When talking UGA recruiting, it’s almost inevitable that eventually Mark Richt’s faith will be part of the discussion.
Some argue that the UGA coach is too soft or isn’t mean enough. But the fact remains that, at least with the 2016 recruiting class, Richt, his faith and his demeanor are an asset in closing the deal with a potential top five recruiting class in the nation.
Some players, like 4-star tight end Charlie Woerner, said that Richt’s faith weren’t deciding factors in their recruitment. But there were some, like 3-star defensive back Tyrique McGhee, who said it made the decision a little easier.
“I know for me, when you look into a school, you want to go somewhere that you know more, how do I say it, you know something that you can relate to and your morals and stuff,” McGhee told the AJC. “He’s really into spiritual and his religious beliefs and I like that about him. He’s a good man, he’s a man of God.”
But as 3-star offensive tackle Chris Barnes points out, “most schools believe in Christ.” It’s not an uncommon sight for coaches to pray with the team or speak at Fellowship of Christian Athletes events. What sets Richt apart in the eyes of many recruits is his demeanor.
“He’s a nice guy,” 3-star receiver Darion Anderson said. “He’s friendly to be around and he can talk to you and stuff.”
More generally, Richt’s actions back up what he believes and that’s what resonates with players. While Richt can be fiery at times, players find him approachable and find his involvement in their recruitment refreshing.
“He’s the head coach, the big man at the show, and he kind of had a big part in my recruitment,” 3-star cornerback Chad Clay said. “The thing that Georgia did that a lot of other schools didn’t do, like Mark Richt is really involved in recruiting. Like some other schools, the head coach isn’t that involved. I think it makes a big effect with him because when the head coach is out there trying to go out and get you, that shows they really want you.”
— By Cody Pace/Special for DawgNation