Taking from the Portal
The early signing period comes to a close today, and according to the 247Sports Composite the Dawgs hauled in the number 2 signing class behind only Alabama (hang the banner in Tuscaloosa). While this year's events were not as crazy with last minute flips as we've seen in the past, it's also been paired with the first ever transfer portal window.
Now, the transfer window is where people outside of the Georgia program are going to focus. Get ready folks, the hot takes are on the way. People will point to Kirby's comments in the immediate aftermath of the Dawgs' win over Tennessee on November 5th. In case you don't recall, the exchange with CBS's Jenny Dell went like this:
Jenny Dell: Coach you had the number 1 team in the country come in here...how were you able to just send them packing their bags the way that you just did?
Kirby Smart: A bunch of kids that love this place. We took zero out of the portal. They all love it here. They compete their ass off. And these fans are elite. I’m so proud of this university and these kids. They practiced their butt off for two weeks.
People are going to latch on to the "zero out of the portal" comment with Georgia already taking two receivers this portal cycle in Rara Thomas and Dominic Lovett.
There are three things about the statement itself I'd like to focus on here:
- Kirby simply stated a fact. If you count how many players Georgia took from the portal last year, you will come up with zero.
- Perhaps more importantly, you have to realize that Kirby is often sending a message to his players when he talks to the media. Kirby was emphasizing to THIS team, that we didn't need anyone from the portal to get to this point. This group can accomplish all of their goals. It's a motivational tactic.
- Finally, Kirby said we "took" zero out of the portal. He didn't say that we didn't recruit anyone out of the portal.
Aside from the statement itself, remember that Kirby treats each season as a different team. This team didn't didn't take anyone from the portal because there wasn't anyone in there willing to come that would have made an impact in 2022. When Kirby takes transfers they are high impact guys like Maurice Smith, Lawrence Cager, Eli Wolf, Tre' McKitty, and Derion Kendrick. When you think about that track record, ignore the hot takes and get excited about Thomas and Lovett.
Edited by Jim Wood
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