Kirby Smart can’t develop players!

It’s a narrative that refuses to die, even in the face of pesky facts, like these from Seth Emerson ($$):

Smart is the first coach in Georgia history to produce at least six draft picks in four consecutive drafts. That’s all-time, even before the draft was reduced to seven rounds in 1994.

Georgia finished with a program-record nine selections in 2021, one more than its eight draftees in 2002 and 2013.

Included in those nine are three-star kids like Stokes and Rice, as well as a grad transfer in McKitty.

There’s also this to note.

Two of those transfers were quarterbacks who couldn’t get around the Jake Fromm road block.  A third was buried on the defensive depth chart and took his talents to Florida.  The point is, if talent alone were enough, every five-star kid would be on a path to glory and the first round of the NFL draft the minute he set foot on campus.  That isn’t how it works, though.

Kirby Smart is one of college football’s best recruiters.  But he’s seeing record numbers of his kids take it to the next level because he’s doing something with the Jimmies and Joes when they get to Athens.  No matter how hard the narrative insists otherwise.


UPDATE:  What Graham said.  Especially about Florida fans.

8-4. That’s the record the Gators finished with last year despite having a Heisman Finalist under center and two first round draft picks catching his passes. Mullen turned the best offense in Florida history into a four loss season. Georgia fans would be calling for Kirby Smart’s head if he brought home that record under the same set of circumstances. In Gainesville, 8-4 with a season full of embarrassing antics seems to be more than enough to satisfy the “Gator Standard.”


Filed under Georgia Football, The NFL Is Your Friend.

33 responses to “Kirby Smart can’t develop players!

  1. Hunkering Hank

    I think Kirby’s personal, direct impact on football playing development is probably minimal in light of the other potentially more important factors: talent, effort, intelligence, dedication, playing time, the position coach, the S&C program, hired individual coaches, Ron Courson, practice competition between players, etc.

    This narrative is just dumb.

    Liked by 2 people

    • RangerRuss

      Oh yeah? He better win a National Championship this year or Brooks should fire his fat ass and hire someone who can win the big one!


      Liked by 5 people

    • Greg

      Although most of that is true, thinks some situational play calling & decisions ended up biting him in the ass. Especially early on, but you could really say that about any coach.

      He has learned IMO, as most ALL successful ones do.

      Just a matter of time, he’s building it & they are coming. He and UGA are a great match.

      Liked by 5 people

  2. 81Dog

    Inject this right into my veins. For a first time HC who has had to do some OTJ training, he seems to be building a very solid foundation. He gets compared to a lot of other HCs, but instead of comparing him to “peak Saban,” I think the right comparison is to another guy with no previous HC experience: Dabo. Clemson is rolling now, but his first 5 years weren’t as good as the last 5 were at UGA. The talent base is as deep as ever. The staff seems highly competent. The facilities are greatly improved and first rate. And, I think the HC has learned from some things that turned out sub-optimal.

    Everyone else in the SEC, and everywhere else, is working, too. Nick is still there, and still Nick. But I look around, and I’m not scared. Winning titles takes more than just talent and preparedness, it takes a little luck. Bad calls, injuries, fluke plays can derail anyone. We are going to hear the jeers until we get there. I get that. I just feel like we’re really close, and we aren’t backing away. Once we get there, look out below. 🙂

    Liked by 16 people

    • Down Island Way

      Tyler Simmons was onsides…..still…..

      Liked by 6 people

    • siskey

      Yes, the comparisons to Saban are unfair. Bowden, Bryant and Paterno don’t really compare with 2021 Saban. It sucks to say it but it’s true.
      At some point Saban has to regress, hopefully that happened yesterday with the draft. If not it will happen sooner rather than later. I wouldn’t trade Kirby for any coach not named Saban so if we can hold our water then we are in the pole position to do things that UGA has never done.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. sniffer

    Because we’re not at practice, we don’t know how much time is spent with individual players. I suspect Kirby is very “hands on”. But he has the big picture to manage and he trusts his assistant’s to do the their jobs. He has experience coaching various positions and that has improved his ability. My view is he does a great job of managing his focus. Development is happening at UGA.


