National Signing Day signaled a transition for Kirby Smart and his newly hired staff. They will now shift from chasing high school players to getting to know the returning members of the team.
When asked last Wednesday afternoon about the next priority for the staff after signing day and a short time to decompress, Kirby Smart answered.
“Get our hands on our players. Get into the offseason conditioning program and get around them. We can start some meetings on some football stuff. As a staff, we’re starting some on quality control next week. I’m really looking forward to that. That’s the part that I enjoy most, the relationship with the players, not the chasing and not the recruiting part as much as the guys that are here, building a trust and bond with them and convincing them that the core of our team next year is on this campus. We’ve got to develop that so that we can be a good, productive football team next year.”
Another area that Smart will concern himself is filling out his support staff. Quality control personnel have become a major part of the staff at all Power5 programs and Georgia is expanding it QC staff under Smart.
“The support staff is a continual process. It’s not something that’s just `alright we’re going to be done by this date.’ A lot of places want to get through signing day so guys can then move after signing day, hold their spots. We have more support staff to hire. That’s kind of next on the agenda. Some of those issues were not pressing for recruiting. The time dedication for me in the last two or three weeks was all in on recruiting. Now the time dedication moves to our team and getting our team better, which includes some of the support staff roles. We’ll have some more to hire. Specifically, which ones I can’t tell you that right now. But we’re going to have a few more guys come on board in the next few weeks.”
Coach Smart is looking forward to the next phase in the development of his program.
“As far as the work hours and the demands and the stress level, I think it was a great start to be doing all of that at once. Now it feels like it’s easing off because you had the pedal to the metal to start out. It was a challenge to do all of that early on.”
For fans, G-Day (April 16) is next. The staff is continuing with requests for a full Sanford Stadium on April 16 when the core of the 2016 squad will debut The Smart System.