Mark Richt is praying for Georgia's next commitment — literally.
On Wednesday, Richt is attending a Baptist church in Clyattville, Ga., with five-star linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons and his family. Harvey-Clemons says Georgia is in a three-way tie for his services with Florida and Florida State and will make his final decision next week on signing day, Feb. 1.
In the meantime, those three head coaches have done their best to win the affections of the Peach State's best player, who has drawn explicit comparisons to DeMarcus Ware. Richt's recruiting tactic is exactly original: According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Florida coach Will Muschamp attended services with Harvey-Clemons in an attempt to with both his — and we figure God's — favor.
"We gave everybody a heads up, and they were surprised to see [Muschamp]," Josh's grandfather, Woodrow Clemons, told the AJC. "And the collection plate was equally surprised."
Here's a likely schedule for Richt on Wednesday night, according to Clemons: Shortly after the 6 p.m. service begins, Richt will be recognized by the minister and given the opportunity to introduce himself to congregation and make a brief statement. What did Muschamp say? "He introduced himself and said how glad he was to be there … nothing that long," Clemons said.
After the 90-minute Bible study ends, Richt will take a few Facebook pictures and then huddle in a conference room at the church with Harvey-Clemons and his family for the rest of the night.
While Clemons insists his grandson hasn't made up his mind, Richt does have a small leg up on Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher. Fisher also tried to come to church with Harvey-Clemons and his family Wednesday, but Richt beat him to the punch. Fisher had to settle for a Thursday lunch.
Clemons said even though Florida and Georgia have been the frontrunners for his grandson's services, Florida State has emerged late after Harvey-Clemons official visit last week. With Florida State's proximity to Harvey-Clemons' hometown and several other Lowndes High players already attending FSU, the Seminoles could be the frontrunner.
- Mark Richt