News broke last night of Kirby Smart’s imminent move to Athens, Ga., to become UGA’s next coach, as originally reported by DawgNation’s Chip Towers. And with that spawned a frenzy of reaction from fans, players and recruits.
We examined which defensive prospects would likely be affected by Smart’s decision and detailed them for you below.
Check them out:
Lyndell Wilson, LB, Carver-Montgomery (Montgomery, Ala.), Undecided
Wilson postponed his commitment date early Tuesday, citing possible future head coaching changes as the main reason behind his decision.
He later confirmed to SEC Country that he delayed his announcement in order to specifically see where Kirby Smart would land. Upon hearing the news of Smart’s imminent move, Wilson was brief and to the point.
“I’m interested,” he told SEC Country.
Smart was Wilson’s primary recruiter at Alabama. And it is likely the former Alabama defensive coordinator’s decision to leave will affect the 5-star linebacker’s recruitment in some way, shape or form.
UGA will certainly be in play for the consensus No. 1 outside linebacker as we inch closer to National Signing Day.
William Poole, CB, Hapeville Charter (Atlanta), Undecided
One of the top recruits at his position in 2017, Poole openly expressed his approval for Smart’s imminent return home.
“The hiring of coach (Kirby) Smart is the news I’ve been waiting for,” Poole told SEC Country.
The 5-star prospect, according to Rivals, has reported close to 40 offers and the Bulldogs are believed to be in the fold. Per 247Sports.com’s Crystal Ball projections, 62 percent of voters peg Poole remaining in-state.
Look for Smart’s move to play a large role in his recruitment over the next year.
Ben Davis, LB, Gordo (Gordo, Ala.), Undecided
Smart and Alabama defensive line coach Bo Davis were both responsible for recruiting the Alabama legacy. And Ben Davis, the consensus No. 1 inside linebacker, is surely a talent Smart will continue to pursue in Athens.
The 5-star linebacker offered his take on Smart’s possible transition to UGA just a day before the news broke.
“He’s a great coach,” Davis said in the interview. “If he goes there, that will be good for him and for Georgia. Like I said, whoever goes there, it’s not going to hurt how I look at Georgia. They’re still going to be one of my top schools. Right now, they’re definitely in my top three or four. Whatever happens, I’m going to still consider them.”
Many believe that Davis is destined to play in Tuscaloosa, Ala., but he is certainly a recruit to watch in the coming weeks.
Xavier McKinney, DB, Roswell (Roswell, Ga.), Committed to Alabama
In September, the 2017 safety conceded to DawgNation that he was waiting on an offer from the Bulldogs. One month — and a commitment to Alabama — later McKinney finally received it.
The 4-star prospect wasn’t available for comment Tuesday, but it’s likely he’ll give UGA a good look now that Smart is on board. Like many of the aforementioned recruits, Smart was McKinney’s primary recruiter at Alabama.