Georgia football's Kirby Smart watches Jefferson's Sammy Brown at Clarke Central

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart looks on from the Jefferson sideline during a GHSA high school football game between Jefferson and Clarke Central in Athens, Ga., on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022.
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart looks on from the Jefferson sideline during a GHSA high school football game between Jefferson and Clarke Central in Athens, Ga., on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022.

About 30 minutes before Jefferson kicked off their Region 8-5A schedule at Clarke Central Friday night, a familiar face wearing a grey quarter-zip and navy blue pants appeared on the Dragons' sideline.

It was Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart and he quietly watched as Jefferson five-star linebacker prospect Sammy Brown warmed up.

Smart didn't want attention drawn to him, and those on the field respected that. There were several UGA fans that came up and shook his hand and asked for pictures. But for the most part they just gave the head coach his space to watch the 6-foot-2 Jefferson athlete.

Brown, who holds offers from 25 Power 5 schools, plays both ways for the Dragons, as a running back and linebacker.

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Friday, he didn't have the breakout run that he's been known for, but defensively he and his team did enough to give Jefferson a 17-7 win over Clarke Central to open region play.

And Smart was there for most of it.

"I think he has great support for me and I really appreciate that he came out and watch me," Brown said. "I just really appreciate it."

In the hard-nosed defensive battle, Brown did his typical clogging of holes and didn't let many big plays go over the top.

Throughout the night, Smart followed the action on the Jefferson sideline, talking with whoever wanted to say something to him. At halftime, he talked with two girls soccer players that were prepping for a halftime field goal kicking contest with a year's worth of free Raising Canes chicken on the line.

The kicker made the 25-yard field goal to secure the free chicken.

Asked about what he does when college coaches come to games, Jefferson head coach Travis Noland said he remains cordial and answers any questions the coaches may have.

"They're not here to see me, they're here to see Sammy Brown," Noland said. "We're gracious for Kirby being at the game."

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Smart and the UGA coaching staff have shown great interest in the five-star athlete from just up the street. The head coach spent time visiting Jefferson by his Kirby-copter in January and linebacker Glenn Schumann was on hand for a game last season to see Brown and then-Jefferson star Malaki Starks.

Brown is set to go on an unofficial visit to Tennessee this weekend as the Volunteers host Florida in a Top 25 clash.

The Sammy File

More: Jefferson junior star Sammy Brown, now an All-American, wraps up summer recruiting tour

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More: Sammy Brown visited and got an offer from Alabama. What's next for the 2024 Jefferson ATH?

McClain Baxley is a recruiting reporter for the Athens Banner-Herald and the USA TODAY Network. Reach him by email at or on Twitter at @mcclainbaxley. Subscribe today to support local journalism

This article originally appeared on Athens Banner-Herald: Kirby Smart watches Sammy Brown