Posted: 12:24 pm Thursday, January 16th, 2014

1st big recruiting test for UGA’s new defensive coordinator (UPDATED) 

By Michael Carvell

  • UPDATE: “Georgia has rescheduled their visit with Lamont. Lamont spoke to Coach Pruitt (on Thursday), and assured him that he was still committed to Georgia,” Pine Forest High School coach Bill Sochovka told the AJC on  Friday morning.

What would one of UGA’s top football recruits do with his gigantic “Georgia Bulldogs” tattoo on both forearms if he ends up signing with another school?

“I asked him about that this morning, and he just laughed,” said the coach of 4-star defensive tackle Lamont Gaillard of Fayetteville, N.C. on Thursday.

If you look close enough, you can see Lamont Gaillard's new ink of loyalty to the "Georgia Bulldogs" on his Under Armour All-America game football card

If you look close enough, you can see Lamont Gaillard’s gigantic “Georgia Bulldogs” tattoo on his forearms on his Under Armour All-America game football card

The 6-foot-2, 310-pounder remains committed to UGA, but has scheduled an official visit to Miami for Jan. 24, and could go to Louisville the following week (nothing has been set up yet). Clemson and Florida have also expressed serious interest.

What all the sudden recruiting movement for Gaillard? What changed from only a few days ago? It was that UGA’s defensive staff underwent a major overhaul, including the departure of DL coach Chris Wilson to USC.

Wilson wasn’t the reason that Gaillard picked UGA, and he wasn’t even the Bulldogs coach who began the recruiting process with Gaillard (that was another assistant, John Lilly, who has North Carolina as his recruiting territory).

But Wilson has been Gaillard’s main connection to UGA since last spring. With Wilson gone, Gaillard doesn’t know exactly where he stands with the new staff.

However, all that could change by Friday. UGA coach Mark Richt, along with new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, will make an in-home visit with Gaillard and his mother.

“He’s still committed to UGA but when Coach Wilson left he decided to look at Miami and quite possibly Louisville,” Pine Forest High School coach Bill Sochovka said. “But it’s all predicated on how the visit goes with Coach Richt and Coach Pruitt tomorrow.

“Miami is a definite, and Louisville is going to see how it goes over the weekend. Like I said, I talked with Lamont today, and a lot of this has to do with Coach Wilson leaving. I think UGA could help kind of smooth it over by convincing him that it’s the right place for him, which I still think it is. And I think Lamont still thinks it’s the right place for him, too. He just wants to make sure.

“I asked Lamont this morning to give me an idea in his head where he was with things. He still has UGA as his favorite but he’s not as quite as sure as he was three days ago. With Coach Wilson leaving, that kind of opened his eyes a little bit. After our talk this morning, I feel better that he’s really committed to UGA. He just wanted to feel these other places out to make sure he’s in a good place.”

What about Clemson? “Clemson is still in but they’re waiting to see how the meeting goes between Coach Richt and Lamont.”

What about Florida? “They contacted him, but that’s not going to happen.”

Without a doubt, this will be the first major recruiting battle for Jeremy Pruitt as UGA’s new defensive coordinator – to keep one of the team’s top recruits calm and committed to the Bulldogs without a new DL coach named yet.

How do you think this will turn out? Please post below.

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40 comments
RedandBlackDAWG
RedandBlackDAWG

Red and Black DAWG Ignores Troll's Comments

It sounds like he most likely will still sign with UGA.   Coach Richt talking to both his parents and him,  along with the new DC should seal the deal. I think he can enjoy the same type of relationship with the new DC as he had with the position coach.

C-Kirk
C-Kirk

Pruitt got another 2015 commit this morning , 5- star Terry Godwin .

Gaillard hang in there you are going to be apart of this SEC Power switch.

ThomasBrown
ThomasBrown

Lamont Gaillard and Bryson Allen-Williams are both fine-looking young men any program would be proud to cheer, and bring great success to in their lives.


Not so much in this photo, but others I've seen, Lamont Gaillard just has a mean streak you've gotta love.


How do I see this meeting going between arguably one of the best recruiters all-time, Mark Richt, along with the Recruiter of the Year Award Winner both of the previous 2 seasons at Alabama and at FSU, now side-by-side with Mark Richt ?


