Jeff Schultz – in a piece appropriately titled “Overreaction Monday” – gets a little huffy about Mark Richt traveling to see a prized recruit.
Now, it’s possible Richt merely wanted to ease concerns with the family and the player amid speculation the coach might be fired. Or maybe he just wanted to attempt to change the narrative from, “What a disappointing season,” to, “We’re going to be awesome next season.” But let me offer this third possibility: Richt is sending a message to athletic director Greg McGarity and president Jere Morehead that goes something like this: “See this recruit? He likes me. And if you want me gone, you’re going to have to fire me, because I’m not resigning.” You could say it’s an attempted power play.
Will it work? My guess is: No. McGarity and Morehead will still make their decision regardless of this, which is not to say which way they’re leaning because I honestly don’t know. The decision could be based on Richt’s recent resume and/or what big-money boosters think as much as the potential of the future, which offers no guarantee. And if Richt believes that a picture with next year’s hot recruit is going to appease the masses, he’s mistaken.
Meanwhile, his colleague Steve Hummer detects more of the hand of Evil Richt in play with the trip.
But Mark Richt’s cross-country trip to brunch with an 18-year-old last weekend was a stroke of uncut genius. His surprise visit to Washington state’s Jacob Eason was masterful in execution and message. I’d almost credit the Bulldogs coach with having a little Machiavelli in him, if he wasn’t such a square-cut fellow.
That’s all great, but could I bother to point out another possibility? Remember the frothing that took place after this Great Moment In Social Media?
So it didn’t go unnoticed that Eason is now following Florida offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier on Twitter. Also among his most recent follows is California head coach Sonny Dykes.
It could be a significant wrinkle as the heat is turned on Georgia coach Mark Richt after a 27-3 loss Saturday against Florida, the team’s third in the last four games.
The Lake Stevens, Wash. product, who committed to Georgia in July, 2014, was reached by Florida.247Sports.com about his social media connection to Nussmeier.
“I don’t really want to have a comment on that,” he said. “You know, he reached out to me, so I followed him, so he could communicate. So that’s about all I want to say about that.”
You think Richt’s feeling a little heat on the recruiting trail these days? You think it might be somewhat prudent to check up on Eason once in while? And, while he’s at it, maybe send a message to potential poachers that he’s still defending his turf? Occam’s Razor, bitch.
Some of this shit would be funny if it weren’t such a sad stretch. Perhaps Schultz ought to devote his next Overreaction post to an argument that Richt and his staff should stop recruiting altogether until it’s clear they’re back next season. Can’t have any perception that McGarity’s being pressured, you know, because that would be bad for the program. At least not by Richt. Pressure from the media is another story.
Gosh, now that I think about it, maybe Richt ought to forfeit the rest of the season while he’s at it. That would sure make Greg’s job a lot easier.