Never underestimate pity as a recruiting tool.

Is it just me, or does Mark Richt seem to be willing to discuss negative recruiting more openly these days?

Coming off a 6-7 season (Richt’s first losing season in a decade at Georgia), how much negative recruiting did you face?

Richt: “A lot more than any other season I’ve been at Georgia. We came through all the negativity that was out there. Our style of recruiting is to talk about Georgia and hope we’re good enough. It’s how we go about business. We don’t spend time talking about the other teams.

“Everyone is friendly when courting a guy then when it looks like that one guy is leaning one way or the other, now he becomes a bulls-eye. At the start, we tell them, ‘You’re about to get bombarded for every reason why you shouldn’t go to Georgia. If someone is talking about their school, you have to listen. If someone is talking about our school, you have to take it with a grain of salt.’ So when you tell them on the front end that it’s going to happen and it happens, they say ‘Coach told me this.’ And they really don’t really appreciate it.”

It sure didn’t have much impact with this year’s class.  That’s because of Richt’s secret weapon:  the recruits felt sorry for him.

… We started out poorly, 1-4, a lot of other guys might have jumped ship. This gives you an indication of their character. A lot of the guys were sending messages to me of encouragement, saying, ‘Coach, we know everything is going to be fine.’ That was nice.

Hmmm.  Maybe these kids don’t read internet message boards as much as some would have us believe.  After the Colorado game, much of the encouragement Richt was receiving from the online Dawgnation was to pack up and leave town.

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23 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

23 responses to “Never underestimate pity as a recruiting tool.

  1. baltimore dawg

    look, the fact is richt is one of those rare guys that you simply have to be a sociopath not to like. i’m sure that when recruits are subjected to negative remarks about richt or uga, it rings kind of hollow for them if they’ve actually met him, even in the face of what is obviously a make-or-break season.

    • Sociopath Jones

      What do you mean by that? How dare you! I am insulted by that remark! I like Coach Richt, too.

  2. TennesseeDawg

    Richt has done a great job swinging the momentum back in UGA’s favor after a crappy season but it will quickly go done the toilet with an 0-2 start to the season. The Boise State game is huge.

  3. BCDawg97

    I think he can survive the 0-2 start. But it will take at least an 8-2/9-1 finish and absolutely must have a win over UF.

    The problem is going to be the absolute MELTDOWN of the DawgNation over the 0-2 start. There won’t be any patience so I’d be curious if McGarity can hold off the hounds at that point. But if I had to bet, I don’t think McG pulls the trigger in the middle of the season.

    • BCDawg97

      Or the other way, what happens if we open 2-0 and then limp home with losses to UF, GT, AU and Miss St./UT? Suddenly 8-4/9-3 doesn’t look as good to the fan base at large.

    • TennesseeDawg

      I don’t either. Richt will get the entire season barring an incredible meltdown. Even if the season is average (6-8 wins) I believe Richt gets another year regardless.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        I have changed my position on CMR. A contract is a contract. I now say keep him through the end of his contract–no extensions–and let him retire unless things get dramatically better. He deserves that.

  4. Go Dawgs!

    Making them feel sorry for you works in recruiting? Wish I’d had that tip back in the old days of trying to “recruit” downtown Athens!

  5. Irwin Fletcher

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’m pretty tired of the whole ‘we have to win the first two’, ‘what if he starts 0-2′, ‘he has to beat Florida’, ‘he has to win 9 games’, ‘he gets another season’, blah blah blah blah blah.

    Unless any of you are Doc Brown or his dog Einstein, I’d prefer you keep your future guessing games to a minimum. I really don’t have the patience to read 6 months of verbal diarrhea.

    It’s a disease we have as Georgia/Atlanta sports fans…we turn ourselves into pessimists in the name of being ‘realists’…who can blame us really? Maybe this is too rah-rah, too ‘eternal sunshine’, too ‘wizard of oz’, but I think as fans we ought to approach the 2011 season with a ‘I want it all’ mentality. Blind optimism, if you will. Really, whats the point of not approaching it that way? So you can say you were ‘right’? Who cares? You aren’t trying out for a talk show on 680 the fan. You don’t need to check your bias at the door.

    I want Georgia to be great. I want Bobo to be great. I want Richt to be great. I want Grantham to be great. I want 2011 to be the year that swings us back to championship contention. That’s what I want to talk about. How can these guys get us back into championship contention….not what do they have to do to keep their jobs….this isn’t Ole Miss. Georgia should be for champions. We have the talent to compete for a championship…in 2011. You can’t look at the roster and say the building blocks aren’t there. Now I want the coaches and players to take those blocks and build! Build… Build… Build!

    You know how Georgia gets back to greatness. Beating Boise State. For all the hemming and hawing about Boise, they will be a top ten team when they come to Atlanta in September. Greatness starts there. I want our team to beat Boise. That’s it. Beat Boise. In Week 2, I’ll ask the team to beat USCar, but for now, I want them to Beat Boise.

