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Saturday, February 16, 2013
UGA week in review: Richt's raise

By David Ching

ATHENS, Ga. -- Perhaps the biggest news to surface around DawgNation this week was that the UGA Athletic Association’s board of directors approved a raise and contract extension for football coach Mark Richt, extending his deal through 2017 and pushing his base pay to $3.2 million.

Mark Richt
On the heels of Georgia's 12-2 season, coach Mark Richt was rewaarded with a raise and contract extension.
Athletic director Greg McGarity said after the board meeting that he expects to offer a pay raise to offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, as well, although he did not yet have any specifics to divulge.

Otherwise, the time between national signing day and spring practice (which starts March 2) is typically quiet around the football program. The players are participating in offseason workouts and mat drills, and the 13 newcomers who enrolled in January are getting familiar with their surroundings on campus.

We focused on several of those newcomers in stories this week:

• Freshman safety Quincy Mauger plans to work toward a degree in Georgia’s brand-new civil engineering program.

• Fellow freshman safety Tray Matthews apparently has hit the big time already in that someone saw fit to start a parody Twitter account to poke fun at him.

• Junior college transfer Chris Mayes and prep school signee John Atkins look to help answer Georgia’s questions at nose guard following the departures of John Jenkins and Kwame Geathers.

• Mayes is a particularly interesting case in that he has been playing football only since his junior year of high school. This will be just his fourth competitive season in the sport.

• We threw it out to the members on our message board, The Pound, to discuss their thoughts on Georgia landing just one of ESPN’s top 10 in-state prospects on national signing day. We shared some of their thoughts in a blog post earlier this week. Look for our package Monday that delves deeper into the career paths of players who previously have made ESPN’s list of the top 10 players in Georgia. The numbers might surprise you.

On the recruiting trail ...

• Georgia missed on landing Alvin Kamara on signing day, but it is in great shape with a pair of running backs for the 2014 class. ESPN Watch List running back Nick Chubb (Cedartown, Ga./Cedartown) revealed that Georgia is his leader. That might change as he takes visits to Tennessee, Ohio State and Florida, but for now the Bulldogs are the team to beat. Georgia also is in great shape with ESPN Watch List running back Sony Michel (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage). He recently named Georgia as one of his top five schools and spoke highly of Richt’s coaching staff.

• Georgia is hosting a recruiting junior day today. You can find our list of confirmed visitors here. Among the notables are defensive ends Dante Sawyer, Andrew Williams and Bryson Allen-Williams. Sawyer is the only one of the three that does not have an offer, but he likely will receive one from Richt on his visit. Defensive tackles Elisha Shaw and Kendall Baker are expected to visit, as are defensive backs Nick Glass, Nick Ruffin and Wesley Green. Offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. also is expected to attend.

• In another couple of quick notes, Georgia's new defensive line coach offered a scholarship to Hiawatha (Kan.) High School defensive end Peyton Newell this week. The 6-foot-2, 275-pound junior has been picking up offers in bunches over the last few weeks and is closing in on 30 verbal offers. His father, Frank Newell, said they plan to visit Georgia either for a spring practice or in the summer.

Another Georgia verbal offer went out to Freedom (Ca.) High School running back Joe Mixon. The ESPN Watch List tailback has offers from 27 schools from across the country. He told DawgNation he received the offer on Thursday.

Whole lot of shaking going on ...

• College campuses across the country quickly became flush with students filming “Harlem Shake” videos this week, and Georgia’s was no different. In fact, very few of the bizarrely amusing viral videos have been viewed any more than one put together by members of Georgia’s men’s swimming and diving team. As of this writing, it was closing in on 5 million views on YouTube.

Georgia’s football team followed with a “Harlem Shake” video of its own Wednesday evening. It opens with strength coach Joe Tereshinski lurching about while the players do a conditioning drill behind him before the bass drops and mayhem ensues. Personal favorites are an umbrella-wielding Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Conley in a Star Wars getup complete with light saber.

In non-football news ...

• Georgia saw its five-game winning streak -- the program’s longest in a decade -- in men’s basketball come to an end on Tuesday night when Alabama defeated the Bulldogs 52-45. Here are our postgame notes from the game.

If you haven’t had enough Harlem Shaking, Georgia’s student section participated in one during a timeout at the game.

The Bulldogs (12-12, 6-5 SEC) visit Ole Miss tonight at 8 p.m. ET.

• David Perno’s UGA baseball team also opens its season with a three-game series this weekend at Georgia Southern. The Bulldogs are scheduled to play today in Statesboro at 2:30 p.m. and will wrap up the series at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Their home opener is Wednesday, Feb. 20, against Kennesaw State at 5 p.m., and the Bulldogs will host Belmont for a three-game series next weekend.