Smart: I Want 93,000 at the Spring Game

Kirby Smart touched on a slew of subjects during an interview with ESPN's Roy Philpot.

Roy Philpot: I know it has been a whirlwind these past couple of weeks. You just won a national title last week. What has this been like for you?

Kirby Smart: It has been a whirlwind to say the least. I has been exciting for my family in this transition to get to come home. Great honor to win that national title against Clemson. 

Philpot: You played here, what was it like to get that phone call to come home. 

Smart: It was easy. Yes. Let’s go. When do I get there? When do I get to start? It is a great place. A great university. President Morehead has been good to me. It has been an honor to be able to honor here so far.

Philpot: You have followed this football program from a far, obviously, for a number of years. You have won all of those national titles at Alabama. How close is Georgia from getting back there in your opinion?

Smart: First of all that’s a tough question. Hypothetically, I don’t like to get into those situations.  I do think the talent is within a five-hour radius to win big here. That’s what we plan to do. When? I don’t know. It depends on how long it takes us to recruit these good players we’ve got. 

Philpot: I know that you have talked with the press recently about improving Georgia’s passing game. You’ve got some weapons it looks like are going to be on board for you next year. How does that happen in year one for Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs?

Smart: The first thing we can do to pass the ball well is to run the ball well. If we run it well the play-action game will be great. And we will be able to throw the ball down the field. We have to establish a good quarterback, and get that into position and get some good wideouts in here. That’s the No. 1 thing for us right now - getting the best players we can get in to develop and grow. 

Philpot: That’s really what it is all about this time of year. You stepped off the field in Glendale and then come here to Athens you really focus on recruiting. 

Smart: Absolutely, we have some great kids in here now. We are exciting about recruiting. We had some great mid-year kids. We are trying to finish this this last week off as strong as we can in recruiting. 

Philpot: You ever play and basketball back in the day? 

Smart: I played a little bit in high school. I was the sixth man (laughing).

Philpot:I know your wife Mary Beth played. I bet she could take you to the rack.

Smart: She could defiantly outshoot me. We don’t play horse. As long as we get to play man-to-man and play tight coverage I am ok. 

Philpot: What was your experience playing here in Athens? You were a five-star prospect coming in right?

Smart: Yeah, right! Far from it. I tell kids all of the time that I got my offer about three days before Signing Day, so if I could do that anyone could do that. I got a whole month to catch up. My experience was great. I got to to see the Terry College of Business today. What a facility. 

Philpot: A lot has change around here. 

Smart: Sure has. In the last two weeks I have gotten to see a lot of it on the recruiting weekends. Unbelievable the new facilities around here - especially in academics. 

Philpot: Gotten any sleep the last weeks?

Smart: Very little. My wife has been chastised me the other day about all of the texting I have been doing with our staff. She said: “You need to let them rest.” I said: “They’ve had off.”

Philpot: Of course Jacob Eason has already signed. He figures to help you with your passing game. 

Smart: We hope so. We hope so. We are going to try to develop and bring him along this spring along with the two guys we have here on campus. I think Coach (Jim) Cheney will do a great job developing those guys and be able to throw it… (silence). We’ve got to find us a passing game.

Philpot: You’ve got a pretty good tight end. Once of the best in the country. 

Smart: No doubt. Issac is a great one. He is here right now working out doing a good job. He called me the other day. One of our new strength guys was working him out, Coach Sinclair, was in here working him hard. He said: “Coach I don’t know if I signed up for this.” All of those kids are doing well academically. We are glad that we got them in early. They will help us get some depth to our program. 

Philpot: So you win the national title last week. You were coaching, really, both programs. How tough was that?

Smart: hat was tough. I mean it was tough. You have to wear two hats, and be loyal to two masters. That’s always hard to do. You have to recruit and when you had to recruit. You had to coach when you had to coach. I thought it was important to our players at Alabama for us to do that. 

Philpot:So your next couple of weeks. What is it like for you?

Smart: Some big finishing touches on to the class. We hope to put a nail in the coffin of some of these guys and go and get them. And fill the holes we need - that’s what we are hoping to do. This is a critical time these last few days. 

Philpot: If you have one message to these Georgia fans - obviously everyone is handing on every word you are saying. You walked into here, and it felt like Elvis walked into the building.

Smart: A united Dawg Nation. We want 93,000 people at the spring game. I want to challenge every fan to come out. That’s the easiest thing out there to recruit behind. If we have everyone behind us it makes it that much easier to recruit.


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