With the machine Kirby Smart has built at Georgia, the program won't be caught not looking ahead.
Four-star tight end Ethan Barbour (No. 94 overall in the 2025 ESPN 300) became the latest member of the Bulldogs' burgeoning recruiting class Friday.
"They really did an all-out effort with everyone on their staff building a relationship with not only me, but my parents as well," Barbour told ESPN. "We heard from everyone in the building. I'm taking everyone from the academic department to, of course, (tight ends) Coach (Todd) Hartley and Coach Smart. And they were consistent throughout the process. That meant a lot."
Barbour, the top tight end in the 2025 class, chose Georgia over Alabama, Auburn, Texas and South Carolina. He's the seventh ESPN 300 player for Georgia and the program's fifth top-100 prospect in the cycle.
Through three games this season for Alpharetta High School (Georgia), the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Barbour has 11 receptions for 227 yards and five touchdowns.
"My skill set matches up well with how they have used TEs in the past," he said. "Plus, they have a great record developing tight ends and their success over the last few years getting guys drafted into the league speaks for itself."
Brock Bowers, a possible top-10 selection in the 2024 NFL draft, had 119 receptions for 1,824 yards and 20 touchdowns combined in his first two seasons in Athens -- earning first-team All-American honors in 2022. Through three weeks this season, he has 13 catches 135 yards for the two-time defending national champions.
Darnell Washington was drafted in the third round (93rd overall) by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2023 after his three-year career in Athens (45 receptions for 774 yards and three TDs in 36 games from 2020 to '22).
"Coach Hartley and Coach Smart laid out a great game plan of how they see me fitting into the TE room, but I'm ready to do whatever is necessary for us to win," Barbour said.
Barbour would be the seventh ESPN 300 tight end the Bulldogs have signed since the 2020 cycle. Jaden Reddell (No. 52 overall in 2024) committed in May, joining ESPN's current top-ranked class for 2024.
And by staying close to home, Barbour aims to add to that legacy.
"I took my time visiting a lot of schools over the last few years trying to get to know them better," he said. "And although I appreciate all of the schools and coaches who recruited me, Georgia just felt right after it was all said and done."