Georgia football-Kirby Smart-Florida-recruiting
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, center right, and his family walk on the field after beating Florida 34-7, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (Stephen B. Morton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Recruiting decided 2021 Georgia football-Florida game and Kirby Smart knows it

One play later, Stetson Bennett his Kearis Jackson for a 36-yard touchdown to put Georgia up 17-0. What looked like a game was quickly blown up thanks to the borderline excessive amount of talent on the Georgia defense.

Related: Georgia football wins SEC East, punches ticket to Atlanta

The next Florida drive ended thanks to a Dean pick-6. The two sacks Georgia got against Florida? Both came from former 5-star prospects in Adam Anderson and Jalen Carter. Kelee Ringo, a former 5-star cornerback, was able to swat down a key third-down pass when Florida was doing all it could to keep it a game.

To cap things off, Zamir White scored the game’s final touchdown on a 42-yard run. He too was a 5-star prospect.

All those hours that Smart spends flying to kids’ high schools or talking to them on the phone paid off on Saturday with a 34-7 for No. 1 Georgia.

“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.”

“It’s 25 percent evaluation, it’s 50 percent recruiting and another 25 percent coaching,” Smart said. “But if you don’t recruit guys, you don’t have a chance. Just go look at the best teams out there. They’ve got good football players.”

Those long hours of scouting, selling and then developing, are why Smart has the No.1 team in the country. It’s also why Mullen now finds himself inching closer and closer to the hot seat.

As a head coach, Smart is now 4-1 against Mullen. To further hammer home the importance of recruiting rankings, Smart is 0-3 against Alabama and Nick Saban, the only team that can say it recruits as well or better than Georgia.

But if Bulldogs keep playing as they did on Saturday, that might not be the case for much longer. Not with Smart still being the maniacal recruiter he is.

“That’s why I believe in recruiting,” Smart said. “You better always be recruiting, because if you’re not, somebody else is.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart on Georgia’s win over Florida

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