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A Parent's Perspective: Kirby Smart, Fran Brown Win Over AJ Harris and Family

June 20, 2022

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ATHENS - The recruitment of a high school football player is an extremely stressful time. Not only for the prospect and coaches recruiting him, but for the parents of those prospects as well.

Cross-country unofficial visits, late -night phone calls, critical official visits, and constant traveling can make the process a nightmare for some families.

For parents, it has to be tough hearing coaches say all the right things, especially when some those things turn out to be lies.

In the end, it’s all about trust.

For Dan Harris, father of new 5-star UGA commit AJ Harris, he knew he could trust Kirby Smart and Fran Brown with his son’s future. That’s one of the biggest reasons why he and his wife Glyniss felt comfortable with Harris pulling the trigger and becoming a Bulldog.

“Coach Smart, he knew that AJ really wanted to be at UGA, but he encouraged and allowed AJ to go through his process”, Harris told Dawg Post. “During the process, Georgia fell behind a couple of times. Coach Smart doesn’t carry himself like he’s too big to communicate with us (parents) as well as the players. He is very much down to earth. He gives my wife and I the feel that he will truly take care of AJ not just for the next three or four years but in the future as well.”

Smart’s resume speaks for itself. He’s turning Georgia into the new “Defensive Back University” and consistently puts his defensive backs in a position to succeed at the NFL level.

New Bulldog assistant Fran Brown was possibly the biggest reason why the 5-star cornerback chose Georgia. The ace recruiter made Harris a top priority in the 2023 class, and he made sure the family knew what his plan was for AJ.

“As for Coach Fran, his transparency is second to none”, Harris added. “He’s shared a lot of uncomfortable things for him to my family and I, and he is a God fearing man. That’s important to Glynnis and I. He is a tireless hard worker that is hungry to prove his worth wherever he may be deficient at. I have no worries that he’ll work at it until he gets it fixed or works it out (you’re not going to outwork Coach Fran)! Coach Fran makes an individual plan for each of his guys and his vision for AJ totally lined up with things that my wife and I want for AJ in football and beyond.”

“It’s not just talk”, Harris added.  “It’s a check the box along the way so we can hold him accountable to the plan.”

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So what is Georgia’s plan for AJ? How did they win over the family and get them on board?

“The main thing that stood out about their plan was AJs comfortability on campus (of course some of that is him camping there each summer and being familiar with the campus at this point), with the staff (AJ talks with at least 5 different Coaches weekly) and after hanging with the players during his official visit that sealed the deal. AJ is also close with the recruiting staff from Angela Kirkpatrick (Associate Director of Recruiting Operations) to Logen Reed (Associate Director of Recruiting Operations) to David Cooper (Director of Recruiting Relations) to Christina Harris (Director of Recruiting Administration).”

Harris also admitted that Georgia’s position for Harris is exactly what the 5-star had in mind as well.

“UGA’s playing style and scheme fit him and they are looking for him to play on the outside. That’s where he wants to be.”

The trust was there, and that’s why Kirby Smart and his staff are some of the best recruiters in the country. 

Tags: AJ Harris
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