Georgia Football: How Mark Richt Can Pass Nick Saban on 2013 Recruiting Trail
One of the most important things a college coach can do is recruit, and recruit well.
Mark Richt has done a good job of getting some of the best players in the country to sign with the Bulldogs, and he looks to continue that trend in 2013.
He is off to a great start as more than a handful of players to verbally commit to Georgia, but Nick Saban is known for coming on strong late in the game and is looking to have another top-five class when it's all said and done.
Can Richt win the recruiting game against Saban, or will the three-time national champion coach come out on top?
Here's how Richt can surpass Saban in the 2013 recruiting trail.
Keep It in State
Richt has done a good job keeping some of the best recruits in the state over the years.
It won't be any different in 2013, as 14 players from Georgia have verbally committed.
Players like J.J. Green and Brandon Kublanow were some of the state's best players last year and are poised to lead their teams to deep playoff runs this upcoming season.
The Bulldogs aren't done, as they are trying to get Demarcus Robinson and Vonn Bell to verbally commit.
They also wouldn't mind taking Robert Knemdiche away from Clemson, as he is the top recruit in the state as well as the entire nation.
Make a Trip to Alabama
One of the reasons Saban has been successful at Alabama is the fact he can keep some of the top players in Alabama in-state.
So in order for Richt to surpass Saban, he is grabbing some of best available players in Alabama.
The only player the Bulldogs offered a scholarship to that is from Alabama is Reuben Foster, who recently committed to Auburn. The Bulldogs are hoping they can steal Foster away because he was committed to Alabama.
It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few months, because if Richt can somehow get Foster, they will have a top-three recruiting class.
Stay the Course
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There will be times where a player decommits or a player that the Bulldogs have targeted decide to go somewhere else.
That's part of the recruiting game, so Richt can't and won't get discouraged.
February is a long ways away, so a lot is going to happen when it comes to players committing and decommitting. As long as Richt sticks to his recruiting plan and makes players believe that Georgia is the right place to be, then he has nothing to worry about.
What's Going on Now
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As of right now, Richt is ahead of Saban when it comes to recruits. The Bulldogs have 22 players verbally committed, while the Crimson Tide have 17.
Both numbers will change during the season, but the Bulldogs are off to a hot start. In fact, if signing day took place today, Rivals would say the Bulldogs have the fourth-best recruiting class in the country behind USC, Michigan and LSU. Alabama is not far behind, as Rivals has the Tide in seventh place.
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With Georgia already having 22 players committed, it is getting close to wrapping up its 2013 recruiting class.
However, it isn't giving up hope on Nkemdiche, and it still wants to grab a few of some Georgia's best when it's all said and done.
As for Saban and company, they are of to a fast start as well. They are disappointed they could not keep Foster, but they are still after some of the top players in the southeast. One of them happens to be Bell, who is also on Georgia's radar.
As mentioned earlier, it should be a very interesting six months. Richt is doing everything he can to surpass Saban and is doing a solid job. But if Alabama wins another national title, there's going to be a few committed Georgia players that will wonder how they would look in crimson.