Eye on the U

Think Mark Richt (tweet-tweet) is pumped about UM commits? You’re correct.

Mark Richt addressess reporters after practice Tuesday, March 28, 2017.
Mark Richt addressess reporters after practice Tuesday, March 28, 2017. Photo by Susan Miller Degnan.

You’ve probably seen them: the emotive tweets from University of Miami football coach Mark Richt and his assistants after a future Hurricane (or supposedly future Hurricane) commits to the U on social media, a practice that is now common.

The NCAA now permits coaches to retweet recruits’ posts on Twitter, despite those coaches not being permitted to publicly address or describe the person by name.

On Monday night, it was high school All-American safety Gurvan Hall, a four-star player out of Palm Beach Lakes, giving his pledge after 9 p.m., with Richt and receivers coach Ron Dugans visibly pumped – at least according to their tweets and posts from the other assistant coaches, such as tight ends coach Todd Hartley.

Hall’s commitment came a few hours after Miami Southridge receiver Mark Pope, another four-star recruit and All-American, pledged.

“It’s mostly me,’’ Richt said with a grin Tuesday of his nearly immediate tweets of joy after the commitments are posted on social media. “Sometimes I’ll ask somebody when I’m a little dry. But it’s mostly me figuring it out.’’

“We like it,’’ Richt said. “[Monday] night obviously was an exciting night for all that kind of stuff. I think the fans like it. I think the kids like it. Recruiting, when you’re having success – or, at least, perceived success – is fun.’’

Verbal commitments are not binding, so coaches have learned to keep situations in perspective.

“Nothing is done until signing day,’’ Richt said. “We know that. Until a guy comes midyear or until a guy signs, it’s all hopeful. But I do think we have the right kind of people who are choosing to commit because they love the place, not because we’re trying to push them into it or coerce them into it. They’re excited about what’s happening and they want to be here. At least they feel that way today. We’ll see how it goes as we go.”

Dugans said Tuesday that he “never’’ gets “too excited about anything.’’ But he does an excellent job making you think otherwise by his creative tweeting.

“I try to be creative,’’ Dugans said. “Just trying to create a buzz and get back that old Miami feel, and trying to do things the right way. Try to have the fans involved and do stuff right and try to be clean with everything.’’

“I’m humble,’’ Dugans added, laughing. “I’m excited, but my grandma always taught me a long time ago just to stay humble.

“I want to see that ink on the dotted line,’’ he said, referring to National Signing Day. “I’m always happy if everybody else is happy.’’

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