Since leaving Alabama football, Kirby Smart hasn’t lived up to his promises.
Recruiting high school prospects to join your team takes a lot of trust. Nick Saban has spent the past decade earning that trust. Other schools resort to other tactics to land prospects.
The recruiting pitch for Saban has changed over time, but it has been backed by success. Saban has won a national championship at least once every three years since taking over, has seen a first-round pick at every position on both offense and defense, and has proven that he is a man of his word. He can rely on the success and traditions of Alabama football, and that’s half the pitch.
Other schools without tradition have to rely on smoke and mirrors to land top prospects. They use the gimmicks of a fancy locker room or an upset win to convince players that they can be a part of something special. These are the kinds of promises that are often broken, and Kirby Smart is proof of that.
Georgia has tried to copy everything that Alabama has done since Kirby took over. They use the same tactics, update the stadium in similar ways, and mimic Alabama’s legacy and tradition. The only problem is that UGA does not have history to rely on like the Crimson Tide.
Kirby proved this point by how he has handled the quarterback position. You never promise a high school prospect that they will win a starting job, and quarterbacks usually have to transfer. However, you can promise that the best player will start. This happened with Alabama football with Jalen and Tua. As soon as Tua proved that he was the best man to start, he earned the job. For Georgia, Smart relied on Jake Fromm despite Justin Fields being on the bench. If Fields had stayed, he would be preparing for his first year as a starter right now. Jacob Eason also had to transfer despite showing more promise than Fromm.
Smart hasn’t learned from his mistakes. UGA landed Jamie Newman from the transfer portal, and many expected him to be a Heisman contender. Despite this, Newman might never start for the Bulldogs due to the addition of JT Daniels.
Smart has simply proven that he cannot be trusted with a quarterback’s future. Prospects either stay and struggle or leave for more success. If Smart was confident in Newman, he should not have pursued Daniels. If he wasn’t confident in Newman, he shouldn’t have recruited him.
Juxtapose this with Alabama football, and the clear choice is obvious. Although players fail at every school, there is no doubt that Saban is more trustworthy. He recruited two quarterbacks in the 2017 class, and both have started. After Jones gets his time to shine in 2020, Bryce Young will take over.
Choosing a college football program is a hard thing to do, but the choice can be clear. If you choose to play for Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs, you are rolling the dice.