February 6, 2008

One that got away

One by one Georgia's signees rolled off the fax machine into the Georgia football offices at the Butts-Mehre Building.
A.J. Harmon, A.J. Green … all came in. Except one.

That one would be Fayetteville, N.C. tight end Dwayne Allen who stunned onlookers by signing with Clemson after stating Tuesday that he would indeed play for the Bulldogs.

Georgia coach Mark Richt was asked about the situation during Wednesday's press conference and admitted he didn't handle the situation as he should.

"I think I could have handled it differently," Richt said before stopping himself. "I can't say anything more about it."

Richt did say every recruit gets the same message from the Bulldogs.

"We do things a certain way here. We don't really have the glitz, glitter and bling," Richt said. "We choose to be as realistic as we can be when we talk to these kids so they know what they are going to get. We don't want them showing up and saying 'That's not what you said, coach.'
"We're always going to be honest with them. We're not going to promise anyone a starting position, or say you might play for us this year. We don't say anybody's going to start as a freshman, no matter what."

Richt instead, preferred to focus on the 24 players the Bulldogs did sign. Four of Georgia's five early enrollees - Tavarres King, Richard Samuel, Dontavius Jackson and Ben Jones - attended Wednesday's press conference.

All four kept their word to the Bulldogs after committing some time ago.

"If any one of these guys had waited to the last date (before committing), they would have been higher profile guys," Richt said. "They would have been getting more hits on the Internet, but they weren't about that. They were about making decisions, being where they wanted to be, getting enrolled in school and preparing for their future."

Richt also had glowing words for Green, the No. 2 receiver in the nation according to Rivals.com.

Green has been committed to Georgia for almost a year and despite overtures from other schools, kept his word to the Bulldogs.

"Coach (Jon) Fabris made a point about (Green) He's one of the least high-maintenance, high-profile kids that he's ever come across," Richt said. "He came to practice one day in the spring, liked what he saw, and said that's it, that's where I'm coming to school. He never wavered one bit. We might have been nervous of what might happen, but he was solid from Day One."

Green reminded Richt of former linebacker Tony Taylor.

"I remember one day we went to his high school. He said 'Coach, don't worry, I'm coming to Georgia," Richt said. "He told me he didn't need an official visit, he didn't need someone to call him every day. I had to beg him to come for an official visit just so his mom could have a nice weekend."

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