All’s fair in love and negative recruiting.

Kirby Smart wants Alabama fans to know he’s not a monster, er… negative recruiter.

Some call it call it badmouthing, some call it negative recruiting, and others simply call it recruiting, but it’s very much a real thing in College Football.

Whether a coach tells a prospect that the traffic is bad in rival school’s town or that its university’s academics aren’t as strong as his own, recruiters sometimes do what they can to nudge a target their way.

Georgia’s Kirby Smart, however, says that he isn’t one of those guys. He even says that the kind of kids who might fall for those tactics isn’t the kind of player he wants to recruit.

“Negative recruiting, to me, never works on the kind of kids and people you want in your program,” Smart said on Tuesday during SEC Spring Meetings at the Sandestin Hilton Hotel. “Because if they’re listening to that and they’re buying in to that, they’re probably a little gullible where I would much rather be very honest and open because you attract better quality people who respect the fact that you respect the other people in your league.”

Aw, that’s kind of sweet, actually.

Not sure I’m buying it, though.  First of all, who says you can’t be open and honest when discussing the shortcomings of a rival program?  In fact, isn’t honest, accurate negative recruiting the best kind of negative recruiting?

Second, if you’re doing it right, you don’t recruit negatively to coax a kid to sign with you; you do so to convince a kid not to sign with that other coach.  Anybody really think that a sharp coach who’s been through the SEC recruiting wars as long as Kirby has doesn’t know that?

He’s just trying to he’p kids make an informed decision.  Seems to be working well, too.

15 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

15 responses to “All’s fair in love and negative recruiting.

  1. Brandon

    There’s a school of thought in recruiting (non-football) that bad-mouthing your competition just makes you look insecure and is something most people see through anyway. Obviously negativity can work too, otherwise it wouldn’t be such a go to in say, politics, but he could be on the level. There is not just one way to do it. I think the main thing Kirby has going for him is his relative youth, and good old fashion hustle.

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    • I think there are all kinds of ways to recruit negatively. For example, I don’t think Kirby’s gonna waste any time asking a kid to speculate on how long Nick Saban stays at Alabama, but pointing to Alabama’s roster and drawing on his experience of how Saban’s roster management has played out over the years? Yeah, that’s fair game.

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      • 81Dog

        I’m not sure how that helps Kirby or UGA to point that out. Isn’t that kind of “produce or get processed” system what he’s trying to recreate in Athens? I’m not saying it’s right or wrong to do that. Saban gets criticized, but he wins titles by the bushel and is making a bazillion dollars a year. CMR refused to do it, was hailed as a man of integrity, and got fired for not winning enough, partly due to (drumroll) UGA being chronically short on depth.

        I completely agree with you on the broad concept of negative recruiting, that just seems like an odd thing to emphasize. I could be wrong. Are we not trying to do it too?

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        • 1smartdude

          I see your point, kinda like asking a guy to gray shirt 3 months after he signed his LOI. Sabn took heat for gray shirting too. No one at Alabama cares about those things as long as it leads to titles. It won’t matter here either, as long as the wins come.

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        • And who’s to say it’s not being used against Smart, too?

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          • 1smartdude

            I’m sure it will be used against him, it was against Saban. It’s had little to no effect though. Top classes just kept coming. Winning solves a lot of problems. I belive Kirby has a firm grasp on reality, it’s about winning. He’ll do what it takes to win as long as it’s not an NCAA issue. That’s the exact reason he was hired to replace CMR. It’s a completely different day at UGA.

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        • Uglydawg

          81, you made a few points there..very well said.

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        • Uglydawg

          “produce or get processed”……Wow! Lexicon nomination.

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  2. JoshG

    When Kirby negative recruited against his alma mater all those years, they weren’t writing articles about, it and bammers were telling us to stop whining-roll-tahd. Well, bammers, stop whining. Enjoy your last championship.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Normaltown Mike

    Any coach that doesn’t negative recruit is gonna end up pumping gas for a living!

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  4. Argondawg

    Just because Kirby celebrates Saban’s birthday publicly every year is not negative recruiting. First off there is nothing wrong with being almost 70 (68). There are lots o people that coach into their 70s………

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  5. Stoopnagle

    Hey, showing a guy where he really is on Bama’s Want List is open and honest, right?

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  6. Bulldog Joe

    Sounds like Kirby has a staffer addressing Athens’ traffic issues.

    No stone unturned.

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