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Reports: Georgia, Florida football able to host recruits in annual Jacksonville game

·2 min read
Oct 27, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; The view from the Georgia side of the stadium during late first quarter action. Saturday’s annual Florida vs Georgia football game, October 27, 2018 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, FL. Bob Self-USA TODAY NETWORK
Oct 27, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; The view from the Georgia side of the stadium during late first quarter action. Saturday’s annual Florida vs Georgia football game, October 27, 2018 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, FL. Bob Self-USA TODAY NETWORK

The World's Largest Cocktail Party might have a few more guests this season.

Georgia and Florida, who play annually at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, will now be able to host recruits for the neutral-site rivalry beginning in the 2022 football season, per multiple reports. On3's Palmer Thombs was the first to report the change.

The two programs will be able to provide tickets to recruits, but can not contact the prospects while in Jacksonville as it violates off-campus recruiting rules, per 247Sports.

More backstory: Kirby Smart talking again on moving UGA-Florida from Jacksonville. Atlanta wants 'in mix'

Smart's recruiting prowess: How Kirby Smart's recruiting positioned UGA football for its first national title in 40 years

Recruiting: Here's your one-stop shop for all things Georgia football recruiting coverage

Jacksonville, Florida has been the site for the SEC East rivals all but two years since 1933 with the winner often winning their division. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart has been critical of the game being played at a neutral field rather than in Athens or in Gainesville.

"It is not an advantage for anybody," Smart said to SEC Network at SEC Media Days. "If you look at the history, whoever has the better players and better team usually wins that game. It is more about me, I am competing against guys all across the SEC who hosts kids at their biggest game. When Auburn plays Alabama, guess where the recruits are. When LSU and Alabama play, it is where the biggest recruits want to go."

For years, Smart has criticized the game being a neutral game because it means one less game for top-rated recruited to see a game day in Athens.

"We had recruits at the Georgia-Clemson game but we had no contact with them," Smart said last season. "So, that’s not really recruiting. That’s an invitation to watch us, which they can do that on TV. They can’t interact with us. So, I can’t change that rule.”

Georgia is set to face the Gators in Jacksonville on Oct. 29 this season with kickoff already scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

McClain Baxley is a recruiting reporter for the Athens Banner-Herald and the USA TODAY Network. Reach him by email at mbaxley@onlineathens.com or on Twitter at @mcclainbaxley.

This article originally appeared on Athens Banner-Herald: Georgia, Florida football able to host recruits in Jacksonville