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'Dawgs Take A Different Approach To Recruiting In 2014?

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Kevin Liles-US PRESSWIRE

It's a perennial gripe among Bullodg football fans that Mark Richt and his staff are notoriously slow to offer prospects, especially instate prospects, thereby losing valuable time to opposing coaches who pass out the scholarship paperwork like tic-tacs. Richt likes to say that he does it because he wants prospects to know that a UGA offer means something. Often, however, as talented high school football players head off to Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, and Florida, fans hear them talking about how important the first offer they received was, and gushing about the relationships built over time with other programs. It chaps fans every year. But maybe not this year.

By my count the Bulldogs have already extended 76 offers to prospects for the class of 2014, at least according to the folks at Rivals. Admittedly those numbers are pretty nebulous. It's not like there's a way to conclusively know how many of those offers are conditioned on grades, weight gain, solid senior seasons, and who knows what else. It's also impossible to know how many kids out there have offers that they haven't bothered to tell the recruiting analysts about.

But I'm fairly certain that number is well above what we've seen over the past few years at this point in the recruiting cycle. It's especially noteworthy that 25 of those offers are to players from inside the state of Georgia. While guys like Aaron Murray, Todd Gurley, John Theus and Keith Marshall are certainly very popular among Bulldog fans, and it's safe to say that no one in red and black would trade them for any of the guys who "got away" from the Peach State, there's something to be said for building from within the state.

And you can't pull in the recruits you don't offer. It will be interesting over the next few weeks to see how many of those offers turn into commitments. After the largest recruiting class of the Mark Richt era, the Bulldogs don't have a lot of room at the inn. Regardless of how the 2014 class shapes up, it's safe to say you won't hear the "if only we'd offered sooner" meme as often as in the past. Until later . . .

Go 'Dawgs!!!