Georgia will have its coach soon, just not on a full-time basis.
Kirby Smart informed his Alabama defensive players that he will stay with the team through the national playoff, defensive back Cyrus Jones told reporters, including the AJC’s Jeff Schultz, after Saturday’s SEC championship.
That doesn’t mean Smart can’t be introduced as Georgia’s coach – assuming a deal is done – and begin recruiting and putting together his staff. The next week would typically be used for recruiting anyway, so Smart can do that for Georgia.
The NCAA has a dead period for recruiting beginning on Dec. 14 and lasting until Jan. 13. So by staying with Alabama, Smart would not miss out on much active recruiting for Georgia.
The first round of national semifinal games is Dec. 31, and the championship is Jan. 11.
Georgia will be coached in its bowl game, probably the Gator Bowl, by receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Bryan McClendon, who is assuming interim coaching duties until the new coach arrives.