This Kirby Smart Q&A with Jeff Schultz is surprisingly revealing, particularly with regard to Smart enunciating his vision for making the program elite. I know we keep saying it, but the dude is laser-focused on Job One.
Q: What will it take to get Georgia to an elite level?
A: No. 1, recruiting. We don’t have four solid classes here. The first class lacked offensive linemen. The junior class has absolutely no DBs because there was a mass exodus because a lot of them didn’t think they were being treated well. There’s a hole in each class. Beyond that, there’s some culture things, some toughness, having the right belief system and structure.
And in much the same way as David Greene described his first year with Mark Richt, Smart’s biggest regret about how he handled last season was perhaps pushing his players too hard physically during the season. The good news is two-fold: one, he’s learned from the experience and two, his talent base has broadened.
Our roster probably had 50 guys who really played. There’ll probably be 70 guys this year. The cumulative burden of playing is heavier when it’s 50 than when it’s 70. So you have to decide, ‘Are you going to back off or are you going to try to push them through?’ I think it will pay off more this year that we pushed them last year. But the regret looking back is: Were we tired? Did we not finish against Georgia Tech because of that?’ Those are all things that are introspective for me.
Maybe it’s just more happy talk, but, yeah, it’s making my optimism level perk up a bit.