IT JUST MEANS MORE! It just means more, guys. So much more. Oh my gosh, the much more that it means, oh my stars!
On The Paul Finebaum Show, Smart mentioned teams outside the conference are telling recruits the conference is too tough, too competitive and too physical, and that they might get banged up playing in the SEC.
"But that's not the way the NFL GMs are looking at it, and that's not the way the NFL coaches are looking at it," Smart said. "They want to take kids that want to compete at the highest level [...]"
Here is an alternative explanation. I think it is possible that teams outside of the SEC, but specifically outside of the Georgia program, are telling Bulldog recruits that they aren't going to be successful in college and in the league because Georgia underperforms.
And don't get me wrong! They've been great! Amazing, even! Kirby Smart has led them to a national title game and at least 11 wins in three of his four years as head coach. But it's also true that a team that has had a top 3 recruiting class every year since 2016 has only won their conference once in that timeframe despite getting to run all over a super weaksauce SEC East every season.
Maybe, Kirby, Georgia just isn't "the highest level" right now.