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Ask Farrell: Is it time to put Kirby Smart on throne as best recruiter?

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position

MORE: The Farrell Awards for signing day

Georgia coach Kirby Smart was throwing haymakers against any team that wanted to compete with the Bulldogs in the 2018 class, as his squad finished with eight five-star signees and won the recruiting cycle.

No one was quite sure how Georgia would close in the 2019 class but Smart did a phenomenal job, and the biggest surprise was when five-star receiver George Pickens flipped from Auburn. To close out the day, the Bulldogs landed three-star tight end Brett Seither, beating Alabama for his services.

The closing months were an absolutely incredible run for Smart and the Georgia staff.

Kirby Smart
Kirby Smart (AP Images)

They got four-star defensive back Tyrique Stevenson out of South Florida when Miami made him a top priority in the class. They went to Mississippi and landed Nakobe Dean when Alabama, LSU and others wanted him. They flipped Dwan Mathis from Ohio State, although the Bulldogs might have received an assist there when former QB Justin Fields transferred to play for the Buckeyes.

Maybe most impressively, Smart went to the state of Alabama and signed the top two players from there – Pickens and five-star center Clay Webb, who was seemingly an Alabama lock for a long time. It’s the first time in history dating back to 2002 that any team other than Alabama landed the top two players from that state.

Georgia has finished atop the team recruiting rankings for two straight cycles, another outstanding accomplishment.

So we ask National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell: Has the torch been passed from Alabama coach Nick Saban to Smart as being the best recruiter, and especially the best closer?


"I don't think the torch has been passed, as Saban is still the best head coach recruiter in college football and the difference between the two classes this year was minimal. However, Kirby Smart has proven to be one of the top three recruiters in college football – Dabo Swinney is the other – and they are closing the talent gap very quickly with Alabama. That has shown on the field with very competitive games against Alabama the last two years. If Smart continues to recruit at this level like Saban did when he started at Alabama, there is no doubt in my mind that Georgia will win a national title."