Posted: 2:07 pm Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Bulldogs’ spring exit meetings can be tough on players 

By Chip Towers

Georgia coach Mark Richt poses with Bulldogs' fans Joe Markwalter and his mother Sumner Markwalter Tuesday night at UGA Day in Gainesville. (AJC/Towers)

Georgia coach Mark Richt poses with Bulldogs’ fans Joe Markwalter and his mother Sumner Markwalter Tuesday night at UGA Day in Gainesville. (AJC/Towers)

I had a nice time over in Gainesville last night covering the second stop on the Bulldogs’ “UGA Day” speaking tour. Georgia coach Mark Richt and gymnastics coach Danna Durante joined President Jere Morehead in addressing about 300 guests at the Gainesville Civic Center about all things Bulldog. You can read my report on the festivities HERE. And thanks to the fine folks of the Gainesville Bulldog Club for the wonderful hospitality.

While I was there, Richt took time to talk to me and about five other reporters in a relaxed sit-down before the event. Now we aren’t far removed from spring practice ending, so there wasn’t a lot of new information for the Bulldogs’ coach to impart. But I figured I share some of the highlights of our discussion here.

As always, please feel free to share your thoughts and I’ll be happy to hear story suggestions for the coming weeks and months as we enter into the somewhat idle portion of the college football calendar.

Q: What’s happening now that spring practice has concluded?

A: “Right now our coaches are getting their plan to hit the road for the spring recruiting period and doing those exit meetings with the players. Everybody’s on their own little schedule with their own segment and knocking those out. And guys are getting ready for final exams, that’s about it.”

Q: Do you guys do actual evaluations for each of your players?

A: “Yes. We’ve modified them. They used to have a battery of questions and you’d  answer 1-through-5, with 5 being this and 1 being that, self-evaluation-type survey sort of thing. We quit doing that. There’s a section for the coaches to fill out: Strengths, weaknesses and what we call a plan of action. What do you need to get better? What do you need to be working on in the offseason? Then the player has the ability to self-evaluate his strengths and weaknesses. Then I ask them what can the team expect from you this offseason? There are some academic goals they set for the summer. And then we ask them who do they think the leaders are on the team? We kind of gather all that up.”

Q: I guess those can be difficult at times?

A: “I tell the coaches to be honest with the guys. I want them to tell them truth in love, so to speak. Don’t just hammer a guys with their weakness or whatever; just be honest with the guy. Tell them, ‘you’re not playing because of this; you’ve got to get better in this area to get where you want to be.’ … Sometimes they get their feelings hurt in those meetings sometimes. But at least they know what to work on.”

Q: Are there any players from the current team who won’t be back in the fall?

A: “Not right this minute. Historically this time of year, somewhere between now and the end of the semester, there may be a guy that says, ‘well, my chances of playing here aren’t good and I may look for another opportunity,’ or something like that. But I have not had that with anybody. And again, a lot of these meetings are still in progress.”

Q: You’ll probably get asked, so are you ready yet to unveil your disciplinary plan for the four players arrested for theft-by-deception arrest (Tray Matthews, Uriah LeMay, Jonathan Taylor and James DeLoach)?

A: “Not yet. I’m not ready yet. No one asked the question last time, not at the last club.”

Q: Did you and Mike Bobo get a chance yet to discuss the backup quarterback situation?

A: “Nothing’s been decided on that at all. I think the competition (between Faton Bauta and Brice Ramsey) is going to go into the fall and we’ll just see what it looks like as we get closer to the first game. I would say that Hutson (Mason) probably separated himself from the the second-team guys. There’s a little bit more of a gap there. Not to try to discourage anybody, but realistically I think Hutson solidified himself as a starter.”

Q: Are SEC coaches discussing the impact of the unionization legal maneuverings in Illinois?

A: “Everybody’s just waiting to see what will happen. … Nothing’s going to happen on that real fast on it. … I will say this, I think there’s tremendous value in the degree, in the education, in the experience of going to college and going through the things we put them through, so to speak. I think the cost of attendance would be a great start.”

Q: What do you think is the championship potential of your 2014 team?

A: “I think if the guys make a lot of progress in the summer and get healthy and just bond as a team, be willing to sacrifice for the greater good, that team chemistry everybody talks about … I think we have a chance to be really good. But there’s a lot of teams that are going to be pretty. That’s one of the issues. No matter how good we are, there are going to be other teams that are just as good. How do you separate? How do you win the close games? By focusing on the little things and taking care of business.”

Q: What’s all this talk about slimming down as a team?

A: “We sat down with the strength staff and each position coach and talked about every player. … It’s not that we’re a bunch of fat guys. But we’re in some ways we’re strong and thick in the legs and rear and all that kind of thing. Not that we don’t want to be strong, but we’re willing to give up a little bit of size for quickness. … Mostly linebacker and D-line. But really there’s some safeties we want to cut some weight and a couple of skinny corners we want to get a few more pounds on them and a little bit more muscle on them. But most everybody is on a trim-down phase. The majority are.”

