Does Kirby Smart help UGA with 'Bama Commit?

One of the top juniors in Georgia is committed to Alabama, but with Kirby Smart taking over in Athens (Ga.), does that help the Dawgs' chances? Get the latest on Xavier McKinney here...

Alabama offered junior Xavier McKinney earlier than most, then the Crimson Tide picked up his commitment back in September.

Kirby Smart was his lead recruiter for Alabama and he is now the head coach at Georgia

Does that help the Dawgs with the No. 8 safety in the 2017 class?

"Everything is really still the same for me and Georgia," said McKinney.  "I had interest in Georgia when they offered me, so with coach Smart there now, it does not really change anything for me.

"Coach Smart is a great person and he is cool to talk with.  He is funny, he is smart, and he is someone I do not have to hide from.  He is just a cool guy who I think will do well at Georgia."

Taking Smart's place at Alabama once the playoffs end is former Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.  McKinney has never spoken to the new leader of the 'Bama defense.  

Does that hurt the program in Tuscaloosa (Ala.)?

"It is really the same as it is with Georgia — All is still the same for me.  My commitment is still the same to Alabama.  

"I do not know coach Pruitt yet and we have yet to talk, but Alabama is still Alabama."

The four-star safety out of Roswell (Ga.) was at UA for the LSU and Ole Miss games in 2015 and he said he feels "at home" when on that campus.

His commitment still seems firm, but he does plan to look at UGA soon and keep his eyes open.

"I am keeping my options open, but Alabama is still the school I am committed to," said McKinney.  "I am with 'Bama, but I am still going to look around.

"I know for sure I will check Georgia out and talk with them more, but other than that, I do know about other schools yet.

"I know I can spend the next four years at Alabama and be happy, so I still feel good about that."

McKinney finished the 2015 season with 12 interceptions and he helped his team play for the state title.

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