February 2, 2011

Signing Day Notebook

Although Georgia coaches obviously deserve much of the credit for the Bulldogs' 7th-ranked class, recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner gave five-star performer Ray Drew a plug as well.

"Outside of this coaching staff, I think that he deserves as much credit for this class as anyone because he did a really good job of selling his belief and what he felt about Coach (Mark) Richt, this University and the direction we're going," Garner said. "Even though this year tarnished us, with the year that we had, I think he was able to recognize that the University of Georgia is still a goal, we just need to shine it up to get the glitter back. So he took on that role and he's excited. I think the entire staff is."

During his ceremony Friday in Thomasville, Drew told reporters he only made up his mind to sign with Georgia "two or three weeks ago."

From the way it sounds, it may have been longer than that. Drew was trying to entice recruits to Georgia way months ago.

"I'd say, October, a while. I'm not saying he was 100 percent in. Obviously adversity, it tests character. I think he was feeling really good at one point and then maybe he went back and had some doubt," Garner said. "But he always came back to his heart and that's something you always try to tell kids as they're going through the process, to go with their heart. He always felt that this was the place for him."

Drew felt that way even after Richt took him on a fishing trip during his official visit when the temperature was 18 degrees.

"I don't know. I thought the chances of catching a fish that morning were pretty dim. It turned out to be true. We didn't catch anything but a cold, but I think sometimes it's the thought that count and I think we were able to get out there and bond a little bit," Richt said. "I'm assuming somewhere along the line we will get to go when we might actually get a few bites."

Grantham doesn't spill the beans

During one humorous exchange, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham was asked by a local newspaper reporter if a certain junior college nose guard recruit was thinking about signing with Georgia.

Johnathan Jenkins is scheduled to make his decision Saturday at 1 p.m. during a ceremony at his high school in Connecticut.

"Really?" Grantham smiled.

"How do you feel?" Grantham asked.

When the reporter responded positively, Grantham said "Well, good, I'm glad you do. Go with your vibe, man, go with your vibe."

Richt wants Mitchell to play receiver

Richt has no question that Malcolm Mitchell could play on both sides of the ball for the Bulldogs.

But when asked if he had his druthers, Richt admits he has a preference.

"Of course, a year ago everybody was thinking he was a corner. He's a tremendous athlete with great ball skills but Coach (Valdosta coach Rance) Gillespie has done a super job of using him as a receiver. You can see the highlights and his tremendous skills, so I'm kind of leaning that way (offense) to be honest with you," Richt said. "Don't tell Coach Grantham or Coach (Scott) Lakatos because I don't think that will make them too happy."

The 30th-ranked player in the country and the top-rated cornerback according to Rivals, Mitchell set a Valdosta receptions record in 2010 with 77 catches for 1,419 yards and seven touchdowns.

This and that

Richt confirmed that Bruce Figgins will be a fulltime fullback when the Bulldogs begin spring practice in March. … Wide receiver Chris Conley said it took just two and a half weeks to gain seven pounds working under new strength and conditioning coach Joe Tereshinksi and currently weights 187 pounds. … Linebacker signees Kent Turene, Amarlo Herrera and Ramik Wilson are thought to be candidates to play on the inside, but Grantham said the three are versatile enough to play on the outside as well. … When Grantham was asked how he and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo planned to settle which of Georgia's new secondary athletes might be considered for time on offense, one reporter suggested a Texas Bull Rope match to determine the outcome. "That doesn't sound like a bad idea," Grantham quipped. When reminded he's a big larger than the former Georgia QB, Grantham answered, "Well, size matters."

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