Georgia football: When one leaves, Kirby Smart brings better

Kirby Smart embraces the national championship trophy during Saturday's celebration at Sanford Stadium in Athens.News Joshua L Jones
Kirby Smart embraces the national championship trophy during Saturday's celebration at Sanford Stadium in Athens.News Joshua L Jones /

Georgia football fans are attached to the players that choose the Dawgs, and while that is perfectly okay, sometimes good players transfer. Even when the Dawgs lose talented players, one thing is certain, head coach Kirby Smart has a talented guy waiting to come.

When those players transfer, it doesn’t mean it’s a dig on Georgia, and it sure doesn’t mean fans should hate people for making a business decision.

Jermaine Burton is the most recent player to hit the transfer portal and decided to go to Alabama. Some of the Georgia fans cannot wrap their heads around this and even call him a traitor, which is harsh.

Some rumors suggested Ole Miss would be the landing spot when Lane Kiffin came to see him and JT Daniels, but that wasn’t the case. However, the fans were alright with Burton going to Oxford, Miss., but aren’t okay with him going to Tuscaloosa.

Georgia football and Kirby Smart reload through the portal as much as they do through recruiting.

Alabama has been Georgia’s last hump to get over, and so while the hatred is understandable, the Dawgs just beat them in the national championship. Head coach Nick Saban is clever and knows how to recruit the portal, but so is Smart.

It makes no sense to be upset at Burton going to Alabama yet welcome Maurice Smith from the Tide in 2016. Isn’t that kind of the same thing? Maybe not since Smith was an upperclassman, but it’s each player’s decision at the end of the day.

Calling Burton tacky is uncalled for, and being upset that he picked Alabama isn’t what the fans need to do. Who cares where he transfers to, he was leaving Georgia regardless.

Whether it was to Alabama, Ole Miss, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Oregon, LSU, wherever, Burton had to make a decision that felt right for him, not a fanbase.

I’m not saying support him or anything like that. All I’m saying is college football is changing. There is a legitimate free agency, and schools will either have to evolve or get left behind in the dust.

Smart and Saban both talked about how the portal will alter college football and its implications, yet fans are still upset about players making business decisions.

Burton didn’t feel Georgia was the best opportunity for him, and while it’s okay to disagree with that because we love our football program, he has the right to transfer.

I highly doubt that Smart, offensive coordinator Todd Monken, former receivers coach Cortez Hankton, trainer Terrence Edwards or anyone associated with him felt salty about him transferring to Alabama. They likely supported his decision because they knew it was what he wanted.

Yet half the fanbase wants to be mad about him leaving — it’s January, so much can change between now and when they have to have their final rosters done. It’s far too early to be in an uproar about where a wideout is transferring to and why he is a traitor because it happens to be Alabama.

Fans were supportive of Latavious Brini picking Arkansas but aren’t happy for Burton — it seems like a double standard.

It’s okay to be mad about Burton leaving for Alabama, and I’m not saying you shouldn’t be because it does sting, but it’s important to realize these players see what gets displayed on the internet, and they have feelings too. Those attacking him are out of line.

Wish him well or don’t, but know they see Twitter and what gets said about them, which could jeopardize other people coming to Georgia because of the hate this young man got.

That statement is speculation, too, but it never hurts to be kind. Constructive is okay, but getting personal, attacking a player because he chose the one school you didn’t think was the right choice, isn’t the way to be a fan.

People leave jobs for other opportunities they feel are better for their professional careers all the time, but it isn’t okay for Burton to do so. While it’s understandable that fans don’t want one of their better receivers to go to Alabama, who cares, the Dawgs have talent at the position and can bring more into the program.

Smart has a whole transfer portal to comb through, and with Burton leaving, that frees up another scholarship for a player that wants to play at Georgia.

There will be so much movement in the portal between now and the end of spring that things could change, and Georgia could land one of the best receivers looking to transfer. Or the Dawgs could choose to go with the weapons they have on the roster now.

Either way, what Burton decided won’t jeopardize the Dawgs plans. It may alter them some, but more than likely, it doesn’t, and Georgia won’t have any issues. The transfer portal has changed football overnight, but the Dawgs are already on their horses and handling it as well as they do recruiting.

Next. Georgia football is easily predicted to make Atlanta in way too early 2022 SEC Rankings. dark

Elite teams reload, and we’ve seen Georgia do that a few times in the last couple of years. So remember losing a player sucks, but Smart will likely have better ones waiting to come in and be a part of the next Georgia team.