Signing Day: News and Notes

ATHENS - Signing Day news and notes from the capital of the Bulldog world.

Signing Days news and notes Mark Richt opened the news conference up by saying "this class feels like a home run to me."

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Richt said he was impressed with this class' commitment to the program. "They stayed true to their word even though they had some pressure to stay home." Jeff Owens seemed to be coming down to the wire, but signed with the Bulldogs at about 10 AM.

"No one in this class ever wavered," said Rodney Garner. "They may have taken trips to other schools after their commitment, but they never backed down from their commitment to Georgia."

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Both Garner and Richt stressed the importance of defense for this class. "We had tremendous need on the defensive side of the ball, but we signed some talent on offense, too," said Richt. "This class was heavy on defense by design."

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The staff was amazed about the speed of their recruits in terms of faxing in their LOIs. "It was unusual to have all of the letters of intent in so early – we had all of them by 10:25 AM."

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"This was a unique situation – we were able to get some great out of state players to come to our camp," said Richt of the way the class shaped up with a majority of out of state players. The coaches stressed that the summer camp helped them identify players interested in Georgia.

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Some of the players at the summer camp were part of the Florida Five.

"The South Florida kids did a great job of selling our program to each other. I think these players took pride in being a part of this year's class."

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Richt and company said, however, that there were not as many scholarships to offer this season as they would have liked. The school graduated only six seniors, leaving the program with a numbers problem for 2005. "If we would have had 25 slots we would have signed 25 A-listers, and that is the difficult part about this year."

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"We are going to see how good we are in terms of evaluating talent," said Rodney Garner. "You always have an A-list and a B-list. All 19 of these guys are A-list guys. We never got down to the B-list guys."

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Was football talent down this year in the state of Georgia? Not according to the Georgia staff. "We were just cautious about the numbers of scholarships we offered," said Richt.

"The last this we want to do is send out scholarship offers to kids in-state and then have to pull the offers later in the process," added Garner.

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"This is one of the top defensive classes anyone is going to sign today," Garner said today.

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When asked about Joe Cox and Mohamed Massaquoi, Mark Richt responded: "They do things in their program a lot of colleges don't do."

"They have to be considered one of the top two connections in the last 20-30 years in high school football," said Richt.

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Richt and staff did not give any indication about early playing time for any members of the class of 2005. However, they did note that the defensive line was a top priority this season. "We know that we are graduating defensive linemen this year and next and that there was a need for that position," said Garner.


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