In the past three seasons, Kirby Smart's Georgia class has locked up the top overall recruiting class two times, according to various outlets that follow recruiting. For programs that recruit nationally and expect to compete for top classes year in and year out, that obviously comes with a price tag.
But what exactly does that price tag look like?
According to information the AJC was able to find in some travel documents provided by Georgia, during a 13-day period around the Bulldogs appearance in the SEC title game in early December, the program spent a whopping $420k on just chartering planes alone. That chunk of change went to a total of 42 chartered planes for Kirby Smart and members of his staff that landed in 23 different cities beyond the Georgia border.
Count up meals and other expenses coaches paid while on the road during that 13-day span and you're creeping close to $500k.
What does athletic director Greg McGarity have to say about what many will view as a very steep price tag?
“You want a return on your investment, right? This is just part of what we do to help Kirby get the job done at UGA," he shared with the AJC, noting how important recruiting is to the success of their program. "It illustrates our commitment to Kirby to achieve our mutual goals.”
The UGA staff made four trips to Houston alone during that span for recruiting, and also hopped on flights across the country to California, and one flight to Canada as well to visit top recruits.
Head here to read the full piece from the AJC, including which recruits some of the more expensive flights were for that topped out at over $27,000.