We won’t get too epic with this stuff, but the first few recruiting rides of new head coach Kirby Smart might be the stuff of a how-to manual on recruiting one day.

Smart has already phoned 5-star athlete Demetris Robertson and had an in-home visit with 4-star offensive lineman Ben Cleveland. He’s already spoken to 5-star UGA commitment Jacob Eason on the phone, too. He’s officially had the job for less than five hours.

But he’s not done there. Derek Cleveland, Ben’s father, told DawgNation he believed Smart was going to fly cross-country out to Washington to see Eason on Monday. That would logistically have to take place after Smart meets with the media for his first press conference in Athens at 12:30 p.m. on Monday.

That’s how important Eason is to what Smart plans to build at UGA. He’s set to fly across three times zones to convince him he needs to remain a solid commitment to UGA. Eason recently took an official visit to Florida. It also would not be surprising to see him take another official visit to see former UGA head coach Mark Richt at Miami, but that depth chart doesn’t set up as well for him to get on the field fast like it does at UGA.

Look for Smart to quickly convey a short list of offensive coordinator choices with Eason and his family. He will make sure to emphasize the system the offensive coordinator UGA will run no matter who takes the job.

The title might just be “How to make the nation’s No. 4 recruiting class re-fall in love with a new head coach in 10 days.”


Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.