This is the sixth spring for Bryan McClendon as Georgia’s running backs coach, but it’s anything but the same old, same old.
McClendon is also juggling the responsibilities that come with his new title of recruiting coordinator.
Coach Mark Richt named him to that position in February, less than a week after national signing day.
“There’s a lot that you’ve got to get ready for with the upcoming spring recruiting,” McClendon said after practice Tuesday night. “Just making sure the ducks are in a row in that regard. Just spending some time on that, spending some later nights.”
Recruiting, of course, is a group effort and Georgia has assistant coaches considered among the top in attracting talent.
McClendon was rated the No. 1 recruiter in the nation by 247Sports for the 2014 class, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo was No. 18, tight ends coach John Lilly was No. 32 and defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt was No. 35.
“Recruiting, at the end of the day, is always the biggest thing that you do because you’ve got to have good players,” Lilly said. “It doesn’t matter how many good coaches you’ve got.”
To that end, Bobo and Pruitt’s media availability Tuesday night was postponed in part because recruits were in town.
Georgia went without a recruiting coordinator for more than a year after Rodney Garner held the position for 15 seasons with the Bulldogs before leaving for Auburn.
“Bryan is one of the best recruiters around and he has a passion for it,” Richt said. “I’m already excited about the dividends I think it will pay for us.”
Garner sent McClendon a congratulatory text after McClendon was given the new title.
McClendon, 30, played wide receiver for Georgia from 2002-05 and is the son of former Georgia running back Willie McClendon.
He was instrumental in Georgia landing highly-regarded running backs Sony Michel and Nick Chubb and five-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter in the latest recruiting class.
“I think Bryan is absolutely the perfect guy to be in that position because not only is he an excellent recruiter in the household with families and people,” said Lilly, who was recruiting coordinator at Florida State from 1998-2007,” but he’s organized and he’s got a vision and he’s got a plan of how he wants to do it. You’re going to see nothing but great results out of him on that.”
McClendon said he hasn’t quite put his own stamp on recruiting yet since getting the coordinator title.
“We’ll see,” he said. “There’s constantly stuff that you’re trying to improve.”
Georgia added Daryl Jones as the director of on-campus recruiting in the spring of 2012. He continues in that position.
“I think our whole staff understands the importance of it,” McClendon said. “We’ve got to make sure that we take it seriously and put a big emphasis on it and make sure that no matter what we do, that we’re doing good job at it, constantly keeping it in mind and just putting to the forefront the importance of recruiting in every decision we make. Hopefully, we just keep making good ones.”
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