The Georgia Bulldogs will need to win a healthy number of games in 2011 in order for Mark Richt to even have to earnestly worry about what happens with his 2012 recruiting class. The recruiting trail never ends though, so Richt has been equal parts busy preparing for 2011 and lining up new commitments for 2012. Assuming though that the Bulldogs erase the memory of last year’s 6-7 with a more successful campaign in 2011, Richt must be feeling much better about the Bulldogs’ chances in 2012 after this past month’s developments on the recruiting trail.
Last Friday, Baltimore native Greg Pyke became the third offensive line recruit this past month to commit to Georgia. Pyke and his family, who had made the 11 hour drive from Baltimore to Athens, let an elated Richt know of his decision to attend UGA before leaving for the day.
There was a reason for Richt to be so emotional. Offensive linemen are critical to this year’s recruiting class. Less than a month, UGA didn’t have any OL commits. Now with Pyke, the Bulldogs have three, with John Theus of Jacksonville and Bradwell Institute’s Chester Brown as the other.
Pyke was not at a loss for words when asked why he chose to commit to Georgia:
"It was a combination of things that made me pick UGA — great football, great college, great atmosphere, and I liked the coaches a lot," Pyke said. "When I visited Georgia with my parents, they liked it, too, which was important to me.
"Another big thing, I will also have the chance to make an impact next year coming in as a freshman, or have the chance to play next year."
Pyke is correct with his assessment of the opportunity to play right away. UGA will graduate seven seniors along the OL in ’11, which should leave the door wide open for Pyke and other underclassmen to compete for starting jobs in the high-profile SEC.
With three commits in the bag, Richt can resume his business preparing Georgia for the new season and trying to win enough games to retain his title as the longest-tenured coach in the SEC. The Bulldogs open the season at home on Saturday, September 3rd against the visiting Boise State Broncos.