GAINESVILLE–Georgia’s 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.
“Yeah, it’s definitely going to,” Richt said Tuesday night before speaking at UGA Day at the Gainesville Civic Center. “It’ll modify because a few years ago we played somebody and got thrashed physically. ‘We’ve got to get stronger.’ So we got stronger. …We don’t want to give up being strong, but we’ve got to move, change direction, recover quickly and play in space more rather than just wad up and just hammer.”
Richt said about 80 percent of the defensive players need to get slimmer to keep up with the uptempo offenses.
“Most everybody is on a trim-down phase,” Richt said.
He added: “Not that we’re a bunch of fat guys but in some ways we’re strong and thick in the legs and rear and all that kind of thing. Not that you don’t want to be strong, but we’re willing to give up a little bit of size for quickness and the ability to recover quickly.”
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.
“I was going to say mostly linebackers and D-line, but there are some safeties we want to cut some more weight,” Richt said. “A 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.”
Here’s how Richt described the difference in the weight room.
“Instead of just doing 10 bench presses and then I’m chilling and getting a drink of water and I’m coming back and get me 10 more and build strength, you want to build strength, endurance and even get your heart rate pumping,” Richt said. “Lift, lift, lift, boom, get a little quick blow. Boom, boom, boom. You’re 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.
“That conversation was more of ‘There ‘s a lot of different options and think about them and we’ll talk about it in Destin’ kind of thing,” Richt said. “It was not a vote or a discussion really. It was kind of ‘Here are some possibilities, look them over and at least between now and then try to figure out what you like. It doesn’t mean we’re going to get to vote. I don’t think we as coaches will decide.”
Richt said he speaks to athletic director Greg McGarity about the subject and there’s 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’t comment “right now. I don’t know if I’m supposed to so I’m just going to be quiet.”
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 “more of a gap” 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. “Not yet. I’m not ready yet.”