ATHENS — As one might imagine, it’s a huge recruiting weekend for Georgia as the No. 8-ranked Bulldogs get set to host No. 13 Alabama on Saturday at Sanford Stadium. In fact, dozens of the top prospects in the nation — several of whom are trying to decide between the two schools battling on the field — will be in attendance.
That said, Georgia coach Mark Richt doesn’t believe the outcome of the contest will play a role in determining where any these elite athletes end up.
“I don’t think the team that wins necessarily might get this guy over another,” Richt said following the Bulldogs’ practice Wednesday evening. “I think more times than not as the game being played it’s revealed to the kid who he likes the best. If he sees a battle, somewhere in his gut he’s probably going to be cheering for one team over another. You know what I mean? I’ve seen that happen a lot more than the team that won got him.”
According to DawgNation.com recruiting expert Jeff Sentell, the Bulldogs will be playing host to the nation’s top offensive tackle (Greg Little of Allen, Texas), the top athlete (Mecole Hardman, Elberton), top tight end (Isaac Nauta, Buford) and top wide receiver (Kyle Davis, Lawrenceville) will all be in attendance Saturday. Five-star defensive tackle Derrick Brown of Buford will also be there. All of them are 2016 recruits who have both Georgia and Alabama under consideration.
“I think it comes down to, still, where do I fit into your plans and what kind of people am I going to be around,” Richt said.
It goes beyond the 2016 class, however. Elite players for the classes of 2017 and 2018 will also be on campus. All of them will be gauging the attention they get from Richt and Georgia’s other coaches in addition to what happens during the game and the game-day atmosphere generated at Sanford Stadium.
“It’s not the easiest think to manage but it’s exciting to know that many great players want to come to our school and be here for this moment,” Richt said. “I say to our recruits every week, ‘you could choose to be anywhere you want to be and you chose to come here and that means a lot.’ So they’re about to come and enjoy this thing and we really appreciate it.”