Hard Hats Required

Hard Hats Required

ATHENS – Mark Richt did not yet know that the locomotive that is Georgia recruiting was about to take off once again.


Richt settled in to watch his two sons at the football camp that bears his name Tuesday night. The Georgia head coach was nestled just on the outside of the new construction at the football facility watching the young players around him.

In fact, the construction has been so prevalent at Georgia's football facility of late that Richt and company have been putting hard hats on the heads of recruits to show them around the construction site.

But Richt and company may as well be adorned with recruiting hard hats because they are constructing one of the top classes in America – one that may well win them the national title one day (laugh if you'd like… I'm not).

Tuesday night the construction involved soft-spoken Nick Marshall from Wilcox County. The dynamic athlete will play both basketball and football for the Dawgs (Mark Fox should be jacked for this freebie). Well-placed folks have rumored that Marshall had seriously, seriously considered Georgia Tech just a few weeks ago as his end destination for college – but that never got public.

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That's when Georgia turned it on, and Marshall could not turn them down. Instead of playing quarterback, Marshall will slip on silver britches and trot out to the secondary, where he is known to have been a pretty impressive playmaker. In two years his cousin, Georgia signee Lonnie Outlaw, will play with him in Athens.

The difference in the recruiting situation of the two family members could not more underscore the difference in recruiting for Georgia now compared to the previous class.

The notion of the Dream Team was a stroke of genius (Genius I tell you). I asked Richt in Savannah earlier in the year which staff member came up with the idea… he wouldn't say, but he did smile. I don't know if he was the one that came up with it… I don't care. The person that came up with that simple idea needs a raise, or at least a thank you card in about five years.

Kids buy in… they just do… with the notion of being the number one class in the country. They don't know that all colleges pull this stuff every now and then, but at least Georgia is smart enough to see what works. It doesn't matter if you actually end up number one, but selling that will get you what you need to make your way up the increasingly confusing landscape of college football.

The Dream Team notion is working… Georgia won't sign Tucker's James Vaughters (he will commit to Stanford in the coming weeks) but every other player in the top 15 in the state is either committed to Georgia or seriously considering the Dawgs. This is a massive turnaround from the Dawgs' recruiting struggles of 2010. After all, 2011 is a construction zone, and hard hats are required.

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