1st, 2012
1:11 pm

Greene or Avery?

Vampire Bill

February 1st, 2012
1:12 pm

Maybe clean your glasses?

invictus mon

February 1st, 2012
1:17 pm

First to write 1st…unless someone did it before I refreshed the page…Dawson signed with us, no worries there. Excited for this class. Definitely a quality over quantity approach.

Atticus

February 1st, 2012
1:20 pm

Great class but the OL recruiting is still a joke, as is the fact that not only do we not oversign we actually undersign. We lost the SC and MSU games because of special teams and depth. Nice coach. Great class but it make no sense why we do this.

McDawg

February 1st, 2012
1:23 pm

i guess that means no Avery Young?????

Silly Bloggers

February 1st, 2012
1:24 pm

Be careful Atticus…I got gang tackled on another blog for bringing up the O-Line. Truth be told, it is a very excellent class, but you must have the Big Uglies to compete against the big boys. Richt wouldn’t be addressing it if it wasn’t a big deal. I will say this though, if we do get Avery Young, Richt is right about one thing…we have absurd quality on the OL between Theus, Beard, and Young.

As always, it is going to come down to injuries, or the lack of them. Disappointed we didn’t get Greene and unfortunate on Chester Brown. Avery Young is paramount to rounding out this class. He is an absolute beast.

dawgster7

February 1st, 2012
1:24 pm

Greene is going to Bama, Avery at 2 pm. We are gonna get him.

Silly Bloggers

February 1st, 2012
1:27 pm

HT, JHC signed his letter. I think we have all commitments signed except one so far.

DAWG08

February 1st, 2012
1:35 pm

DAWGPOST has a check by Josh Dawson on signed LOI to UGA

jarvis

February 1st, 2012
1:39 pm

That doesn’t sound like “we got Avery” speak.

flo-ri-duh

February 1st, 2012
1:40 pm

The only commit that has not signed yet is the kicker from Miami and he will sign.

chilidawg

February 1st, 2012
1:41 pm

Greene still hasn’t signed his LOI. Possibly waiting to see what Avery does?

Herschel Talker

February 1st, 2012
1:46 pm

Silly bloggers:

If JHC has signed, why is there no checkmark by his name on scout, and why does georgiadogs.com not have him listed?

HT

Silly Bloggers

February 1st, 2012
1:50 pm

HT, I’m not sure. When I cross-reference Scout and Rivals they have different players as signed and unsigned. Obviously, they are following a ton of teams, not sure why Georgiadogs doesn’t have it. Unfortunately, I dont’ have a good answer for you on that one.

old dog

February 1st, 2012
1:52 pm

We’ll see how the o-line pans out…..you gotta have the big boys up front to win in the SEC. We were big last year, but could NOT run block, something that the GOOD teams sniff out soon-enough. We may (or may not) have the necessary linemen; either way if we do not lear to run-block, we will continue to beat bad teams and lose to good ones. Hopefully, some of the newbies can open the holes against good teams; not just Coastal Carolina!

AortaAttack

February 1st, 2012
1:53 pm

richt’s right about the rankings, who cares?

if avery young comes on, we got as many 5 stars as anyone (more than Alabama or LSU or South Carolina), some teams are ahead of us in rankings with 0-2 5 stars.

this is the best class we’ve ever signed.

theus, marshall, gurley, I had those guys all top 10 nationally, to get 3 of top 10, crazy.

AortaAttack

February 1st, 2012
1:55 pm

excited about hicks, #3 fullback in country, needed him badly.

clemons is a top 20 player nationally.

punter I’m excited about.

reasonable dawg

February 1st, 2012
1:58 pm

Have to agree with those that have O line concerns. I believe the O line has been our greatest weakness for the last several years. When we become as one dimensional as we were last year, it’s too easy to stop our offense. Let’s face it , we had NO running game last year!!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

February 1st, 2012
2:03 pm

We may not “need” Young but it sure would be a nice bonus to have a extra Hog in the trenches. We are getting ready to find out for sure.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

February 1st, 2012
2:06 pm

Can’t get’em all…

No No to Bobo

February 1st, 2012
2:07 pm

Young chose Auburn

Big Crimson 75

February 1st, 2012
2:08 pm

Avery Young to Auburn !!

dawgster

February 1st, 2012
2:09 pm

Wrong…JHC has not signed as of now….

RTR!!!

