“I’m different than Nick in recruiting…”

No kidding.  Smart had a reputation for a certain amount of ruthlessness on the recruiting trail when he was hustling for the Crimson Tide, so this story (although it’s denied later in the article by Glenn Schumann) doesn’t surprise me:

When Smart left Alabama to become Georgia’s head coach, those inside the Alabama program believe Smart took Crimson Tide recruiting evaluations and used them against his mentor Nick Saban. The belief is Smart told mutual recruits where they stood on Alabama’s recruiting board, particularly if it could be construed as negative, and parsed negatives out of the program’s evaluations to hurt Alabama’s standing with recruits. Some believe it’s the reason three-star receiver Tyler Simmons flipped to the Bulldogs late in the recruiting cycle though he’s never publicly commented on that.

Simmons, however, told DawgNation that Smart said in Nov. 2015 — before he was even offered the UGA job — “if I get a head coaching job somewhere else, I’m coming for you.”

For two years people around the program have grumbled about Smart’s ruthless maneuver to try to gain an edge on his old employer. It’s one example of many they’ll tell you to explain why Saban and Smart aren’t close though both are cordial publicly. It’s a move that goes directly against what Jeremy Pruitt, following in a similar path as Smart, said in New Orleans about valuing coaching friendships over a single recruit.

Speaking of Pruitt there, note that he just grabbed a big commitment from a kid previously headed to Alabama who’s never made a visit to Knoxville perhaps via a Rush Propst connection.

Georgia high schools are looking less friendly to Nick Saban these days, it seems.


UPDATE:  “Assuming this report is true, Kirby is an underhanded, back-stabbing hypocrite.”


Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting

14 responses to ““I’m different than Nick in recruiting…”

  1. Derek

    “You have to have men who are moral, and at the same time, who are able to utilize their primordial instincts to kill without feeling, without passion. Without judgment. Without Judgment. Because it’s judgment that defeats us.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • gastr1

      “The army tried one last time to bring him back into the fold. And if he pulled over, it all would have been forgotten. But he kept going, and he kept winning it his way, and they called me in. They lost him. He was gone. Nothing but rumors and rambling intelligence…”


  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    Pruitt’s doing a nice job keeping the peace for now, but he’s still a firebrand. Let’s see how long it lasts once he and Bama part ways.


    • McTyre

      Pruitt “valuing coaching relationships” could be tested as he manages a coaching staff for the first time. Maybe he can temper his volatility in the service of a staff stability, but I’m skeptical. . . especially with the Back-stabbing Great Pumkpin in the AD [co-HC] chair.


  3. cali_dawg

    Eh that al.com article is reaching pretty hard.

    What’s the difference between negative recruiting and being a realist? Is telling a recruit he’s several years away from seeing meaningful playing time at a certain school vs a chance to play right away at ours considered negative?


  4. Turd Ferguson

    Oh, give me a fucking break. Listen, I’ve come to really respect Nick Saban as a football coach — it’s hard not to, given all he’s accomplished. But he’s in no position whatsoever to engage in some bullshit moralizing with respect to the recruiting process.


    • Turd Ferguson

      No one in the Alabama program — Saban most of all — had a problem with Kirby’s “ruthlessness” when he was bringing them top-3 classes every single year. But now that they’ve got to compete with him, he’s a big, bad meany.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Will

        top 1 classes, they’ve had the number 1 class 7 years in a row… and I agree with everything else you said. Saban is full of it


  5. lakedawg

    Kirby had a few So Ga folks upset with his recruiting against his alma mater a few years back, so Nick should not be surprised with whatever tactic he uses now against them.


  6. Erk's Forehead

    Kirby’s having the Dawgs watch “12 Strong” tonight to bring more inspiration before tomorrow’s game. Saban’s having Bama watch a movie too (though it turns out the Tide watched “12 Strong” before the Sugar Bowl).

    My suggestion for a substitute flick? How’s about the new Tonya Harding movie, wherein an excitable young upstart thinks of a novel way to defeat a former champ. Boom, mf’er.


  7. Will Trane

    Alabama sports news media is like the liberal northeast news media.
    Now if the Dawgs were not in the playoffs or the championship game would we have heard one damn word from all these Bama news media.
    Well, hell fire damn no!!
    Just how damn immature and childish is all the news media today.
    They can stretch and build a story big time out of nothing.
    Hello, Paul Finebaum…who should be banned from covering SEC sports.
    As for Peterson, he is a good player, but many think his level of play dropped off this year. In the 7A championship game he was not the player he had been. Could be because of the luggage he will bring to Knoxville. He knew all along he was not going to play in state, period, it didn’t matter where.
    Remember there is a junior somewhere who will be the number 1 or 2 rated LB next year. So who get that recruit? Bama or UT or UF or Ole Miss or OSU or OU.
    Peterson going to UT surrounds Probst who was HC at Hoover when Pruitt and Sherrer were on the staff. So there is your link.
    Those recruits know where they stack up on a board. It is not like that is some big damn secret held by Russia or whoever!!
    Gosh almighty the damn stories that come out in such games.


  8. Cosmic Dawg

    Some of that stuff, if true, is pretty bush. As long as you’re on the payroll and have access, you keep that stuff to yourself. I’d also argue even after the national championship he had some obligation to honor the confidences placed in him, and it doesn’t matter “what everyone does”, really.

    I don’t know if that includes not mentioning the recruiting board at all, but I’m pretty sure it includes not showing a picture of it to recruits.


  9. PatinDC

    Crocodile tears…


  10. Kirby has been at uga for two years and this comes out right before the natty. I call bs.