It usually isn’t wise to pull a fast one on a 320-pound defensive tackle, but Mark Richt and Michael Rochester finished that drill on Sunday afternoon.
The UGA coach and the father of UGA commit Julian Rochester shocked the 4-star defensive tackle on Sunday. Michael Rochester set up an in-home visit with Richt.
“I talked to coach a couple of days ago and he was like ‘Don’t tell ‘JR’ because I would like to surprise him,” Michael Rochester said. “We kept it quiet. It was hard keeping him home today.”
Julian Rochester actually went out for awhile on Sunday morning, but his father told him they were going to have some people over and would be cooking up a mess of food.
The term “mess” equals feast in the Rochester home. There was barbecue everything on the grill: Chicken. Hamburgers. Ribs. Sausages. Turkey dogs.
“My wife’s spaghetti salad with shrimp was the real set off,” Michael Rochester said. “But there was also squash and zucchini on the grill and some strawberry cheesecake for dessert.”
Yet prior to that, Richt caught his future run-stopping defensive tackle on his blind side.
The UGA coach was allowed to visit Rochester because unlimited contact with the commitment is allowed once he has signed his financial aid forms. It follows the playbook of recent visits with 5-star quarterback Jacob Eason and 4-star offensive lineman Ben Cleveland.
“When Mark Richt walked in, my mouth dropped,” Julian Rochester said. I was like ‘What, that’s Coach Richt?’ when he walked in.”
His father said it was fascinating to see his son watch the second half of another disappointing Atlanta Falcons loss with Richt.
“I was just so thrilled the head coach of the University of Georgia was in my home,” Michael Rochester said. “It just makes me so proud the University of Georgia is that interested in my son. It lets me know my son must be doing something well that Georgia wants him this bad. I am just a proud father.”
What stood out to Michael Rochester about the visit?
“It was just a wonderful and blessed day to have Coach Richt at the house,” he said. “Let me paraphrase one thing coach said that stood out to me. He said that we are a part of DawgNation now. We are part of the UGA football family now. Go Dawgs.”
Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.