February 1st, 2012
2:16 pm

Now lets see the dawg fans say they were never really interested in Avery Young. LOL!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

February 1st, 2012
2:18 pm

RHall55-

You do know they digned 6 DB’s last year dont you? So how many where they supposed to sign this year? What kind of top notch DB would wanna come in a compete with the skill they have in the secondary? It is a little more complex than how you laid it out my friend.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

February 1st, 2012
2:20 pm

UGA76

February 1st, 2012
2:20 pm

I love the class BUT we need to get started on 2013 and get at least 6 or 7 offensive linemen. We only have 13 on scholarship and that is scary thin. I wonder if we had a Grantham quality offensive coordinator if we would dominate on offensive line signing like we do on defense. I also wonder if we are losing out on the top OL guys other than Theus because of the problems with our strength and conditioning program. I wish UGA would go out and hire a “state of the art” consultant to setup the program. I don’t think the strength and conditioning isn’t up to an acceptable level. There isn’t an emphasis on “explosion” and that’s a major flaw. Joe T. can administer a given program but I don’t think he can create the program. UGA still ran out of gas in the second half of several games including the first two and last two which were the 4 losses. Whatever the reason, we have to have more OL.

Dawglasville

February 1st, 2012
2:22 pm

Are you Bama guys really happy to see someone choose Auburn over Georgia? If so, why?

CrownedRoyalUgaDawg4Life

February 1st, 2012
2:22 pm

Avery Young to Auburn…His Family Is From Cuthbert, Georgia….probably 2 Hours Away..Smh…Go DAWGS..I Believe We May Recruit The JUCO Level Over These Months Look For Some Diamonds In The Rough……

Lowcountry Bulldawg

February 1st, 2012
2:24 pm

Also note he LOL’d his own comment.

RNB

February 1st, 2012
2:24 pm

All I hear is damage control. Bottom line we did not sign as many players as we could and that’s the coaches fault. We got beat on several players in state and it don’t appear to be getting any better. We are treading water Dawg fans.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

February 1st, 2012
2:26 pm

RNB-

Considering heading into this season CMR and staff where recruiting on there collective heels with all the hotseat talk they did pretty dang good. Richt got hammered for a year on the recruiting trail by all the job talk.

Dawglasville

February 1st, 2012
2:27 pm

Lowcountry Bulldawg – What do you expect from a 5 star troll?

JB

February 1st, 2012
2:28 pm

Great day. got some real good players….Not 33 -35 that we’ll need to practice and cut them….but a real nice class. Got the NUMBER 1 rated player in Ga/Fla/Tenn & NC…Go Dawgs

Lowcountry Bulldawg

February 1st, 2012
2:29 pm

I like that one and it is obviously fitting as he would prefer Auburn to best UGA in recruiting a OL.

Bama Mike

February 1st, 2012
2:30 pm

Our best year yet recruiting out of the state of Georgia. We targeted maybe 20 with hopes of solid 4 To come away with 8 is a testimate to Sabans coaching staffs recruiting ability. With Reuben’s solid commitment for 2013 appear real inroads have been achieved.

GETONYOURJOB!

February 1st, 2012
2:30 pm

Why cant we sign 25 quality players every year, so our depth can remain consistent? I Just dont get it. This state produces hundreds of quality athletes at all positions. Get on your damn job CMR!

DawginLex

February 1st, 2012
2:30 pm

I told you guys that we would struggle because of the hot seat talk. The early signees that richt normally gets brings this class to 24 or 25 by now. He got hammered on the recruiting trail by other coaches saying he might not even be the coach in 2012. Not knowing for sure until November KILLED this class.

JB

February 1st, 2012
2:31 pm

Been Told Bama having trouble finding a bus big enough to carry these guys ( new recruits) to the athletic office. Bus only holds 44.

RNB

February 1st, 2012
2:32 pm

I agree RHall55 something’s wrong when you can’t sign 25 in the state of Georgia.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

February 1st, 2012
2:32 pm

Dang DawginLex great minds must think alike!

JB

February 1st, 2012
2:33 pm

Bama Mike….Nice spin… Richt wasn’t a lock until late November to come back. your “Lying ‘ coach ( ask justin taylor) is not that great…Geez.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

February 1st, 2012
2:34 pm

Thanks for the update Bama Mike, we will get back to you when we care whats going on in Satan land.

JB

February 1st, 2012
2:36 pm

Why would ANY Bama fan be here today. Is there no Web over there? THEY say they have the number 1 class…and of course the biggest……and they are worried about us..

Lowcountry Bulldawg

February 1st, 2012
2:37 pm

The internet hasn’t been invented yet in Alabama yet.

Terry

February 1st, 2012
2:38 pm

UGA76, I believe it was because of the RB’s, not all on the O-Line, our main RB stayed hurt, and the backup’s were not the answer, now we have two more top quality RB’s, should see an improved O-Line with better RB’s.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

February 1st, 2012
2:38 pm

Bama Mike is the exception to Bama fans as all the others are having to rely on Carrier Pigeons for updates in recruiting.

Joey

February 1st, 2012
2:40 pm

DawginLex, if that’s the reason for the low number, then who’s fault is that?

His own.

He put himself on the “hot seat” in ‘11 with his lackluster seasons in ‘09 and ‘10.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

February 1st, 2012
2:40 pm

ESPNU reporting JHC wants to sign with UGA but a family member does not want him to come to Athens. Stay tuned…..