Richt and Garner Excited About 2011 Recruiting Class
Coach Richt's press conference following 2011 Signing Day.
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Feb. 2, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. --- Georgia head football coach Mark Richt and assistant head coach/recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner addressed the media Wednesday on National Signing Day. They offered the following comments:
Opening Statement by Mark Richt...
"It took a lot of work to get this class together. We had so much help. Our coaches put a lot of time on the road so I want to thank the wives for holding down the fort while our coaches have been recruiting. It is a tremendous grind. Our current players have done a fantastic job and we have faculty on campus that has done such a great job as well as our academic support staff. Every time a young man wants to come in on a visit, all hands have been on deck to show them what we have here at Georgia so I am thankful for them. We love and appreciate our custodial staff and after ballgames on the weekend they get everything all cleaned up. I want to also thank a lot of the young men that committed to Georgia early and stood firm. A lot of times the guys that at the end get the attention and glory, but the guys that committed early I am just excited about. There was a lot of drama today and it was good drama for Georgia today."
On Isaiah Crowell...
"We always start by looking at film and ask if this guy fits the job description of what we need to get done at his position and help us compete to win the Southeastern Conference. Isaiah has a lot of those skills. He has great size, strength, speed, agility and hands. We had him at camp this summer and got to see him run routes and catch the ball. He is just a versatile guy, and he is a great kid. I think he grew up wanting to be a Bulldog."
On the "dream team" concept...
"Basically what happen was we were looking at the talent base in this state and just realizing how strong it was, and as we began to put together the in-state guys and then started to look at guys like Christian LeMay out of state. As you look at the guys you really want the most you dream about that as a coach. That is where I came up with the idea that this is my dream team and our dream team at the University of Georgia. We had names and pictures targeted that we could look at and shoot for and we nailed it pretty good. You never get them all, but we came pretty close. I would certainly say the dream came true today."
"Most every young man that I talked to mentioned that they wanted to be on the dream team, and that they wanted it to come true. So I think it was effective. We were hoping that guys would want to be on it and be excited. So now we hope that ninth graders now are looking at it and saying they want to be on it when their time comes too."
On the recruiting process...
"What we do is look at our team and see the seniors that we know will be gone and we pull out the juniors, and then we look and see what we have and that is what we recruit for in that class. It turned out, like most years, you have to replenish all positions."
"The University of Georgia and our history help sell a lot. But I do think they look at how they will fit into the program and what their opportunities will be. When we recruit we want to sell Georgia. The fact that our guys really stood firm in this class and believed says a lot for Georgia, our coaching staff and the character of the young men that our with us now."
"This class is going to represent about one-third of our football team. I think it's certainly helping us. We lost some great talent, but over the course of their career, I am hoping that this is the best class that we've ever signed at Georgia since I've been here because of the talent base, the size of it and the character I think they will make an impact immediately as a group and throughout their careers it will show. These guys have a special bond between each other. When you get a group of guys that really like each other it pays big dividends for us as they work their way through this program."
Feelings as the head coach...
"I feel revived as a coach. Coaching football period at this level can wear anybody out, certainly head coaches. A lot of the reasons I talked about feeling that rejuvenation was because of Mr. McGarity coming in. He has constantly been talking to me about what we can do and what we need to succeed, and we have already been implementing a lot of things that we need to have success. So that's been exciting for me. For this class to come through the way it did, I think the Bulldog Nation is excited, our current players are excited, and I know this class is excited. This class has some swagger about it. They know they have to earn it. They really feel like they can make an impact at the University of Georgia and that they can do it sooner than later."
"I think everybody better hook it up and get ready to compete because we are not giving anybody a 100 percent guarantee. Everybody has to make sure that they earn it."
Opening Statement by Rodney Garner ...
"Obviously today is a very exciting day for the Bulldog Nation. We are really excited about this class. When we started out identifying our needs for this year. It just so happened to be an outstanding year in this state. Many of the prize recruits we were targeting just happened to be in our backyard. We jut made a commitment as a staff and program to do a great job to keep these guys at home. I just want to credit everyone from the administration at admissions to our administration at the athletic association to the secretary staff and custodial staff. Everyone did an outstanding job of putting this class together. We are very excited about this class and the quality of young men that we have coming form a character standpoint and also athletic ability. We feel that we were able to address a lot of our needs and that these guys will have a positive impact going forward in the future."
"I think Ray Drew is an outstanding young man. I think he epitomizes what we want in a student-athlete. I think he has a lot of pride in this class. Outside of our coaching staff, I would say he probably deserves as much credit for this class as anyone because he did a really good job of selling his belief of what he thought about Coach Richt, this program, the university and the direction and leadership that's there."
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