I'd like to be Lamont Gaillard sitting there watching them both learn from each other for the 1st time in their relationship.  I know both Jeremy Pruitt and Mark Richt are looking forward to not only meeting Lamont Gaillard but getting to work together for the 1st time ever - the 2 guys who sit at the very top rung in college football recruiting.


While Mark Richt has gone only 54-26 his current 6-year period # 22 in the nation in Won/Lost, he is # 5 in wins for UGA 2001-2013, has 79 NFL Draft Picks tied with Southern California for  # 1 in the nation 2001-2013, and averages # 8 in Scout.com recruiting rankings 2001-2014 to-date.


How well will the 2 do together in this their 1st visit together ?  I bet you you wish you were there with Lamont Gaillard to see just how good the 2 are - certainly arguably the best 2 recruiters in the nation.


Georgia used to recruit great classes from time-to-time, but not until Mark Richt got here did UGA ever really string them together like this every year.  Actually, if you study it, only Southern California has averaged better recruiting classes every year since 2001 when Mark Richt got here.


# 5 in wins 2001-2013 for all FBS Schools is mighty impressive for an SEC team.


79 NFL Draft Picks, tied with only Southern California at 79 each 2001-2013, validates just how good a recruiter Mark Richt is - and that before Tuesday when a protégé of Mark Richt finally got to join him here - both long recognizing the other's talent.


What specific talent, you ask ?


Recruiting.  You don't win the Award as the Best Recruiter in the nation 2 years in a row with 2 different schools in 2 different conferences, and not be great.


And, you aren't 2nd best average recruiting ranking 2001-2013 your entire career as verified by NFL agreeing with 2nd most NFL Draft Picks 2001-2013, both to only Southern California.


Note please California has 38 million population and Georgia 10 million.


How will it go for Lamont Gaillard ?


Fixing to have his socks knocked-off, and he knows who's coming - both of them.  So for Lamont Gaillard to have his socks knocked-off by this dynamic duo, they will have to be who I make the case they in fact both are, and together just 2 really fine men to lead any recruit and assay any coach and family.


Oh, yeah, they both have won everywhere they have been to.


And both send their recruits to the NFL.


Not that anyone looks at any of that.


Nah.


You do a really great job of recruiting and love your headline come-ons you use to entice all for hits, Michael Carvell.  The kids just have to love you.  Where else is there anyone who full-time writes for a newspaper about recruiting ?  That tells you all you need to know.  There isn't even a sportswriter assigned to Georgia Southern University at the AJ-C; but there absolutely is the world's best recruiting columnist and unlike Scout.com and Rivals or even ESPN or the others, your columns are free.


I'm sorry but in 2014 with the ads at the top of every AJ-C page we all click all the time, that is hugely important that the AJ-C has someone who does so well at his profession that folks recognize.  I've read you for years now; we all have.


A hearty thank you Michael Carvell from the kids - from me to you sir !

DawgByte
DawgByte

I'll come out and admit, I'm not an astronaut or an Astro Physicist, but I've never understood why we recruit by territories and not by position. Can someone help me out?


Call me crazy, but if I'm an ILB with an I.Q. above 8 I'd probably scratch my head and say "Why is Georgia's WR's coach contacting me?"

C-Kirk
C-Kirk

Looks like Mr. Gaillard  has been satisfied after talking to Pruitt. I'm sure he got every Recruiter trying to convince him that Georgia was about to fall apart. Pruitt probably told him who he was trying to get to take Wilson's Coaching job if he actually left. Lamont needs to realize that Richt and Georgia is not going to make a bad hire Coaching our Defensive Line. I hope that our Offense can stay up with the Defensive team that Pruitt is putting together. I will be surprised if Georgia doesn't get some flips. 

C-Kirk
C-Kirk

Confirmed at Scout and 247 . His name is Rico McGraw.

C-Kirk
C-Kirk

Pruitt just got a commit from the # 1 Recruit from Tennessee for 2015. Can anyone confirm?

