Dawg Night got started with a bang.
University of Georgia head coach Mark Richt got great news Friday with commitment No. 20 for the 2013 class. Interestingly enough, it was the second time he had received the news that Quincy Mauger (Marietta, Ga./Kell) wanted to play for him.
Last month, the 6-foot, 200-pound safety competed at the Mark Richt Camp, earning an offer from the Bulldogs. A few days later, he knew he needed to secure his spot at Georgia.
“When I called Coach Richt, he told me how great Georgia was,” Mauger said. “I already knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. A lot of kids line up to play for them.
"I told Mark Richt that I wanted to commit, but I wanted to surprise my mom and make it official with her in person at Dawg Night. He said he was very happy but would be ecstatic when I make it official.”
Earlier on Friday, Mauger arrived with his mom and toured the academic facilities. That played a key part in his decision.
“I have done my research on academics and their engineering department,” Mauger said. “I also did my research on Coach [Todd] Grantham and he is a wonderful person with an amazing track record. I respect everything about him, the coaching staff and the Georgia tradition. It feels great to be a Dawg.”
Mauger thinks the opportunity to stay in-state will make life easier for his mother, and he is looking forward to playing with other top prospects in Georgia.
“She is going to be very happy being able to have me stay close to home, and I am very excited about teaming up with Tray Matthews (Newnan, Ga./Newnan) and Shaq Wiggins (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek) on defense,” Mauger said.
Now the attention will turn to Mauger’s teammate and Georgia’s top cornerback prospect, Brendan Langley (Marietta, Ga./Kell). Coach Cook is not sure if Mauger’s presence on the commitment list will bring Langley, too, but he thinks the chance for the teammates to continue playing together cannot hurt the Bulldogs’ chances.
“The more information Brendan is able to gather from all of the schools the better,” Cook said. “I do know he and Quincy are close friends, so that is always comforting to go to a place that you have some familiar faces and guys you have that bond with.”
There will be no heavy pitch from Mauger to Langley. He intends to keep it simple.
“I am just going to tell him what sold me and hopefully he will buy into being a part of our class,” Mauger said.
Kell head coach Derek Cook thinks the Bulldogs got a solid addition in Mauger.
“I am excited for him and his family that he is going to be able to further his education at a great school like Georgia,” Cook said. “I am very excited for the Georgia coaching staff that they are going to get a player of Quincy’s caliber and character. His work ethic and attention to detail is top shelf. Physically being a 200-pound safety at the high school level is not a normal occurrence. Georgia is getting a good one and I can see him making contributions in Athens, if not early then certainly down the line.”
Coming into the Mark Richt Camp, Mauger’s offers included UCF, Iowa State, Navy and Ohio. Cook thinks bigger programs would have offered if they saw the speed development from Mauger, aided by his spring track efforts on the Kell relay team, the triple jump and the hurdles. Cook also pointed out his improvement over the summer in man-to-man coverage. The Longhorns head coach is not sure if Mauger is done growing.
“When he ran in the mid 4.5 range, that was enough for Georgia to pull the trigger,” Cook said. “He could bulk up and be a 220-225 pound safety that is physical and athletic, or he could hit a growth spurt and be 6-foot-2 to 6-foot-3 and 240-250 pounds. It is not unheard of for a 17- to 18-year-old kid that to get in a college program and focus on football instead of running track and grow into an outside linebacker. He has that versatility because he is 200 pounds now.”