Kirby Smart starts recruiting immediately for Bulldogs
Kirby Smart officially became Georgia’s head coach on Sunday. Then he immediately got to work recruiting players for his new team.
Hours after being hired, Smart has already been in contact with several of Georgia’s top recruits.
That includes five-star quarterback Jacob Eason. Eason, the No. 1 quarterback recruit in the nation, according to Rivals, has been committed to Georgia since July 2014. But since former head coach Mark Richt was fired last weekend, Eason’s status has remained a mystery. Eason took an official visit to Florida last week. Shortly after being hired, Smart contacted the standout quarterback to try to convince him to stay with the Bulldogs.
On Sunday, Smart drove to the small town of Toccoa, about 50 miles from Athens, to visit four-star offensive tackle Ben Cleveland. Cleveland, the No. 4 offensive tackle in the country, according to 247Sports, has been committed to the Bulldogs since July 2014. He committed on the same day Eason did.
— Radi Nabulsi (@RadiNabulsi) December 6, 2015
Cleveland had been optimistic that Georgia would find a good coach. He sent out this tweet the day Richt was fired:
I have 100% faith in UGA bringing in the right man. I’ve committed to the program and will always be a dawg. Gotta stay positive — Big Country (@BenCleveland74) November 29, 2015
Smart also called Demetris Robertson, an uncommitted five-star athlete from Savannah, Ga. Robertson told ESPN that Smart said he views him as one of the Bulldogs’ top skill guys in this recruiting class.
Smart was already in Georgia when his hiring became official. On Saturday, he helped Alabama win the SEC Championship Game over Florida, 29-15, in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome.
Georgia’s new coach will be juggling two jobs until Alabama’s season ends. According to SEC Country, Smart will spend the next 10 days in Athens recruiting and getting started with the Bulldogs. Then he will rejoin Alabama, and help the Crimson Tide prepare for the College Football Playoff.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban is confident Smart will be able to handle both jobs.
“I know the professional integrity that Kirby has, and the commitment that he has to our players, as well as his new job, and I feel very comfortable that he’ll be able to manage that,” Saban said.