Georgia football has the luxury of being a master at recruiting

Georgia football coach Kirby Smart speaks with the media on the first day of spring practice in Athens, Ga., on Tuesday, March 15, 2022.News Joshua L Jones
Georgia football coach Kirby Smart speaks with the media on the first day of spring practice in Athens, Ga., on Tuesday, March 15, 2022.News Joshua L Jones /

Georgia football fans are adjusting to being reigning national champions, but that doesn’t mean they are still comfortable with trusting the recruiting process. Some will tell you they are, but the entire fanbase is not on the same page. After seeing a receiver who should have picked the Dawgs but picked Oklahoma instead, part of the fanbase was back on the ledge.

Before anything, the Dawg fans frustrated with Georgia’s current recruiting situation step off the ledge and take a deep breath.

It is August and national signing day is not until December. Recruiting has many moving parts, especially with NIL being one of the most significant changes.

Georgia has one of the best NIL collectives in college football, but some fans feel like it isn’t good enough because they don’t fork out big NIL deals to recruits. I’m not faulting those fans. What they see from other schools, it’s understandable why they want Georgia to do the same.

There are always Georgia fans that forget about the recruiting success that generally comes in December and still freak out in June, July and August — we still love you.

However, the Dawgs don’t have to do that to land top recruiting classes — not yet anyway, and if they do, it will be the right player.

Georgia football is okay on the recruiting trail, and Dawg fans must take a deep breath.

Head coach Kirby Smart is a master of recruiting. He has done this for a long time and learned from one of the greatest, Nick Saban. Smart also has a staff surrounding him that has the tenacity and grit to get the job done on the recruiting trail. Even Smart suggested earlier this offseason that recruiting is a grind, so it takes a special person to handle it every year.

However, that doesn’t mean their experience will hold any weight regarding the NIL situation. To some of the fanbase, that is how they feel, but I’d like to remind you for the 2022 cycle, at the time last year, four players were not committed to the Dawgs that ended up in the class. Smart and his staff closed on those guys as the season continued for that December signing period.

Yes, there have been some “misses” in this 2023 recruiting class. The race is far from over because Georgia hasn’t even played a game yet. On-field results matter to recruits as well. While some will look at the money and follow it, not all will sign with it.

Georgia could have another memorable season, and if the Dawgs do, you will see some recruits reconsider things. Some of these programs pushing out these big NIL deals could end up falling flat on their face this football season.

Another thing Georgia fans need to remember is that there is a transfer portal that will be full of talented players looking for the right fit. The Dawgs can poach that if this recruiting class isn’t what they need it to be.

Regardless, Georgia isn’t struggling on the recruiting trail. The Dawgs have the best-recruiting staff out there, and sometimes no matter how hard they try, kids don’t want to come to Athens. Sometimes kids see depth charts and shy away from them because they want to play early. These are kids at the end of the day, and it’s still August.

There are also kids not ranked as high that are getting overlooked. Georgia isn’t afraid to develop. Recruiting has so many moving parts — to freak out in August is a tad silly. The Dawgs are recruiting masters and know how to sell a program. Georgia is one of the programs that could be contenders for the next 10 years. Why wouldn’t these kids want to be a part of that?

Some will, and some won’t be, but that is why coaching is important. Georgia is fine. Plain and simple. If it were November right now, then it would be a time to worry, but the Dawgs still have the same expectations and standards — the recruiting cycle will be just fine.

If NIL affects the whole decision process and kids don’t want to wait, I think Georgia will fork out money for the right player, but the Dawgs will not give out signing NILs to anyone.

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The NIL world is still early in its lifetime, so take a deep breath and know that Georgia football has a master’s degree in recruiting, and they will figure out how to get the best players in Athens.