Here are five things to know on Tuesday morning about Georgia’s search for a new head football coach:
1. No offers have been made as of last night at 8 p.m., according to a source. UPDATE: But a search firm HAS in fact been hired, from what we’re hearing, as athletics director Greg McGarity said would happen at the press conference on Monday. The identity of the firm is unknown, but one is usually used by schools to cover their tracks during a search.
(a). But the same sources continue to say that Kirby Smart is the target unless he turns it down. Since Alabama is in the SEC championship this week, Georgia may have to wait awhile to nail things down, assuming they will be nailed down.
2. Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt is still unlikely to be retained on the new staff, the source reiterated on Tuesday. That’s not necessarily because of Smart but because of Pruitt’s strained relationship with UGA’s athletics department. There remains sentiment among players to keep Pruitt, but the decision is not in their hands.
3. The reason Georgia coaches have been told to go back on the recruiting trail is not because they have been given any indication they’re returning. It’s just, simply, because they’re still on the job, drawing a paycheck, and that’s their job. As one coach said when reached on Sunday night: “I’m just going into work. It’s all I know how to do.”
4. To that end, there is bad news, though it’s not surprising or the final say: Five-star quarterback recruit Jacob Eason is reportedly going to visit Florida, and his high school coach says Eason’s commitment “is in a holding pattern.” Eason and his father have yet to say anything publicly, and it’s a good bet they will wait to see who Georgia hires, especially at offensive coordinator. But obviously this was a risk Georgia took when it fired Richt.
5. As for Richt, he is suddenly a hot name on the coaching job market, confessing that “about five” schools reached out to him on Monday. But my colleague Chip Towers has a good story on what advice Richt is getting, which is essentially to sit out a year. That doesn’t mean that a school like Maryland won’t make a big push, which will generate some headlines. The sense around those close to Richt is a school will have to do a lot to change Richt’s mind. But he did say he would listen.