One thing UGA fans have been forced to get used to with offensive line recruiting is change. Sam Pittman came on board with Kirby Smart's inagural staff and proved to be a monster recruiter. He helped produce multiple NFL draft picks, such as Lamont Gallaird in 2019. Andrew Thomas (Pick 4) and Isaiah Wilson (Pick 29) both went in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft, while Solomon Kindley was drafted in the 4th round (Pick 111). In 2021, Ben Cleveland was drafted in the 3rd round with the 94th overall pick. Trey Hill was drafted after Cleveland in the 6th round at pick 190. Justin Shaffer and Jamaree Salyer were both drated in the 6th round this year, at picks 190 and 195 respectively.
There wasn't much drop off in recruiting with former Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke taking the reins in 2020 after Pittman took the head coaching job with the Arkansas Razorbacks. He was able to get or keep Broderick Jones, Tate Ratledge, Sedrick Van Pran, Chad Lindberg, Austin Blaske, and Devin Willock in the 2020 class. The momentum continued in 2021 with Amarius Mims, Micah Morris, Dylan Fairchild, and Jared Wilson. Luke was able to bring in Earnest Greene, Aliou Bah, Jacob Hood, Drew Bobo, and Griffin Scroggs in the 2022 class.
Of course Luke left coaching after last season to spend time with his family and Kirby Smart hired a familiar name in Stacy Searels. He's been able to keep Bo Hughley commited and flipped Joshua Miller from Penn State. Searels hopes to add in-state top target Kelton Smith on Friday.
The 4* is from Dell McGee's old stomping grounds at Carver-Columbus. He is a guy that I think could play multiple positions across the offensive line. He took official visits to LSU, UGA, and Texas A&M. While the other two teams plus a couple of others have made a big push, Smith has named UGA his leader. We are predicting Smith to take the next step in his relationship with UGA and putting on the red and black hat/attire Friday!
Like he has with other recent predictions, Graham Coffey took a look at Smith’s highlight tape and talked about how his game and physical attributes project to the college level. Graham sees Smith as a lineman who has one of the highest upsides of any player in his class and thinks UGA could have the option of playing him inside or outside depending on how he develops. Checkout the full breakdown below.