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Bowl prep on hold for recruiting

ATHENS, Ga. – As a result of a recent rule change for FBS programs, many staffs could face a choice in the coming days between time spent recruiting future players or coaching current ones.

(Photo by Philip Williams/UGA Sports Communications)

Georgia has chosen recruiting.

The Bulldogs will not use their full allotment of 15 allowable bowl practices this year, according to UGA coach Mark Richt, and one of the reasons is the NCAA's move to recently extend the postseason recruiting dead period to a full month.

The upcoming dead period (during which no in-person contact with recruits is allowed) will coincide with winter holidays, bowl season and the AFCA coaches convention, lasting from Dec. 16, 2013 through Jan 15, 2014. (View the NCAA’s full FBS recruiting calendar here)

So after the regular season concluded Saturday, Richt wasted little time, meeting Monday with assistants and “Making sure that we’re going to get everybody in the right spots that they need to be in between now and the dead period.”

UGA coaches have been on the road recruiting this week and it should largely stay that way next week as well, even though the Bulldogs will have learned their bowl opponent by Sunday at the latest.

Basically, new recruiting restrictions in January means Georgia's staff will spend the coming week making up that time. So formal bowl preparation in Athens will be on hold while that happens

“We want to recruit before this dead period begins,” Richt said Tuesday on his weekly radio show. “So we’ll probably practice 11 or 12 times instead of 15, which will cut down on a little bit of that time with the younger guys, but there will be plenty of time for that in the spring.”

Georgia has not finalized a bowl practice schedule yet while waiting to officially know its destination. Richt has said bowl practice will begin about the time of the team’s annual Gala banquet event, which is scheduled for Dec. 14.

In the meantime, the week’s recruiting efforts are well underway for UGA’s coaches, and they’re being followed here, here and here.

“We’re always thinking recruiting all year round,” Richt said Tuesday, “but now the rubber meets the road, and literally the tires meet the road of all the travel that we have to go into all these different schools and homes. You’ve got to get a lot of work done in a short amount of time and still prepare for your bowl game, hopefully enjoy an easier Christmas holiday, and then the day after Christmas you go to whatever bowl site we’ll be at and get ready to go.”

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