Georgia outside linebacker Nolan Smith (4) during the Bulldogs' game against Florida at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. (photo by Rob Davis)
Rob Davis

Even Georgia football players understand recruiting better than Dan Mullen

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Georgia football continues to make life miserable for Dan Mullen

Nolan Smith just played the most impactful game of his Georgia career. He grabbed an interception and ripped the ball out of Anthony Richardson’s for a fumble. Georgia went on to score on the ensuing plays following both Smith’s turnovers, as the Bulldogs won 34-7 against rival Florida.

For his efforts and performance, he was named the SEC’s Defensive Player of the Week. It was a crowning achievement for the former 5-star prospect.

After letting his thoughts marinate overnight, Smith wanted to express something via his Twitter account. It wasn’t about how he played or even how his teammates performed against the Gators.

Related: Nolan Smith on Georgia win over Florida: ‘It was personal’

The Georgia outside linebacker used his platform to try and recruit the next wave of players to Georgia. He gets the importance of recruiting and the need to do it all the time. Just as Kirby Smart does.

Whether it is in fact reality or just the perception, Mullen is not consumed with recruiting in the same way that his counterpart at Georgia is.

Smart eats, sleeps and breathes recruiting. Consider that on Monday, Mullen wouldn’t spend more than 15 seconds publicly discussing recruiting.

Following the emphatic win on Saturday, Smart spent over a full minute discussing the importance of recruiting. All that after what was Georgia’s most consequential win of the 2021 season.

“If you don’t recruit, there’s no coach out there that can out-coach recruiting,” Smart said. “I don’t care who you are. The best coach to ever play the game better be a good recruiter because no coaching is going to out-coach players. Anybody will tell you that our defense is good because we have good players.

“So, spending time with people on the phone, spending time with people at their house, spending time with people when they come to your campus - I’m not with my family when I do that. My family sacrifices so that I can go and spend time with other people’s families so that we have good players.”

It’s easy to see that Georgia has better players than Florida. That talent advantage comes from the hours and hours of time devoted to recruiting. Some of that is seen, whether it be Smart taking a helicopter to go see 5-star 2022 recruit Travis Hunter two days before the Kentucky game or when Smart went to watch Arch Manning during the off week.

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