Good morning, DawgNation! Mark Richt and Greg McGarity spoke at a press conference on Monday, and there were some interesting takeaways.
Richt did not close the door on coaching again as some pundits suggested may be the case. If he does coach again, he said he wants to coach. It’s admirable to see a man who spent the past 15 seasons as a head coach of UGA be willing to accept a lesser role to do what he loves. It sounds like Richt wants to return to his roots.
He also revealed a bit of advice he gave to UGA quarterback commit Jacob Eason, but we will get to that shortly.
During the press conference, Richt came across as a man who appreciated and was thankful for the opportunity he had been given. It was exactly what UGA fans had come to enjoy about him as a person on and off the field.
Nightmare scenario with Jacob Eason?
One of the great concerns from fans is that Eason, a 5-star quarterback commit, will follow Richt out the door. The nation’s No. 2 passer is the prized gem of UGA’s class, and if he leaves, it will likely fall apart.
Word out of the Eason camp is that they are going to wait and see how UGA moves forward, but recent news of an official visit to a rival school definitely gives fans a greater reason to worry.
UGA might need to act quickly
Eason’s high school coach explained if UGA lingers on making a decision, the quarterback would likely visit some other schools. This is something UGA doesn’t want to have happen, but as of right now, Eason is “in a holding pattern” with his commitment. How long will that be the case?
Other school’s aren’t waiting around. The open recruiting period has begun, and coaches have already begun contacting Eason.
Richt had some advice for Eason
In Monday’s press conference, Richt revealed a bit of advice he shared with Eason. Richt explained to Eason that he chose UGA for more than one individual person or coach. He visited Eason in Lake Stevens (Wash.) the day after UGA’s win over Auburn and still seems determined to help the quarterback make a good decision.
Richt said the advice he gave Eason is something he would tell all of UGA’s commitments, and that the class could be one of the best in America if it sticks together.
Richt’s departure has already been felt…
The first signs of how UGA’s decision to cut ties with Richt would impact recruiting are surfacing. E.J. Price, a 4-star offensive lineman who de-committed earlier this year, revealed just how much of an effect Richt’s exit might have.
Price may not have had a hard decision to make, but now he says everything is “wide open.” If other recruits of Price’s caliber feel the same way, UGA could be in trouble. He said UGA would drop from his list if it made another such move.
…But not with another
If Price is an example of how Richt’s departure could hurt recruiting efforts, 5-star linebacker Ben Davis is an example that should make fans feel better. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound senior from Gordo, Ala., is highly sought after and would be a big get.
He’s waiting to see how things play out and who ends up coaching there. Davis also shared his opinion on Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, who is rumored to be the top candidate.
Eason’s perfect season ended in heartbreaking fashion
UGA fans have excitedly followed Eason’s senior season at Lake Stevens High School, but it came to an end on Saturday in the semifinals of the state playoffs. Eason had another great performance, but his team ended up on the wrong side of a great game.
DawgNation has kept up with his season in the form of terrific highlight videos, and this week’s could be one of the best. Check out these great clips and photos of Eason’s dramatic high school finale.
WR commit overcame a lot during his senior season
Darion Anderson, a 3-star wide receiver commit, tore his meniscus in May and was cleared before the second game of Houston County’s season. An injury of that magnitude takes time to recover from, but Anderson performed well in his final season.
He reflected on battling through the adversity he faced this year in a recent interview with DawgNation. Anderson also revealed how much contact he has had with UGA recently. It sure seems like he was still in demand by the previous coaching staff. How will the next one think?
William McFadden covers UGA recruiting for DawgNation and is an SEC multimedia reporter for SECCountry. Give him a follow on Twitter for news and opinions on the latest sports news.