Georgia has given itself the option to bring recruits to this year’s rivalry game against Florida in Jacksonville, setting the school up to break from a longstanding agreement between the two programs, according to Seth Emerson of The Athletic.
The reigning national champions have reportedly set aside some of their ticket allotment for the Oct. 29 game specifically for recruits. The two rivals had previously agreed jointly for years not to do so, despite there being no SEC or NCAA rule against it.
It remains unclear if Georgia will end up inviting recruits to the contest, or how many the school would bring. Florida, as the home team in 2023, would have the option to host recruits next season.
Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart has been outspoken about his issues with how having the game in Jacksonville affects recruiting. However, his primary gripe with the neutral location is that Georgia misses out on hosting recruits in Athens for its main rivalry game.
“All I’ll ever say is the home atmosphere we have is incredible and the ability to bring recruits in is big,” Smart said before last year’s game, per The Athletic. “It’s an issue when you don’t have what might be your biggest rivalry and you don’t have the ability to bring official visits in and recruits in every other year because you wouldn’t have it every year anyway. It certainly is valuable in the time when kids are deciding in the early signing date in December and enrolling in January. Those are the most critical weekends you can have to get kids on campus. I stand by the fact that we miss out on one of those opportunities every other year and everybody else in the country doesn’t.”
Georgia and Florida have played annually in Jacksonville since 1933, except during the ’94 and ’95 seasons when the stadium was being renovated. The contract between the two schools and the city of Jacksonville currently runs through 2023 with an option to renew through ’25.
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