Georgia football revived the “blackout” in 2016, but the Dawgs are yet to wear the black uniforms on the field since then.
After the embarrassing loss to Alabama in 2008, Georgia football retired the black jerseys. Fans didn’t want to see them for a while since they were now attached to one of the most disappointing losses of the Mark Richt era. As time went on, fans warmed back up to the “blackout” and in the summer of 2016, athletic director Greg McGarity confirmed that the Bulldogs would wear the black jerseys again later that year.
The jerseys and the “blackout” monicker returned late in the season in a victory over Louisiana Lafayette. At the time, fans thought black jerseys were here to stay. But another embarrassing loss squashed the “blackout” again. This time, the blowout to Auburn in 2017 forced the team to get serious again. No black jerseys were worn the following week against Kentucky. Fans thought Georgia would don black again in 2018, but they remained absent from the field.
However, the black Georgia football jerseys aren’t absent from the program altogether. In fact, they’ve began playing a prominent role with recruiting. Every recruit who takes an official visit to Athens is outfitted and pictured with the black jerseys. And they’re not replicas. They are the authentic Nike game jerseys. The same you would see on the field.
It’s clear that Kirby Smart doesn’t care about wearing black jerseys. He’s afraid of them becoming a distraction to players. Talk about the jerseys physically annoyed him in press conferences this past year. But he still understands their importance. Smart knows the recruits love them, so he’s turned them into a neat little recruiting tool. Players aren’t just pictured in Georgia’s traditional home and away styles. They get to see themselves in the black as well. Based on the last three recruiting classes, it’s hard to argue with the black jerseys results?