University of Miami coach Mark Richt has played sizable role in helping shape 2018 Patriots

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(Ron Elkman/Sports Imagery/ Getty Images)

Through the years, Bill Belichick has always leaned on a collection of college coaches like Nick Saban, Urban Meyer and Greg Schiano to provide NFL-ready prospects. It appears Mark Richt is this year’s model.

Honestly, if the 2018 Patriots end up winning it all, the University of Miami coach will deserve some sort of acknowledgment for his role in New England’s roster-building process. He coached and/or recruited six current Patriots as collegians: Isaiah Wynn, Sony Michel, David Andrews, Malcolm Mitchell and John Atkins all played for Richt when he was at Georgia, while Braxton Berrios spent the last two seasons with Richt at Miami.

Wynn, Michel, Andrews, Mitchell and Atkins were teammates on the 2014 Georgia team -- in all, there are five ex-Bulldogs on the current roster, tied for most on the team. (That's compared the four current Rutgers' alums.) On Thursday, Andrews was asked if this makes Georgia the new Rutgers.

“Is Georgia the new Rutgers?” he replied with a smile. “Oh, I’m going to have to talk to (Devin McCourty) and (Duron Harmon) about that and all those guys. We might be now. We’ll have to see.”

This week, Richt reflected on what made that 2014 Georgia group special, both on and off the field.