Every year Richt and his assistant coaches host hundreds of players in early June. The point of the camp is to identify, coach and recruit top-level prospects for the Bulldogs. Through the years Richt and Georgia have had some memorable camps. Here is a quick look back at some of highlights of the Mark Richt Camp over the years.
Best Overall Talent – It would be hard to beat the 2008 Mark Richt Camp that had a slew of future SEC starters and NFL Draft Picks. Aaron Murray, Zach Mettenberger, Marcus Lattimore, Orson Charles, Cornelius Washington – among others – highlighted the 2008 camp.
Future South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore at the 2008 Mark Richt Camp. (Dean Legge/Dawg Post)
It was the first time the Bulldogs hosted both Murray and Mettenberger at the same time. The duo eventually signed with Georgia in 2009 and sat out that fall as Joe Cox led Georgia to an 8-5 mark. Murray eventually won the starting job, while Mettenberger transferred out of Athens after an off-the-field incident. Both have been multi-year starters in the SEC.
But on that June day in 2008, Murray got the better of the duo – and was the top overall performer at the camp.
Future Georgia QB Aaron Murray at the 2008 Mark Richt Camp. (Dean Legge/Dawg Post)
“Aaron Murray really just impressed me a lot,” I said moments after the camp ended. “Was he that good, or are we making too big of a deal about it?”
“No,” Quentin Grant responded. “He’s that good.”
A quick look back at the 2008 Mark Richt Camp
Most critical Mark Richt Camp – That came in 2010 when Richt and company had to do a monumental recruiting job to sign the so-called Dream Team recruiting class in 2011. The 2010 Mark Richt Camp, which was relocated to the soccer fields on Millage Ave, didn’t have the star firepower of the 2008 camp, but it had the bulk number of players the Dawgs needed to sign… particularly on the offensive line.
Zach DeBell, Watts Dantzler, Hunter Long, John Theus, Chris Conley, Sterling Bailey, Amarlo Herrera and Corey Moore all eventually signed with Georgia.
The mammoth showing in June was a precursor to what would happen that winter. The Bulldogs struggled to their first losing season in more than a decade, but signed one of the top recruiting classes in school history thanks to the efforts put forth in the summer.
A quick look back at the 2010 Mark Richt Camp
Best head-to-head competition – Caleb King was a different running back before breaking his leg his senior season at GAC. In the summer of 2005, months before the Dawgs won the SEC title, King fought it out with a relatively unknown back from New Jersey.
King was well known in all circles of recruiting, but few people in Georgia knew who Knowshon Moreno was that summer.
They would know Knowshon on a first-name basis two years later. Moreno signed with the Bulldogs in 2006 along with Matthew Stafford to form one of the best one-two combinations in Georgia history. King headlined Georgia’s class of 2007, but struggled to meet lofty expectations after the broken leg seemed to slow him down a step.
Future Georgia RB Caleb King talks with Mark Richt at the 2006 Mark Richt Camp. (Dean Legge/Dawg Post)