Kirby Smart: Early signing won't cut down on costs like people think

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Sunday April 16, 2017

Kirby Smart says an early Signing Day won’t cut down on time or costs, like it’s been pitched.

The early signing can’t become official until the Collegiate Commissioners Association approves it in June, but it’s expected to happen. Proponents said it would cut down on recruiting costs in those final months with some players signed, but Smart says it’ll just push the next class up, even if official visits aren’t allowed for them yet.

“People think it’s going to cut down on cost. You’re not going to spend less because you do that,” he said. “You’re going to go see someone else. You’re going to go see the last 10 guys to get. You’re going to go see the next 2019 or 2020 kid more.

You’re going to do something with that time, but you’re not going to, what we call, babysit a recruit and see him over and over. I think that’s how it will affect it. It will speed up the process on other kids, because you’ll be going to see them more.”

Smart was against an early signing period, but figured it was going to happen. There will also be early official visits from April to late June, beginning next year, which will speed things up even more. The SEC had proposed to limit it April, but that did not pass.

Smart also echoed his former boss on the new rule restricting the hiring of individuals associated with prospects — but with a calmer tone. Smart greatly expanded the Georgia support staff since taking over, and agreed with Nick Saban that this severely limits the career prospects for high school coaches. Essentially, you either don’t recruit from a school if you hire a high school coach in a support role, or you hire them full time.

I still stand that it’s hard on the coaching profession to grow coaches and develop coaches like we do in the SEC without the ability to hire high school coaches,” Smart said. “They’ll still argue, you can still hire them you just can’t hire the ones with prospects. Well, when you sign 25 a year, it’s hard not to sign one that may interact with a prospect.

“It does limit those guys. And that’s the most disappointing thing about that rule.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to