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Slow-building recruiting class inside nation's top 5.


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HOOVER, Ala. - Mark Richt heard the grumbling on the spring Bulldog Club tour.

Fans expressed concern to the Georgia football coach about what seemed like a slow recruiting start to the Bulldogs' 2010 class.

Richt said he reassured them by telling them "It's going to be OK. We're evaluating and offering the right people. It's going to be fine."

In six weeks time starting on June 9, Georgia went from four verbal commitments to 18.

Most of the commitments came while staff members were in and out of the office on summer vacations.

"All kinds of things started flying," Richt said. "I'm laying on a lounge at the lake. The phone rings. 'Hey, I'm committing.' I'm working out and the phone rings 'Hey, I'm committing.' Coaches are calling 'So-and-so's committing.' We're on vacation and here comes all that stuff."

Now the Bulldogs' class is ranked third in the nation by Scout.com led by safety Alec Ogletree from Newnan and defensive tackle Garrison Smith of Douglass.

Not the same season opener

While talking about Georgia's season-opening game against a likely top-10 opponent, Richt noted two distinctions about the Sept. 5 game.

"Usually it's a home game, and usually it's not Oklahoma State," he said with a smile.

Richt said Georgia "might have bit off more than we should have," with its nonconference schedule that also includes Bowl Championship Series conference teams Arizona State and Georgia Tech.

Playing at Oklahoma State has quarterback Joe Cox's attention.

"That's going to be a huge challenge," Cox said. "A lot of people are saying that might be the toughest Georgia opener ever. We're all looking forward to it. It's a great test for us. It's going to probably be one of our biggest games of the season."

Gray could bring 'Wildcat' package

Georgia might have a package on offense to take advantage of quarterback Logan Gray's dual-threat capabilities whether he's the backup quarterback or not.

"If Logan Gray is not the No. 2 quarterback, we may still have a package for him separate from our overall package just because he is athletic enough to do those kinds of things that people do in the wildcat, whatever you want to call it," Richt said.

Richt said he won't hesitate to give the backup quarterback job to freshmen Aaron Murray or Zach Mettenberger if they earn it. If Gray deserves to be No. 2, Georgia might redshirt both Murray and Mettenberger.

"If I feel one is the true second-team quarterback, we will play him, get him as much experience as we can," Richt said. "

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