Kirby Smart’s relentless recruiting making waves like Mark Richt never did

Sep 24, 2016; Oxford, MS, USA; Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart walks the field before the game against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since former Vanderbilt coach James Franklin made waves by showing up to visit recruits via helicopter, SEC coaches have followed suit.

Kirby Smart took a helicopter around the state of Georgia last year, and he was back at it again on Friday when he flew into Mill Creek High School.

On the surface, this is always pretty cool to see. But on a deeper level, it’s a genius recruiting tactic. Some coaches prefer to sneak in the back door with as little fanfare as possible. If a coach wants people talking about his program for days and weeks after his visit, however, he shows up in a helicopter.

There has been some talk that Georgia could be interested in Mill Creek’s All-American kicker, Brenton King. If that is indeed the reason for Smart’s visit, then it’s all the more impressive that he showed up in a helicopter.

Smart is making waves around the state in a way that Mark Richt simply didn’t in his waning years as the Bulldogs head coach. Players like Deshaun Watson, Robert Nkemdiche and Montravius Adams left the Peach State for other programs.

One of the biggest complaints about Richt’s recruiting in his final years was that he wasn’t keeping enough of the state’s premier talent at home. Smart is proving he can do just that. 13 of the top 20 prospect in the state of Georgia are currently committed to the Bulldogs.

Getting prospects to stay home isn’t just about making a scene for the big-name players, however. It’s about showing up in a helicopter at a high school with few top prospects and getting everyone in that area to talk about it for weeks to come.

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  • Robert N. originally committed to Clemson. He ended up at Ole Miss because that’s where older brother Denzel went. UGA went after Denzel but cooled on him as his grades were not good enough for entrance into Georgia. Richter even wrote him a Letter of Recommendation to get into Ole Miss. Given how Denzels’ career ended up its good he didn’t come to Georgia. Their Mother was the one who put her foot down and made sure they were both at the same school.

  • After reading the comment from Jax Dawg about The Long Strange Trip It’s Been recruitment of Robert Ng#$%^chi and it’s ending with his signing with Ole Miss , Ole Miss ?Yeah Ole Miss which in those days of not so long ago when the mighty SEC East with the winner of the three team slugfest’s between Georgia , Florida and Tennessee would be the usual Conference Winner on a rotating basis , except for an upset by LSU or Alabama every three out of ten years , but Ole Miss ! After the initial shock it would come to mind now and again when the teams met on rare occasions or catching the weekly 12 AM SEC game . But Jax Dawg brings it all back to remind me , I the Robert’s and the Aubrey Soloman’s shine ad triffle with the fans dreams of glory and 7 years later we can’t spell your name if it even crosses your mind ! So just let it play out and root root root for home team if they don’t win it’s a shame but just a game !