So that’s just some of the highlights of our discussion before Tuesday night’s meeting. If you’d like to get some of your own questions answered by Richt, plan on attending one of the 10 remaining UGA Day celebrations. The next one is Thursday in Dalton. Click HERE for dates and pre-registration (which is cheaper).

 

115 comments
TampGator1
TampGator1

After reading multiple posts on here, I have to ask myself why I bother coming on here anymore.  It really has turned into a site for juvenile thinking, which is very disappointing.  It used to be a good place to discuss SEC football.  Not any more.  Seriously. 

JaySly
JaySly

The dogs will own the SEC east this year--sc and missouri lost all their top talent and fla will suck again.  the dogs will play alabama or auburn for the title--this time, the dogs will pull the upset!

GSU93
GSU93

Why didn't you ask him why UGA is getting their a** handed to them by AU in recruiting?

Delusionaldog
Delusionaldog

Tough Exit Meetings?


"Sticks and stones can break my bones but words (correctly spelled) will never hurt me"


-350

Richardddd
Richardddd

Thank God, another UGAg article - it's been 12 hours since the last art of journalism.

BTW, are we sure there were 40,000 people reported at the Spring UGAg game, because the picture shows about 15k...

GeorgiaSECFan
GeorgiaSECFan

Listen & Heed this message worldly people!  My Coach Richt oversees The most righteous Championship quality College Football Program on this planet!  How many coaches hand out 2 game penalties to major players against Top 10 teams.  sos of us(u)c admits he & chicks can't beat DAWGS without 2 or 3 starters out. Secondly, My Coach recruits for character. 4 & 5 star recruits DAWGS pass on, go on to be trouble for teams who get higher recruiting rankings. Coach MR established a Life & Leadership program for players.  DAWGS do so much right, our enemies/haters make mountains of  molehills. Georgia is most hated team of any level on Earth. We are in SEC and surrounded by clemson, sc-e, fla, ten, vandy, aub., bama. Who all want GA players to help beat DAWGS and win championships.

RandyHall
RandyHall

NC Dawg....Dawg 350 needs to take post lessons from you....I concede on staying on Will Friend's case...for sure out of my hands....but all in all, IT IS TIME FOR CMR TO WIN A NC....no excuses accepted!!!  

Princess_Leia
Princess_Leia

Q: You’ll probably get asked, so are you ready yet to unveil your disciplinary plan for the four players arrested for theft-by-deception arrest (Tray Matthews, Uriah LeMay, Jonathan Taylor and James DeLoach)?


My question is why haven't these criminals been dismissed from the team?


Oh, I forgot this is Richt we're talking about.

WeRunTheEast
WeRunTheEast

Seemed logical, the change to the evaluations, and the leaner player. Gotta be meaner also! Hope OBC has SC lean and mean!

NCDawg
NCDawg

The conditioning/slim down shift is due to a philosophical shift brought on by Coach Pruitt.  Bama was built to stand up to power football and has gotten abused by HUNH offenses.  Coach Pruitt was a part of that staff and knows first hand how their condition program was set up.  He is seeing a similar pattern on our team and wants to head it off.  He wants to be able to play the HUNH offenses straight up in space.  That extra half step might be the difference on whiffing on a tackle and stop a play for little or no gain with these offenses.  Plus they will have better endurance carrying less weight, particularly in places like the lower body and stomach.

RxDawg
RxDawg

@TampGator1 It's crazy bad.  I left AJC commenting (still read some stories) a while back because of how awful the commentors were.   Nothing but trolls, and not really even good ones.   I thought it might have gotten better since they changed up their format...but it ain't.  It's trully a cesspool of sports commenting.    Sadly, It seems to be a few obsessed bad apples that are ruining it.   AJC should just break out the boot and kick some folks if they want this to be a decent place again.

Railroadtracgang
Railroadtracgang

Florida will look better on offense primarily because of your Oline improvement. Roper will get more credit for that part than he deserves. Driskel is a senior and just a better fit for Roper's offense which is a lucky break for Roper. Georgia's Defense will also be a step up just because of the fact they have most the players back which is fortunate for the new defensive staff. They will end up with more credit than they deserve also. All in all Georgia has more weapons on offense but defense usually wins titles. Florida might end up with an edge on defense, but Georgia might have a bigger edge on offense. We'll see.

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

Tampa ..go ahead and hit us with the 40 yard dash times of all your players....just saying. JMO but if you're the standard for posting around here then most others will get a passing grade .

Dawg350
Dawg350

Tampa

Good idea...don't let the door hit you in the azz pal.

Delusionaldog
Delusionaldog

@TampGator1  It's Silly Season. Games are months away. The only thing that matters this time of year are injuries and arrests. The rest is all speculative BS from posters that think they know it all. 

TampGator1
TampGator1

@FoSho


I like it when you make negative predictions about Florida, like their basketball team will not make it to the top 32 in the NCAA tourney.  How did that prediction work out for you? 


