Kirby Smart is a recruiter. He has proven his ability to persuade young men to play for him at Alabama and has not missed a beat after transferring back home to Athens.
How does he approach the task of building quality depth at UGA?
[su_quote style=”modern-light” cite=”” url=””]“They know coming in that there’s a certain standard of excellence that I’m used to that they’re going to be held to. There’s also a certain standard of expectations that they’re going to be held to at the University of Georgia. If they understand that and they know what the expectation is, to be great, to win championships, to do things the right way, to go to the SEC Championship, to win the SEC East, when you build all those things with building blocks, you focus on what it takes to get you there, not the actual result — I think they’ve seen that product. They’ve seen me be part of that product for nine years. I really want them to understand that those are the goals and that’s what we want to do. I think there’s proof in the pudding. We’ve got to use that in recruiting, and we will.”[/su_quote]
Recruiting is important to Coach Smart, but he is also keenly aware of the talent inside the State and is making a concentrated effort to reel in the Georgia boys.
[su_quote style=”modern-light” cite=”” url=””] “You look at the production of players in the NFL, per capita the state of Georgia is very talented. When you look at it, the quality of coaching the kids get, the programs in the state of Georgia are really, really good. When you look at all the rosters in the SEC, that’s the one common theme is every team in the SEC is coming to the state of Georgia to get players. It’s critical for us to be successful to get good players out of our state. To say you’ll get them all, I don’t think that’s realistic. It’s a state that’s attacked by so many because it’s got Atlanta and it’s got a network to get out and go to the other places. Obviously, it’s important to us, critical to our success. There’ll be needs we’ll have each year that we won’t be able to fill in our state. So, it’s not to say that we’ll only recruit in our state. We’ve got to go out to Florida. We’ve got to go out to North Carolina. We’ve got to go out to other areas and get needs. Just like our quarterback (Jacob Eason), you’ve got to find what you need and try to fill voids there.”
The new emphasis on in-state recruiting is having an effect on Marietta running back Trey Sermon, according to an interview with Trent Smallwood of UGASports.com:
[su_quote style=”modern-light” cite=”” url=””] “The new staff is very interesting. I got a better feeling from them,” Sermon said. “Just all the coaches in general. Coach Smart went out and hired a great group of guys.”
“They have for sure improved their chances for me,” Sermon answered. “It is definitely a school I am interested in now.”