Kirby Smart: Recruiting rankings don’t float my boat

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia wrapped up its 2018 recruiting haul with the nation’s top-ranked class, but head coach Kirby Smart isn’t interested in specifically celebrating that No. 1 finish.

Per Jason Butt of the Macon Telegraph, Smart said the ranking doesn’t matter much to the coaching staff.

“Obviously, I’m excited about the class, and I know all you guys want to talk about the ranking. That really does not float my boat or this staff’s boat. I don’t think that’s what’s important. What’s more important is the quality of kids we were able to get, both academically and athletically.”

That’s an understandable reaction from Smart, since coaches are ultimately judged on their success between the white lines. If the 2018 class isn’t part of a championship-winning team, the No. 1 recruiting ranking won’t have as much value.

Still, without question, it helps to acquire elite talent. No prospect’s status defines him, but the data unequivocally shows 4- and 5-star players are more likely to become stars — and Georgia officially added 22 of those on national signing day, per the 247Sports’ composite rankings.

With the possible exception of a couple schools, realistic fans would prefer to take Georgia’s top-ranked 2018 class.

But as Smart says, that billing won’t matter unless on-field results follow.