ATLANTA–Georgia football coach Mark Richt was grateful the moment a crowd of some 800 gave him a standing ovation and did some barking at the Cobb Galleria Monday night.
“That made me feel great,” Richt said at the final offseason Bulldogs’ speaking tour stop.
Some 35 minutes later when he was finished, he thanked the fans.
“This room could have been empty,” Richt said in his closing remarks. “Everybody could have been in the tank. …The Bulldog Nation has supported us….after a subpar year. I thank you for that.”
Some tidbits from the meeting:
–Richt said that among changes made has been a stricter curfew during the season. And this offseason, Richt has had a shorter leash.
“I probably have a little bit less patience than I have in the past,” Richt said.
That drew applause.
“When guys get off the beaten path, you’ve got to part ways,” Richt said.
–Some members of the `Dream Team’ recruiting class are putting it in ink.
“I hate to admit it but I think three guys got `Dream Team’ tattooed on their arm,” Richt said.
–Asked if freshman Isaiah Crowell from Carver High in Columbus will get the first handoff at tailback against Boise State, Richt said: “If he earns it, if he deserves it, if he’s the best one, he’ll tote it.”
Richt added that “I’d be surprised if he doesn’t make a big impact for us this season.”
–Richt was reminded in a question that it’s been since 2005 that Georgia won an SEC title.
“I know this–when I got here, it was 20 years since we won the SEC,” Richt said. “It has been too long. Everybody’s SEC championship hats are dirty and worn out. We need some new hats and some new rings.”
–Richt said beforehand that the status of signees Kent Turene and Devin Bowman remain “still up in the air.” Turene needs to be certified by the NCAA Clearinghouse. Bowman has to pass an English graduation test. Richt said that Turene won’t report next week if he is not yet cleared.
Richt said he spent some time earlier Monday at an Atlanta children’s hospital.
The daughter of inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti and wife Keely has leukemia, Richt told the crowd.
Kasyn Olivadotti is four years old.
“She is really battling,” Richt said.
He said that Olivadotti’s wife hasn’t left the hospital “for 30-some days.”
Richt said that she was not opposed to Richt letting Georgia fans know about their daughter.
“That family believes in prayer,” Richt said.
Richt encouraged anyone in the audience who believes in prayer to pray for Kasyn.
–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marcweiszer