Once upon a time, Mark Richt was known for a deliberate approach to his program’s recruiting. Talent had to be properly evaluated. Handing out offers like candy was an approach for other schools to take on the recruiting trail. Thoughtfulness was the watchword.
“The biggest problem I see is trying to see the entire pool of athletes at any one position before you start targeting them. Let’s say there are ten out there at a certain position. You might have enough time to evaluate the first five and you think all those guys are worthy of an offer because you think they can all get the job done, but you haven’t seen the other five yet. Sometimes you can get a bunch of guys committed before you see the pool. When we do offer a young man this time of year, I’ll tell the staff let’s be certain that if we offer this young man and he commits that we are going to be excited about it.We are not throwing out as many offers as some other schools because we do want to see the pool. There are some guys who we feel strongly enough about to offer early. You don’t want to offer until you feel very confident that he is the type of player, person and student that you want.”
The problem for Richt became apparent over time: for many schools, the shotgun approach worked and that meant Georgia was missing out on kids it was making offers to later in the game. Richt adapted to the changing conditions by bringing more resources to play (better recruiters on the staff, bringing in Daryl Jones as director of on-campus recruiting, for example) which enabled him to pick up the pace on offering recruits.
Quincy Vasser, a defensive end out of a Texas junior college, tweeted on Thursday night that he had committed to UGA. The news spread quickly on Twitter, and was reported by many recruiting websites.
There was some confusion because traditionally at UGA, recruits have to talk over the phone or meet with Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt first before the commitment is officially accepted. Vasser hasn’t talked to Richt, and the New York native has never been to Georgia.
That’s, um, fast. Breakneck fast. And you’d best be hoping Kevin Sherrer’s done his homework.
UGA’s courtship of Vasser, if it sticks, was fast and furious — and did not follow the same procedure of most other commitments under Richt. Vasser has never been to Georgia, has never talked to Richt on the phone, and has never met any Georgia coaches in person. There’s really not much of an existing relationship between Vasser and UGA, other than a few phone calls with Sherrer and defensive line coach Tracy Rocker.
At least he’s talked to somebody.
Taking my tongue out of my cheek, I’m not opposed to breaking out offers this rapidly, if – and it’s a big if – you’ve got a staff that’s very confident and accurate with its player evaluations. Because your competitors are moving fast, too.
The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder said he committed to Georgia over an offer from Maryland, and also had interest from Pitt, Ole Miss, and Florida State. He said he got an email from Alabama on Thursday night within 30 minutes of his UGA tweet.
I’m guessing this is another lesson Pruitt and Sherrer learned and brought in with them. It’s definitely a different way from how things were done in Athens. (Should I let out a McGarity-esque “time will tell” now?)