ATLANTA — Kirby Smart understands the appeal of alternate uniforms. Oregon gained a lot of cache with recruits by wearing all kinds of uniforms. The Ducks will probably wear something spiffy and new when they open the 2022 season against the Bulldogs
Georgia is much more conservative when it comes to uniforms. The Bulldogs didn’t deviate from their classic home and away uniforms in 2021. But this offseason did see Georgia bust out some all-white uniforms, complete with white pants and a white helmet during recruiting visits.
The look was a major hit among recruits and generated real buzz on social media. Some wondered if they would ever be used during a game.
While speaking at SEC media days, Smart was asked that very question. And while he didn’t completely shut the door on the idea, don’t expect to see them anytime soon.
“To say it would never happen would be foolish,” Smart said. “I don’t think never is in the vocabulary for anything. We’re open to looking at different things and exploring different options. But it’s not imminent.”
As for why Smart elected to roll them out in this manner, it all goes back to recruiting. It’s the heartbeat of Smart’s program, as the Georgia head coach knows you always have to be pushing something to land the best players in the country.
Georgia signed the No. 3 ranked recruiting class in the country last year. The problem is that it was the No. 3 ranked class in the SEC behind Texas A&M and Alabama. Georgia has to keep up with them, along with the Ohio State’s and Notre Dame’s of the world.
The Bulldogs currently have the No. 6 ranked recruiting class in the 2023 recruiting cycle, landing 4-star defensive tackle Jamaal Jarrett on Tuesday night. Like the many other recruits who came through Athens in June, Jarrett displayed the white jerseys while having his picture taken.
“I think it’s pretty obvious what the reason is for having them,” Smart said. “I mean, you do it because you want the guys to be excited about changing uniforms and taking pictures. They want different looks. Oregon’s kind of been the team to go out with five or six uniforms.”
Smart also made some other comments about the importance of recruiting on Wednesday at SEC Media Days, chiefly with regard to the future of the Georgia-Florida game.
“I’m competing against (coaches) all across the SEC, who host recruits at their biggest game,” Smart said. “When Auburn plays Alabama, guess where the recruits are? When LSU and Alabama play, that’s where the biggest recruits want to go. It’s an opportunity for us to bring these kids, who fly in from all over the country — what game do they want to come see Georgia play? They’d like to see Georgia play Florida, but they can’t do that.
“It’s very important. Recruiting is very important. … I just can’t get a Florida coach to agree with me about (moving the game).”
The Georgia coach also took time in his address to reporters to emphasize the importance of recruiting.
“We have an unbelievable footprint with which we get to recruit,” Smart said. “So the five-hour radius of Athens, Georgia, gives us a chance to be around some of the best football student-athletes there are in the country. We’ll continue to recruit those, develop those. Also going nationally.”
Kirby Smart provides an update on the all-white uniforms
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