On Saturday, Kirby Smart hired Florida defensive backs coach Charlton Warren to the same position at Georgia. This hire might be the most interesting - and significant - of the crazy post-bowl hiring season of any school in any conference.
Perhaps it has something to do with how hard Georgia is recruiting 4-Star, blue chip defensive back Kaiir Elam from The Benjamin School in North Palm Beach, Florida. Most recruiting services had this ultra-talented kid trending towards the Gators. Today, after an official visit to Georgia, several of the recruiting services have Elam trending back towards Georgia. The hiring of Coach Warren aside, how could Georgia not trend after this kid was allowed to whack some golf balls toward the east end of Sanford Stadium? Shoot, I’d sign on the spot...
University Of Georgia Official Visit pic.twitter.com/809sijs4Qe— Kaiir Elam. (@Easymoney_Kai) January 19, 2019
Nice fade! (He meant to do that...)
I’d like to think that Coach Smart is playing Florida a little bit by hiring the very coach that was recruiting Elam to the Gators, but I don’t think this is the case at all. If Elam ends up choosing the Dawgs, that’s some mighty fine gravy on top of a pile of yummy whipped ‘taters that is the Dawgs Class of ‘19.
No, this is all about the long-play. Georgia’s biggest threat in the past, the present and the future is Florida. As long as Kirby Smart is the Sheriff in town, the SEC East is going to be a perennial fight for supremacy between Us and Them (sorry, Tennessee). With Miami undergoing another quick coaching change and Florida State currently in dumpster-fire status, Florida is the main threat to gobble up recruits in the Sunshine State and has the potential to rebuild quicker than any school in our Division. Kirby Smart has about a 3-4 year recruiting-cycle gap (and it is still significant) over Florida at present and I have no doubt that Coach Smart will maintain his ability to out-recruit the rest of the East each and every year. Recruiting, however, is only part of the equation for sustained success. You’ve got to have the X’s and O’s guys and the staff that will coach ‘em up and recruit at a high level. Poaching Charlton Warren from the depths of Alachua county has accomplished this and more.
Our annual battle for SEC East supremacy will increasingly have to travel through Jacksonville - like it absolutely should. Kirby knows this. He’s not about to rest on his #3, #1 and #2 ranked classes of the last 3 years, respectively. This is what I love about him the most. This is politics by other means. I’m not going to call it a war because it isn’t. No one is dying. But, like war, Kirby Smart is on the offensive by taking a very talented defensive coach who brings a freshness, intensity and Georgia connections to Athens.
No one is going to out-work our current head coach. How Kirby Smart thinks is different. His players often say he’s never comfortable, meaning he’s always striving; looking for that advantage. Rust never sleeps. Neither does Kirby Smart, evidently. Complacency has no place in his world.