Bailey connects with Richt

Sterling Bailey lost a loved one earlier in the week, so he was a little late to Athens on Saturday. The UGA coaches embraced him and that meant a lot to Bailey.

"I did not get over to Georgia until late because of my great-grandmother's funeral, so I only got to watch the second half of the basketball game," said Sterling Bailey. "As soon as I got there, Coach [Todd] Grantham came and picked my dad, my cousin, and myself up. I sat with Coach Grantham during the game and we talked about the game, a little about football, and we had a lot of regular talk."

"After the game, we went back over to the Butts-Mehre building and talked some more. Coach Grantham is a guy that I really like. He has everything together, he knows what he wants to do at Georgia, he wants to step up the defense to make it one of the best in the SEC, and help Georgia become a top program in the nation."

"We went into one of the conference rooms there, we talked about me a little bit, and then he showed me some film. He showed me how he would like to use me, he showed me how to improve my technique, and he showed me some moves to use in high school. Meeting with him was great."

In between meeting with Grantham, a number of other Bulldog coaches made it known to Bailey that he was a wanted man in Athens. They came up and talked to him, showed him some attention, and made him feel comfortable.

One of those coaches was Head Coach Mark Richt. The 6-foot-5, 240 pound junior out of Gainesville (GA) East Hall really connects with Coach Richt.

"We had a nice little talk and he discussed with me how it would be in I came to Georgia, the living area there, and a lot of the little details about the Georgia program," said one of the prospects in the Peach State. "I see a real connection with us and that is big for me. It is a big part of my decision because I want to play for a staff that I can relate to and connect with."

One of the big connections for Bailey with Richt is religion. Both are men of faith and that keeps them close.

"Coach Richt's beliefs mean a lot to me. We have that spiritual connection and that is so important to both of us. We have a lot of the same beliefs, we are both religious people, and that is important to me."

One thing that is commonly said about Coach Richt is that he cares for his players. Bailey saw that caring side of Richt and many of his coaches Saturday when he arrived in Athens. Bailey drove to Athens from a funeral and the UGA staff made sure he knew they felt for him.

"All of the coaches really embraced me when I got there and that showed me a lot. They knew I had my great-grandmother's funeral, so how they acted showed me a lot. That made the visit go extremely well."

The visit was on the short side for Bailey, but he and Georgia made the most of their time together on Saturday. This hot prospect has now visited Athens three or four times and this visit was a very good one.

"Everything went great for me, I really enjoyed the experience, the atmosphere over there was great, and I loved the visit," he said. "The whole staff made a big impression on me."

Bailey holds 18 offers and he is not ready to name a top group just yet, but he did say that Georgia is high on his list after Saturday's visit.

Chad Simmons is the Recruiting Manager for the South Region and he can be reached at

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