Kirby Smart is glad now that he was not able to convince linebacker Roquan Smith that Alabama was the right school for him. Smith was down to UCLA or UGA on National Signing Day in 2015 and decided to pick the Bulldogs. Smart said at the Nagurski Trophy ceremony in Charlotte, everything worked out for the best.
“Sometimes you thank God for unanswered prayers, right?” Smart said via the Macon Telegraph, quoting the line from the famous Garth Brooks song “Unanswered Prayers.” “That’s the case in this situation where he’s become a really good player. He’s developed a leadership pattern that really represents our university really well.”
Both sides have benefited with Smith leading the Dawgs to an SEC Championship and Georgia helping Smith showcase his talents on the way to earning the school’s first Butkus Award.
Smith was named the AP’s SEC Defensive Player of the Year on Monday, while Smart picked up Coach of the Year.
“I think that Roquan is a phenomenal player,” Smart said. “I think if you polled the SEC coaches, they would say he was probably that way. I haven’t had to game-plan against him or scheme against him, but he is certainly worthy when it comes to attitude, effort, leadership, all those qualities.”
The Georgia coach has talked throughout the 2017 season about the leadership qualities Smith possesses. He has also pointed out that Smith was one of the vocal members of this team, despite his not a senior.
Smith did not win the Nagurski Trophy on Monday night, that honor went to Bradley Chubb of North Carolina State. Chubb is the cousin of – you guessed it, Nick Chubb.
The Bulldogs standout defender is trying to beat out Chubb and Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick for the Chuck Badnarik Award at Thursday’s College Football Awards in Atlanta. This honor will go to the best defensive player in college football.
(You can follow Dan Mathews on Twitter @DanMathewsATL)
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