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.