HOOVER, Ala. — With just 10 days before Georgia begins fall practice, head coach Mark Richt is still waiting on one more recruit to arrive.
Lineman Kwame Geathers still hasn’t qualified officially, and while Richt remains confident that he will, nothing is set in stone yet.
“The only guy who hasn’t been in is Geathers, and we still expect him to be here,” Richt said. “There’s a couple more hoops that he had to jump through that hopefully he’s jumping through right now.”
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Norwood figures to be South Carolina’s defensive leader when the Gamecocks arrive in Athens on Sept. 12, but if he knew in high school what he knows now, he might have been in the opposite locker room.
Georgia recruited Norwood heavily, he said, but issues with his grades - he had a 1.6 GPA at the end of his senior season - forced the Bulldogs to give up their pursuit.
“I had a grade problem,” Norwood said. “Clearinghouse was like a 2.3, but by then it was too late. Teams have to recruit.”
Auburn and Oklahoma State joined South Carolina in offering a scholarship to Norwood, but the majority of the other teams that had shown interest dropped out after learning of his grades. Once he chose South Carolina, it took three tries before he could be admitted. The process was a lesson learned for the All-SEC linebacker.
Since joining the Gamecocks, Norwood has turned his academic life around. He has made the Dean’s list five times, he said, and he is scheduled to graduate in December.
The key, Norwood said, was simple. He just had to commit to his studies and believe he could do it.
“Applying myself, that’s the main thing,” Norwood said. “In high school, I used just walk around the halls and stuff like that. Now, we have a great academic support staff, and they let me believe that if I didn’t have football, I could still succeed academically in college.”
GIVING UP ALREADY?
Tebow was the dominant topic of conversation throughout media days, and Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin knows why. His fan base may hope the Volunteers will be national championship contenders this year, but Kiffin is already handing the title over to the Gators and their star quarterback.
“I think there will be a million articles written after Tim has another great year,” Kiffin said. “With all the great players, they’ll win another national championship. He’ll win a Heisman. I’m serious about that. I really believe that.”