Here’s a story that illustrates the emergence of another Richt persona:
… That next morning Mark Richt — the coach who takes stoicism to new frontiers, the one so criticized for his lack of sideline showmanship — staged an elaborate production for Crowell’s benefit.
The 18-year-old and his family were shown to Richt’s new office, overlooking the recently completed indoor practice facility. As they visited, the Crowells noticed activity down below. Players began filing onto the practice field.
“We got up and looked out,” said Debbie Crowell, Isaiah’s mother. “I didn’t know what was going on, but Isaiah could tell that they were getting into formation. And there wasn’t a tailback.”
The stage was set. Richt escorted the family down to the field. Crowell was handed a Georgia jersey — No. 1 on the back — and a helmet and asked if he wanted to take that empty spot in the backfield. Debbie Crowell remembers Richt painting the scene of next season’s opener against Boise State, asking her son if he could see himself in that jersey and helmet, behind that offensive line, starting his career in the din of the Georgia Dome.
“Yes, sir, I can,” Isaiah said.
“My baby was excited. He was ready to go,” Debbie said.
Hummer goes on to make a misleading comparison of Richt to P. T. Barnum – unfair because there’s little doubt that Richt is sincere about giving Crowell every opportunity to come in and play in 2011 – but it’s clear we’re seeing that the old dog does indeed have a few new tricks up his sleeve.