The Kirby Smart factor

Savor these times, friends.

JC Shurburtt, the former national scouting director at 247Sports, said it’s still not impossible for Alabama to pull a signing day straight and steal another No. 1 spot. It’s just a real longshot at this point.

“Where I would caution people, is don’t think this is a down year for Alabama,” Shurburtt said. “This is a situation where Georgia is getting their share of guys because of their success and it’s always been that way in the state of Georgia. Georgia is the preferred team for a lot of these guys who grow up over there. And you can’t take advantage of them under-achieving with them playing for the national championship and Kirby Smart and his staff do an excellent job.”

The Kirby Smart factor is hard to ignore in this whole dynamic.

One of Alabama’s best recruiters in his eight seasons as defensive coordinator, Smart was a big reason the Tide did so well just east of the state line. Back in 2012, Alabama signed eight from Georgia. Since Smart took over in Athens, Alabama hasn’t signed more than one per class from Georgia. The Tide’s lone commitment for this class, Quay Walker, is now classified as a “soft commit” with Tennessee and Georgia gaining ground in the fight to flip the four-star linebacker.

Smart is the X-factor in it all.

“It hurts. It definitely hurts,” said Farrell of Rivals. “They’ve done a good job at Georgia in recent years. When you look at Kirby Smart being able to win head-to-head battles for guys that Alabama covets. Being able to flip guys that Alabama had committed. It’s not often that happens to Alabama at all.”

Savor, but don’t gloat.  After all, while it may be a long shot, it wouldn’t be a total surprise to wake up Thursday morning and find that Nick Saban had somehow convinced the top eight recruits out there to come to Tuscaloosa.

But definitely savor.



Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting

17 responses to “The Kirby Smart factor

  1. I don’t care if we land the #1 class. I do care that the last 3 classes are showing an upward trajectory and that doesn’t seem to be slowing down. I imagine one Nick Saban’s pucker factor about recruiting especially in Georgia is now at DEFCON 5.


  2. Russ

    Now I really want Quay Walker.

    And Kirby will be the guy to send Saban out.


  3. Stoopnagle

    Gloat? Last I checked they beat us. I think that’s 4 in a row.


  4. Al

    Are we just gonna ignore the fact that that guy’s last name is Shurburtt? Now I’m hungry.


  5. Didn’t you have a post back in 2009ish with a link to Merle’s “Are the good times really over?”
    This post has the exact opposite tone. Hallelujah.


  6. Granthams replacement

    The number 1 ranking is for pay services to get more subscribers. The fact Kirby gets who he wants and is beating Saban for serval of those guys shows the direction of the program. After 2 classes Kirby was 1 play away, I like his chances going forward.


    • DoubleDawg1318

      We know for a fact those who finish consistently at or near the top of these rankings are going to generally outperform those who do not. For example, the blue chip ratio is a proven and ironclad rule. No reason to bash the rating system.


      • Macallanlover

        “at or near” is the key. Naturally everyone covets being #1 mostly for just running their mouths, that is what fans do best. But being #1 or #3, or #5, etc. isn’t a significance difference, evaluating talent (particular in advance of full development) is not a science. The #1 recruit rarely ends up being the best. But having enough of the top talent guys, in the right positions, is very important as it gives you room for a few misses.


  7. As a Jimmie’s and Joe’s guy, me likee.


  8. Hogbody Spradlin

    Sometime during his first decade or so at Alabama, Bear Bryant said Florida was the program he feared if they could (roughly) get their act together. I imagine Bear could see population trends and recruiting trends. If you believe those factors now, we’re the only strong recruiter in the most fertile state, per capita, in the country. Ergo we should get a big share of the best Jimmies and Joes if we can get out of our proverbial own way.


  9. W Cobb Dawg

    Kirby puts up one helluva fight, whether he gets his target player or not. What that tells other coaches is that it might be easier to shift your attention elsewhere when Kirby is hunting the same player you want.

    Right now the Dawgs have a final 7, or so, to fill 4 or 5 slots. A few cherries on top of an awesome recruiting class.


  10. Starbreaker

    Pretty much a perfect storm came together this year to build this class with the SECCG win the icing on the cake. Kirby was selling the “just watch us win” angle to these kids all last year and it came through. As ridiculous as last year’s class was, this year’s class is mind-boggling and should help cement a trip to Atlanta each of the next few years (at least) with the shot at a playoff berth. Bama is Bama, and they have a 10 year head start but that gap is not huge…just need to keep loading up and make sure the backfills in the coaching staff continue to be solid. As stated, Georgia is full of talented kids that just want to have a legit chance at big wins at UGA, and now they know it’s there and they don’t have to jump out of state.