Richt: Dawgs won't change their recruiting

MACON – Georgia won't change the way they recruit football players according to Head Coach Mark Richt.

Richt was questioned about the Bulldogs' recruiting today at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame's Media Day. The questioning comes after a difficult few weeks for Bulldog signees as it related to academics. Georgia has lost five (Jamar Bryant, Jamar Chaney, Brandon Sesay, Corey Moon and Darius Dewberry) of its 19 signees from the Class of 2005 due to academics.

"There's always going to be guys that are close (with their test scores and grades) and you have to make a decision – ‘I am not going to sign them and let Auburn, Florida and Tennessee sign them?'" said Richt.

The head coach explained that giving up on a borderline recruit could prove costly down the road.

"All of the sudden when that player gets the 20 points on their test score (necessary to qualify) you are getting whipped by them," Richt said.

Richt admitted this summer has been difficult because of the academic struggles of the five signees.

"You don't want to have this many in a year, but it hasn't been that way and I don't think it will continue to be that way," he added.

Richt said he and his staff knew that some of the recruits had not yet qualified academically, but they felt the prep stars still had a good chance of enrolling at Georgia.

"When you sign guys in February there is a certain percentage of them that have not met their qualifications. The SAT and ACT are still available for them that last semester of high school – if they score well enough then you can get them into school. If they don't – then they don't make it," he said.

"There are times when we'll sign kids out of high school that we are pretty certain that they are going to go to prep school," Richt added. Moon and Dewberry will enroll in Hargrave this fall. Bryant went to Hargrave this time last summer, but will enroll at East Carolina instead of Georgia.

Richt noted playing in a prep school has worked out well for some current and former Bulldog players.

"The prep-school route has not been all that bad. We've had guys like Terrence Edwards, Reggie Brown, Randy McMichael, Danny Ware, Charles Grant and Leonard Pope go to prep schools and then play at Georgia. Sometimes guys have to take that route, but prep school is what it is – an opportunity for them to get better academically and more prepared for college work."

Richt added that his program will continue to consider and sign players that are borderline qualifiers in hopes they will qualify before they graduate high school.

"If we think the player has a good chance of making it and they are a good quality person then we will probably continue to sign guys that have a little work to do," Richt said.

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