Since Kirby Smart took over as head coach on Dec. 6, Georgia has had four commitments -- Malek Young, Bailey Hockman (2017), Darion Anderson and most recently Aaron Dowdell -- back off of their pledges to the Bulldogs.
During that same period, the Bulldogs have landed commitments from five-star tight end Isaac Nauta, ESPN 300 wide receiver Cavin Ridley, the eighth-ranked prospect in the ESPN Junior 300, Richard LeCounte III, as well as another ESPN Junior 300 prospect, Breon Dixon.
Any time a new head coach takes over, especially one without head coaching experience, there is bound to be a transition period in recruiting.
Whether it’s a committed prospect that chooses to look elsewhere or prospects the new coaches don't believe will be a good fit in their system, there are changes that are often times unavoidable.
One key prospect, quarterback Jacob Eason was wavering on his commitment to Georgia and even took official visits to Florida and Washington before reaffirming his decision and eventually enrolling at Georgia for the spring semester. Eason admitted he liked the direction of the program under Smart.
"I think Georgia is heading in a good direction,” Eason said at the Army All-America Bowl earlier this month. "We’ve got a good class coming in, we’re all looking forward to going in and competing with the guys they’ve got down there and learn from them and help them and buy in. Kirby Smart is a great guy, learned a lot from him already about his character and what he’s going to do. He’s real professional with his stuff and has hired a great staff. I’m excited to see what we can do.”
LeCounte, who committed to Georgia on Dec. 13, echoed Eason’s thoughts.
“The relationship I have with coach Smart is like no other coach in college football,” LeCounte said. “I love the passion he coaches with. He loves his players as much as they love him but he also gets the best out of them on the competitive level."
Securing and maintaining commitments from players like Eason and LeCounte was an enormous win for Georgia’s new head coach. Eason enrolled at Georgia shortly after the Army game and now will help host key visitors throughout January. The 6-foot-6, 217-pound signal-caller seems to have embraced his new role as a recruiter for the Bulldogs.
"That's one of my jobs,” Eason said of hosting visitors. "It’s another reason I came in early, actually -- obviously to learn the offense, but also to recruit and give other guys an opportunity to see what it's like.”
Even prior to enrolling early, Eason along with ESPN 300 offensive lineman Ben Cleveland, have been basically an extension of the Georgia coaching staff as far as recruiting goes. Even despite the coaching turnover, the Bulldogs still have a top-10 recruiting class which contains 15 verbal commits including 10 which are ranked in the ESPN 300.
Georgia is still hoping to add other key pieces to its recruiting puzzle and big-time prospects such as Derrick Brown, Patrick Hudson, Tre Nixon, Mack Wilson, Ben Davis, Mecole Hardman and Michail Carter are still heavily considering the Bulldogs.
While Smart has spent the last few weeks figuring out his coaching staff and doing the best he can to put together a top recruiting class for Georgia, there is no question he is setting the Bulldogs up to have a lot of recruiting success in the future.
ESPN.com writer Max Olson contributed to this story.