The best of DawgNation: Dead period extended, Mark Richt and Shane Beamer stop by
The NCAA announced this week that it would once again be extending the dead period for another six weeks, through the end of May.
This means that coaches will not be able to visit prospects and that prospects will not be able to visit with coaching staffs at schools.
Understandably, just about everyone is frustrated. Recruits, like 4-star linebacker Daniel Martin, and administrators, such as Texas A&M Athletic Director Ross Bjork, both slammed the decision.
This is very disappointing. We’ve made many advancements in protocols like rapid testing & social distancing measures to safely host families & prospects on our respective campuses. If we don’t have a clear plan for June 1, we are doing many young people a disservice. It’s time. https://t.co/UDTeYHAwTC
— Ross Bjork (@RossBjorkAD) February 18, 2021
How are we suppose to commit if we can’t visit campus with football staff or talk to coaches face to face (with mask of course)? #relationships
— Daniel Martin (@Mr_DanielMartin) February 18, 2021
DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell weighed in on the matter this week, providing an even deeper look into why the NCAA’s latest announcement helps no one.
The last time that recruits got a chance to visit a college campus and interact face-to-face with a coaching staff was back during the first week of March in 2020.
That was after the whole month of February of 2020 was also a dead period. Prior to that, a few high-level Class of 2022 targets also got to take visits on “Junior Day” type events in January of 2020. That was so long ago it was when the Class of 2020 had still not finished its recruiting process.
How big is the dead period? It will have lasted 15 consecutive months. The Class of 2022 was set to be able to take its official visits in April under the previous recruiting calendar. If they do get to visit schools again on June 1, it will mean they will have just seven months to visit schools again prior to the early signing period in December.
The news drew a smattering of reaction on Wednesday from some high-profile recruits and targets in the 2022 and 2023 recruiting classes.
All-American TE target Oscar Delp is one of the most well-spoken recruits in the 2022 cycle. Especially among those that hold a high interest in playing for Georgia. Delp was a prospect who saw his recruiting really catch fire with the first few games of his junior season.
He has yet to experience what it is like to be a featured recruit on campus. Delp recently dropped his list of top 13 schools. There are some very heavy hitters in there with schools like Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Stanford and USC in his top group.
He’s been to games at a few of those places like Clemson and Georgia, among others. But not as a hosted recruit.
“It really saddens me,” Delp said. “This is a lifelong decision and it can’t be made over Zoom calls. I really hope the NCAA can come to their senses and open something up just so we can see these schools in person.
The NCAA did state that it plans to have a return to visit plan announced no later than mid-April. But what that looks like and how hopeful it actually ends up being for recruits is yet to be seen.
The lack of visits in this cycle has already sped up a number of decisions. That trend will likely continue with visits now not being possible at least until the beginning of June.
Mark Richt celebrates his birthday in style
Mark Richt turned 61 years old this week. But the bigger news might be how the former Georgia head football coach celebrated the big day.
Richt, who coached at Georgia from 2001 to 2015, put on a Georgia shirt that he got as a gift for the day. He also happened to be in Athens for the day and spent it celebrating with his family.
Richt told DawgNation that it was the first time he had worn any Georgia gear in over five years.
He also spent the day having his favorite meal and rewatching his nephew, LSU quarterback Max Johnson, upset the Florida Gators.
All-in-all it seemed to be a pretty great day for the former Georgia head coach.
— DawgNation (@DawgNation) February 19, 2021
Shane Beamer recaps early days of Kirby Smart at Georgia
Richt wasn’t the only former coach to hop on one of the DawgNation video platforms, as South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer spoke with Mike Griffith during this week’s On The Beat.
Beamer worked as the tight ends coach at Georgia during the 2016 and 2017 seasons. He’s also now the third assistant from that staff to become a Power 5 head coach. Sam Pittman is now running things at Arkansas, while Mel Tucker is now the head coach at Michigan State.
Now in his first year at South Carolina, Beamer will be attempting to replicate many of the things Smart did at Georgia when he was a first-time head coach.
“Just being able to go in from Day One and see how things were implemented,” Beamer said. “Everybody talks about how they have worked for Nick Saban and understand his process and how they do things. Well, maybe.
“But I got to see that implemented from Day One. And Kirby explained here’s why we do this, not just someone gets hired by Nick Saban and here’s what we do. So that was great to see that, and it made me a better coach.”
Beamer also worked with coaches like Steve Spurrier, Lincoln Riley and his father Frank Beamer prior to becoming the head coach at South Carolina. The Gamecocks will visit Smart and the Bulldogs to Athens, Ga. in 2021, as the two sides are set to play on Sept. 18.
G-Day attendance policies announced
While it won’t be a full capacity crowd, Georgia will hold a G-Day scrimmage this year, as the school announced it will happen on April 17.
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart had previously announced the date earlier in February. The bigger news that came from the school announcement is that fans will be allowed to attend the scrimmage.
The capacity limits will be what they were last fall, where Georgia admitted between 20 and 25 percent capacity and had an announced attendance of 20,254 . Social distancing measures will be enforced once again, as they were for home games last fall.
Tickets to the scrimmage will be $10, with proceeds going to charity. The school also announced what the ticketing policy will look like.
- 2020 Hartman Fund donors who were only allocated tickets to the canceled Vanderbilt game this past season. Magill Society members will also be included in this initial group.
• 2020 Hartman Fund donors who converted any amount of their remaining balance towards COVID-19 UGA Athletics Fund.
• All remaining 2020 and/or 2021 Hartman Fund donors.
The Georgia Bulldog Club (TGBC) Priority Points will be used to allocate tickets in each of these groups in the event that all available tickets are sold. Reserved ticket locations will be based on cumulative TGBC Priority Points among those who request tickets.
• UGA Faculty, Staff and Students will receive communication from the Athletic Association Ticket Office with the opportunity to request G-day tickets.
• All remaining tickets, if available, will be on sale to the general public on Monday, March 15.
Georgia did also announce that there would be no tailgating for the event.
Due to the pandemic, Georgia did not get a chance to hold a spring game or even have spring practices last year. That will not be the case this year, with Georgia expected to start practices around March 16.
The spring practices will be significant for the Bulldogs, as they allow veterans and young players alike to develop.
More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation
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- BREAKING: Family connection continues with Daquayvious Sorey commitment to UGA
- Georgia football podcast: Todd Monken’s debut season suggests big possibilities for UGA in 2021
- WATCH: Why Georgia shows confidence Matthew Stafford can lead LA Rams to Super Bowl
- ‘Now or never’ for Georgia football coach Kirby Smart only half true
- Former NFL scout has surprising Georgia player omissions in Top 5 position rankings