Watched CBS' after spring practice show last night and Barnhart said the Florida will probably have the best defense in the SEC this year.  And the offense will be a lot better under Roper.  Doesn't sound to me that those who have watched Florida practice this spring agree with your  "Florida will suck again" prediction.   

Dawg350
Dawg350

Fo sho

Best post of the day my friend!

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@GSU93


Sometimes(Actually quite often) out-recruiting doesn't result in winning bigtime like say UGA kicking BARN'S butt 5, 6  or 7 years in a row in the past decade and W E  A L L   K N O W   2013  was a fluke(of course flukes count when keeping score).


BARN always has the best teams money can buy but they will stumble one day if their "Bag Man" skips town with the loot!!!!!!

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

Gus is doing very well and going to do even better it appears. I feel like Butch ...."who are those guys"

Dawg350
Dawg350

Bucky

How was your date with buckeyes 1 last night? Did he rock your world? Lmfao!

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@Delusionaldog Gonna have to hurt some feelings, want's his coach's to be honest and tell the truth with love. Must be nice. My coach's were'nt concerned with your feelings.

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@Richardddd


RICKY  DD:


At some point in your life you need to get beyond pictures and coloring books!!!!!!!!!!!

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@RandyHall


It is time for Randy Hall to take the next O N E -W A Y vehicle of A N Y    T Y P E out of the country!!!!!!!!!!!!!               Unconditionally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dawg350
Dawg350

Randy hall.

I told u that I agree that friend is not getting it done this year. But what about the guys he pulled in last year Dyshon Sims....Jake Edwards....Kendall Baker....and Isaiah Wynn! You have to give him credit for that.

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@Princess_Leia


To put it P L A I N L Y  dahlin it is none of your business regarding  UGA discipline or any other 

subject. Now back in the kitchen after you bring me another B E E R !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LUCKYDAWG
LUCKYDAWG

@Princess_Leia.,I am an alumna,season ticket holder for many years,contributor to the university and loyal Georgia fan. These four young men are stupid and do not deserve to be

considered Georgia men. Coach Richt,send them home and tell their parents they failed to

teach morals to these men. I am tired of this action from my university I love. Luckydawg

aladawg47
aladawg47

@Princess_Leia  You are a stupid lying piece of crap, hell Richt kicked Mettenburger and Auburn's QB and other starters are you that stupid or just don't

know any better.

BCB
BCB

Really? Name one coach in the SEC that has suspended or kicked more players off than Richt? This post makes you look ignorant.

Dawg350
Dawg350

I hope they don't. SC sucks azz!

Dawg350
Dawg350

NC dawg

Great post man...you are my favorite poster! Hiring Pruitt will turn out to be the best move Richt has made yet.

Dawg350
Dawg350

Bucky

Take down that racist pic you slime bucket....you hear me?

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

Tell us again where Tony played his college ball or what was his coaching record and which schools? When all you got is what Tony Barhart THINKS then you're pretty much sheet out of luck.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@TampGator1 Yea Tampa, that 4-8 is popping up as much as 12of13. Got to hang that Hat on something.

GSU93
GSU93

You are very wrong.  I was there and it was every bit of 40,000. Biggest crowd ever for G-Day!

The_Real_KJ
The_Real_KJ

@aladawg47 @Princess_Leia  Guys, I don't know  if you've noticed this yet, but Leia's MO is to come in here, post his/her useless troll bait, and leave without further response.  Happens every time, so no point in engaging.

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

@Dawg350  

Pruitt has coached only 1 year as an DC and had an NFL roster.  Not saying he won't improve the defense, but Grantham's resume, experience and qualifications were significantly better than Pruitt's.

Pruitt won a NC, but he did so with an absolutely loaded roster.  FSU played a relatively weak schedule (something SEC and UGA fans were pointing out prior to his hire).

And Auburn moved the ball very well on FSUs defense in the MNC game.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@KeepOnSmilingWetWillie


Tell me when you visited a Florida practice to observe the progress the team is making.  When?  Tony did that for the show.  And he gets paid for his thinking and opinions, so they must be worth more than yours and mine for sure. 

Dawg350
Dawg350

Bucky

I heard you had a date last night.....her first name was crystal and her last name is meth. Lol

Delusionaldog
Delusionaldog

@Dawg350  So, you start drinking beer at 6AM. It's now 11:03AM. What number are you working on?

Dawg350
Dawg350

Bucky

Too bad you're not!

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@GSU93


Tell them GSU!!  Trolls don't know big wood  from brush!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@gtcaryd @GSU93


Only 100,000 sober!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Alcohol infested would definitely push 200,000!!!!!!!!!!!

Dawg350
Dawg350

Never have and never will.....is that clear enough? You roach lover!

Dawg350
Dawg350

Td123456765432

You're stupid and no nothing...you bitter azz troll.

td1234
td1234

@Dawg350  He has a long ways to go to even be considered in the same sentence as the guy named Russell. 

Dawg350
Dawg350

Whatever jack azz....nobody is going to stone cold auburn. Pruitt will be the best DC in UGA history! Book it!