    #Beat Boise.

    • Marty McFly

      If he starts 0-2…

    • BCDawg97

      You know the funny part of that rant, speaking of verbal diarrhea, was that it was based on a few comments that I thought were relatively positive. No one said “I WANT RICHT GONE!” or “WE SUCK” with an 0-2 start. Apparently I didnt give enough clarity. Im actually a Disney Dawg myself.

      • Irwin Fletcher

        As long as we are nitpicking about what is and what isn’t verbal diarrhea, words like ‘survive’, ‘at least’, ‘absolutely must have win’, ‘problem is going to be’, ‘MELTDOWN’, ‘won’t be any patience’, ‘hold off the hounds’, ‘pulls the trigger’, ‘limps home’ don’t sound like they belong in comments intended to be ‘relatively positive’.

        Having said that, here are some ‘positives’…

        In Alabama’s second year in Saban’s 3-4 scheme, they went from 6-6 to 10-2, including an undefeated regular season in the SEC, with only 9 returning starters on Offense or Defense. They opened the season at #24, but used a victory over an overrated, top 10 opponent in the GA Dome to jump start their year. FR running back, Mark Ingram, joined a solid, but not spectacular runner prior to 2008 in Glenn Coffee to provide a power running game, while returning QB JPW orchestrated a consistent, yet unspectacular passing game. They got key contributions from 1st year starters/players, Dontae Hightower, Julio Jones, Marquis Maze, Justin Woodall, Brandon Fanney, and Terrance Cody.

        #BeatBoise

        • BCDawg97

          Dude, calm down. I’m on your side of this (I think) – supporting the Dawgs through thick and thin. Let me clarify then.

          I was making observations about how I thought the fan base would react, based on what I’ve been reading in the comments section of various blogs. It seems that the fan base has, and is going to have, very little patience next season, given the past 2-3 and that was my point. Obviously a 10-2 season or better and no one will complain. A 7-6/6-7 season probably means he’s done. I was simply posing a question about a 8-4/9-3 which is “improvement” but is it “significant”? I was posing a hypothetical.

          I’m ecstatic that we signed a top 5 class given our last season. I’m happy they made changes in the S&C program. I’m willing to let Richt right the ship. He’s working, he’s trying. I’m willing to ride it out with him over the next 20 years.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            Not putting words in anyone’s mouth but I think what IF is saying is that UGA is kinda where Bama was after 2007 and look what happened to them and why can’t UGA do the same? He is also implying that everybody needs to get out of the way and let CMR make it happen. I agree with him about that and hope that UGA WILL do the same. #Beat Boise!

            • BCDawg97

              I see the obvious parallels to Bama, I really do. And would take it in a heartbeat. But I don’t think what I was asking about had anything at all to do with crapping on the idea that it could happen. My point was simply 2 fold: a) would the fan base have the patience for an 0-2 start and 8-4/9-3 season and b) would that be “significant” improvement for McG to keep Richt? Just threw it out there.

              On a side note, I’d also take the 8-4/9-3. But of course I’d be happy with 14-0

  6. Know One Knows You're a Dawg

    When Richt talked last week about coaches offering in-state recruits a scholarship and then revoking the offer, he may have been thinking (in part) of this (from Chip Towers AJC blog yesterday):

    “The Gamecocks’ waiting game [for Jadeveon Clowney to decide on his commitment] has come at a price. They already have 31 signees in their 2011 class. As a result, they have withdrawn — or at least put on hold — a long-standing offer for defensive lineman Lorenzo Mauldin of Atlanta’s Maynard Jackson High School. Mauldin, a ward of the state much of his life, according to 11Alive.com, had been committed to South Carolina since last July.”

    I hope Richt continues to advocate for his players and his program by “working the refs”, whether “the refs” be recruits, the NCAA, the SEC, the media or the UGA police department.

  7. I am a Fan & part of the Fan Base. What we say on these blogs have little or no effect on decisions made in Athens. Richt, Grantham, Bobo, Murray, & the Dream Team have through 2012 to present their case on the field to the powers to be. After 2012 everybody may be gone but I expect other results. GATA.

    • BCDawg97

      Once again, let me restate that I will be wearing red and black on the last day of an 0-12 season and throughout the offseason that follows. And I’ll be happy to support Richt even in a 6-7 season and McG still keeps him on. Richt is a great coach and a great representative of our University.

      Of course it isn’t directly tied to the blog comments. And of course, there are plenty of supporters. But if McG sees an increased portion of the fan base speaking in terms of donations, attendence, ticket sales or booing in the stadium, what does he deem as “significant”?

  8. 69Dawg

    Until the money guys walk Richt is safe as a baby in it’s mother’s arms. He goes when they say he goes and not before so all of the bloggers can rant and rave to their hearts content, it signifies nothing.