RangeRover
RangeRover

If he's truly willing to consider playing for Bobby Petrino then I would invite him to visit other schools.  Someone this dumb, coupled with showing up overweight this season, qualifies to play for Petrino or Auburn.

thebucket
thebucket

By morning this may be a mute point because Wilson is reconsidering from what I am hearing.

ruffdawg
ruffdawg

Making changes on this Defensive staff is worth some sacrifices, especially if you can't coach them up. The only position coach that we lost that has me alittle concern is the DL position... …I think we need a Alpha-Male hopefully someone with Uga ties like a R.Seymour? And maybe a R.Shannon .

slydawg
slydawg

Chuck Smith for D-line coach...DUH!!!! It would get him away from that awful show

slydawg
slydawg

Raise your hand if you knew a few days ago this was gonna come back and bite Gilliard in the a**?...lmao

Dawg-Gawn
Dawg-Gawn

Jeremy Pruitt and Mark Richt plan to visit in home with Lamont Gaillard tomrrow... Rumor at the moment for UGA at DL coach is Chris Rumph... ex Bama DL coach and currently the DL coach at the University of Texas....

UGA extended a scholarship offer today to 2014 3* OT Derrick Kelly 6' 5" 295lbs Havana FL (East Gadsden)... Kelly currently favoring LSU 50% or FSU 50%... Pruitt was the primary recruiter for Kelly when employed by FSU... Derrick is set to visit UGA on Jan 31st...

2014 recruits WR Rico Johnson, S Tavon Ross and DB Shattle Fenteng will all be visiting UGA this weekend..

Rumor... UGA might have a WR de-commit soon...

"BELIEVE" in the G

UnderTheBleacherstoo
UnderTheBleacherstoo

One has to wonder what the I.Q. Level of some of these kids are who at 17 or 18 go out and get a school's name tatted on their body before they even play a down for the school.....errr R. Foster now at Alabama for one.

JP must have been promised something at Ga to make him leave all that talent in Tally. We all know he is confident but it will take him a year or at least the spring to run off all of those players who play as individuals instead of a team. If he can get assistants who work as hard as he does then they will be okay, but if CMR does not let him off his chain to change the attitude of some players currently in Athens then it will be all for nothing.

JP can recruit, but is Richt willing to work as hard as Jeremy? Time will tell!

tomkat1111
tomkat1111

Toad, your future is obviously sitting in front of a computer all day, trying to argue how great Tech's football team is and how bad UGA's football team is. Does your boss pay you for that ?

POAD2013
POAD2013

If you like Football and the military here is a good book to read.

All American by Steve Eubanks. 

It is about the 2001 Army Navy game and the lives to of 2 players that served in Iraq.


For recruits and parents this is a great statement to what a good college and degree can do for your future.


"Recruiters for Fortune 500 companies listed the most sought-after college graduates as those from, in order:

1 West point

2 the Naval Academy

3 the Air Force Academy

4 Massachusetts Institute of technology

5 Harvard

6 Yale

Stanford, Brown, Princeton, and, oddly enough, Georgia Institute of Technology have slipped in and out of the fifth and sixth slots, but no school has knocked Army and Navy off the top in almost three decades."


If that isn't a reason to send your kids to THE INSTITUTE or for a recruit to choose GEORGIA TECH then your future is not the focus. Football is a DREAM but a Degree from these schools is a FUTURE.


SinceVince
SinceVince

What I want to see if Pruitt flip a recruit to come to UGA.  If he can do that then you'll know for sure we got a good one!  Hire Warren Belin!

OkieDawg
OkieDawg

Time for CMR to call his old pal, Manny Diaz @ Middle TN. St.. Offer him a nice salary as the DL and OLB coach. Now that's another great hire. This would be great for UGA and would get Diaz back in the mainstream of the college football world.

Farcas
Farcas

He will stay with UGA after meeting with Pruitt and Richt. Story over.

96JB
96JB

Next year will be the money year for Pruitt in recruiting. He will get on the cream early and sell them on UGA

BCB
BCB

DAWG all the way!

96JB
96JB

Dawgs paying Richt 4 mil per year less than Saban, and 3 mil less than Miles. Dang. Pony up and upgrade this staff.

96JB
96JB

All defensive staff gone, which is a good thing. Recruiting is what it is. Trust Coach Pruitt and Richt to make some face to face meetings and save some guys, and maybe add some. More to come

C-Kirk
C-Kirk

South Carolina just gave every position Coach a guaranteed 2 year contract with a raise and one a 3 year contract. Georgia needs to find great position Coaches sign them for 2 year minimum and pay them enough that we don't have to worry about losing them every year. 

