Why is everybody in an uproar about the state of Georgia football recruiting? If its only because four star recruit DL Jordan Watkins (Atlanta Woodward Academy) chose Stanford University over University of Georgia today, I’m not buying that Georgia recruiting is in shambles. No way. If its because Georgia needs to make a decision sooner, then later as to whether or not Mark Richt will be the coach next year, than I’m at least willing to listen.
This kid could have gone to almost any major college football program in the country. He didn’t just chose Stanford over Georgia. He declined every SEC school including Alabama and Auburn, not to mention he also had scholarship offers from Florida State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and more. The fact Watkins narrowed it down between Stanford and Georgia says a lot about Mark Richt.
When Watkins was asked if Mark Richt’s cloudy future in Athens affected his decision he had this to say:
“It did play into my decision making process. Ultimately, I think Richt should keep his job, but I did have a worry that if Richt left it would also effect coach (Rodney) Garner’s job.”
Rodney Garner coaches the defensive line for Richt and serves as the recruiting coordinator at UGA. Does athletic director Greg McGarity have some decision making to do in order to salvage next year’s recruiting class? Maybe, but its not the end all be all to Bulldogs football in 2012 and there is no magic number McGarity has in mind to make his decision. Whatever happens, its safe to assume Greg McGarity will wait for the entire season to pan out before determining Richt’s ultimate fate.
As I discussed recently, Richt and Georgia have allured an impressive 2012 recruiting class to Athens and its still very much intact. On top of that, the No.1 five star running back recruit in the nation just visited Athens over the weekend. Accompanying Keith Marshall was a four star recruit, Todd Gurley. The highly coveted Marshall had this to say about this past Saturday’s visit when the Bulldogs barely lost to South Carolina:
“Coach Richt and the staff told me they definitely need me and Todd. It is not a package deal or anything, they just need us both. They need running backs really bad because really all they have is Isaiah Crowell. They have no depth, and they need someone who can come in and play right away. Seeing Georgia go 0-2 has no effect on me at all. I spoke to the coaching staff and Greg McGarity, and they seem all on board with Coach Richt. Based on my conversation with players, coaches and the athletic director, they all support him.”
Marshall on whether or not he thinks coach Richt is on the hot seat:
“He needs to win, but I think the media is overplaying the Coach Richt is on the hot seat thing. I had breakfast with Greg McGarity, and he was telling us how they try to run the program the right way,” Marshall said. Georgia would rather do the right thing and keep it clean, even if that means sacrificing a few wins. Some other schools would do anything to win, but McGarity wants Georgia to be known for developing character.”
Richt has already signed some top Dog (no pun intended) recruits on the O-line including John Theus and Greg Pyke. Moreover, the Bulldogs will also be welcoming a top WR recruit next season, Lonnie Outlaw who had a message for Bulldog nation a few days ago, “I’m going to bring more intensity from the receiving core..I’m going to try and be better than A.J. Green, just put it like that.” If the Bulldogs do indeed land Marshall and Gurley, they could boast one of the most talented rosters in the SEC next season with or without Richt.