  4. mp

    Honestly I think the entirety of this narrative boils down to one thing – Fromm over Fields. It is literally the only thing “they” can point to. And they do. And it drives the discussion. I am not arguing that it was the right choice or the wrong choice – just that it has entirely shaped the national perception.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Bulldawg Bill

    From what I’ve gleaned from various practice reports, Kirby tends to be pretty involved with the secondary. After all, that is his area of expertise.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. akascuba

    Kirby is developing more than just players. He has changed the Georgia Way. We are no longer just a school in a talent laden state who occasionally has a team capable of making a single season run hoping to win a championship.

    Kirby has totally changed the culture. Coaches and players of the highest caliber expect to win championships now. Baring an epic level of continuing Georgia bad luck. Kirby is the man that will bring home a Georgia record of NC’s.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. NotMyCrossToBear

    The update on this post is fantastic.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Whiskey Dawg

    Someone has put it out there. It’s clear Mark Richt has lost control of Kirby’s player development. I’m outraged. We need to move on from Smart while he’s only potentially one of the best coaches ever at Georgia. We can not wait until he wins a NC or maybe more than one and is placed in the category of great. I want some of that rote 8-4 mundane Mullen development. The illogical unsatisfied fans have a voice too!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. practicaldawg

    Bold move by Graham. I thought the media had a mandate to exalt Mullen no matter what based on the job he did at Missy State.


    • wallybuttsin

      Graham is DawgoutWest at DawgSports. He’s under no obligation (and I would doubt he has any desire) to spout the unthinking football media’s narrative. Frankly, I was amused at the Senator’s and Graham’s similar timing of their pieces. I don’t twitter, and I assume that things posted there prompted their more grounded posts.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. classiccitycanine

    I don’t think that tweet actually shows Kirby isn’t doing a good enough job developing talent in Athens. Five-star prospects are supposed to have the best chance of developing into Day One picks so the fact that Kirby only has one Day One pick out of 26 (and potentially 2-3 more on the roster) is not a promising sign. Stokes, Davis, and Crowder are great stories but you win championships by turning five-stars like Tyson Campbell, LeCounte, Nolan Smith, Travon Walker, etc. into surefire Day One picks (as well as not blowing up your QB room by picking the worst of the 3 QB’s as your starter). Kirby still has more development work to do.


    • Per Graham,

      The percentage varies year to year, but a little less than half of the 30-35 five-star recruits in each cycle will go undrafted at all. There is an assumption that a five-star draft pick is a bust if he isn’t selected in the first round. That’s simply untrue. 38.5% of five-star players will never be drafted.

      There are only 32 Day One picks.

      Liked by 1 person

    • rigger92

      If you read the links, the math works out. Apperently, math counts.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Teacher Martin

    He’s doing something with the Jimmies and Joe’s, but it isn’t winning a National Championship.


  12. Salty Dawg

    Well, shit. No matter what Kirbs does, he won’t please everyone. Even with a NC under his belt. Things could be better and things can be worse. A lot worse, so I’ll take “Things to be happy about UGA Football” for 500, Aaron.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. TN Dawg

    Hard to say Kirby ‘developed’ McKitty with any level of honesty.

    He went from averaging 26 catches per season to 6 at UGA.

    Not exactly what I’d call blossoming under Kirby’s tutelage.


  14. Mike Liss

    It is amazing we are still bitching about the lack of NC’s given where we are. If Nick Saban was out of the picture, we would probably have 3 in the last 10 years. Good news, we are loaded and the season lines up well with the SEC Least. Future is bright, facilities, talent base and fan base are top notch, this could be quite a run.

    Liked by 1 person