Kirby Smart emphasizes that Georgia is lucky to have Matt Luke on staff

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Kirby Smart emphasizes that Georgia is lucky to have Matt Luke on staff

UGA offensive line and associate head coach Matt Luke. 
Photo: University of Georgia Athletics.
UGA offensive line and associate head coach Matt Luke.
Photo: University of Georgia Athletics.

Georgia’s new offensive line coach Matt Luke has left no stone unturned when it comes to recruiting. Kirby Smart hired him less than 2 days after former offensive line coach Sam Pittman left for the head coaching job at Arkansas. Since Luke arrived in Athens he has been visiting recruits and trying to hold together Georgia’s class which features several offensive linemen.

Georgia lost 4-star talent Joshua Braun, who committed to the Florida Gators, but the Bulldogs were able to hold onto 4-star recruits Chad Lindberg and Tate Ratledge. Both Lindberg and Ratledge signed their letters of intent on Wednesday, Early Signing Day.

Matt Luke was able to also flip 3-star offensive lineman Devin Willock from Penn State and add Peach State 3-star product Austin Blaske on Wednesday. Since Luke was hired at Georgia, he has proven that he can be a great tool in Smart’s arsenal.

“We were really fortunate and excited to get him. The minute we found out about Sam (Pittman), he was the first guy who came to my mind and wanted to visit with,” Smart said Wednesday. “…he’s come in and put the band aide on the bleeding and done a tremendous job, turned those others around real quick and continues to recruit the other ones.”

Even though Luke has made great progress there is still work to be done on the recruiting front. Georgia still has commitments from 5-star Broderick Jones and 4-star Sedrick Van Pran who are planning to wait to sign on National Signing Day.

National Signing Day is Feb. 5th, 2020, and a lot can happen between then and now with those two guys. Both Jones and Van Pran have been recruited by multiple other SEC schools, and it won’t be surprising if some of Georgia’s conference competition tries to flip them.

Smart pointed out in Wednesday’s press conference that it wasn’t just Luke’s great recruiting ability that stuck out to him. Luke has coached with some of college football’s best and has earned a lot of respect throughout his career.

“I’ve had a lot of respect for the job that he did everywhere he’s been. He was at Duke, came up under coach David Cutcliffe, played for him and been a good friend of mine for a long time,” Smart said. “I’ve got a lot of respect for what he does and how he does it. I’ve been in the SEC with him for a while now, he’s a very sharp and intelligent guy and come to the realization of going on the road with him that he’s got command, he’s got presence, kids like him. They loved him as a head coach and for him to do what he’s done in as little a time as he’s had to do it, is remarkable. It was a tough timing situation.”

Kirby Smart Press Conference – Sugar Bowl/Early Signing Day – December 18th, 2019

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Currently an intern for BI, and a junior journalism major at the University of Georgia.