GAINESVILLE–Georgia‚Äôs offseason strength and conditioning program is heading in another direction after a push by new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt for his players to get leaner.
‚ÄúYeah, it‚Äôs definitely going to,‚Äù Richt said Tuesday night before speaking at UGA Day at the Gainesville Civic Center. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôll modify because a few years ago we played somebody and got thrashed physically. ‚ÄòWe‚Äôve got to get stronger.‚Äô So we got stronger. ‚Ä¶We don‚Äôt want to give up being strong, but we‚Äôve got to move, change direction, recover quickly and play in space more rather than just wad up and just hammer.‚Äù
Richt said about 80 percent of the defensive players need to get slimmer to keep up with the uptempo offenses.
‚ÄúMost everybody is on a trim-down phase,‚Äù Richt said.
He added: ‚ÄúNot that we‚Äôre a bunch of fat guys but in some ways we‚Äôre strong and thick in the legs and rear and all that kind of thing. Not that you don‚Äôt want to be strong, but we‚Äôre willing to give up a little bit of size for quickness and the ability to recover quickly.‚Äù
The strength coaches and positions coaches talked about each player individually in meeting this week and Richt talked about each position group that needs to trim down on Tuesday.
‚ÄúI was going to say mostly linebackers and D-line, but there are some safeties we want to cut some more weight,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúA couple of little skinny corners we want to try to get a few more pounds on them and get a little more muscle on them so they can tackle.‚Äù
Here‚Äôs how Richt described the difference in the weight room.
‚ÄúInstead of just doing 10 bench presses and then I‚Äôm chilling and getting a drink of water and I‚Äôm coming back and get me 10 more and build strength, you want to build strength, endurance and even get your heart rate pumping,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúLift, lift, lift, boom, get a little quick blow. Boom, boom, boom. You‚Äôre building strength and endurance at the same time.
Richt arrived here after attending a meeting of Southeastern Conference football coaches in Birmingham earlier in the day where future schedules were discussed.
‚ÄúThat conversation was more of ‚ÄòThere ‚Äòs a lot of different options and think about them and we‚Äôll talk about it in Destin‚Äô kind of thing,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúIt was not a vote or a discussion really. It was kind of ‚ÄòHere are some possibilities, look them over and at least between now and then try to figure out what you like. It doesn‚Äôt mean we‚Äôre going to get to vote. I don‚Äôt think we as coaches will decide.‚Äù
Richt said he speaks to athletic director Greg McGarity about the subject and there‚Äôs consultation with UGA president Jere Morehead.
Georgia has supported eight-game schedules that keep the cross-divisional rivalry with Auburn on the schedule, but Richt said he wouldn‚Äôt comment ‚Äúright now. I don‚Äôt know if I‚Äôm supposed to so I‚Äôm just going to be quiet.‚Äù
SEC commissioner Mike Slive said Monday that SEC presidents and chancellors will vote on whether to add a ninth league game before the May 27-30 meetings in Destin, according to the Associated Press. Among the options are schedules with or without permanent cross-division opponents.
Alabama coach Nick Saban supports a nine-game schedule but said Tuesday after the coaches meeting: “I don’t think there’s any support for that,” according to the Tuscaloosa News.
Sounds like the No. 2 quarterback competition between Faton Bauta and Brice Ramsey will roll into the preseason. Richt said there is ‚Äúmore of a gap‚Äù between starter Hutson Mason and those two now.
–Richt had no news on discipline on the four players arrested before spring practice for double-dipping tuition checks. ‚ÄúNot yet. I‚Äôm not ready yet.‚Äù