Richt needs to find Warren Belin and give him 100K more than he is making and a 2 year contract. That would solve  Special Teams and Lineback. 

If Pruitt does the job we hope he will , especially in recruiting , in 2014 Georgia needs to extend his contract to 5 years and raise him to 1.3 Million. Of course that would mean that Bobo will get a huge raise also but if you are going to build a staff worth keeping Georgia is going to have to get off the money.

DaltonbywayofBickley
DaltonbywayofBickley

Pruitt and Richt should be able to make the case UGA's an even strong program now.

Lambert Dawg
Lambert Dawg

Much has happened since this past weekend. I understand Lamonts concern.  I feel confident that after he meets coach Pruitt he will remain committed.  Let's hope we get the new position coaches hired ASAP.  This is another example of the importance of  "continuity"  that coach Richt is always emphasizing.

thebucket
thebucket

@C-Kirk I wonder where the story is about this on the ajc recruiting blog?

BrownDog
BrownDog

@Dawg-Gawn Well the guy who took Rumph's job in Tuscaloosa wasn't with USC long enough for a latte. So Rumph doing the same to Texas somehow seems appropriate. Rumph is another good recruiter; up in the air as a position coach, however. 


POAD2013
POAD2013

@tomkat1111 Yes, I do pay myself for posting when I'm in the office.

I guess you get that GoMent check and EBT card so the taxpayers(me included) are paying are for you to post.

RedandBlackDAWG
RedandBlackDAWG

@POAD2013The reason the military academies are rated so high, has a lot more with the way that these graduates earn their degree in a tough environment as much as how educated they may end up. Getting a degree from a service academy requires a whole lot more than getting one from someplace else. 

The service takes dedication and commitment to succeed in, and the leadership skills one gathers in the service are hard to beat.

DoubleNaughtSpy
DoubleNaughtSpy

@POAD2013

What a stupid post.  How many millions of college graduates in the work force are doing quite fine  with their careers without having attended those supposed top institutions?

MoistDawg
MoistDawg

@POAD2013 i noticed that tech isnt in the 5 or 6 slot in the book or right now. loosing at that to i guess!  by the way all those 6 schools and tech together couldnt beat us on our worse day.

96JB
96JB

@C-KirkDawgs have the money. Lesser schools ( poorer) tossing around bigger money. You got to pay to play. Bobo NEEDS a raise. They are taking advantage of him. He needs to be at 850K also.

UnderTheBleacherstoo
UnderTheBleacherstoo

@kerryb@UnderTheBleacherstoo , definitely do not believe anything you post or type.  The problem you have is that everything I posted above is true and you do not have an argument.  Go back and research your next dumb post.

POAD2013
POAD2013

@DoubleNaughtSpy you don't read to well. Yes, plenty of people do fine with degrees from many schools. The BEST Companies....the Fortune 500 companies have learned over a long time that those schools mentioned produce constantly the Best and Brightest. By looking at grads from those listed schools these companies stay at the top of their industries. 

C-Kirk
C-Kirk

@96JB @C-Kirk 

I agree . When we do find a really good position Coach we need to pay top money with at least a 2 year contract. Richt is not very good at separating Coaching evaluations from Recruiting talent , Coaching talent and personality or do they fit in at Georgia , so by giving top money and at least a 2 year contract at least Georgia can attract great Recruiters and Coaches. We have got to stop keeping bad Coaches or bad Recruiters longer than we should just because they are good, well liked people and by giving more than one year contract and top money we will hit more home run that strike out's  with position Coaches. 

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@C-Kirk@96JB


It is common knowledge that Richt gave assistants money out of his own pockets. Does that tell you anything?????????????

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@C-Kirk@96JB


Why can't you and your ilk get it through thick skulls that CMR  does NOT determine the salaries of his staff. He can only recommend. That's how we had the pleasure of watching T Grantham walking the UGA sidelines. The holders of the purse strings would not give up the money to hire CMRs top 3 choices so Grantham(4th choice) got the job. That's a fact so get your heads out of your azzes and learn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It appears maybe the holders of the purse strings have learned!!!!!!!!!!