Richt wraps up 2007

ATHENS – Georgia football coach Mark Richt held a press conference Tuesday to wrap up the 2007 season.

Instead much of the conversation was about the future and how it might be shaped by university president Michael Adams' proposal for an eight-game playoff.

"I could see change on the horizon," Richt said. "I really believe it is."

Adams told Richt during the team's trip to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl that he planned to initiate discussions about a playoff, Richt said.

"I think most coaches would be in favor of that," Richt said. "I personally think eight is the limit. I don't think anybody wants to diminish the regular season, and I don't think an eight-team playoff would do that."

Georgia has put itself in great position for the 2008 season under the current BCS system. The Bulldogs were ranked No. 2 in the final Associated Press poll of the season Tuesday, and they received three first-place votes. It's the first time since the 1980 national championship season and the second time ever Georgia has been ranked that high by the AP.

"We're excited to be ranked so high," Richt said. "This is the one poll that matter the most. I know it's very exciting for our fans and our players, and it also is a season where we got a taste of how close we might be to getting that ultimate goal, and everybody is going to be working really hard toward that end."

The Bulldogs were third in the final coaches poll and will be considered a national championship contender next year with 17 starters returning on offense and defense. Georgia doesn't expect to lose any underclassmen to the NFL, Richt said Tuesday.

"If guys want to start talking about (a national championship run) out in the open then they have to understand there is a lot of responsibility that goes with it, mainly work," Richt said. "They have to understand that those type of seasons don't happen by accident. They happen because you pay the price. If they use that to motivate them, that's fine with me."

Georgia (11-2) won seven straight games to finish the season, capped by their 41-10 win over Hawaii on Jan. 1.

"We played great that night," Richt said. "Could we have beaten anybody in the country? Maybe, but there were other good bowl performances, too. We were ready. I felt like we were ready in my gut."

NOTES: Tailback Knowshon Moreno was named to the Football Writers Association of America's freshman All-American team Tuesday. … Georgia may not receive any more verbal commitments between now and signing day, Richt indicated. "Things always tend to change in the last few weeks of recruiting, but we're in very good shape right now," he said. "We're very pleased with how it's gone. I would say if there is change, it'd be very little." The commitment of offensive lineman A.J. Harmon of Jefferson County High School gave Georgia 24 verbal pledges.

… Freshman tackle Trinton Sturdivant (knee) is expected to be available for spring practice, Richt said. … Freshman Richard Samuel, one of four new players to begin classes at Georgia this week, will start his career at tailback, Richt said. He could be a linebacker in the future.

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