Mark Richt has certainly taken his fair share of hits over his Dream Team recruiting theme. Some of it could be characterized as chiding over what struck people as being a little too grandiose a concept, but if you read Richt’s explanation, it really comes off as more of a personal vision he was pitching to recruits.
… Richt hopes this recruiting class can turn the Bulldogs back in the right direction. Starting last spring, Richt tried to persuade Georgia’s best high school players to join the Bulldogs as part of what he calls a “Dream Team.”
“When you started watching film and looking at the great players in the state, you went, ‘Wow!'” Richt said. “It just started looking like a super strong class. I thought if we could get most of those guys, it would really be a ‘Dream Team.’ We were just basically dreaming about getting a great class and if you could handpick them, this is what it would be.”
Of course, dreaming is one thing. Fulfilling the dream is another. And that’s been the pleasant surprise of the past month. There have been more than a few reasons given for the success of this recruiting season, but the one I think is the most important is the sense of relentless engagement Richt has displayed. Greg McGarity mentioned the other day that he’s seen very little of his head football coach lately.
And then there’s something Mark Schlabach mentioned on his Twitter feed last night.
Talked with Mark Richt last night. He told me he hasn't interviewed any OL coach candidates. Consumed by recruiting—
Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach) February 02, 2011
There’s nothing like a near-death experience to focus the mind, is there? I can’t imagine Richt saying something like that in years past.
Which leads me to wonder about something I’ll share. As you sit there today following the faxes as they roll in to Butts-Mehre (Groo has a helpful set of links for that posted here), ask yourself if we’d be seeing the same class sign had Georgia finished, say, 9-4 last season. My guess is no.
In a perverse way, that gives me some hope for this year. Maybe there’s something to be said for McGarity’s talk about Richt having been distracted with too much on his plate. I don’t know what’s left on Richt’s to-do list, but if he’s able to approach each item with the same intensity he’s handled recruiting, he stands a decent chance that it won’t turn into a Bucket List.