I’ve seen some misgivings expressed in the comments section about Smart’s pursuit of Zachary Evans, the gifted running back recruit from Texas who’s had a couple of behavioral/discipline issues this season. Seth Emerson ($$) makes a good point about that in his piece about Pickens’ role in Georgia’s Sugar Bowl win.
… Smart has shown he will take chances on players if they have a lot of ability. Zachary Evans, the five-star tailback who was suspended for his high school team’s Texas state championship game, is expected to announce for Georgia on Thursday. You can absorb a few high-maintenance kids if you have a good culture, and surround them with a structure of good teammates and authority figures.
Will Smart be right every time? Human nature being what it is, that’s highly unlikely. But kids like Pickens show it’s worth making the effort.