Georgia Football recruiting is truly astonishing to watch

Head coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs speaks during the celebration honoring the Georgia Bulldogs national championship victory. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Head coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs speaks during the celebration honoring the Georgia Bulldogs national championship victory. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Georgia football is a recruiting machine that hasn’t stopped since the national championship. As the dead period approaches, head coach Kirby Smart is finalizing his visits with 2022 and 2023 recruits.

The February signing period is on Wednesday, Feb. 2, when the Dawgs will determine how the 2022 class will finish. A few spots are left, and Georgia already added a preferred walk-on kicker to the mix earlier this week in Henry Bates from Ware County.

Smart is always recruiting and got a talented kicker while on the road. He is unstoppable.

Georgia is waiting on a couple of big names in Shemar Stewart and Christen Miller. EJ Lightsey is another name in the fold now, so Wednesday could be another big moment for the program.

However, the most astonishing thing about Smart and how he recruits is his dedication to being at so many schools each day. That “Kirby-Chopter” is fantastic and a big step up from his days of road tripping with Will Muschamp and Mike Bobo.

Georgia football is taking recruiting at an elite level to keep bringing in the best prospects.

While we all thought the Dawgs would finish with the No.1 overall class in 2022, the Texas A&M Aggies got the job done, and with that class, it’s understandable. Jimbo Fisher did a great job, and the SEC West seems to be getting more competitive each year.

Alabama is right up there with Georgia and Texas A&M, too, as the SEC is ranked 1-3 — talk about an SEC bias, right.

However, Smart is doing it differently than Fisher and even his mentor Nick Saban. Smart dedicates time to making sure each kid feels like they are building a relationship with him and his coaches. That trait in Smart makes him such a dynamic recruiter and such a good one at that.

Coaches can tell players they will get this NIL deal if they come to their school, and I’m sure many of them use the relationship tool too, but there is something about Smart and how he connects that draws in kids. Current players talk about it all the time, and even the signees mentioned their relationships and how strong they already are with the staff.

As another recruiting cycle comes to an end, it’s pretty evident that Smart doesn’t always have to finish No.1 in recruiting to get the best prospects because sometimes the players he wants aren’t all five-stars and four-stars. There are a lot of three-star guys out there with the work ethic to be elite, and if Smart connects with them, they get a chance.

The point is, Smart does look at rankings and such, but he doesn’t. He gave Ladd McConkey a shot when not many would. Stetson Bennett got a chance to come back on scholarship. Jordan Davis was a three-star out of high school and will likely be a first-round NFL Draft pick.

As fans, we all love stars and high rankings, but we all need to realize it’s the heart of the kid and their ability to be coachable that doesn’t always get accounted for in those rankings. Smart and his staff see it because they take the time to build relationships and see the young man for who they are.

Since he arrived in Athens, Smart made it a point to elevate recruiting to the next level, and it has each year. Georgia may spend the most money in recruiting, but there is a reason for that — it’s called being the best. However, how do we define “the best?”

Is it No.1 recruiting classes? Is it the number of 5-stars and 4-stars? To some, that is how they would describe being the best, but it doesn’t seem like that for Smart. To be the best in recruiting means getting out to see as many kids as physically possible and finding the right fits to add depth in places.

Maybe he defines it as adding talent in positions that need an explosive playmaker, but above all, rest find kids who truly love the University of Georgia and want to don that ‘G’ on their helmets.

Sure, some have transferred out of the program, but that is part of college football being a massive business. However, those that stayed showed the fanbase that they love this school so much they would risk money in the NFL Draft to come back one more year. It paid off for all of them.

Recruiting itself is astonishing because it’s such a fast-paced business and how Smart chooses to do it. He has typical approaches, but at the same time, it’s unique and works better than almost any other coach in football. Sure he could add the whole money thing as Deon Sanders did, but Smart is doing recruiting the right way.

No matter what anyone says about violations, they self-report and do this process correctly. People are beginning to see how shady recruiting can be because of those NIL deals. Some find it shocking, but the OG recruiting followers know this drill.

Trust the process, and trust Smart because they will take care of it and bring in exactly what Georgia needs.

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Smart knows transfers happen, so the whole reloading discussion should be something people remember. He reloads through the portal and each recruiting class. His patience with recruiting is also why he is the best in college football, regardless of ranking.